Katitaly
So I am gonna agree with my friend Mollie and join in on the group of people that hates writing blogs. I am sorry but I do not see how someone could actually do this without being forced to!! Anyway, my current point in Italy is driving through Liguria (an area on the coast of Italy, where Genova is) in a camper with my best friend Tonje and her family! However.. from the beginning :)
March 20th-28th I went to Siracusa, Sicilia for one of the best weeks of my life. I met so many new friends, got to see how the other half of Italy lives, and got to see sun! And I also had the wonderful opportunity of getting BURNT by the sun! Woooohoo!
Saturday - Saturday morning there was a manifestazione so I didn't go to school.. but I woke up a little late and I though okay I'll just meet everyone at castello (which is usually where the manifestaziones go before piazza duomo). So at like 8.40 i was at castello, and absolutley no one was there. I walked around Piazza Dumo for about 3 hours, and then everyone showed up! It turned out that the manifestazione had started in a completely different place hahaha. Anyway it was one of the biggest manifestaziones that i had seen, and it was for the people against the mafia. It was really, REALLY packed. All of Piazza Duomo was filled with people. Anyway after this I got coffee with my assistente and we talked for a little before I had to go home and pack my suitcase because I was leaving for Italy in 3 hours! Since my parents were at their vacation house, I went to my friend Tonje's house (because both of us were going to Siracusa together) and her parents drove us to the airport. Milan has two airports, Malpensa and Linate. Malpensa, the more common one, is actually really REALLY far away from Milan! At least an hour long drive... it's weird but whatever we got there and we were soon off to Cataniaaaa! When we arrived in Catania, it was such a deja vu like we had been in the same position but 6 (almost 7 now) months earlier. However, this the was so much better because I could speak and understand italian! I can't stress this enough to departing students, but if you can learn the language at least a little before you come because it makes things so much easier and more enjoyable. So I got with my host family immediatly, and i am sooo happy to say they are definetly some of the nicest people i have ever met. There was a dad, Sebi, a mom, Patrizia, and a daughter that was 16, Marina. I absolutley love them all and I got along so well with Marina my new sister!! Having a sister the first time didn't really work out that well... ahem. However, Marina was the best sister everrr and I love her a lot! So this was the first night, and we all drove back to Siracusa (it's about an hour 1/2 drive from Catania, which is where the airport is). Then my sister said I was going to a party with her and her friends.. but my family remembered I hadn't eaten so on the first night I got to try arancini which is a sicilian delicacy and they are reallly good. Its like a ball of rice with meat cheese and vegetables inside and then fried on the outside.. anyway if you go to Sicilia I reccomend getting one. Then I went to a beachside villa with my sister.. it was reallly really different! For the whole night (which ended at 1, which was really early for me!) we just talked, played cards, foozeball, volleyball, soccer and listened to music. When they say party in Milano they mean PARTTYYYY complete with everyone very dressed up and lots of alcohol and dancing. Here party just meant hanging out with your friends... it was really fun because all her friends were sooooo nice! They taught me some sicilian slang, like there was this one word that I didn't know and they added it on the end of every sentence and when i asked they said it was mpare (pronoucned Mbare). Apparently this is an abbreviation of Compare (which means friend).. so they just say friend at the end of every sentence. Sicilians have a lot of love :) I also got to go on scooters sooooo much during this week! It is how they usually get around... so I got to join in and that was probably the funnest part! So after the party we went home at about one and went to bed... which was good because I was soooo tired.
Sunday - The next morning we woke up and there wasn't any plans that AFS had made so I got to hang out with my sister all day. We went to a volleyball game in the morning because her and all her friends either play volleyball or water polo... after the volleyball game (sicilians like to cheer, like a LOT they are some loud people) we went home and ate lunch and then in the afternoon there was another volleyball game in which she played. When the Sicilians think that something is unfair or the score is wrong, they really will not quit yelling until something is changed. It is quite a spectacolo (i have forgotten the english word for this). But it's a big show. Howeverrr at night we went home and then went to bed early because the day after I was going to Catania!
Monday - Monday we all went to Catania. There were 6 of us, a turkish girl who was living 40 minutes outside of Rome, a norwegian guy who is staying in Torino, a brasilian girl who's living in Savona, near Genova, a swedish guy living in Bologna, and then Tonje and me. The 6 of us had soooo much fun together all week. In Catania we walked around the city all day long, it was really fun! The day was so beautiful, it was sooo hot and sunny in the morning (when we did all the walking) and then when we went to the seaside in the afternoon the clouds rolled in, nice timing thank you. Anyway Catania was a really beautiful city because unlike Milan it's not all flat it has many hills and curves and so that made it pretty :) We saw the two universities, a market that stank like fish, and a bunch of pretty statues and landmarks. It was also reallly green there.. and you could see Mt. Etna, a really big active volcano! Then in the afternoon we went to the beach, but there wasn't sun anymore so we didn't go swimming but we did a big of rock climbing/manuvering and then got on the bus headed back at Siracusa.
Tuesday- Tuesday we went to the artistical school. I was really excited because everyone says that the schools in the north are much more nicer kept, and that the schools in the south are kind of gross. Well the two schools that I went to in the south made me think differently but whatever. The artistic school was awesome! In the morning we got to do painting and it was sooo much fun and all the kids were really nice... they also do some amazing work they're really good at art in these schools! They had made models of some buildings and they looked really realistic, like what people who were building these buildings would use. Anyway in short the italians are talented people. In the afternoon we went to the Greek Theater of Siracusa... it's realllly big. We also visted a big hole in a cliff/wall and I don't know how it is called but it's famous as well. Anyway there was a huge echo in there and it was really fun because everytime we yelled something Tonje screamed. So everything at il Teatro Greco was really pretty and we all had fun. That night we all managed to go out to dinner together, which meant going and getting pizza in Ortegia (which is a small island attatched to Siracusa, and it's where all the nightlife is) and then finding a bar. Turns out not many places are open on a Tuesday night in a small town! Who would have known.. anyway we found a cute place called Cafe Giufa or something and then we all got a drink and went home.
Wednesday - Wednesday we went on a long trip to a river called the River Ciane. We were also with about 40 middle schoolers.. like 11 or 12 year olds I don't remember.. maybe even 9 or 10. That was sooo much fun to have all these little italian kids with us because they would just NOT STOP TALKING!! Never a dull moment eh!!!???? hahaha Anyway so the boat ride was sooo beautiful and lovely it was perfect weather we saw ducks. ect... and then we had to start walking. I think that they planned for us to walk to a mud factory or something equally as interesting but the problem was there was too much mud to treck through the wilderness. Also my good friend Isabella decided to wear ballet flats that day! At the end she took them off and went bare foot in mud and I was screaming with tennis shoes on just becuase there were loads of bugs.... that wasn't too fun. We also stopped in a meadow for lunch for like 15 minutes and I took off my jacket because it was really hot. 15 minutes later I looked like a lobster! Awesome! Anyway... we actually turned around because there was too much mud and then we walked along a road lined with orange and lemon trees to the bus. We picked the lemons and oranges and if i remember correctly the oranges were disgusting but the lemons were sooo good and wicked tart and delicious and I made lemonade, sweet. Anyways after that long morning we went to a sort of farm with PEACOCKS wow and it was like also a place where this guy made art out of papyrus.. like the old paper that they used to write on in ancient days and we learned how it was crafted and everything, very cool. That night I went to the seaside when it was all super dark out with a friend and it was soo much fun and I went in the water which was WARM not like swimming but halfway okay anyway... tiring day.


