Friday, February 11, 2011

5 months gone, and 5 more to come.

So today is exactly my have way point, wow, thats crazy to think. In a way, half of my year seems to have gone by super fast, and then when I think of my first weeks here it seems like AGES ago! This weird time continuum is a good and a bad thing I guess, good because of how excited I am to see all my friends and family when I get home and see how much ive grown over this year outside of my regular environment. But then I also dread the day where I have to leave my amazing new friends and my host family that I honestly DONT KNOW how im going to go through leaving them. In a way I feel like Im just really starting to get comfortable here, Im starting to really like school and my friends, things are finally smooth with my host family most of the time, and I really feel like Im learning a lot this year, and have so much more i will learn in the next half. Thats another reason I dont want to leave, is because I know that if i were to stay longer i would learn so much more and faster about myself and who i am in the world then i would comfortably at home.
Home is a wonderful place, I really have learned that these months. Being home, with my parents and dogs, really is the best feeling there is that ive ever experienced, the feeling of just being completely content and comfortable, without the pressure to be anyone but you.
I wanna write and reflect about the challenges Ive experience while here..but I honestly dont know if i can really express them to people who hasnt been an exchange student..There are obviously the obvious ones of not knowing the language, the culture and the family, but it goes so much deeper then just that! When i say the language Im talking about how my capability in school shoots way down, how I couldn't go out alone cus I wasnt able to communicate with anyone if i needed to, I couldn't have conversations with my family like I was used to, i couldn't express my opinion, and then from those things came even more consequences. Then a different culture and family has about the same or even more effects on my behavior, thoughts, feelings, and attitude to this new life of mine.
I don't deny that I've been critical of the people and culture here, that I've had my moments of depression when I would like nothing more but to go home, that Ive hated the fact that I chose to do this year away from all I know. But I can say that I know I've now accepted most everything about my new home and that I am truly loving (almost) every moment! But for all those future students who are thinking how amazing it will be to go to ITALY, or FRANCE or SPAIN, all I can say is that after a month it doesnt matter where you are, but this experience is HARD!!!!! Im sure it helps that im in one of the most architecturally beautiful countries in the world, thats famous for family and romance, but honestly after the first few weeks I got past all that I realized, WOW, I'M HERE and this IS WAYYY DIFFERENT THEN IM USED TO! SHIT!
Im happy about how much I've done and am still going to do this year, traveling wise. Ive been to Rome, Florence and Perugia, and am going to Venice and Sicily later this spring.

I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about with you all when I get home thats for sure!

Ok, ho visto mentre stavo leggendo i altri posti i errori che facevo ogni posto divento meglio.. Quindi dovrei continuare..pero' non lo so di cosa devo scrivere. C'è una ragazza dalla scuola mia chi e' andata all'Austria per sei mesi quest'anno, Chi e' tornata oggi! Quindi domani a scuola le conoscerò! Yay! sono contenta per questo:) Ok va bene, basta. Buona notte!
Love you all!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Turning 17!!

Yes I figured out how to put pictures up again! Well Sunday was my birthday and I urned 17! as many of you know. And it was a nice festive day with lunch out at a restraunt and then cake and desserts with friends and family in the evening. All in the the feste were very nicely put together by my host mom!! And my cake was amazing!!!
But I have to admit the day was accompanied by some pretty harsh home-sickness that dampered that day a bit. Which has continued a bit into yesterday and today, but im starting to feel swell again because everything really is perfect!

The language is coming along really well, people keep complimenting me on it which makes me feel good. I am pretty confident, able to speak correctly most of the time grammaticly, but i still need to work on vocab because if i get stuck ever its when i dont know a word or verb. And im trying to work on more difficult tenses now that im getting the hang of present simple, passato prossimo, futuro, imperfetto, condizionale and passato remoto (still working on that one tho). And I swear Im learning way more about English grammer and sentense structure here then i ever learned in school in seattle haha.

Im exciting to be getting around Italy this year. Already Ive been to Rome, Florence, and Perugia and then smaller cities down south. Then at the beginning of March Ill be going to Belluno which is close to Venice, where Ill take a day trip to (during the time of Carnevale!!!) with AFS. Then in the middle of May Im going on a school trip to Sicily to see a play which Im really excited for! Ive also had the chance to go to Vienna, Florence or Rome again, Auschwitz and other smaller trips with the school but ive decided not to go for different reason.

This experience is amazing and Im learning so much about myself and my beliefs, obviously along with the culture and people of Italy:) Thanks again to all the people who helped get me here! Love you all!!!!

Love, Kali