Friday, July 3, 2009

Ciao Ciao

Hey Everyone!!

Well, I suppose this is my last blog, considering I only have 2 days left in Italy! It's really been a crazy 5 months...I really cant imagine coming back. I mean, it will be simple with my family and getting back into the swing of things. But everything else has kind of disappeared. It happens when you focus on something and everything else you just...acciedently forget. In my case , I focused on my parents and my brother...everything else wasnt important, only my family. It took me 3 months to remember my prnicipals name (Sorry Mr. Deville!) Now coming home, Im reflecting (AFS will be happy, thats part of their 3 step program: Listen, Discuss and Reflect....blah, blah, blah. Sorry I really do like AFS, but it can be a bit boring after awhile.) Its like suddenly , it hit me, Im a senoir, I have my license, Kyles a teenager (weird to think least our arguments will be more sophisticated now...or I hope so.) I kind of forgot that I have an actual life in California. And yet it doesnt feel like I have a real life in Italy either. Although Marianna can try and fill the mother spot, she really isnt my mom. My studying at school was a joke because I didnt understand half of the things I was supposed to be learning and I dont really have any good friends that arent Claudias friends. Not really my I have been in limbo for the last 5 months. Thats the best way to describe how I feel right now. Not really belonging to the place I am now and forgetting the home I have in California.

But now, friday evening at 5pm, I realize that in 56 hours (ok, its less with the time changes, but just pretend) Ill be in California, little memories are coming back to me. Its funny how Id forgotten how annoying it was that you couldnt stand by the fireplace without getting bombarded with tennis balls. Id forgotten that its almost impossible to find a bathroom during lunch at school (for some reason the school deems these to be hang out places for bad students. I dont really understand their logic, after all, who wants to hang next to a stinky bathroom?) Just little things, like how my parents only let Kyle and I drink soda when we had guests or ate pizza (honestly I think the restriction was made for my very hyper brother and it didnt really matter because we didnt follow it anyways.) Or how Kyle, my mom and I had a very specific routine in the morning. How Kyle would get mad if I left my straightner on his side of the bathroom or how I would yell and pound on the door when he ran over his shower time. Homw my mom is barely alive before she has had her coffee (I should brew espresso at home...that stuff is stronger and more tasty than American coffee.) Before Italy I had thought Placerville was boring. A small, but spread out town where you cant do anything. You cant walk anywhere and too quiet. But now Im ready for the peacefulness. And I have my license, which makes a difference.

Well, it has been quite a trip. Ive packed everything: a rather large purple suitcase that weighs exactly 20 kilos ( because thats all AFS would cover) and a pink carry on suitcase along with my purse packed to the brim. Ready for the exhausting 25 hour day where I take 3 flights from Rome to San Francisco.

Lastly, I wanted to tell everyone who reads this blog (bless you, you must be crazy or really, really fond of me), helped me out in the beginning and anyone who was ever just there for me: thanks and grazie. I couldnt be the person I am without this trip and you all helped.

A special thanks to my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. No matter where I am at family always stays with me. You were never forgotten=))

Bye, Ciao, Addio, see you in California=))

!!")($(/£Sorry for the errors....try typeing on an American keyboard with an Italian format...I push the question mark button and get an accented e....

Friday, May 29, 2009

I guess now my blog is being featured on the AFS blog here's the link! It's really a great tool and really interesting! (

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

studenti straneri (did you know that the translation for exchange students is "strange students"?!)

Hi everyone!

Can you believe that I only have 40 days left here in Italy? I'm sure my mom can...she happens too remind me too often=)) Sorry, Kyle, but that means I get my wonderful Queen size bed back, buddy. May's been alright for me...I was a bit bummed that I missed mother's day and I'll miss father's day too. But school finishes up this week, which will be wonderful. It is SO hot here! 38 degrees celsius (which is about....100 degrees) and there's no air conditioning at school. Really these Italian schools, especially in the South, don't have any money.

