Hello everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, I’ve been pretty busy the last few days. On Friday I took yearbook pictures with my class. We each had to dress up as a country, so I chose USA of course!! I wore a USA baseball cap and wrapped myself with my USA flag. Some of my classmates dressed up as Germany, Spain, England, Japan, etc. I really want to see the pictures so I can post them and show them to you guys, but unfortunately I don’t receive them until March, oh well!
Exciting news: Saturday marked 3 months in Italy!!! Saturday was fun, after school I stayed in Arona and ate lunch with a friend. Then I walked around for a while and looked at some shops. I bought the book “Città di Carta” (Paper Towns) because I want to practice reading Italian. But I was really surprised when I first started reading because I could only understand like half of what was written; I guess I still have a lot of Italian to learn!
Sunday I met 3 of my AFS friends in Arona: Tomoyuki from Japan, Willy from Guatemala, and Cameron from Alaska. We went ice skating!! It was super fun, I only fell once! Although I was hanging onto the sides of the rink most of the time haha. Also the skates we had to wear were really worn out and not sharpened at all so that made it even harder! After skating, we went back to Tomoyuki’s house in Dagnente (the town next to Arona) and ate dinner. We ate polenta with meat and cheese, although I only ate the meat…the cheese looked really gross haha. After dinner we hung out, played cards and ping pong, and listened to Taylor Swift. We also played piano because his house has a piano! I played the only piece I knew by memory and then Tomoyuki played a really complicated piece, he’s amazing! By then it was midnight, so we headed upstairs to go to bed. I slept in Tomoyuki’s room with Cameron, and Tomoyuki and Willy slept in the guest house.
Monday I didn’t have school because it is a holiday today, so we got to sleep in! When everyone finally woke up and gathered in the kitchen at 11:30, we made breakfast. We decided to have an American breakfast with pancakes, french toast, and orange juice. I helped Tomoyuki’s host sister make the pancakes, Cameron made the french toast, and Tomoyuki and Willy made fresh orange juice. Sadly we didn’t have maple syrup because it doesn’t exist here, so we substituted with nutella, honey, and jam. It was SO amazing to eat pancakes again omg!!! Anyway, after breakfast, my friends and I walked to an open grass area where Tomoyuki, Willy, and Tomoyuki’s host sister played calcio (soccer), and Cameron and I played on a seesaw and talked about the last 2 months. It felt good to talk to a fellow exchange student about my thoughts, feelings, and concerns about my time here. She actually helped me make a big decision I’ve been contemplating back and forth about during my time here. But I will tell you about it later when I actually act on it. Anyway back to the story, after soccer we went back to Tomoyuki’s house and had tea and cookies with his host mom. Then she took us to Arona where we walked around and looked at little shops. The town is so beautiful at night, especially during this time of the year because there are Christmas lights and decorations all over the streets. Then at 5:20 I left my friends and took the boat back to Angera.
Today I also didn’t have school because it is an Italian holiday! The holiday is called “Feast of the Immaculate Conception,” and commemorates when Mary was graced by God to lead a life “free of sin” according to Catholic belief. In the morning my host parents went to church, and when they got back we started decorating the house with Christmas decorations! They got a tiny plastic Christmas tree, it’s super cute! After lunch we went to Nonna’s house for some torta (cake) and then Camilla and I had a Christmas concert with the other music students. We played outside of a church in Sesto. My fingers were freezing the whole time, but it’s okay, I survived! We played 4 songs: Oh Come All Yee Faithful, Silent Night, We Wish You A Merry Christmas ,and Jingle Bells.
On Sunday I get to see my AFS friends again because we are having dinner together with our host families. Apparently we are each going to cook a dish from our country, so Cameron and I are planning to cook hamburgers lol! My next post will probably be on either Sunday night or Monday night…or sooner if something exciting happens.
If you want to check out my youtube video on the month of November, here is the link! <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYyZzmGX1Ts>