Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And the novel continues......

Where was I.....oh, the rome oreintation.....so, there's this girl who is from Reno, Sparks area and she is very picky. Btw Mom, she isn't as bad as i orginally thought, but the picky thing gets me. She has specific rules: Only dry salad, no meat other than turkey, no alcohol (absolutley none...not a single drop), no tomato sauce (that's suicide in Italy), no mushrooms, if there's anything she doesn't like it can't be touching something else.....The only thing i saw her eat at the orientation was bread and chocolate sauce on it (I forget what's called) and an american pizza at the airport. She got sick on Sunday and didn't know why. Everyone pratically screamed at her "It's because you didn't eat!" I really don't know how she is going to make it here......See, Mom, you are truly blessed that Kyle and I eat most things=)) How dare you call us picky!

We did get to go to the Vatican City which was really neat. Jessi, tell Meri that the Vatican guards are not that impressive=)) Kristen (the girl from Nevada City), Jessica (the picky one), and I went around inside St. Peter's Catherdral. It was amazing....I can't describe it. Google it and you will see...the most holy place I've ever been to. Nana, Papa and Kyle, I sent you postcards. I had my first culture mistake......my friends and I were trying to find the tombs and we went around the church asking "Dove Crypto?" which was all we could remember in Italian. Every guard pointed us in a differnt direction. We finally got to a station where the guard told us the tombs were at. We had to pay 5£ each and walk up 372 steps (and they were huge steps.) Suddenly, we found ourselves at the top of the church looking out over the top of the city. It was great......but not the tombs. I never did get to see the tombs.....oh well, there is time to go back someday. Another hilarious story about Jessica: a sercurity guard really liked her. This middle aged man got really excited when he saw her and kept telling her that her eyes were very, very beautiful. He kissed her hand and her cheeks. Alright, some might find this weird, but he was kind, not perverted about saying she was beautiful. And Italians kiss ALL the time! But she took it the wrong way and got really scared and nervous....the guard didn't speak english so Kristen and I had to calm her down and tell the guard why she was scared. Apparently, she doesn't like guys... at all. Very strange for a teenage girl, let me tell you. But she get scared and nervous when any guy gives her attention. Our orientation volunteer suggested getting some beer to calm her down, but Jessica and her rules said no. We went back to the hotel and everyone took trains or flights to their hots families.

I took a train to Napoli (Naples) with an AFS volunteer and another girl who was staying in the city. Then my liaison, Camilla, took me on a train to Vico Equense, because Marianna, my host mother, was busy at work. Claudia and Marianna took me home, and Marianna was sick so she went to bed. This was at about 8pm. I finally got throught o my parents and we talked on Sype for a little, then Caludia invited her friends over for dinner and we all ate pizza. I met Claudia's ex boyfriend, Antonio, her best friend, Vicky (that's the Asian looking one in the photos, Mom. She is actually from Ukraine, and she moved to Italy 4 years ago. I thought Kristina might like that=)) Any way, Caludia invited 3 more of her guy friends (I don't remember their names), but Claudia and Vicky are the only ones who can speak english, so they had to translate a lot. They wouldn't talk a lot, only about Italian football (soccer), but they really light up when Vicky told them that I knew something about Valentino Rossi...you're right Jessi, they REALLY liked him. One of her friends told me he would help me get a poster for you=)) Anyways, we didn't go to bed under 12:30 and I was very tired for school the next day. We took the train from Vico to Castellammare di Stabia, where our school is at. School was....

School was both a nightmare and interesting. Even after my Italian studies, I knew nothing. The day is a blur of kisses (Italian's kiss eachother on the each cheek when you say hi and goodbye, it can add up to a lot of kisses when you meet a lot of people) and "ciao"s (also hi and goodbye) and Italian. No one can ever say that I don't know what it's like to enter high school and know no one....I know exactly what it's like AND I didn't understand a word of what anyone was saying. A few people managed to get a few words in english...about as much as I can ask of someone who speaks spanish. It's exhausting.....I really don't understand very much. I'm starting to pick up some words, but today wasn't much better....they speak so much, so faster. And Italian on paper is a lot like spanish, spoken, it's nothing like spanish. Spanish also has a more literal translation to English....Italian has little words that pop up in sentences, and the end of the word changes a lot.

First day....Claudia and and went to the headmistress's office where some teachers introduced me to Ilze (pronounced ill-zay), who is the foreign exchange student from Latvia and she does speak english. She lives in Castellammare and is very sarcastic....a lot of fun to hang out with. We have the same schedule. She knows a little Italian and understands a lot more than I do. Anyaways, we went to class...and I didn't understnad anything. It's very frustrating, but I study Italian as much as I can. Here is my schedule:

Lunedi (Monday) Inglese (English), Italiano, Matematica (Math), Italiano, Matematica, Filosofia (Philosophy)
Martedi (Tuesday) Chimica (Chemistry), Inglese, Ed. fisica (P.E.), Tedesco (German), Matematica, Italiano
Mercoledi (Wednesday) Matematica, Tedesco, Lez. Individual (Italian for the foreign exchange students), Ed. fisica, Italiano
Giovedi (Thursday) Italiano, Inglese, Italiano, Inglese, Chimica, Italiano
Venerdi (Friday) Italiano, Italiano, Chimica, Lez. Individual, Arte, Matematica
Sabato (Saturday) Italiano, Matematica, Chimica, Italiano, Tedesco, Religione (Religion)

They seperate the subjects into hours. Most of my classes are with Claudia, but some are with the year 2 kids, and other year 3 students.....There are many differences and I'll put up a list in my next post.

No much has happened.....Claudia and I watched the movie Chocolat yesterday. The sound was on english, bu the subtitles Italian, so it helped both of us. Because I don't know much is frustrating and scary a lot of times, especially without Claudia and at school. And I wish everyday that I could be back in my own bed at home going to UM in the morning....it would be so comfortable. But I chose this and I am staying...I will be fine as soon as I learn Italian. So I study my butt off, unless I am writing on here=)) Miss you all like crazy....and if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! Love, Kaitlyn

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