On Saturday I went to Rome with the other foreign exchange students who live in Naples or near Naples. It was really nice, because I don't really have friends here in Italy. There's Claudia's friends that I hang out with at school, but Ilze was the only other person I hung out with beisdes Claudia. I don't mind it...I don't realy connect with any of the other girls, and they don't really seem interesed in inviting me out, so it was nice to spend time with some other people. It's also easier for me to understand the exchange students because they speak a little slower. And you have a lot in common, being exchange students. So on Saturday I met 5 of them. I had to get up at 4.30AM and take the train to Naples at 5.12AM. I was late as usual and literally ran from my house, getting onto the train just as the doors were closeing. Oops=)) We all met at McDonalds in Naples at 6.30 and took the train to Rome (only about 2 hours from Naples.) Ok, let's see...there was Joaquin who's from Chile (I already knew him...he's been in my class since I arrived. He's really nice, but I got all of the dirt on him from the other girls. Apparantley Joaquin is a player. I knew a little bit about it because ALL of the girls flock around him at school, sitting on his lap, and such, but I didn't know to this extent. I think it's just the way he acts around all's hilarious to hear it from Maggie, though), Maggie from New York (she's awesome, we spent some time abusing a certain government official and she taught me bootlegging(sp?) techniques. Haha, kidding, mom) Oana from Romania (my nickname for her is Dracula. She's really nice, though) Linda from the Netherlands (again, awwesome. We spent a good portion of the trip to Rome watching the Eight Mile together. Nothing like bonding over Eminem=)) Aatt (male) and Putnim (female) from Turkey. Putnim is really sweet, and Aatt likes Green Day, so we got along. Ana from Finland taught me some helpful things about the Finnish, so that will help me with Hilla. And I found out that Hilla is actually pronounced "Ella." I'm glad because I felt really stupid saying Hilla, it sounds so weird. Kjersati (pronounced "Shasti") is really direct and of all of the studnets, I disliked her the most. She wasn't mean, but not exactly nice.We had a little disagreement on Martin Luther's theises. Thanks Ms. Munz for making our AP World class read and translate each one of them=)) We went to Piazza Spagna (nothing really to translate...Plaza Spain), saw the Trevi Fountain (yes, I threw coins in it...forgot to wish on the first one, so I added 10 more cents just to make sure) and we visited the VaticanCity. I'm glad I went before with AFS when we first arrived (that time Jessica, Kristen andI spent 1.30 hours in saint Peter's catherdral (sp?) because this time the AFS volunteer told us to meet back at the entrance 10 minutes later! 10 minutes to see Saint Peter's! It's impossible. We went to the Collsseum(sp?) but didn't go in. Basically spent afternoon at a fotball festival drinking beer (not really a festival, but the wrold cup was there, and it's like a Mecca for the Italian men. You have to visit it once in your lifetime=)) I didn't get home until 10PM, but it was a nice day.

On Sunday I stayed home because I was really tired! Camila, my AFS volunteer was a little mad that Joaquin and I didn't go to an orientation for Interculturà that day. But the orientation was for kids like Claudia who are leaving next year (they have about 10 pre-departure orientations like this.) I went to the one before and it was so boring! I really didn't understand why Camila was mad at me...a) I was tired b) it was an orientation for Claudia, so WHY did I have to be there? I'm already an exchange student...

On Monday there was yet another AFS activity. All of the exchange students from around Naples was there. The ones from before and more...Danielle from California (San Louis Obispo(sp?) She was so nice and loved to speak English with me), Liliana from Oregon (Danielle was pretty happy that with me, the US was now the leading group. We beat the Chile people with 4 to 3=)) a girl from Chile (I feel horrible, I don't remember her name!), Juan from Chile (anothe cute Chile guy...we have to watch them...=)), Noi and Lia from Thailand (they were really nice, especially Lia whose about 4'8''=)), Li from China (he was hilarious!) and girl from Estonia and another girl from Argentina (again, I can't remember their names!=(( Giula from Germany (she was so funny! She had a crush on the Interculturà volunteer and kepting running around squealing=))We went to a presentation where this company was awarding students who were leaving next year with Interculturà. We all had to say where we were from, our names , where we live now and what school we go to in our native language. yay, English! It was cool though to hear the differences betwee Turkish, Finnish and Romanian...I always grouped them together before this. After this very boring presentation all of the exchange students went out to lunch which was fun. Danielle, Liliana, Maggie, Anna, Li and I had an "English Party." Then we just hung around in Naples before going home.

Hope you all liked my update! I swear things are more interesting than how I report them. I don't have my mother's story telling abilities! Miss you all!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

April and Florence!

