Friday, July 3, 2009


Today is my last day with my host family. Tomorrow is my last day with Italy. And Sunday I'll be on the plane!

Ok, so here is the detailed schedule for my near future:

Tomorrow morning I will wake up early (a bit before 7 I think) to head to Torino with my host parents Simo e Eros. (I have to say goodbye to my brother ans sister tonight, because they aren't coming to the station with us.) At 9.05 my train leaves for Roma, and I will be in a train car with only other AFSers all together!
I have packed up some plastic knives, a big pack of cookies and a jar of nutella for us all on the 7 hour long ride down!
When we arrive we will meet up with the AFS Rome volunteers and head to our hotel where we will have a riunione with tutti i altri AFSers in Italia!
Then, Sunday morning we have our adieu's and I get on a plane for Paris with the other Americans ( I think there are about a hundred of us in all!)and finally to New York.
But it doesn't end there. From New York I find my dad who will fly into JFK from Arizona to meet me, and then we are going to rent a car and spent a week back east visiting colleges! Then a week from tomorrow we fly home together from Boston to Pheonix where my mom, sister and Andrea (italian student staying with us for the summer!) will pick us up.

I'm really looking forward to coming home! I miss my family like crazy! I miss my friends! I miss english! I miss my house, I miss my dog, I miss my bed, I miss pine trees and skunks and driving! I miss cheddar cheese! I miss soy and tofu and veggieburgers! I miss mac and cheese! I miss real mexican food! I miss Flagstaff, and I miss my high school! I miss DANCE.

I miss home, but at the same time, I don't want to leave! I wish I had done the year program, because Now I finally speak italian but I have to leave! I know that I would learn so much more and create closer bonds with my family and friends here if I had more time. I think that I'm learning more and more each day now at the end because I am arriving at a level of understanding where I can stop fussing over congiugations and just talk. At the beginning, sure I learned a lot and grew, but at a slower pace due to my language handycap. Now I see my potential and am determined at least to continue studying italian and to come back one day!

I've grown a lot during these months I've had here. I think the biggest way I've changed is that I have expanded my point of view and my opportunities. Six months ago I was determined to go to college right after High school and to always try to be the best, but I never imagined what the best could be! Now I know that I want to travel and come back to Italy, maybe with the Dartmouth program abroad, maybe with AFS again, maybe on my own, who knows! I have seen the reality of how huge and diverse our world is, but also that nothing is too big or too far. The world seems a little bit more attainable to me now. Now I'm determined to do much much more.

I think I've changed.

"What are going to do tomorrow Brain?"

"Tomorrow, Pinky... We take over the WORLD"

Thank You and Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


ey Everyone!

It's been a while, no? I'm sorry about that, but I haven'te been home for about two weeks due to my AFS End of Stay camp and a week at the sea side for vacation!

Well, what to say? I have about a million various things that don't really flow together or make any sense in a story format, so I'm just going to give you bullet points of my life as stuff pops into my head. Ok?

-I HAD MY FIRST DREAM IN ITALIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was with my host family in this funky glass square building and it included frogs and mini crocodiles and an oozing blob monster... but IT WAS IN ITALIAN! So I was totally psyched despite the mostro e rane e minicocodrilli!
-At the End of Stay camp we played games, reflected on our experiences and chilled with the other 60 kids in Piemonte from all over the world. We were from the U.S,Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Swizerland, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Chile, China, Thailand, Belgium, Romania, Iceland, Greenland, and a bunch of other countries I'm forgetting... so basically it was totally awesome that all of us from all over the world were chilling together and speaking italian!
-Onegame we played that was oodles of fun was where everyone was sitting in a circle with one person in the middle. Every girl is given a number and everyboy is given a letter (hope there aren't more than 23 guys) and the person in the middle calls out a number and a letter at random. If the person in the middle is a girl, then the boy who's letter is called has to try and kiss her before the other girl who'e number is called kisses him! And vise versa if it's a goy in the middle! It was pretty hilarious! And don't worry, the kisses were all on the cheek...
-So I spent an entire week at the sea, spending almost all day, everyday on the beach, and I still can't say I'm tan... I mean, I'm more tan than I was before, but I'm still just a little white girl through and through. Not fair.
-I only have 10 more days with my family here! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I'm freaking out! I feel like every day I get closer and closer with them and that I just want to stay here with them longer! But at the same time I miss my family back home like crazy and only 10 days seems too good to be true!
-A couple weeks a go I encountered giant italian veggetables! (forgive my rusty spelling!) Tomatoes called cow hearts because they are so huge! And sweet peas from my nonno's garden that are bigger than my dads sausage fingers! They were pretty impressive!
-At the camp on the last night we had a talent show, and it was mandatory for everyone to participate. It was awesome! I did some drumming improve with a friend named Jaime (pronounced hi-may) and everyone was so awesome! Qitao and 3 other chinese kids sang a song in chinese, and Xiang from China and Kevin from Germany sang frere Jaques in italian together, then in chinese and then in german! (I sang it to myself in english and french too...) A girl from India danced for what seemed like a half hour, and I don't think I'm exagerating, but it was still realy pretty. Two guys from the states sang and played guitar of songs from Flight of the concords, a huge group of girls sang Ciao Bella together, a girl balanced a spoon on her nose, Taylor from Australia sang with a total rockstar amazing voice while Lucho played guitar, and another really really tall guy from china sang My Eye Is on The Sparrow in english and he had the voice of an angel I tell you! Over all, we rock. Go Us!
-On the last day of school everyone brought various stuff like coca cola, an apricot cake, chips, tea... etc. Then my math teacher made us a lemon cream cake as well! And we didn't do anything all day because instread of classes there was a volleyball tournament with all of the 5th year classes against the professors! And at the end of the day when the last bell rang, some of the 5th year graduates popped open a couple bottles of champagne on the school steps to celebrate their freedom! Haha! It was a good day!

