This past weekend I went to Ponte Di Legno with the all the other exchange students from district 2050 for our inbound orientation weekend. We left Saturday morning at 7:15 am. I rode in the car with Ashley and Sam. When we arrived in Brescia we met up with all the other exchange students. I had mistaken the age of one of the students, Angelo, I thought he was 27 and a supervisor but he is actually 18 and high school graduate! Once everyone arrived at the station, we boarded the train, which was really only exciting for the first hour and then I became bored! The train ride was really long almost 3 hours! On the train I sat with Kayleigh, Kurt and Corinna, who are all people I go to school with in Cremona. Once I got off the train I was feeling a little sick, which only got worse when I got on the bus. We also met up with 2 other exchange students from the district, Alex and Dani, they are both very outgoing and fun to talk to! After a very windy and long bus ride up the Alps we made it to Ponte Di Legno, a small ski village in the mountains.
After we dropped our bags off in the hotel we drove even higher up the mountains until we got to a cute little restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We ate gnocchi, pasta and beef, and I had a piece of fruit pie for desert! After lunch we went for a 5 & 1/2 hour hike through the Alps to a small village near the top called Case Di Viso. The village was beautiful but also sad like it was slowly being forgotten. As we were leaving, I was followed by this beautiful young colt. Laura went up to it and was able to keep it still while everyone went up to pet it! On the way down I walked with Kayleigh at first. We talked about horses, as it turns out we both ride, we both love singing and we have so much in common. We became friends instantly. Than we started to talk to Angelo about quantum mechanics and the idea of relativity! It was nice to a real intellectual conversation with people who are your own age and could actually hold up there end of the conversation.
When we got back to the hotel we had free time for an hour, and since we were all already soaked from the rain we decided to go swimming in the pool. I really missed being in the water even if it was just a pool. At dinner all the exchange students sat together at one large table so we decided to play a massive game of telephone. It was so much fun, I hadn't laughed that hard since I got here! After dinner we went downstairs where they had a disco, I tried to get everyone dancing but no one was really into it. I think it was around a 11:00pm when we started playing cards. We played for at least an hour before people started to drift up to bed. By 12:30am it was just Matt, Austin, Kelly, Kayla, Ashley and I left down stairs, so we decided to play a couple games of pool, Austin and Matt against Kelly and I. Kelly had never played before so along with teaching her I also had to carry our team. She did pretty well though getting a couple of balls in . The game was really bad though and it took for ever, eventually we won. The guys wanted a rematch because apparently they had some "mad" skills that just weren't obvious in the last game. They did win the second game but it was not played any better taking almost an hour to finish. By the end it was really late almost 2:00am so we decided to call it a night. Ashley and I went up to our room to put our PJ's on before going to Kayleigh, Kelly and Kayla's room to hang out with them and Kurt. I was really tired so I went to bed a little before them, about 3:00am.
The next morning Ashley and I woke up at about 8:30am, we grabbed Kayleigh and headed down for breakfast about 9:00am. At 10 o'clock we had our inbound orientation meeting with the Rotarians. It was really long and boring but we did do our pin swap and now my blazer is so full, mostly with american pins! We had some free time before lunch so Francesco, one of the Rotarians, took a group of us into town to see the village, even though it was still raining pretty hard! Ponte Di Legno is a really pretty town, like something you would see in a European ski add!
After Lunch we all went up to our rooms to pack then we boarded the bus. Halfway down the mountain I was feeling pretty motion sick. I had cold sweats, I was shaking, and for some reason I had lost feeling in my fingers. I have never felt like that from motion sickness ever. It felt like a lifetime had passed before we finally made it to the train station. When I got on the train I felt really low, I was tired and sick and all I wanted to do was crawl under my duvet cover back home in Collingwood and cry! It had finally hit me how far away from home I actually was. I cried for a while on the train before my friend Kelly came over to sit with me and comfort me.
When we arrived in Brescia I said goodbye to all my new friends and headed back to Cremona. It is truly amazing how a group of strangers can get so close after only two days. The people I meet here will stay with me forever. I know now that there really is no suck thing as good bye, only see you later!