Sunday, May 22, 2011

Official Meeting

Well today was the mandatory meeting.  There are so many teens going to many places!
My mother said that if I even got a little uncomfortable and unsure about my going through with this, to speak up.

Well I am even more excited.  I understand how uncomfortable and frustrated I will be when I get there, but I like a challenge.

There was so many things discussed, and I really don't feel like talking about everything.

One thing that every AFS participant must understand is there are 3 rules you must never violate:
1. No hitch-hiking.  Yes. No standing on the side of the road with your thumb indicating that you need a lift to get someplace.
2. No driving. Whatsoever. No motor vehicles.  No boats, vespas, old trucks on a deserted farm. No nothing.
3. Do NOT engage in using Illegal substances.  No illegal drugs. They are BAD. And you won't think it's that cool when you are all alone in a foreign jail.

If anyone fails to comply, he or she will be terminated.
These people are not just suggesting.  They are Completley 100% serious.
Don't Mess.

Everybody asked a lot of questions about adjusting to a new culture.  
The answer was that after the initial three weeks of being thrilled, culture shock sets in.  Usually when there is a culture shock there is homesickness.
Culture shock and homesickness are when the student wants to be home in familiar territory.  Speaking your language, eating your favorite snacks and meals, sleeping in your bed, being with your friends and family, and not being uncomfortable and scared.

WOW.  How great.

There were students who either returned the year before or two years ago, and they shared their experiences.
One girl who went to Italy said that she experienced this after 2 weeks but got over it by being with her host family, reading, and taking walks with friends.

I think this will definitely be harder than I imagined.  Of course, nothing worth while is ever easy.

I still haven't heard anything about a host family.  A boy who went to China said that he didn't find out until a few days before he left.  How comforting.  Well, I am just praying that they will like me.

I am representing my country.  I might be the only american they have and will ever meet.  Again, I can do it!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anticipation (Obviously)

an·tic·i·pate  (n-ts-pt)
v. an·tic·i·pat·edan·tic·i·pat·ingan·tic·i·pates
1. To feel or realize beforehand; foresee
2. To look forward to, especially with pleasure; expect: 
3. To deal with beforehand

15 days 
and 3 months.  
This is about the amount of time I have left until I leave.

One of the worst things in life is anticipation.  

According to the dictionary definition, anticipating is feeling, realizing, and foreseeing beforehand.
Beforehand what?  Well, the event or moment which you expect to arrive sooner or later.  
I am anticipating something HUGE.  Monstrous.  Colossal !!! get it...
Leaving my house, my home (not the same meaning as house), my family, friends, school, teachers, community, town, state, country, continent !!

First thoughts on Spain:

- Nahhh, it will be alright! This is what I want! (not to be away from everybody) I need a change. Some cultural experience.

- Sometimes all I want is to be so different yet fit in at the same time! I will be an US American with a different family, culture, and language back home.  However, I will be learning the same stuff, speaking the same language (<~~ well, trying to at least). Walking the same streets and breathing the same air.

- All I am doing is jumping over the Pond to Europe for a year!  It will be a lifetime of experiences.  

___Well, it surely became a little more complicated than those previous thoughts.____  

Second thoughts on Spain:
- What about ACT & SAT ?
- What about graduations, confirmations, family, weddings, FUNERALS!? (God forbid)
- What about my family?  It will only be the three of them. (Well 4, if you include the dog)
- What about my friends? 
- My sister's first year of high school? How will she survive without me? <=== maggs :)
- How will I change?
- What about my host family, will they like me? Will I like them?
- Where will I be?  North, South, East, West?

Then the anticipation.  **Look at the 1st definition of the dictionary excerpt.** 
The feelings of excitement, of fear, happiness, sadness, adventure, importance, loneliness, all popped into my system at once.  
It's this strange feeling.  All of these emotions can be described in one word.  Anticipation.  

I have that meeting coming up on Saturday.  I just got Step 4 from AFS.  I only have 3 1/2 months before I leave it all behind for awhile.  

comn' people. let's get a move on.  I'm drowning in anticipation



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Inauguration Post

"If a task is once begun, never leave until it's done.
If the labor great or small, do it well or not at all."

I don't know who said that (or if it is just one of those little sayings), but I read it somewhere.  I think it is so true.  It's always important to try your best at everything.  Don't be too hard on yourself for falling flat on your face.  In the upcoming year, I will be failing at things (even though I will try my very best).  

Hi.  I am going to give you a very generalized over view of my life thus far.  I am adopted from Guatemala.  I grew up entirely in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  I went to co-ed elementary school and middle school. And my high school is DSHA (an all girls school). (It's not that awful! There are many plus-es for an all girls school. [like no boys to distract us. and we don't have to worry about combing our hair!])  
I am a swimmer on my high school team and a year round club team (though I haven't been swimming lately!).  I live with my mom, dad, younger sister (Maggie<I will talk directly to her a lot>), and my lovely pet dog.  

So, this blog thing... I have never thought highly of this past-time.  I have always thought it was a waste of time.  HOWEVER! I want to share my life and adventures this year with my family, friends and perfect strangers who just happen across this page. (Hello World!)

...I usually digress from what i am actually saying. So be prepared.  I usually get to the point eventually...

I am a sophomore right now.  But last year, I met a girl from Italy who changed my life. (Hi, Chiara :) She was on both swim teams with me and we bonded.  She was also an AFS exchange student!  Naturally she inspired me to purse my dreams of exchange-ism too! (made up words)  

I presented the idea to my family and they went along with it.  But one thing led to 10 billion other things and badda bing badda boom! Now i will be spending my Junior year in Spain.

I don't know where and with whom quite yet. But I have been accepted into AFS-USA and AFS-Spain. My application is complete.  And I have my first official mandatory meeting coming up!

OK I am finished.  I will post soon with more infomacion.