Ok... I think that's all for now... I have to go confront my email after two weeks of absence... Ciao!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Planet Hell!

It is very hip to name italian things in english.

"Planet Hell" (which, when pronounced by italian toungues sounds more like a blurred "plan-hotel"...) is the disco that I went to last monday night for the end of school dance!

Era FANTASTICO!!! I was nervous that I wouldn't like it because it was my first dico, but I had a blast! When I asked my friends about it before hand they said that italian disco's aren't as "bello" as american high school dances... and I don't know what movies they've been watching because I thought it was way cooler!

First of all, there was a HUGE disco ball...
then there were strobe lights, colored stage lights, smoke machines, live bands, great DJ's, multiple dance floors, two bars, a pool, and if you came early they also serve you dinner! (of course you pay extra for that...)

I wore my new green gress that I bought back in December at Dillards for the Winter Formal with a pair of ridiculously high black heels. About two minutes after leaving the house I realized that it was a dumb choice of footwear for going dancing in, but I managed to dance all night long anyways! It was painful, but I just kept danceing and I didn't even remember the searing pain on the balls of my feet! The next day the bottoms of my feet were all achy and sore, but amazingly I didn't have any blisters or anything too unpleasant!

There were TONS of people there, first of all because all the highschools in Piemonte were invited, and second of all because it wasn't exclusivly for highschoolers, but was also open to the public. It was bizzare...

I have to admit that school dances back at home seem pretty tame and dare I say boring in comparison... Now I have a different point of view to present on Student Council next year!

SEGUE: So, While I've been enjoying myself in Italy I have also had to think about things back at home, like the student council elections! I managed ( don't ask me how I was able to stay on top of this!) to write out a speech for my dearest friend Emily to read in my place at the elections, and my wonderful Mother made posters for me and Emily put them up at school, and now I am the New Student Council TREASURER! Huzzah!

So... Planet Hell... Crowded, loud, lively, oh! And the main dance floor is outside with a cover, but it rained! It was actually kind of nice because you kept warm dancing, and then when you got to hot dancing you could go sit under one of the christmas-light covered trees and relax!

I went with my Dearest host cousin, Silvia and a group of our friends, and then I ran into two friends from my class at school as well. We all had a wonderful evening (ending at about 3.30 in the morning) and were able to sleep in the next day due to the vacation! Yay!

Now, I only have the rest of this week, and half of next week of school and then it's summer vacation!!! Then 11-14 June I have the AFS End of Stay camp! Then the following week I'm going to the sea with my family, and then before you know it I will be on my way back home! Yowzah! Ok, time to get of the computer and do something more italian! Ciao tutti!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Zeite hundertneunundfunfzig (page 159)

Today I had a test in german on about 60 irregular verb congugations in the past tense, the three different ways of saying *when* (wen, wann, als), the funky sentence structure when using *before* and *while* (bevor, wahrend), and the irregular forms of superlative(Gut-->besser-->am besten)...and I totally think I rocked it!

Go me! Don't ask me how I am learning more german over here than french... it's really quite bizzare. English, italian, french, german... when I was little I thought it was impressive to be able to count to ten in spanish (which by the way is now an impossible task for me because my tongue automatically switches to italian and I can't figure out those simple ten words I used to be able to recite by heart!).

German (tedesco in italian) is really just a funky language in my opinion... I mean, the word for italian in german is italienisch...weird, right? And if you are bored in germany, you exclaim Stingklangweilich!

You know how the longest word in the english language is honorificabilitudinitatibus (27 leters long, invented by William Shakespeare meaning bestowing great honors...or something like that)? Well, I'm pretty sure the longest word EVER has to be german...

