sabato, agosto 30, 2008


Good News, Everyone!
I have a departure date. My bags are packed. My carryons are packed. I have an "electronic" ticket (which is just as good.) I have a flight scedule. I have everything I need to take with me. My visa is in the mail and I have a tracking number for it.

I am ready.
I am leaving.
In 2 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes and 3 seconds. ( I have a little counter thing :) )
I cannot believe it.

I am departing from hawaii to oregon, where i have a 9 hour layover. From there, I fly to Amstedam (a 10 hour flight) and there again I have ANOTHER 9 hour layover. And then, finally, I fly down to Milan and I will arrive there at 10:15pm. I leave a sunday and arrive tuesday night. My total travel time IS:dumdumdumdumdum 33hours and 16 minutes!!!
Needless to say I have stuffed my carryon full of books. My two suitcases: The first weighs 49.9 pounds and is VERY heavy. My second weighs a more managable 42.9 pounds. My carryon suitcase weighs 29 pounds and my backpack was light enough so i did not have to weigh it.

And I am done. The wait is almost over. In two days this time I will be at the airport saying my final goodbyes.
My visa stilll has to arrive on sunday during the day, because i leave sunday night around 10 pm.

Wish me luck, I shall update again when i am in italy!

martedì, agosto 19, 2008

10 Days

In ten days I will be heading to the airport to fly of to Milan, Italy as an Internation Rotary Youth Exchange Student. This blog will be used to update my friends and family back home and to share with future exchange students my experience :). I figure I should explain how this happened to me, so I will start in the beginning with some questions i get alot.

What is this? Rotary Youth Exchange?
A Rotary Youth Exchange is when someone from any country in the world travels to another country to learn a new culture and possibly a new language for 10 months, or an acedemic school year. The idea is to promote global peace and understanding and it is apart of Rotary, which is an international good-will kinda thing. They sponser a teen (between 15 and 18) to go abroad and host familys in different countrys volunteer to host kids. I will be attending an Italian High School, living with an Italian family and I will most definatly not be speaking english. I am going with little knowledge of the italian language so i will learn quickly.

Why would you do this? Are you crazy? Do you have a case of the koo-koos?
I want to do this becasue when i first heard about this at my school, it sounded so interseting and the more i learn about it the mroe i am excited to go. I have always loved learning new languages and i have also always wanted to go to europe and this is a wonderful way for me to do this because i will get to learn a new culture and eat italian food all year long :) . And yes, people have called me crazy... but not for doing an exchange. For other reasons.

What other countrys can you go to?
You can go to any country in the world that has a rotary club and is "safe". China, for one, does not have rotary clubs so it would be very hard to go there and Afganistan seems like a pretty war-torn country right now so i dont think rotarians would send students there.

Do you have a family yet?
I do, they live in the middle of Milan, Italy. I will have 2 younger host sisters and my host father is a violinist at a very famous orchestra.

Who are you again?
My name is Jody and i was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and i am spending my Juinor year abroad. I like soccer and reading, and hanging out with my friends.

With my departure so close, it is almost unbelievable. It feels surreal. For now all i can do is pack and prepare, but it feels like yesterday (well, maybe last week) that i first heard about exchange and now it is only 10 days away...

my fingers are sore from typing so i am going to take a break.
Ciao e Baci a tutti!