Thursday -We went to Taormina! It was probably one of the most beautiful towns i've ever seen and I can see why it is a tourist hot spot becuase it was gorgeous. It's set up on the hills so when you look over this one main balcony at the piazza its like a square and you look and see nothing it seems like the world has ended but when you look down there is the sea. Also the Teatro Greco there was realllllly big and quite beautiful as well.. and they still have people perform there today like they had Bob Dylan even one time! Wow anyways I liked Taormina a lot!! We went around and saw all the sights... and then there were also the kids who were living in Taormina for the exchange week and I got to see my american friend Liz right before she went home :\ Taormina was a really beautiful city at the end :)



Friday - Friday we went to school again, but this time we went to the scientific school instead of the artistic school and we had to talk to kids about the afs experience for 4 hours... which was really not fun. At the end we got to tour the school though and that was cool to see the differences... I noticed that there is a lot more graffiti in this school but I also saw a computer lab with what looked like brand new flat screen computers (which we definetly do not have in the north) and that was really cool. In short the schools in Siciliy definetly are different but I didn't exactly see a change for the worse which means either the school I go to in the north is really ghetto and old or there just aren't that many differences. Friday night all the AFS'ers and the parents and the vollunteers went out for pizzaaaaaa and then the intercultra kids all went to a bar.



Saturday - We all woke up feeling very sad that this was our last morning here in Siracusa... a couple of us met for breakfast on Ortegia and then did a little bit of tourist shopping and we got to see the seaside (actually the whole of ortegia, it took like, 30 minutes to walk the entire town) and then it was time to go back to the families so we could say goodbye and get driven to the airport. I really love my host family in the south as well, and I noticed that people in the south in general are more open. My family was really nice and I couldn't have asked for sweeter people and hopefully I'll be able to head down there to say bye before I go back to the states!



We got back to Milan Saturday afternoon and that night I went to a party with my danish friend Nanna of a girl that was going to our school for four months but then she had to go back home to Australia. Sunday after that was sooo hot that all I could do was lay outside and melt... I am pretty sure I will die during the summer here because in these days it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Then easter break started the 1st of April! We had an 11 day break... it was wonderful but at the same time really sucked because it was so hot and exactly like summer and knowing that I had to go back to school in 11 days was terrible. Anyway I got to go to Rome with the family of my friend Tonje... in a camperrr! Rome was amazing, really really beautiful and everyone says that Rome is the most beautiful city in Italy and I didn't really believe it but one time we were on a boat touring the river and seeing all the sights from the river and then we got off and as we were walking up to a bar to get some coffee there was just a really small, beautiful fountain right in front like a miniature piazza and the thing that makes Rome so pretty is that it is absolutely full of things like these, just old old parts of Rome scattered all over the city. Other things we got to see were the Sistene Chapel, the Colluseum, the Pantheon, the Piazza di Spagna, St. Peter's Bascilica (all decked out for easter). We also went to Genova to see Tonje's norwegian parents, and we got to go to the most enormous aquarium i'd ever seen. Genova is on the seaside and they have a huge aquarium for everything literally everything was inside not just sea animals also like rainforest simulations with like frogs and croccadiles it was awesome. We spent about 4 hours there and then went out to lunch with Tonje's parents, and then we headed home because Tonje had to study and that was the end of 6 days of the break. The rest of the break I just hung out with my friends, tanned, and dreaded going back to school.
Break ended, I had to go back to school but a couple weekends ago (or last weekend or something) I got to go to Venice with my friend Mollie! I am really lucky because my family actually has a little apartment in Venice, and it was sooo beautiful. A city built on water with the littlest streets and corners you turn to find piazzas and absolutly no cars. Venice was really amazing, me and Mollie went to see everything from the HUGE piazza San Marco, the bridge Rialto, the gondolas, everything was so so so gorgeous and just like in a fairytale like every story you read about venice being like a fairytale is really right it's crazy. We also saw parks of venice... and I bought a mask! Venice is FULL of masks like everywhere you go there are tons of mask shops because yeah, it's famous for them and they cost from 8 euros to like 400 or 1000. There are all types and I definetly have to say that the thing i liked the most about Venice was all the masks. Everytime we passed a shop I had to go in it and look at all the masks... Mollie was kind of mad at the end of the day because we'd gone in about 400 mask shops. When we came back.. suprise suprise school again. 39 days left! Kill me. Anyway one day after school (Saturday) a bunch of fasiscts decided to drop by our school and say hi! It was definetly the scariest thing I had ever seen. All the professors had to stay outside the school because the fascists came to like, start fights and we stayed there for 3 hours in the end! Right now there is new graffiti like Nazi! on the side of my school, thanks guys. The thing is that people are really dangerous here like I didn't get it because, hello I'm from Alaska I just have to worry about polar bears entering my tent at night and stuff but me and my friend Marco had to get a ride home at 3 in the afternoon, broad daylight, because it was too dangerous to walk 15 minutes to our houses. So the rest of the day I was very shocked and it was just a really freaky experience. The reason they were there is because yesterday, the 25 of April, is the day that Italy was liberated from Fascism. So yesterday there was a huge manifestazione-festa at Duomo where we all celebrated not being nazis and other good things. Then me, my brother and a bunch of friends all went to Parco Sempione where we got to sit in the grass and listen to drum music for like a billion hours it was amazing because they were so good! Yesterday was also really really REALLY hot like 85 degrees and I really don't know how I am supposed to survive here. Anyways... everytime I write I'm just reminded of what a short time I have left here so I'm going to go out and enjoy it :)

