Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AFS Camp!

Sorry I haven’t posted in forever but I’ve been so busy! I’m going to go way back in time and write a post about the AFS camp I went to! (: From now on I’m going to try and do short posts everyday because it’s easier than writing super long posts every few weeks! Since there's so much to write I always end up procrastinating forever and ever... hahaa

Lunedi October 15th: An uneventful Monday, I watched Pride & Prejudice in Italian with English subtitles for my English class. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the movie it was a nice relaxing day and then I went running. One thing I remember learning this day is kind of disturbing but I want to bring it to attention, an AFS girl from Russia was raped. I want to send my blessings to her because I can’t even imagine what she’s going through right now. Well I don't really want to make this post all sad so that's all I'm going to say but click here if you want to read the full story. 

A scuola! (:

Martedi 16th and Mercolidi the 17th: I don’t remember what happened these days… :/ Sorry! I went to an Italian lesson, attempted some Chem homework, shopped a little and packed for camp!

Google translate is my new best friend <3
Giovedi 18th – Domenica 21st: I had AFS camp with maybe 50 or 60 kids from my local area in a small town called Castelnuovo Nigra in the hills. On Thursday after school my host mom took me to Porta Nuovo, where I met all the other exchange students and we took a bus to the camp. A funny story from the bus ride, I was talking to one of the volunteers. He went to Illinois for a year so we were just talking about our American homes and then we showed each other our houses on Google Maps on his iPad. Then my friend Victoria asked, “When do they take the pictures for Google Maps because I want to go outside so I can be online!” The volunteer didn’t understand so I tried explaining it further. He looked like he understood and he said, “Ohh I’m sure they’ll do it tomorrow at 5 in the morning!” Victoria and I just looked at each other and started bursting out laughing because he obviously didn’t understand… I then explained it again and he finally understood! It was really funny and then the next day we took a picture and pretended we were on Google Maps. Anyway when we got to the hotel we were given our room numbers. Some people had roommates, some people didn’t. I didn’t have a roommate which sucked but most nights my friends came and stayed over really late!

Thursday night at camp!
Anyway, the three days consisted of spending the mornings split up into smaller groups doing “work” where we basically made lots of posters with our feelings towards our host families, school, friends, the Italian language and any problems we have. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, everyone has the same problems. One of the activities we did was actually interesting. In my group there was kids from many different countries, I think all of them were Belgium, Poland, Russia, Denmark, China, Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Germany and Mexico. So for each country there was a poster board and everyone had to write down the first thing that comes to mind when they think of that country. It was funny seeing all the superficial things that people wrote. For the United States people wrote Hooters, Gossip Girl, racism, war, Obama and drugs. Besides Gossip Girl I was less than impressed… it kind of hurt to see what people thought of my country. I love the United States and I did my best explaining and justifying how wonderful my country really is. There was a boy and girl from China and one of the volunteers went to China for a year so we ended up talking about China for at least a half an hour. The culture there is so different and interesting to me. The Chinese kids said that they have school everday single day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday. They begin school at 7 then at 2 there’s an hour-long break for lunch and then they continue school until 9 pm with another hour long break for dinner at around 7 pm. Then on Saturday’s they finish “early” at 5 pm and go home and have exactly 24 hours break because they start school again at 5 pm on Sunday night. I’ve been complaining about having school for 4 hours on Saturday’s here in Italy, I will never complain again. Chinese school is a thousand times worse! And they said that during their 24 hour break they can’t hang out with friends because they have to study.. I asked them what they do for fun and what they said made me laugh so hard. After school ends during the week, the school turns the lights off at 11 so everyone should go to sleep but the more daring Chinese kids bring flashlights with them and read their Manga comic books all night. This is considered extremely risky and if a teacher finds out their comic books could be taken away. It’s shocking how different their lives are! Sorry I’m getting really off topic! Okay so the volunteers who were in charge of the camp were fantastic, they’ve all gone on exchange so they really understand what we’re going through and are so helpful. 

