From Italy to the USA to Haiti to Wales

After two amazing months at Atlantic College, school has been let out for an October break! I am currently in Italy where I am staying with a friend from AC. We are in Vicenza, a city near Venice. I was able to go to her house and experience what it’s like in a real Italian family. We toured around Venice and Vicenza, went shopping, went to her old school, and relaxed. I had such an amazing time! And I ate the best pizza of my life: pumpkin pizza. Two things that you wouldn’t think would go together, but they DEFINITELY do.

One thing didn’t really hit me until I got to Italy: I know absolutely no Italian. You might think that’s something that I would have realized before I went, but for some reason it slipped my mind. It was quite hard at first to adjust to hearing people talk in a language I don’t know at all and being completely lost in conversations. Apparently lots of people tried to speak to me in Italian and I didn’t even realize! But after a day or two I started to recognize some words that were similar in French or English but I am no where close to being able to understand conversations.

This experience gave me new perspective on what some people have to go through at AC. There are people there who have little knowledge of English and are in classes taught exclusively in English. But my experience only lasted a week and theirs lasts for 2 years. The good news is there are plenty of wonderful people at AC to help the students that are struggling and your peers will always try to be supportive when you struggle with the language.

Tonight, I am staying up until 3:30 AM when I will take a taxi to the Venice airport. After flying through Venice, Amsterdam, Detroit, and Raleigh, I will be back in Chapel Hill, my old hometown. While I will only be there for a little more than 24 hours, it’s still nice to see family and friends again before I leave again, this time for Haiti.

Thanks to some really hard work by my old teacher from Carrboro, Mr. Cone, he was able to get a proposal accepted to bring 5 students to Haiti to speak at the Haitian Studies Association’s (HSA) 25th Annual Conference. We are going to speaking among professors from all over the world to talk about reconstruction of Haiti post-earthquake. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity and so grateful for all the hard work Mr. Cone and the other students have put in to make this trip possible. The other bonus of the trip is I get to extend my October break by a week! Everyone else has to return by November 3rd but I won’t be back at the college until November 11th. Internet access is likely to be spotty at best in Haiti but I will try to give updates when I get back.

I am very excited for the rest of my extended October break and hope my friends in Wales enjoy school next week 🙂 I miss you guys like crazy and can’t wait to get home to my second family!

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