News
- Signed up for the SAT
- Going to see David Guetta
- 2 1/2 months left


Will try to update more, but as days get shorter here chances are it's not gonna happen haha :)
Katitaly
SOrrry I haven't updated in like a.. month :/ haha But things have been a little crazy these weeks. What has happened - Festa Della Donna, Class Trip to Muncich, going to Sicily in 4 days, Easter approaching mad fast, ect. Okay, so from the top

Festa Della Donna is actually International Women's Day. March 8th - I had never heard of this holiday before and am deeply disappointed in the USA because it is just a day where everyone wishes the women best wishes and then they give them really pretty flowers called mimosas and this holiday is excellent. The italians also give special importance to it because in March ( although it happened on the 23 I think, not the 8th) there was an accident in a factory that happened in NEW YORK involving a bunch of jewish and italian immigrant women... they were locked on the factory's 7/8/9 floors because the boss didn't want them taking smoking breaks during the day, but then there was a fire that killed about 150 of them I guess.. they had to jump out the window or be burned to death and it's really sad but i still don't understand why the freaking USA doesn't respect this holiday when hello it happened in NEW YORK what is going on people we are slacking... anyway in Italy the boys give you pretty yellow flowers that stand for womenness. It's nice. A friend in one of my classes gave me these flowers and I was so so so happy because they were so pretty and I didn't even know what they were for.. so I went home and I was like AUGURI to my mom (best wishes) and she had a confused look on her face and then rememebered that it was Women's day. Then i held up my flowers to show her and said guarda! which means look... but it didn't say look at what i got i just said look and her face got so happy and she started saying AWEEE QUANTO SEI CARINA (how cute are you) and took the flowers. I.. ended up just leaving it be hahahah because I didn't want to say ahh em! ehem.. hahahah but it was a really funny story all in all.

Class Trip to Munich
Okay, on the 9th of March I went on a class trip with 2 of my 8 classes that I frequent, it was the funnest class trip i've ever done and they just will never be the same in america :/ First, we met at a wonderful hour of 6 am to get on the buses to drive (yeahhhh) to Ginevra in Switzerland. Super fun 8 hour drive, slept most of the way... When we arrived in Ginevra it was realllly beautiful sunny day, and freezing cold with a wind that blew people over. Me and two of my friends decided to get lunch at starbucks, I almost had a heart attack when I saw it (i'm not kidding there's pictures I am legit freaking out)... I then had my 6 dollar latte (thanks switzerland) and started to cry because it was so... bad. WHAT HAPPENED THE COFFEE HERE HAS CORRUPTED ME. Just kidding.. but literally I was drinking it and could not taste the coffee whatsoever it tasted like a glass of milk. I have no idea how this is going to work when I get home hahaha. Anyways we ate lunch and then went back to the bus because then we got to to visit the united nations! Just a reminder, entry to the united nations is just like airport entry. Meaning if you bring a little swiss knife they probably aren't going to be pleased with you. My friend and I both had them and the security guards had a good laugh at us before waving us through haha. However, the united nations building was so so so beautiful and really interesting and I was thinking about maybe a future job there because it was really just an interesting place that was soooo nice and working overseas is of course.. my dream haha. Anyway, we took a big tour of the place, which was huge, and there was so much art in the building that like different countries donate as presents and respect for being in the UN and it was really beautiful. We also got to see one of the big rooms that you see on like C-Span or whatever where they have the conferences with all the nations.. they are HUGE. After we finished there we went to the hotel (in France, apparently it's a bit cheaper hahahah) where we spent the night. We all ate dinner and then after dinner went in search of a pub or something to have a drink but the town was so tiny so the pub we found was 3 other people and about 30 of us. I went with the quinta classes (the last year in high school here, so all the people are 18-19) because unfortunatly my class didn't get the chance to go on a trip this year but I was lucky enough to talk to my teacher and go with these classes :) So we decided to start the trip to Germany with 4 liters of beer for 6 of us... nice ahahah. We got back to the hotel at about 1 and everyone went to bed. The day after we went to CERN! If you don't know what CERN is, its a huge science center in Ginevra that has the worlds biggest particle accelerator and is also where they study nuclear reactions. We did a tour there for a little while, it was really interesting but kind of for just kids our age because there was a big area with lots of interactive activities where they explained what they did and stuff (in case you didn't know, the World Wide Web (internet) was invented at CERN). I wanted to see more parts of the building but we didn't get to and that's okay I'm guessing we would have broke something anyway :) Anyway after that we had a little time for lunch in Ginevra and then we went to a Red Cross Museum! That was also really cool.. all the exibits here are amazing and full of the most beautiful art. After that we went back to Ginevra... me and my two friends decided to go to an art gallery because it was freaking freezing outside and I didn't really want to (because I don't like art museums that much? Well this gallery was more contemporary and it was FREAKING AWESOME! Some of the most beautiful artwork i've ever seen.. and then there was like a 6 foot fat cat statue that I didn't understand but whatever. After that we went to McDonalds to get tea, but I saw a store next to it with a bunch of cool looking shoes in the windows so I went in and was pleasantly suprised to find like, heaven.. And i got teh craziest 4 inch heels for what is considered really cheap (30 dollars) and i was quite pleased. