Friday, July 8, 2011

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss

“Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does.” 
-Stephanie Meyer

So this is it, tomorrow morning I’m going to be getting on the bus to Rome for the last time. It’ll be a 6 hour ride. I’ll stay the night in Rome with the other exchange students. I doubt we’re going to sleep, I’m sure we’re going to cry. We’ll have to say our goodbyes not knowing when or even IF we will ever see each other again. It’s going to be hard. When we finally make it to the airport we’ll board our planes and say goodbye to Italy. I guess I’m not totally saying goodbye, considering I’m taking a part of it with me. Sofi and Augusta are going to meet me at the airport and board the plane with me. After a lay over in London, we’ll make our way to Toronto. And when that plane lands, it will be over. After 10 long months I’ll be back, but I don’t think it’s going to be the same person that got on that plane 10 months ago that’s going to step off. Lots has changed in 10 months I’ve changed, I’ve leaned a lot, and I’ve realized a lot of important things.

-I’ve realized we have to live everyday to it’s fullest, live in the moment there is no point in wasting time worrying about tomorrow or passing days regretting the past, because this moment, this moment right here right now is a moment you'll never get back, spend your moments wisely.

-I’ve realized that no matter how hard things get and how much you may want to quit, it will never be worth the feeling of accomplishment you get when you succeed.

-I’ve learned to embrace the new. No longer am I the person who always gets the exact same thing at a restaurant haha.

-I’ve learnt that most stereotypes aren’t true…unless you’re taking about Italy…(at least the south)
yes they do eat pasta everyday (sometimes even twice)
yes they are obsessed with soccer
yes they’re (almost) all mamma’s boys
yes they speak with their hands
yes they are extremely loud
yes, they pretty much all have brown hair
yes, the mafia does exist but it’s not like you think it is
yes teenage boys grease their hair (this is only a southern thing)
Guidos as they’re called in America (Ie: Jersey Shore) do exist and if you aren’t with them your against them we call them I tamarri, they even have a show -.- and their own double decker private bus that tours italy going from night club to night club  -.-

…then there’s some that aren’t true
They actually don’t eat spaghetti and meatballs! Spaghetti is a type of pasta (not a sauce) and meatballs would be considered another course il secondo. Or like Alfredo , that’s a name not a type of sauce ;)
They AREN’T all hairy, it’s completely normal for girls to wax their arms and even their stomach along with their legs…because no one shaves… apparently shaving hurts?
They aren’t bad drivers, unsafe and fast yes but bad no haha (they'd make good stunt drivers)
They eat garlic bread yeah no haven’t seen that once
They’re all super tanned, only in the summer, when I ask myself…how is that even possible.

And some other debunked stereotypes (not saying I thought these things but there were a lot of people that did)
They don’t eat dogs in China
It isn’t always cold in Iceland (but yeah they’re pretty much all blond)
German’s aren’t cold people
Not all austrailians can surf
Not all Egyptians live near the pyramids, they don’t normally ride camels either, and they aren’t all muslim

-I’ve become more independent, I can fend for myself. 

-I’ve learnt to take chances and overcome my fears, I survived exchange, this is coming from the kid who could barely handle sleepovers as child haha. I don’t worry about what’s in my food anymore like I don’t not eat something because there might be nuts. If there is, the world isn’t gonna end. Like I said I’ve learned to like new things, I try my best to try everything.

-I’ve learnt it’s okay to make mistakes, people are gonna laugh but how else are you going to learn? You have to at least try, try your best and even if your wrong it’s better than nothing.

-I’ve learnt how to make the best of things. Working with what I have and where I am. There is always something to be happy about it could be big or even something as small as, today there was toilet paper in the school bathroom for the first time in 3 months!

-I’ve realized we can't try and have everything planned because there will always be something that comes up and changes everything. We just have to go with the flow.

-Exchange has showed me just how big the world really is, and at the same time how big it isn’t. How no matter where you go, people, when you come down to it, are all the same. Sure we speak different languages and look different and have different traditions and cultures but we’re all people. We all value our families and our friends, we all love having fun, we all love laughing, we all cry, we all smile, we all get sad, we all have our problems and none of us are perfect. But that’s what makes us human.