****Sorry! I've been really busy here, but I'm really am going to try and write more often. I'll finish up my wedding story and more of may in the next post, which will hopefully come soon! And pictures too! I felt I owed you all some of the, here's half. I started writing it back in the beginning of April!****

Hi everyone! Spring is here in Italy (well, most days) and school is almost out! April was pretty the beginning things were a bit rough with my host family. But I really don't like dwelling on it, and with some timely AFS intervention, things have worked out for the most part. Easter was fun, even though my family is prety laid back, so we didn't do much. I was able to talk to my Nana and Papa, along with Aunt Sherri, Jennifer, Aliesha, Reed, Kayla and Layla. Spent some time bonding with my brother during boring easter vacaton days...and Claudia dragged me off to the beach twice that week (I have now been to the beach 3 times this month for sun bathing!) And, no, I'm not any tanner. But I haven't gotten burnt once, yes! Sorry, that was a bit random....

Florence - April 21st - 24th

Well, 2 weeks ago, I went to Florence with another class of mine (not Claudia's, but a 2nd years!) It was a lot of fun...though unfortuantley I didn't learn much of the historical parts. The trip was basically based around haveing fun, not really going into depth about the history. We just shopped a lot, saw stautes and churches...and of course we walked the city a million times! It's such a beautiful city! I really enjoyed the company of the classes too...many didn't speak very much english, and so it forced me to use my Italian more, which was helpful. Except when they wanted English lessons! A lot of the guys would ask me to teach them bad words...except when they used used them out of context! (I taught them shit, so they would scream at randon intervals, "you shit!" to someone=)) In turn, they taught me how to say things in Italian (I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure they were variations of penis) then have me repeat them, and laugh. Haha, I did have fun...they were younger, around 14 and 15, but they seemed to enjoy life more, not worried about acting sophisticated all the time. I bought a nice shirt for my dad (not going to say what it looks like, because I would completely ruin the surprise. And i do that enough of the time!), bought some postcards with beautiful pictures of the city (Nana and papa, melissa and grandma, you will all be getting a postcard from Vico and Florence in the mail!!) and I bought a Godfather t-shirt for's awesome and I couldn't resist it! I'm not wearing it in italy though; they are not to fond of the reputation the godfather has caused. But, i assure you, it's an awesome shirt=)) Florence is's really what you imagine an italian city to look like...the perfect italian city. The kids finally convinced the teachers to go to a disco while were here. i know the word "disco" sounds weird, but it's really a club. Most people don't go until they are older, like 17, 18 years old. it was alright...the music was bad, but it was fun being with the everyone. Unfortuantly the girls all thought I was a freak. I had NO idea when i was packing for the 4 day trip to Florence that I would need high heels or nicer clothing. But everyday when we went out for dinner the girls dressed up...Claudia assured me when i got back home that this is the way it always is. Oops. So i partied in my boots=)) That was all that happened in was a lot of fun!!

Wedding in Rome - May 10th

Claudia, Antonio (her boyfriend of one year) and I went to Rome for her cousin's wedding. The train trips to Naples, and then to Rome, were long, but Claudia and Anotnio were fun to talk to. We stayed with Claudia's dad, who I've meet once before, and his wife. I was very nervous about meeting Claudia's family, but they were very sweet and really nice.*****

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pictures from Varese

My family in Varese and I

Lugano, Switzerland

The group. Left to right: Raffaele (Veit's host brother), Allie, Maria, Veit, Me, Perin, and then random guys from the art school

Perin and one Varese volunteer at the parks

a church in Torino. Once a year, light comes through this hole in the is the light from god. People travel from all over to see this light.
The group again at the Museum of Films. Left to right: Veit, Me, Perin, Raffaele, Tina, Rachele, Max (a Varese volunteer), Chris, Maria, and Allie...yes, we are sitting on toliets=))
Me in the Matrix film at the Museum of Films
Rodolfo Vatentino had A LOT of pictures in the Museum of Films (one of the days I actually remembered to bring my camera=))
Hi everyone! Sorry if I made some of you nervous...I have just been very busy. In the past month a lot of things have happened, not leaving me a lot of chances to relax, let alone write here! All right so in a nutshell: School, school, school. Then I found out (even though my parents and I didn't think I would be able to go because most spots are for the annual students, not the semester ones) that I would get to go on an exchange trip. They told me that I would be going to Varese, a city near the border of Italy, between Milan and Switzerland. But in order to go, I had to find an American fable ( much harder than it looks, we steal most of our fairytales from other countries) and translate it into Italian, find 2 reciepes (American, of course) and translate them into Italian, then make a presentation about an American artist. Oh, and pack, book my tickets for my flights, and fill out forms. I found all of this out 9 days before I was scheduled to leave.... But things were ok...I'll give you a quick recap of each day I was in Varese (Jessi, don't read this...most of it is in your letter I am mailing you...) Oh, and by the way, I chose "Three Billy Goats Gruff" (not American, actually it's Norweigian, but I really needed a story I knew already), Pancakes and Rice Crispy Treats, and Andy Warhol.