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy when I brought a shopping bag onto the bus though.. and gave me even crazier looks when i showed them what the shoes looked like hahah. Anyway after that we got in the bus and took a five hour or 8 hour drive to Munich in Germany. We got to the hotel pretty late, ate dinner, everyone went in the hotel lobby and drank really good beer and we finished everything at about 2 am. When I read the itinirary for the trip it said hotel and staying at 8/9 pm every night.. i figured out pretty quick that that was not going to happen haha but that's okay! The next morning we went to the concentration camp Dachau... it was really sad. Not just because it was a concentration camp, but because it was so clean and... didn't seem like anything had ever happened there. We went in the gas room, the crematorium, and it was just so hard to believe that the places where we were walking was where my ancestors walked too.. to their death and i don't know how to explain it but it was really just unbelievable. My friend that went to other concentration camps said that in fact Dachau wasn't that bad.. the other camps were much much worse and it really seemed too nice or something this one. However it really does make you think. Dachau was just for men, it was the first concentration camp and all the other camps were based off of its design. It had a gas room but they never used it for killing people, just for experiements (and some of the experiments they did were excuse me - fucking sick). After a creepy and surreal morning, we went out and ate lunch and then went to the center of Munich and the beer brewery. The people that worked there told us that the brewery had 3,500 seating places and on a normal saturday night served over 20,000 people. That is a lot. of beer. The waiters and waitresses were also wearing like the german laderhosen costumes or how they are called.. it was pretty cool ;) At 6.30 we all went back to the hotel in the buses, and I was laughing so hard because everyone was pretty drunk at this point and my teacher was like SHUT UP YOU DRUNKARDS because we were all singing in the bus and i could not stop laughing haha but it was really fun. We all ate dinner and then stayed in the hotel that night.. talking and drinking MORE beer in the lobby until an angry german came down, yelled at us in german, and the yelled did you understand?!?! (Well of course, happen to have studied german my whole life duh.. haha) anyway then we all went to bed. The day after we went to museums, the Pinotek? I don't know how to write it! Where there was Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Dali, a bunch of really beautiful art. We then went to another contemporary art museum which was also really cool... it was art all morning :) For lunch we all went to the birriria (not my choice at that point) and then we continued to go to another museum - a science one that had like WW II planes, ships, eletrical experiements, it was HUGE. That night, Friday, was our last night so we split into a couple groups and some of us went to the disco and some of us went to the birriria (AGAIN). I went to the disco :) However, to get into the center we had to take the metro.. that was hilarious because everything was in german so of course we couldn't understand it and then about 3 trains went by without stopping so we were all confused to start with and then the prof was screaming at all the kids that he wasn't letting them go if they didn't show him where the disco was on the map and then all the kids were trying to show him and the other prof was in a corner shouting to himself.. it was a big mess but in the end really fun! The disco that we went to was called Max and Moritz, we tried to go to a really famous disco (there's also one in Ibiza, Spain and New York) called Pacha and it's like known worldwide but they were unfortunately having a private party that night. So we walked past two buildings and we went to the other disco! In Italy discos are kind of expensive, usually 15-20 euros or more. In Munich, it was 5. This pleased me. Also, when we walked in the door they all said welcome! and gave us a shot of some peach liqueur. Dancing in Germany was really fun :) At the end, around 2 or 3 the prof's came to get us and they came inside the disco to get us and I was laughing so hard because we were all just dancing and then the prof was like... everybody needs to leave.. hahaha it was quite funny to see them inside the disco but we all went out and went to the hotel for bed. The next morning we hopped right on the bus and drove to a place that had these really beautiful castles and I can't remember the name right now. However, we hiked up a long winding path to go see this HUGE castle on a hill and it was so so so beautiful probably the most beautiful castle i've ever seen and the view was so stunning and it was a perfect day not too cold with light snow hahha. Once we finished touring the castle we went back down to the buses and drove a beautiful 8 hours to Milan.. where the trip was finallly over at 9.30 at night. It was so much fun and i'm really lucky that I got to go because I made a bunch of new friends and saw some really cool things. I got home at like 10 and then figured I should go to bed.. until I went on facebook and saw that there was a really cool dj playing at the disco so yeah I went to bed at 7 am after that trip... and then slept all sunday. Monday we had to go back to school which was terrible especially after having vacation but there was sun and it was actually pretty hot! Monday afternoon I made a cheesecake for my mom because today (Tuesday) was her birthday. Then Tuesday was all normal, school, gym, sleeeeep haha and it was so hot today (at least for me, not saying much because I'm from Alaska but whatever) and then we had a big dinner because it was my mom's birthday and everyone liked the cheesecake :) Tomorrow (Wednesday) is ST Patricks Day and I'm so excited!!! Not because Italy celebrates it or anything.. haha but because my dad is all irish and english so I am very proud of my heritage and so a couple of us from intercultra are going out for a happy hour to also celebrate being in Milan for 6 months!!! Wow.. time really does fly. Then, this Saturday I will be going to Siracusa Sicily for a week and i'll make sure to update after that and tell you how it all was

