It’s Almost Christmas!

Tomorrow is my last day of school before Christmas break!! :) I can’t believe I made it through one semester in an Italian school, pretty crazy! Last week was full of tests and interrogazione (we call these “final exams” in the USA). I had tests in physics, math, and history. I think I did well in physics because I knew all of the formulas and I finished on time. Math wasn’t as good though because I only finished about half of the test. I talked to my classmates after the test and they said that they only finished half as well, so maybe the teacher will grade it differently..fingers crossed! For the english test my classmates had to write the story of Snow White in english, so the teacher had me write it in Italian to make it fair. I think I did pretty well actually! Although I didn’t know the word for “dwarf” in Italian, so I just substituted that word with “persona piccola” (small person) haha.

Saturday night I went to a dinner with the AFS group in Verbania (town of my school). The group consisted of about 10 volunteers/parents, me, and a Malaysian boy who arrived in Italy 10 days ago. Giulia and Valeria came along as well since they were both exchange students last year. The dinner was really nice because I got to eat amazing food (pasta with salmon and vegetables), talk to AFS volunteers, and bond with the Malaysian boy, Bryan. I spoke to him in english since he just arrived and doesn’t know Italian. Also, I found out that he goes to my school here! So he, Giulia, Valeria, Camilla, and I all met up today during the 10 minute break and did a quick tour of the school for Bryan.

Sunday I had two flute concerts with Camilla and other music students! We played Christmas songs like Jingle Bells, First Noel, and We Wish You A Merry Christmas, as well as When The Saints Go Marching In, and Somewhere Over The Rainbow. The first concert we played was for older people from a retirement home, and the second concert was for parents and friends. Sunday night I went to a festival in Angera with my host parents. The festival celebrated the story of San Francesco and the “presepe” (crib) of Jesus. We got to watch a live play of the story, performed by some of the children in Angera. After the play we got to look at the props they used which included a real cow and real goats!! My host mom took a handful of hey from one of the haystacks which I thought was very strange, so I asked her about it. Apparently it is a tradition to take a piece of hey to remember and honor San Francesco, and then to put it inside your own handmade model of the “presepe.” My host family made a little diorama of the scene from the birth of Jesus, so we put the hey in the little crib of baby Jesus. The festival also served hot chocolate and traditional Christmas food in Italy – panettone and pandoro! The festival was really fun, although it was held outside so it was super cold!!

My next post will probably be on or after Christmas. I can’t wait to see what Christmas is like in Italy! Buon Natale!!!

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