Waking up to this view in the morning wasn't so bad (;
Looking out my window (:
My twin Daria from Poland!
We did orientation activities until lunch and then after lunch we had free time and the volunteers did individual interviews with everyone. My friends and I played lots of table football, talked and just did random stupid things. I met a girl from Poland who is legit my twin, everyone always got us confused and said we look exactly alike! It was so weird, I’ve heard that everyone has a doppelganger somewhere in the world and I met mine! We had so much free time and it was so fun, I love my AFS friends so much and I don’t even know what I’d do without them. Anyway we had free time until dinner then after dinner we played games and sang songs with the volunteers. We sang a song called “Shake Banana” and did a dance, it was so stupid that it was fun! Then we split into small groups and were given an animal and we had to make the shape of the animal with our bodies. I’m proud to say that my group won only one round but it was the round where I came up with the idea to make a smiley face! (: haha we played the famous kissing game, it’s really hard to explain but basically there’s 3 people and they’re all trying to kiss a different person, it got pretty violent to say the least! Oh and then one night we played a prank on Bleue, my gay best friend from Thailand. One of the volunteers said they needed to speak with Bleue so they took him out of the room and while he was gone one of the volunteers laid down and we put a blanket over him. He was supposed to be a “dead body”. We turned off all the lights and lit candles then Bleue came back into the room and we told him that someone died and he was the only person who could speak with the dead. So Bleue sat on the “body” and was supposed to ask yes or no questions like are you a boy or a girl, so that we could figure out who the body was and who killed them. But Bleue’s first question was “Do you like fashion?” It was hilarious! Then after a few more questions the body hugged Bleue and he started flipping out, I’ve never laughed so much in my life!

One day we went on a hike throughout the hills and it was nice! There was a waterfalls and everything was just so beautiful. My friends and I took about a million pictures of everything! The last night we did a talent show, everyone did something that represented their cultures from their home country. There are videos of every single one on this German kids youtube so if you want to watch them click here and it'll take you to his youtube page! Watching the videos already makes me sad because I miss camp so much! All of the American’s were pretty lame and we didn’t plan anything really good for the talent show… so despite my protests I went up and sang the 50 United States in alphabetical order, it was pretty embarrassing but whatever! (: After the talent show I plugged in my iPod to the speakers and taught everyone how to dougie and showed them some rap music it was fun! My friends Bleue, Paula, Yannic Victoria, Olivia and Sanni came back to my room and we hung out until like 4 am then we went downstairs. Almost everyone stayed up all night but I went to bed at around 7 am and then got up at 8.

Our "google maps" picture
Victoria from Denmark & Marta from Portugal!
We're cute
My Danish girls <3
Thai bffs!
Sanni from Finland and Yannic from Switzerland!

Ahhh I loved camp so much, it was a great break from real life. It was fantastic reuniting with all my AFS friends who are here from all over the world. It’s insane how close you can get with people after only 4 days. We’re all going through the same experience and everyone just clicks. I know that I’ve already made life long friends, Victoria and I are already making plans to go to college together in the U.S and join a sorority!


Domenica 21st: After a long, fun-filled but exhausting weekend at camp we all took a bus back to Porta Nuova. Then Bleue’s mom drove me to Rivoli because my little sister Nini had her confirmation ceremony and party. At 5 I got picked up from Rivoli and went to the church for the end of the ceremony. It was completely insane, there was WAY too many people, people spilled out of the church all over the street. There was 60 kids doing their confirmation and each one invited their whole big Italian family so it was packed! After the ceremony we went back home for the party! I was so dead running on about an hour of sleep but it was still a lot of fun! I talked with a lot of my extended family members but I felt bad cause my Italian sucked so much since I was so tired! The food was delicious, my host mom and aunts had been cooking all weekend while I was gone! There was about a million different tiny appetizers and I ate so much! Oh and my aunt Elena once again made a delicious beautiful cake! At around 9 I was sitting on the couch dozing off so I decided to call it a night.

The cake! <33
Lunedi 22nd: The next day at school was horrible, I literally slept the entire day! I had a math test the first hour which I totally failed because I didn't have any time to study at camp on the weekend and I didn't get any sleep.. Then during the first break I stayed in the classroom, which I never do, I always go out and walk around with my friends but I was too tired. I fell fast asleep during the break. I don't remember anything else that happened for the rest of the day because I literally slept the whole time! Not a single person woke me up until the end of the day, my friends said they couldn't wake me up because I looked like a baby. hahahhaa as soon as I came home from school I ate lunch then told my family "Buona Notte!" (goodnight) and went to sleep again. My host dad woke me up at 8 for dinner, I ate and went back to sleep!

Happy Halloween everyone! I'm going to do another blog post right now because I still haven't wrote about last week and last weekend (:

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