COMUNQUEEE arrivaderci!
Katitaly
Sooooo news news news. The sun has returned to Milanoo!!!! Today is soooo beautiful, quite warm, sunnnnyyyy :D and just all around lovely. So I'm going to write backwards again because that seems to be the only thing that helps me remember.... Yesterday I went skiing with my brother and his friend Matteo in some beautiful place that I can't remember the name of... it was a french name and they are very long and complicated. However, we got to wake up at 6 (awesome, wish I could do this more :D ) and after a 2 hour drive we were there. It was so amazing and the snow was perfect, not icy at all even though it was super cold, and the sun rose up quickly and it absolutley the most beautiful place I've ever seen maybe.. there are really too many beautiful places here. After skiing for like 4 hours we ate lunch in the sun and then just stayed there for another 2 hours, talking and sunbathing and it was soooo hot! After that we finished skiing and drove back to Milan... I think it was probably the best day of skiing i've had here so far which is pretty cool because I've skied quite a bit but GOD it was so beautiful. I can't post pictures because my camera died and I don't have a charger transformer, but when I get it charged I'll make sure to post more pictures. Other news is that since yesterday, I have been in Milan for 5 months. It has gone by so quickly but I don't mind because it's literally been the best time of my life, ever... Even a bad day in Italy is still a day in Italy and I'm completely thankful for that. I'm sad to say that many of my american friends went home, because of various reasons ranging from not liking where they were to getting sent home for really stupid reasons (sometimes not even their fault). I am happy that I don't have problems with Intercultura and I really think they've helped me out a lot, but I can understand when people do have problems with them because sometimes it really is hard to get help, and then you feel all alone in a foreign country and that is shiiittyyy. I went through this a couple times in the first part of my stay here, and lets just say it was really not fun at all but while I was lucky enough to have a fantastic advisor and new host family, some people aren't as lucky :( On a lighter note.. things I have done since I wrote last
- I went to Torino (Turin) with my class for a day, it was a really pretty city in my opinion but there was NO ONE there! Completely empty! We went to one of the biggest piazzas, and literally maybe 4 people were there... it was strange to see a big place so empty. We did see many beautiful churches which was cool because even though I'm living in Italy which is like known for its churches its often hard to go seem them without a program because of various reasons like they're all spread out... I'm glad that I got to go with my class to see everything :) We all ate pizza and then finished walking around, that day was FREEEZING cold literally frigid but still fun.. In the morning I was just dying because it was so cold but in the afternoon it warmed up a bit. Milan is still prettier. :D
- I also got to go to a planetarium/servatorio with my another class of mine to see the planets/starts... it was in the most BEAUTIFUL place ever in the mountains and there was snowww and sun and cold but it was really pretty. First we got to see a huge telescope that they view all the planets with, the kind that has the dome open on the top (I don't know what it is called) and then the dome opens and the telescope comes out... that was really cool. After we got to see some of the videos/pictures they took of the sun in motion... to see the blank spots on it and to see some bursts of fire... while I'm writing this I feel like it sounds really wierd but that's probably because my english has gone to complete crap. I now get corrected more in English class than I get called on.. and the teacher is usually right.. However planetarium... we stayed there until really late at night so that we could see the constellations / stars with our naked eyes and then there was this laser that went all the way into the sky and you could see where the guy was pointing with it, at the stars.. I was proud when he said it was an american invention :D We also got to sit in this place that was the planetarium but it was like a movie theater but instead of staring at a screen you stared at the ceiling which was a round dome and the image projected made you feel like you were in space! I thought it was so cool and I wanted to stay awake so bad but the chairs were so comfy and they leaned back and everything so after about half hour I fell asleep for the next half hour :( Haha but it was a really cool trip and I learned a bunch of things about the constellations... like how difficult the are to see and how much respect I have for people that can find them because I sure can't hahah.
- I'll also being going to Switzerland/Germany for my class trip, one week in March to see CERN (if you've read the Da Vinci Code you've heard of it, if not it is a big science center that has the biggest particle accelerator in the world that stretches underground from Switzerland through France and back to Switzerland in a circle). We are also going to visit a concentration camp in Germany... I'm really excited that I get to go there and see where everything happened but I am also scared because I don't know what kind of effect it is going to have on me, knowing that some of my relatives were in these places.. I'll make sure to write about it when I see it though.
- Also in March, Tonje (my best friend from Norway) and I are going to Augusta, Sicila for 1 week for the exchange week!!! I am so excited... Augusta is on east side of Sicily about an hour away from Catania (a bigger city with an airport). I can't explain how different it is going to be.. after hearing everyone complain/praise Sicily I can say that I'm really excited to find out what it is going to be like. Also, there will be sun! (Hopefully) and it will be Beautifull!!
- I made my family pancakes. At home, I used to make pancakes for my friends practically every Sunday, but this was the first time I made them here and my family loved them, really a lot.. except for Lorenzo because he is a stubborn italian that went to America for a year and now has some sort of grudge against american food. It was really funny though because me and my american friend Mollie made them in the morning, and then my brother Riccardo said can I have a bite? And we were like sure sure try it! And after he tasted it I was like how are they? And he like did his little italian shrugging of the shoulders...ehh... and then 2 minutes later he comes back and says can I have it all? hahaha like three enormous pancakes... :D So lets just say I started baking more and it is getting really positive results haha.
- My friend Zoe from Seattle came to Milan for three days (she lives near Napoli) to take the ACT and it turns out she was living 5 minutes from me so we met up all the time after school and the one day that I skipped school (with my mother's permission of courrrse) we went on a tour of Milan.. it was really ugly that day because it was half snowing/raining/being stubbornly ugly but it was still fun. We went to see the inside of Duomo, and everytime I go in there it just amazes me how freaking HUGE it is it really is the biggest church ever... even though it's not it's like the 3rd biggest or something but I can't even imagine seeing one bigger than this! We also went to Abercrombie and Fitch for the first time, got our pictues taken with the model at the door because they just give you free polaroids it's awesome. When we were walking around we noticed that everyone kept saying "Hi, how is it going?" in such a formal voice we couldn't stop laughing because they taught the people that worked there to say that... I'm assuming they were told it was the latest thing to say in english while in reality no one talks like that.. and then when we were leaving we went to the cashier and said Hey what's up? to try and have them figure it out but I don't think he spoke english because he just had a really confused look on his face and was like.. ciaooo!? hahaha. After that we went to bake brownies at the house that Zoe was staying in (with some really cool adivsors)... turns out when you try and make brownies without an actual oven it's quite difficult. Plus way too much butter and not enough cocoa = some pretty... interesting sweets that your family will devour anyway and say that they were delicious. Zoe also tried to replace sugar with salt.. hahaha but right before she dumped it in we figured it out, and then just accidentally dumped it on the floor. This night was also the birthday of one of my intercultra friends, Carina from Germany. To celebrate her birthday we went where I thought (wrong) we would find all the germans in Italy - Le Fontanelle! It's a really famous birreria and bascially the most legit place ever.. after that we went to the disco and then finished up at about 5 :)
- Now there is a small vacation (1 week) because of CARNEVALLEEEEE which is bascially like Halloween I don't really get it but it is one week where we do NOT have school and this is pleeeeasing to me. No promises on updating now because I feel bad for lying and saying I'd do it more and then.. not do it more.. hahaha
-Also, last thing. It has been five months. My stay here in Italy is "halfway over". Let's just say I am doing all I can possibly do to postpone going home :D Number one thing being that one of the classes I study science in INVITED ME TO GREECE WITH THEM FOR 10 DAYS! WOPOOO! I don't really want to write about the halfway stay because that just reminds me that time is now getting shorter instead of growing longer.. but I don't think it will be a problem just living in the moment :)
A dopo <3
Katie
Katitaly