Ok, Ciao for now! (look who's posting two day's in a row again!)Vi voglio bene!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Neve Ferma

So I'm on page 139. But this time it is not page 139 of Tom Sawyer, or Jayne Eyre, or Pride and Prejudice, or Northanger Abbey, or Great Expectations,or Ivanhoe, or A Tale of Two Cities, or The Picture of Dorian Grey... It is page 139 of A Neve Ferma by Stefania Bertola which is an italian romance novel set in Torino about the crazy lives of a group of pastry chefs.

I feel ridiculously jubilant to say that I am on page 139 of a book completely written in italian... that I just started a couple days ago... =D

*a neve ferma*is the culinary term for when you whip egg whites till they are stiff, I think the term in english is something like *firm slopes*
and let me write a couple of the chapter titles to you:
Emma e La Vera Mousse al Cioccolato, L'intero del croissant, Tre Meringhette Perfetto Amore, La Torta Di Noci Variegata Cubana, La Crosticina della Crème brulèe, Uno strato di Meringa al Cioccolato... not to mention La Creme Ottobre (The dessert that made Stalin cry...).
Can you guess how much I love this book?

I keep a dictionary at hand if I stumble on something, but generally I don't waste my time looking stuff up because I can figure it out from the context! Isn't that so exciting! I've been reading books in english and some boring childrens books in italian, but now I shall only read full out novels in italian! Non ho piu voglia per leggere in inglese!

And now for a general update on me (in Italy! >.< ):
I have finally converted my height to meters = 1 metro e 67 centimetri ( I have also converted my pounds to kiligrami, but we don't have to post that online! ;)
I love my hair.
I have made chocolate chip cookies with my host mom and wish there was an easier way to convert cups of butter to grams of butter (God save you if you try converting to mililiters!).
I am finally starting to tan a tiny bit!
I got a big bottle of contact solution and wear my contacts more often.
I have changed my bed comforter from a thick blue warm one to a thinner blue one with Nemo and Dori on it!
Life is good!

Ciao for now! Vi voglio bene!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't Freak Out, Okay?

Today was the big day: Sono andata al pettinatrice!!! (I went to the hairdresser!)

This is a photo of me this morning:

And after two and a half hours of tin foil, shampooing, and snipping this is the result!

Please excuse the camera shadow in the first one... :P

It's not what I had in mind, but I love it just the same! I actually think I look more like a grown up version of my six year old self with this hair! Quando ero piccola avevo i capelli corti e piu chiari e la frangia cosi! (When I was little I had short, lighter hair and bangs like this!)
When Giorgio (il parruchiere) was cutting the bangs at first and asked me if io ho detto They were completely covering my eyes! So, good old practical me asked him to cut them a little shorter! They are still pretty long, but I love them! The not so practical me didn't think about how getting bangs right when the weather was getting ridiculously hot wouldn't be a good idea...oh well! I love my hair! I love pasta! I love Italy!
And guess what is really exciting! I can still get all the layers in a nice bun! I just need a few extra pins and a little hairspray! Last night I went to Just Pasta again for dinner (Garganelli con ricotta e timo(thyme) e poi penne con nutella e noci ancora) and I put my hair in an elegant bun, and got all fancied up! It was fun! I think being fashionable in Italy is more exciting than being fashionable in the U.S.... Then after dinner we went for a walk and ended up singing Abba songs in front of a store with a christmas tree in the window and dancing to Dancing Queen! All in all an enjoyable night!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To my Mother,

Today is the first Mothers Day that my mother and I have spent apart. (And not just a little bit, but half a planet apart). This blog entry is dedicated to my meravigliosa mamma!

My mom, (Julia/Giulia) has always ecouraged me to go on a foreign exchange, and has helped me tremendously tomake my dream a reality. From the very beginning of this AFS buisness my mom has helped me stand up to all the difficulties of becoming a foreign exchange student:Per esempio, the mountains of application paperwork, the dissapointment of not getting into my choice country (twice), and having to drive me across an eight hour long desert (twice, aswell)
to apply for my visa. She went through the hell-ish stress and worry with me through out the entire process, and now I hope to pay her back by letting her know how amazingly happy I am as the result of everything she has done for me!

I have had amazing experiences here that I will learn from for the rest of my life, both good and not so good... (lets not go into the crazy catastrophy of last night where I accidentally got on the wrong train and was on my way to Savona instead of Savigliano and had to find a way to communicate my dillemna to my host family and my friend/AFS assistent who was waiting for me in Savigliano without a cellphone or the ability to use italian payphones...)

I have eaten thousands of different types of cheeses (or at least it tastes like I have!) and pastas.

I have learned a completely new and beautiful language that I will cuss in for the rest of my life.

I have discovered how much I love and appreciate my home and family.

I have bought bright sparkly gold pants.

I have legally drunk some amazing alchohol (dessert wines... o dio.)

I have spent the afternoon sun-tanning on the italian riviera while reading Charles Dickens in two languages.

I have changed and grown inside (and outside!) and I have to thank my mom for it all.

Grazie. Ti voglio bene. Happy Mothers Day.