Hello, it’s been awhile since I made my last post now. It seems like every time that I blink my eyes another month has passed. I’ve made lots of amazing friends from around the world and have learned more about the culture, language, and even myself, than I could have ever imagined.
First, I’ll tell you about my friends. My closest friends here are Yumi (Korean), Helen (Chinese), Takashi (Japanese), Lindy (Dutch), Noemi (French), Laura (English) and Fifi (Chinese). For the past two months, I have spent most of my time surrounded by all of these different cultures and it has been amazing. Since the last time I posted, I have visited many wonderful places – the first being Florence (or, in Italian, Firenze). There I visited my friend from back home, Ale, who was an exchange student to my high school. I met all of her friends and had my own personal tour guide. I visited La Galleria degli Uffizi, which is an absolutely amazing art museum. I met so many of her friends and was thrilled to realize that I was able to understand some of what they were saying! It was an incredible experience and I’m hoping to go back before I return home. Two weeks later, I made a trip to Verona with my friend Lindy. Like everything here, it was gorgeous. It was the first Sunday of the month so we got free admission to the arena there. We had coffee at an adorable coffee shop there and went to Juliet’s balcony. But by far my favorite thing that we did was climbing to the top of a hill where you could see the entire city.
With a few other friends, I visited a small town about 40 minutes by train, called Vicenza. My friend Yumi lives there with her husband so we went to visit them. Living in Venice, I’ve missed having grass around, so for me, it was amazing to see all of the parks there. Also, in this town, there is a park where bunnies roam free – bunnies that in America we would generally domesticate. It was a great day spent with great friends.
These past few weeks have been the busiest for me. There are five levels of Italian at the school where I attend classes. Each four weeks you move up a level.
Three weeks ago, I was in level two. I felt as though that was too easy so I asked my teachers, and they thought it would be a good idea to skip to level three. That was wonderful, though I have had a bit of catching up to do. Two weeks ago, we began level four and I finally feel as though I can have a cohesive conversation past the point of introducing myself, which came in handy this week. This week, I had to go to my appointment for my permission to stay and there, no one speaks any English. I still have a lot to learn. Still, I am proud of how far I’ve come.
Adding to this, a few weeks ago, I began to spend everyday with my friend Lindy before she left. She made me some Dutch food, and we watched movies in Italian. Then, right as she was leaving, my boyfriend came to visit. He was here for 10 days. It was really fun to be his tour guide and he was really impressed when I’d communicate in Italian at restaurants or stores. Within the first few days of him being here, we met up with some friends from back home and spent the entire day with them.
On Easter, we headed to Paris, though, not for nearly enough time. We spent one day in the city before going to Disneyland Paris for two days. This was really cool because it was as if we went to Disneyland, except all of the instructions were in French. Then, we spent our entire last night exploring downtown Paris. It was the most stressful, yet amazing trip that I have ever taken.
I cannot believe how much I have accomplished since being in Venice. It has been a very enlightening experience for me and I am so thankful to have met everyone that I have and to be able to travel as much as I have.