Wednesday, March 25th: I had already booked a flight online (I'm just now finding out how quickly things move when you have a credit card=)) packed my luggage, and said goodbye to Claudia.I had to take the bus from the train station in Vico to the airport in Napoli (Naples) at 6:50 in the morning. Got to the airport, read "New Moon" (in English, thanks Mom and Dad) and drank coffee for 3 hours until my flight left. An hour and a half later I landedin Milan and was picked up by Riccardo, an Interculturà (European AFS) Varese volunteer. He took me back to his house where I met the other foriegn exchange studnets who were going to be with me during the week. Veit (pronounced "Fight") from Germany and Perin from Turkey were annual students (by the way, Veit's a guy, and Perin's a girl.) There was also Allie from Canada and Maria from Argentina (they were both semester students.) Those guys all lived outside of the Varese area, like me, in other places in Italy. Allie: Livoro, Maria: actually don't remember, sorry..., Veit: Cosenza, and Perin: Sicily. There were also two annual students who lived in Varse, Tina from Norway, and Chris from Hong Kong. Perin was telling me stories about the famous Sicilian mafia. She said that they go into stores and say they are collecting money for the church (although they never actually give it to the church) and then they give you a reciept saying you paid. This happens monthly. If you don't give them money, they destroy your shop. She said sometimes you see cars burning. Normal occurences. I thought the mafia in Naples was bad. Apparently, there's a part of Naples that is famous for being very dangerous. It's called the "Spanish Quarters." When Marianna took me to Naples, we only walked 5 feet into the alleyway.....It was creepy. She just said that it's not safe to go into. Then of course, there was the man who was shot...but you all already heard that story!

Thrusday: Oh, I forgot to talk about my family in Vares. I had a mom, a sister, Rachele who is almost 17, and a brother, Pietro who is 11. They were all very nice and, even now when things are getting better, I enjoyed their company and way of living more than my family in Vico. We went to a cooking school where a boy took my recipe for Pancakes and cooked them. He let Allie and I cook some, but we burned them. The Rice Crispies turned out a littl weird because they didn't have Rice Crispies only Coco Puffs and the marshmallows were colored. Stephano, the boy who was helping us, left them in the freezer a little to they turned out to be hard and brown.....not the regular Rice Crispy treats.

Friday: We went to Milan! We wen to the Museum of Science and Technology. It was interesting, but I wish I could have stayed there longer. And then the blind institute. We all walked around a room with black walls and no light. You couldn't see anything and they wanted to re-create how a blind person feels. I could barely keep up, because they spoke in rapid Italian, guiding us along the course. We went through crossing the street, climbing onto a boat and ordering at a bar recreations. I realized how much we rely on our eyes. And how much I didn't enjoy not haveing them. Thursday night we went to a Chinese restuarant. Chris, one of the Varese students, taught me how to say "Good Night" in Chinese ("Cho Tai") The Chinese food was pretty good.

Saturday: We got in pretty late the night before (1AM), so I spent Saturday morning sleeping. In the afternoon, we went to watch a water polo game. Rachele plays water polo (not this game) and she was really into it. It's not my sport, but it was nice. That night we all went to a bar called "Jamaica." Allie and I both had strawberry margaritas, which were pretty tasty.

Sunday: We went to Torino, where apparently the Olympics were held awhile back. Anyways, we went to the Museum of Films. It was mostly boring, but some parts were neat. It was all about how movies are made and older films. I'm more of a new age movie person. But it was better than staying home.

Monday: We went to a children's school, and the kids got really excited when I told them that my neighbor has a cow. They asked if we ate the cow or only used it for milk. You should have seen their could I tell them that we slaughter the cow every couple of years to eat as hamburgers?! I'm a coward; I couldn't. After we went around the parks with another Varse volunteer.

