Ciao everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t written in my blog in a VERY long time, I just haven’t made the time for it. haha. So let’s see… October was a pretty relaxing month for me. I began to adjust to school here a little more and there are times now when I can even understand the main ideas of what my teachers are talking about! I’m not saying it has gotten any easier, but even though speaking Italian itself is still a challenge, I am beginning to understand what people say without having to try to translate it to English in my head. I feel like that is an improvement! But I cannot believe 2 and a half months have already passed. I feel like I’ve been away from home for a long time, but I also feel like I just got here! Okay so here are some of the highlights from October:
October 21st My Italian birthday!! Okay so this was an AMAZING birthday that was so different from any one I’ve ever had back home. From what I’ve heard about Italian birthdays in general is that the whole family and relatives come over for a big lunch, and then in the evening, you go out with your friends. And that’s exactly how mine was. :) I slept in on the day of my birthday, and woke up with my host grandma in the kitchen already starting lunch! And as the hours passed, more and more relatives and people were arriving. It was great. :) I asked for my birthday lunch to be a surprise, and was excited when they brought out the best lasagna I’ve ever tried in my life. After that we had a yummy cake, spumante (a sparkling wine that is soo good), and then I had pictures taken with my family. Later that night, I went out with my friends to the city center. It was amazing because there was a group of about 25 of us! We went out for really good pizza and then stayed out til about 2am just hanging out, walking around, and having fun. I’m so grateful that I got to experience my birthday here because I know I’ll never get to have one like it again. :) Another plus was that I received a really sweet birthday care package from my parents. I got a lot of sweets that I’ve been craving, some jewelry, my favorite candles, but what I loved most was the fact that they sent me some dried autumn leaves from Spokane. That was very special to me because I was really missing Spokane’s autumn on my birthday this year! My birthday here was one I’ll never forget. :)
October 29th-30th Rotary weekend in Piazza Armerina! So this weekend was one of the most fun I’ve had here. My friend Zoe (who’s also an exchange student) and I took a bus ride with a group of Italian interact students to a beautiful inland city about 2 hours away called Piazza Armerina. We then carpooled up to this BEAUTIFUL bed and breakfast type hotel place called Gigliotto Agriturismo (look it up, it is amazing!). Zoe and I were literally freaking out because there, it looked like your traditional gorgeous Italian landscape that you only see in movies and magazines. haha. So that evening it was just us kids, and we even got our own hotel rooms! It was really great because it felt like we had a ton of freedom and were on our own little Italian vacation. :) That night was so much fun because a DJ came and we pretty much had a dance party until late at night. Afterwards, Zoe and I stayed up even longer that night, murdering the hundreds of flies in our room and then going back to the dance party to steal desserts (only for fly bait, of course ;) ) The next morning, we ate breakfast in a beautiful dining hall, and then attended a 4 hour long Rotary meeting. It was hard to try and stay awake when we couldn’t even understand any of the speeches ! ahaha. But other than that, my weekend in Piazza Armerina was perfect because I really felt like I was on a vacation for the first time since I’ve been here.
October 31st- Halloween with Zoe! Okay so this was one of my most fun nights! Zoe and I met up and went to the city center together. We walked around for awhile, went shopping, and then later went out to dinner at a place called the Rossopomodoro (they have the best pizza I’ve ever tried). After dinner, the waiter brought us totally free heart shaped deserts covered in chocolate. We thought it was just an Italian thing to bring out a free desert so we just kind of ignored it. But then, when I got up to go to the bathroom, a man who worked at the restaurant handed me two heart shaped notes and said “This is for you, and this is for your friend”. It was so funny because each of our papers had the cheesiest notes on them along with the guys’ numbers. Mine said “My heart stopped beating. -Salvo” hahaha. It was SO funny. But you know, how can you complain when you get free desert? :D Other fun things about that night were: searching for a store to buy markers at 11 at night just to draw on our faces, hearing people speak English and screaming “OH MY GOD YOU SPEAK ENGLISH” and then hanging out with them for the rest of the evening, and finally, running like crazy at 12:30 AM across downtown just so we could get home on time. This was definitely the best halloween I’ve ever had. :D
Other than that, October was a relaxing month. I feel at home and comfortable here. The language is coming along and the feelings of homesickness have begun to go away. I can’t believe how fast everything is going! And it’s just going to get faster. I just know I have to enjoy every single moment I have here because although it doesn’t feel like it now, I will be home before I know it.
And don’t worry- next time I won’t wait more than a month to update my blog. :)
Buonanotte tutti :)