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
-The Great Gatsby





So my friend Liz said that for two blogs she writes I have to write at least one...I figure that a good amount of time has passed since my last update and my english has gotten more terrible than every so now is a great time to write again! It's just hard when writing seems so uninteresting and there are ENDLESS things to distract yourself with like, oh it's funner to count the number of colors on my pillow than it is to write this blog. So where to start. The last time I wrote was about New Years, which was amazing, and then I went to France for 7 days with my family to ski. So the morning we were headed out I asked my dad how long the drive was and he said about 4 1/2 - 5 hours because we're really close to France. Turned out that 5 hours actually means 12! WHoo! We drove all the way to a town that was right next to the town that we were supposed to be in, and there they told us that we couldn't continue this way because there was a snowfall blocking the road. So then we had to drive alllll the way (4 hours or so) back around the circle and go a different way. Hard to explain, but safe to say that at like 10 or so at night (we left at 9 am) we arrived! Wooo! The place that we went is called Tignes. Even though I'm pretty sure it only snowed once the whole week we were there, the day it snowed it snowed a BUNCH. THis made for fresh beautiful powder practically the whole week that was soooo wonderful and easy and fun. Also on the last day it snowed, and me and my brother got very, very lost. This ended with a half hour of walking to a freaking ski lift in the middle of nowhere. The ski plan is above :) So.. my family, my brother's girlfriend, and our family friends Silvia and Bianca Maria were who was there. We rented a like.. apartment I guess for a week and it was soso cute and had a little fireplace and everything and a COFFEE machine and I drank like, american coffee for a whole week and I was... thoroughly dissapointed. Ohh dear. I think I will be definetley bringing back a coffee machine to the states because it just doesn't cut it anymore :( Apparently my spelling is so terrible that the word I'm trying to get doesn't even come up when you click spell check. This is bad. Oh well... the snow was amazing, it was so much fun to go for 7 days even though I was really happy to return to Milan too. So I first tried it in France but apparently we have it here too it's called Vin Brule and it's like heated wine... it is SO. GOOD. It tastes like apple cider but with a slightly bitter aftertaste and MANNNNN it is delicious I pretty much had it everyday. Also the hot chocolate in France is terrible like the kind you buy out of a machine in America and I am sorry but everyone needs to work on their hot chocolate skills. Except Italy, they got it down. France has a lot of cheese. It's really good. We had cheese every single night for dinner. In the end it was a little too much cheese. But it was still pretty good. After we got home from skiing i usually feel right (is that right?) asleep... but one night my family taught me how to play 7 1/2 which is like the same as blackjack but instead of 21 its 7 1/2 and I started out with a euro and ended with 6 (we played with small coins) so yea that was really fun. Also one night there was live music at one of the bars in the tiny place that we stayed (you can see it on the map in the far right corner, on the lake called Tinges les Brevieres). So, my brothers, Silvia, Vanessa and I went to listen for an hour or so and it was pretty fun the people who played were actually really good and then there was some drunken frenchmen dancing around which was nice too. However most of the french are kind of snobby. But I still like their country. Then, on Saturday, fter another wonderful 7 hour drive, we returned to Milan. I was pretty tired so me and Tonje decided to go to a bar and then go to bed early at around 1. Now... more updates? Nn lo so haha. I've been pretty sick for like a week and haven't been going to school very regularly because in the US it's normal to go to school when your sick and cough at school or whatever but here when I coughed everybody looked at me like I was a freak and was like... why aren't you home? So I think it's better to stay home haha. Also here it's really interesting they are SUPER GREEN. We were talking about recycling the other day in class and there was only ONE girl who's family only recycled like.. a little I think. Everyone separates their trash and then takes it down to the parking in the apartment building where there are different bins to put in the different types of trash. If you don't recycle right, you get fined. Also, instead of kleenex in classes (this is a bit gross) they all carry around hankerchiefs like it's the 1800's. I respect that this is super green and you save a lot of paper and stuff but it's still kind of gross when people blow their nose and then put it back in their pocket.. that's a little harder for me to get used to. Right now to improve my italian more I am watching all these movies in italian with the subtitles in italian... it's not that difficult but without the subtitles it is for me because everyone speaks DIFFERENT and it makes it harder to understand. I really don't know what to write about now! A couple days ago I went to a happy hour with my friend Costy, and it was more of a like meeting of people than aperitivo and we talked about what's happening in the south of Italy with the mafia. The guy that spoke at the meeting told us about how there was a big mafia boss who got arrested by the police and all of his orchids and fields and things were abandoned because he wasn't there to order people around, so a group of people called Terra Libera which means free earth got together and started cultivating the fields which is like a positive thing you can do to protest the mafia... and the mafia family down there got really mad that they were being productive and stuff (they make wine, tomato sauce, pesto, ect..) and the workers found a gutted dog on the fields with all the insides and blood smeared everywhere and this was a sign that if they didn't stop the mafia was going to kill them and stuff. However they keep going... It's a really big problem, the Mafia here. In America I think that we think the mafia is a joke like something you see on television or something like Scarface I don't know, but it's actually a huge problem in Italy and they are really worried about it and it's hard to understand that this stuff is really happening like people disappear and things happen and some people just choose to not think about it but it's really happening. Also apparently before I left for France I recharged my metro card for April. I was unaware that you could do this. But yea, YOU CANN! ha.. Remember foreigners that here the date ALWAYS goes DAY/ MONTH/ YEAR not Month/day/year. It is now the 21st and I still have not changed it. It's not necessarily lazyness just non dedicatedness. IM SORRY I WILL START UPDATING MORE I PROMISE
Katitaly