Tuesday: We went to an art school where I made a diasterous(sp?) presentation about Andy Warhol. They knew more about him than I did. I did meet a guy from Napa, CA. He moved to Italy 9 years ago with his family. Later we went to Switerland (Lugano)! We went to the Museum of Chocolate. It was wonderful, authentic Swiss chocolate!

Wednesday: I went home, and now I miss everyone=((

So, that was my Varese adventure. Other things have been happening at home:

1) I have some problems with my family. Things are slowy getting better, but somedays, like today, things happen and it slips right back to being a problem. We try and resolve things, but sometimes unexpected thigns happen.

2) My friend Ilze, the Latvian foreign exchange student, is being sent home. She cut her wrist a month ago, and theat's why they are sending her home. We are both pretty broken hearted about it. I'll miss her alot, but I think home is the best place for her right now. She needs some help and I don't think Italy is the right place to get it. Home is better.

That's really it.....of what I can think of....I'll post a new post in a little bit with pictures...

Oh, and the earthquake was northeast of Rome, nowhere near me...thanks for everyone's concern. It meant a lot=)) I don't know too much about it, but Italy is trying to put the town back together right now.

Miss you all! - Kaitlyn

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Carnevale!...and other things=))

The other day was a holiday called Carnevale. It's not just an Italian holiday, it is celebrated around the world, and I'm pretty sure it originated in Brazil. It's basically a combnation of Halooween and Mardi Gras. People get dressed up, usually only in traditional dresses, wear masks (there are different masks for differnt regions of Italy. We have the Napoliatan maks) and little kids dress up in costumes. A couple of days before Carnevale(Carnival) little kids run around in their costumes. On Carnevale, people dance in the streets, there are lots of parades and bands. Claudia and I went to a Carnevale party at her frined's house the night before, where we dressed up in costumes with her other friends. Claudia was little red riding hood and I was an Indian. Haha, if anyone from Mr. Zeller's class reads this, you know whatfirst poped into my mind when they put me into the Indian costume...but I figured it wasn't the best time to rant about injustice and genocide. Just shut my mouth and listen to people go on about how the Indians helped the poor Pilgrims grown corn. Hmm.So my Carnevale wasn't that exciting, but it's still kind of a neat holiday.
Claudia and me dressed up @ Carnevale Party
Antonio(the one on the left) is Claudia's boyfriend, and they are dressed up @ the Carnevale Party...I love this picture=))

Not much has changed...except I can't believe, that on Sunday, I will have been here for a month. I've adjusted to a lot of things already...when I ride the train, I don't even look out the window in awe anymore. On Wednesdays Claudia has an advanced English class, so she stays at school until 5pm, while the rest of the class goes home at 12pm. I take the train home. Yesterady I bought my first snadwich in Castellammare (I was pretty proud of myslef...except when it came to picking the America, we have chedder. Usually it's between, at the most, chedder, monteray jack and swiss, but here in Italy there are a billion cheese and not one of them do I recognize...except maybe Parmasean(sp?) which they eat in slabs....I really don't like it...only ground, not in slabs. Anyways, I just closed my eyes and picked a cheese, but I said it wrong, and the shopowner corrected me. But everything else went OK.)
Marianna working @ Titos in the kitchen...she is the one at the sink with the blue hat on...

Today my AFS coordinator here is picking me up after school and taking me to eat pizza...I guess it should be OK.

Linda's Answers....

1) No, the teachers don't give me grades yet, because the system is very different here. The kids have their book for each subject and they study pages from it, memorize the pages and then give an oral report and it orally tested by the teacher on those pages. I just try and learn Italian...sometimes the teacher's try and involve me in the lower classes, but not often. And at Union Mine (my school in California), I have already completed my junoir year, so I don't need the grades to graduate on time. SO it's OK if I get a 2 in German! (the grading scale here is from 1-10. Claudia who is a VERY good student and studies about 4-6 hours after school everyday, get's 8s usually...)

2) Spell Check: I know, it doesn't have it....I try, I really do, but I gave my mom the Bad Speller's's in America....I'm sorry!
That's really all that's happened...does anyone have any questions for me? It's a lot easier to answer questions, than try and recount my whole week...

*Mom, can you find out when the AVID reunion is and get Ms. Prior's current email address for me? I don't want to send everything on her school address if it doesn't work...thanks!*