-This whole experience has taught me how important is it to take every opportunity you are given. Every opportunity is a chance to learn something new.

-Worrying serves no purpose, seriously like that thing that was such a big deal 2 weeks ago, turns out really isn’t. Don’t worry about the future, about things that “might” happen, just go with it. Just live.

Yeah so that’s about it…just a bit about my last week here, nothing to exciting other than the trip to the canyon but uhh yeah here ya go

-the trip to the canyon
-Finally went to the greek restauraunt and ate Ghiros (in English I think it’s gyros?)
-The first few days were nice then it god crazy hot again
-I went and did parkour for the last time with the guys and we even made a video.
-Had a girls night and made pizza at one am, didn't sleep very much haha
-Ate for the last time at the "freepub" 
-Made friends with the people who work at Iloveyogurt the frozen yogurt store =P
-bought a final thing from H&M, a skirt that was on sale for 7 euro
-forgot to stretch after working out 2 days ago...i now have 2 giant knots in my calves... 
-Said goodbye to everyone, which was kinda sad.
-Successfully packed up my life in 100 pounds + a carry-on.


-Survived having my legs waxed for the last time.

Okay now that’s really it, I think I’m finally ready to go home, not so much because I miss it, I just want it back. As much as I love Italy it’s made me realize how much more I love Canada.  I can’t wait to get back to the gym, and start working again and not have free time haha.
I’m excited for this, I feel like things are going to be great, like just life in general not just this summer or the rest of this year but like everything. I’ve got an insanely full summer after 3 days down south when I get back (Toronto, Niagara, and Wonderland) to show Sofi and Augusta some stuff, It’s going to be 3 weeks of all things Canadian! Then I’m off to vegas and come back for conditioning camp? And then CAC!! And the summer will already be over, and I’ll be back at school (how I miss Canadian school) in I still don’t know what grade =P and back to gym and back to work and it’s just gonna be good. I’m happy. Sono felice, non vedo l’ora di tornare a casa, di dormire nel mio letto, di vedere la mia famiglia, I miei amici e il mio cane, di mangiare la colazione canadese, e di fare una pausa dalla pizza e la pasta haha. I’m excited =)

Ci vediamo tra poco =)
Un abbraiccio dal l’italia
Alissa ( Pronounced: Aah-Lee-Sah ,come mi chiamano quoi)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Essere Intercambista.

I just wanted to share a poem one of my friends wrote about being an exchange student, it was originally in portuguese (he's from Brazil) but he translated it into italian for everyone, and I translated it into english.

by Lucas Fortunato
Essere Intercambista

È Nascere di nouvo
È iniziare tutto da cappo
È sentire nostalgia
È imparare a valorizzare quello che hai
È avere paura
È saper prendere cura di se ( o no )
È avere fame
È mangiare in eccesso 
È pensare l'inimaginabile
È conoscere lo sconosciuto
È fare qualche incontro con altri intercambisti una grande festa
È stare sempre senza soldi
È spendere troppo in cose inutili
È sentire fredo
È sentire caldo
È essere il motivo degli scherzi
È fare scherzi
È uscire ridicolo di casa ( tanto sono straniero)
È fare finta che ancora non si capisce niente a scuola
È fare finta di capire tutto quello che i tuoi nuovi amici dicono
È avere storie assurde
È pensare che tu sei normale
È fare amici che diventano FRATELLI
È pensare che il mondo è tuo
È volere conoscere il mondo con un zaino
È sentire la mancanza delle cose più stupide
È scoprire che le persone sono persone in qualsiasi parte del mondo
È voler tornare a casa
È non voler MAI tornare a casa

INTERCAMBISTA, perchè solo chi lo È, sai cosa vuoi dire !!!


Being an Exchange Student

Is being born again
Is starting all over
Is feeling homesick
Is learning to appreciate what you have
Is being afraid
Is knowing how to take care of yourself (or not)
Is being hungry
Is overeating
Is thinking the unimaginable
Is knowing the unknown
Is turning get togethers with other exchange student into big parties
Is never having money
Is spending too much on useless things
Is feeling cold
Is feeling warm
Is being the reason for jokes
Is making jokes
Is leaving the house looking ridiculous (who cares, i'm foreign)
Is pretending to still not understand anything in school
Is pretending to understand everything your new friends say
Is having crazy stories
Is thinking you're normal
Is making friends who become brothers and sisters
Is thinking the world is yours
Is wanting to explore the world with only a backpack
Is missing the stupidest things
Is discovering that people are people in every part of the world
Is wanting to go home
Is NEVER wanting to go home

Exchange Student, because only those who ARE know what is means.

This pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Forse é perché questo posto é l'unico

So today was my last sunday in Italy, and yesterday was my last saturday in's really sinking in now that I'm going to be home REAL soon.

So this actual "week" (mon-fri) wasn't overly special, I watched some good movies (Soul Surfer & Paul) and went to gym tuesday and thursday. Thursday was my last day of gym so i made brownies and brought my flag and got everyone to sign it. It was a pretty awesome last practice, i did bars for the first time in about 2 months...without grips...cause they disappeared and on my second flyaway...i landed looked down and saw that i was missing 2 calluses YAY i ripped!! not -.- oh well no biggie after some alcohol and some tape was all good to go, I spent pretty much the rest of practice doing mini tramp with a guy named Alessandro who is and international level diver (he told me he competed in Toronto once and competed against...i forget his name, but some famous canadian diver, and he said he got is arse whooped haha but still i think it's pretty awesome to even be able to compete at that ANY sport! Yeah so he liked coached me and it was kinda funny but it was a good day.

(Getting the flag signed...and the last brownie haha) 

(SWING!!!! =D)

(...and rip -.-)

(group photo! Giovanni, Giovanni, Chiara, Alessandro, Mi, Sandro, Nadia, Davide, Miriam, Ismaele, Valentina)

(just a wonderful sweaty picture =P)

I honestly for the life of me can't remember what i did friday?
I know it was Canada day, and i watched a movie on the computer, and made pancakes, but I don't really remember anything else?? actually then I went to with some friends a fare delle foto, cause one of my friends is really into photography so yeah we went to this one friends house and it was like something out of a movie it was GORGEOUS like omg nicest house i've ever been in, then after the foto's we watched Mulan yay Mulan! 

(look at the fluffiness! That's what happens when you use cake flour and + baking powder)

Saturday (ie yesterday) was my LAST saturday here in Cosenza and overall i think it was pretty good, the we stayed out late really not doing anything all that exciting but we laughed so much hahaha it was a good night.

Sunday (Today) was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! It was one of, if not THE best day I've had in these past 10 months.  My gym coach organized a "goodbye" trip with a bunch of people from the gym so I set my alarm for 7 so i could be ready when he came to pick me up at 7:40...thing is my phone starts ringing so i roll over answer it, and it was my coach asking how long i was going to be since one of the other girls he was picking up wasn't time is it??  him...7:30   me...HUH!?!?! So i jumped out of bed and got ready super quick and off we went 2 vehicles full of people to the mountains. The place we went was neat my old city of castrovillari in the Pollino mountains. It was like a canyon with a river/waterfall flowing through/down it. It was THE most beautiful thing i've ever seen! The pictures don't do it justice -.-.  So we basically spent the day hiking swimming and climbing our way through this canyon/river thing it was soooooo much fun we all had a blast. 

(this is where the river flows out of the canyon)

(The split mountain)

(il ponte del diavolo)

(looking down form the bridge)

(walking down)

(entrance to the canyon...under the bridge)

(me being pushed into the waterfall by Ismaele, and Davide giving him a mega thumbs-up in the basckround)

(it was just so cool!)

(It was so cool, I got someone to take a picture like every 5 minutes)

(The swim)

(preparing the rope)

(Me, Ismaele, Giuseppe & Giovanni)

(again, just closer up)

(Giovanni & Giuseppe just relaxing, cause us three got back out like 20 mins before everyone else)

(the waterfall from above)

(the mountain)

(Sandro and Ismaele dying trying to make it to the car)

So that's what i've been up on the drive back home we all were kind of half asleep so it gave me some time to think, and i've accepted that i'm going home soon (1week) and I'm okay with that now, I think I'm ready. I've got one awesome we ahead of me and then an entire awesome summer to come, I can't wait.