The best family in the world

Culture. Culture culture culture. Italian culture.. where to start. Haven't a clue. I guess I should start by saying that I kind of wanted to write about more than just my days in this one... So here's a little insight on italian culture. I'm just going to flat out say it, italians are very proud people. They're really self concious, proud people. . A italian friend commented on a american friend of mine saying "SOS diet" on her wall. Now any american would be like, WTF is your problem are you calling me fat I am going to kick your ass. However, this was followed by the guy who said it explaining that he didn't mean to be offensive, but that when my friend went back to the United States he wanted her to be beautiful so that people would think that Italians were beautiful. Now, I don't really know anyone who would ever derive that from that kind of statement.. but that's how italians are. Almost ALL italians!! It is so different and .... experiencing this culture is just like WOW. It's like you can't believe what some people say because it's so direct and unforgiving but they don't mean it as mean! They don't even want to hurt your feelings... they just want you to look good so that they as a country look good. I also talked to on of my friend's parents because I wanted to get opinions on what Italians think of their culture... I asked her dad what he liked most about Italy and got a really unclear answer that I didn't understand (like he said it was beautiful... and some other stuff but there was a lot of uncertainty). Then I asked him what he least liked about Italy and he only had one answer, italians. As in the people. It's like this country is full of people who 1)love their country but also 2) are ashamed of the people living here as well. I live in the north, and one of the first things that my family explained to me is that there are almost two different Italys. (Italies? No lo so :P) There's the north, which ends at about Rome, and then there is the south. Everyone says that the north and the south really don't like each other. The south says that the north is full of people who work too much and don't know how to have fun, and the north says that the south is full of people who never work because they are lazy and just sit around all day. However, the north reallllyyy doesn't like the south, but when I talk to my intercultura friends who are staying in the south they say that the south doesn't really even have a problem with the north. When I said this to my family they came down with one reason.. money (why is everything always about the money?) I guess that the north (since they work more) ends up giving money to the south in a way? And they don't like it because they don't think that the south has earned it.. it's all very complex but I think it's really sad that they believe their country is so divided. I love Italy, above ALL the italians... so I don't know. I am very lucky to be blessed with an amazing city, and amazing family, and absolutely wonderful friends. I know many people who did not get this lucky and I don't know.. every experience is different? But sometimes when I hear about my friend's family problems and such I feel terrible because I do know what that's like, I lived it for 3 months.. and just now it's like there's a fit. I think the more you love something the more you want to be... like that. Tipo, I am absolutely innamorata with Italia.. and that just makes me want to learn the language more, makes me want to have more italian fashion... want's to make me lose weight because they are... obsessed with being thin here, like that's just how it is. That is their culture. The place that believes that they have the best food in the world wants you to eat eat eat it but not gain weight.
MUSIC - Italian teens really love this thing called house music. Like, they're OBSESSED with it. House is the type of music they play at discos... so it's kind of like techno but less lame. It's just pumped up electro dance music... well that's their culture music. No joke, forget about italian swooners or whatever there is no one serenading you here... but they love house. :P
Fashion - For the most part, Milan has AMAZING fashion. However there seems to be a trend of MICHELAN MAN PUFFY JACKETS. No joke, it's basically a plague. Sometimes, you might be lucky enough to see the michelan man puffy jacket trenchcoat. It's a pretty killer sight :D Other than that... all the girls wear skinny jeans. You will see a rare person wearing flare pants. Even on the subway, which is where you see the most freaking variety of people... THEY ARE ALL slim cut jeans. Luckily, I decided to come with one pair! Hahah. Boots are common.. but unlike America only guys wear skate shoes, and guys only wear skate shoes sometimes. Girls wear low sneakers... like keds or something I dont know but they're like little shoes :P haha Unless it's the weekend or a party... then it's always heels. Other than that they dress nice for everything... not many a person wears sweatpants and things like that to school. Guys... when I was reading blogs of people in Italy when I was in America they all said that guys dressed really gay, like tight tight jeans and stuff, the same as girls. However, in Milan I have only seen a few guys wear skinny jeans.. they wear normal clothes like hoodies, t-shirts, button up shirts, pants, there's some gangster pants, there's some skinny jeans.... But no one has their boxers hanging out because they don't wear boxers... okay yea. I think that people here just tend to dress a bit nicer for normal everyday things... like in America we say oh well i'm not getting dressed up to go to the grocery store.. well they get dressed up to go to the grocery store here. Think that has to do with the whole "proud people" thing. Neeext.
Allora... enough of that and now on to Natale!!!
Natale is Christmas... and they're big on Christmas. However.. I have to say I was expecting very different. I think we all were... Christmas here is super different! At home, christmas is a big family day that you would be reaaaaalllly lucky to get out of and go play with your friends but it is most likely not going to happen because it is FAMILY TIME. Alllora for christmas here, we all woke up at about 10 or so and opened presents... or presented each other presents because we had gone shopping for them the day before (my brothers don't like suprises? I guess... so what they do is their parents take them shopping and they get to pick out what they want, pretty sweet deal). For christmas i got a really cute dress from my brothers, a book in italian (yeaaaaahhh) a journal, and a Swarvoski crystal necklace from my host parents. They are pretty much my favorite people ever. I gave my host parents wine, and then also joined in with my brothers and we all bought them a new keyboard for the computer and a really nice pair of motorcycle gloves for the dad. I wanted to get my brothers something cool and suprising, but shopping for guys is FREAKING HARD. Too hard. So I got them soccer balls haha. After we opened presents we had lunch... which also wasn't as big as deal as I thought it would be... I know that other exchange students had different meal experiences haha. First we had these appetizer things that were like puff pastry.. shrimp with lots of goo that were really pretty but I declined eating because my family knows I don't like mayonaise .. and I am open to new experiences I mean I ate pate (liver) before I knew what it was haha... allora after that we had raviolinni.. which are really little ravioli in broth and they were good.. then everyone had meat like there must have been 3 pounds of pate. I politely declined. There was a lot of prosciutto and stuff like that.. and then we had Pandoro and Panettone for dessert. Pandoro is like the delicious, free of disgusting dried fruit version of panettone. Panettone is fruitcake. Fruitcake is the same all around the world. Fruit cakey and non appealing. After lunch (which was just my family and my dad's grandma), my brothers went out to hang out with their friends... I was kind of unaware that this was allowed aha so I pretty much sat around all day.. I also went on a walk from Duomo to my house... which was cool because it is actually not that far and it was a really pretty day with lots of sun. I felt kind of homesick on this day, but I'm guessing thats normal. That night, I thought that we (Lorenzo, Riccardo and I) were going out for drinks with their cousins.. turns out everyone goes out for drinks on christmas night! There was about 40 people... then they played soccer until 3 in the morning when we went home. It was cool. I enjoy these new traditions.. ha. The rest of break was fun... my friend Mollie from Monza slept over... I don't really remember doing anything too amazing but yea it was fun. Then... BUON CAPODANNO! Today is New Years... which means BIGGGG party here. Last night I went to a place in the mountains called Binago with my friends from school... my friend Federica has a house there and her parents let us use it for our new years party whooo!!!! Popping champagne.... setting off fireworks.. going to bed at 5 am... it was quite a fun night :) I'm just saying, when the italians say they are going to do the shopping for alcohol.. they really do it, something like 200 dollars worth. Haha first my friend's dad came to get all of us (there was like 20 of us) from the train station... and there was a BUNCH of wine in these plastic bags and we were walking to Fede's house when two bottles accidentally dropped and broke... her dad started laughing at us. Why is this country so chill. Just describing the festivities too... not trying to endorse underage drinking or anything but that is what they do here. Except when we did the shake up champagne and spray it on all your friends thing my hair got a big shower and now it is really sticky and stuff from champagne STILL. When we got to the house Fede's mom cooked dinner for us all... they eat lentils on new years for good luck? Ok :) haha also red underwear. Red underwear is a must have. It is so much of a must have that when I said I wasn't wearing any because I didn't know about the traditions, a friend from school pulled out a red pair of underwear and threw them at me saying I knew extra's would come in handy! Carinissimaaa hahah. Anyway, I am soooo tired.. I slept 3 hours today, and tomorrow I will be going to France with my family for a week to ski, and then I will come back and write about it. However, I hope everyone had a fantastic new year and that this year will be the best yet.. it already has been for me and we've still got 6 months to go! By the way, I'm never coming home. Sorry mom and dad. :)

AUGURI, HAPPY 2010!!!!
Katitaly
Allora, I have much to say
1st of all, I hate writing. ALRIGHT, now into the good stuff.

Yesterday me and my friend Tonje went tanning for the first time here in Italy. Tonje tans a lot (she's from Norway) and I went a little back home too. We were both lookin' very similar to dead fish so we decided it was time to hit up a solarium. When we got there, the lady said "Viso?" and we assumed this was a tanning bed so we said yes, 2. Apparently Viso is when you sit in a chair and just have your face tanned. Nice. These were some odd looking contraptions that we had never seen before. After that failure, the lady asked us again what we wanted, and we said tipo letto? Like a bed? Well apparently here they don't have beds. They have these things literally translated into "showers" which is were you stand up in this like little box and have to raise your arms above your head for however long you go. It's TIRING. That was new. I also think I got sunburnt. Wonderful.
This was the END of yesterday. This blog post is going to be in rewinnnddd!!!!!

So earlier that day (Friday), my school had a manifestazione again. This time, I WENT for the FIRST TIME! And now I can officially say that manifestazione are the best things ever. First they set off all these smoke bombs outside my school, but other kids still went in (like my class, because they had a history test. Good thing I don't understand history). Then, what seemed like a small amount of people followed this big banner that these guys were holding and we walked to the metro stop and then more and more people joined, and we were crowding the streets and stopping traffic and all, pretty awesome. Every once in a while they'd set off these big sparklers. When we reached the metro, about like 200 or so of us now idk probably more like 400 or something, we all jumped over the metro things. It was so coool because there was like hundreds of kids jumping over the metro. Then we all got on a train and went to this place called Cairoli... where I met my friend MOLLY from America :) For about two hours we walked around in the streets following this big truck that had all this badass music, like a moving truck or something, and alll these people like TONS of people were walking and protesting. They also have some lovely, positive cheers, like - There is a disease in my city that can't be cleaned out, its called the police BASTARDI. Then they yell at everyone who is looking out their windows at the manifestazione and yell come down with us stop being lazy come down with us. It was a magical very fun day, which ended in Duomo. Mollie and I went to get some deeliciouss italian hot chocolate pudding like buisness :)
Before friday was thursday, the only day i was in school this week besides saturday. Nothing happened on thursday. Obviously it was terrible because I actually had to LEARN. (Just kidding it was allright).
Allora, the 4th of december (Friday) to the 9th (wednesday)
There was a holiday in Italy from the 4th - the 8th of December, called Sant Ambrogio. This meant nooo school for 4 whole days! Enrico, a friend of my old family (explained a little down) invited me to go to Bormio (a town near the border of Switzerland) with him and his aunt/uncle and their wonderfully YOUNG four children. Did you know that young children frequently love to scream and express their joy as loudly as they can at 7 am? I sure didn't... However Bormio was beautiful, snowboarding (which I haven't done in forever) was a looot of fun but I'm also ridiculously sore from falling on my ass. It snowed on the second day I was there but they don't groom the slopes? This was cool because I really like fresh snow that's not groomed but it is also more difficult.. alloraaaa
In Bormio I discovered a new found passion for WINE. Legit.
One day, instead of skiing we went to a place REALLY near Switzerland called Livigno. Livigno is basically my dream town, because of one reason. The whole town is like a HUGE DUTY FREE STORE! Meaning it has no tax (the whole town). Meaning perfume, make up, clothes, designer sunglasses, vodka, cigarettes, and chocolate are VERY CHEAPPP. I bought the family I was staying with a bottle of wine as a thank you and procceded to throw away the rest of my money on a ridiculous amount of perfume. Successful. Tolberone bars were 1 euro too. Stocked up on chocolate. Just to give you an idea. The rest of Bormio was really fun, I met up with a couple of classmates who I found out were staying there and we walked around the (tiny) town for a little, got lunch, and then I had to leave... it was reallly realllly small. Like one of those cute cobblestone towns that you see in the 1800's or whatever. I liked it very much :)
On Tuesday night we drove to Lecco, where we stayed at Enrico's grandfathers house, which is HUGE and has the nicest view of Lake Como ever... it was sooo beautiful. I liked it there because you could see the stars, and I was always wondering why I can't see the stars in Milan. Then someone told me there was too much pollution. That's fantastic. Anyway it was nice to see the stars for once because I really missed them. From stars... to the beginning of the vacation, Sant' Ambrogio... to switching families.
Yep, I thought I might be one of the few NOT switching families, but it actually happened.
Hard to believe, huh?
Even harder to believe is the fact that I did not choose to switch families, the family chose that they couldn't host anymore.
I appreciate the old family I was with, because I know it is hard to have an exchange student (hello, we've had two). However, I also think that when you sign up for something as big as having someone from a different country live in your house for a year, there are a few important things you need to do
1) Make sure your whole family actually WANTS an exchange student. Or at least doesn't mind having one. If you have a son or daughter that actually didn't/doesn't want an exchange student... LISTEN TO THEM. YOU ARE DOING THE EXCHANGE STUDENT A BIG. BIG. FAVOR.
2) Flexibility is VERY important
3) REALLY MAKE SURE YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WANTS ONE FIRST
4) Don't give up. Either have one for a year, or don't have one at all.

This being said, there were some unsolvable difficulties in the other family that resulted in me staying with the AFS housing advisor now, Claudia and her family. However I loveeee my new family which is good as well :) They have hosted two times before, and that makes me feel a lot more comfortable because they aren't suprised by a lot of stuff and know what the very different life of an exchange student is like. In a way I feel luckier than some exchange students. Im sure that if I had gotten put with a successful family the first time then I would feel different, but still, switching families is not something that everyone gets to do and its a completely new, more rare exchange experience. OH WELLLLL because the main thing now is that this family is completely freaking awesome and I basically love them. I still go to the same school, but now live in a bigger house and have my own room :D This is really, realllllly nice. My mom works for intercultura, my dad has a job that he wears a suit to, and I have two brothers. One actually just came back from studying in australia today (its tuesday the 15th... these posts take a long time to write) and he's 21, the other is 18 and studies in a school called Bottoni or something. The schools that all start with B are so easy to get mixed up because there is literally like a hundred of them... Everyone loves to talk and they all really love each other too which is kind of ridiculously adorable.
Alloraaaaa..... new other things. I went to Brescia this sunday for Santa Lucia festival.... it was fun.. I was an angel, we also had reindeers/bears, elves, santa clauses, and like... farmers. I don't know what they were exactly but it was legit. The only not legit part was that we walked around singing christmas carols... for 6 hours straight in the FREEZING COLD. Brescia is very pretty. We got hot chocolate. The end.

NEWS
- I'm going skiing in France. Excellent family switching timing if I do say so myself.
- Everyone here thinks Amanda Knox is really, really, really guilty.
- Berluscconi got punched in the face.. with a statue... they really don't like him here
- Finals suck. All over the world, finals suck.
- I actually don't know anyone with a real tree.. they are all made out of plastic.. hahah I was so excited like "We're getting a tree? Really?!" - Yea, help me come unpack it from this box! haha
- Christmas = Natale
- I forgot my first english word today and I still can't remember it. It's irritating me.
- I hate italian mail. One of the very few things I hate. Because even when you expedite something, it will still take a month to arrive.
- It snowed for ten minutes. Best ten minutes EVER.
HAPPPPYYY HOLLIDAYS EVERBODY!!!!!!!!
baci baci baci :) Kisses for all!
A dopo, Katie
Katitaly
I can absolutely not think of anything to talk about at the moment! More updates later.. when something interesting happens..
Ciaoo :)
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