Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Am A Woman

I am intelligent, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am wise. I am courageous, I am friendly, I am hard working, I am funny. I am dependable, I am determined, I am capable, I am reliable. I am responsible, I am emotional, I am skilled, I am whimsical. I am proud, I am tolerant, I am self-reliant, I am a woman.

Pass along this message in support for all the women of the world who are still suffering from gender inequality.

Sono intelligente, sono forte, sono bella, sono saggio. Sono coraggioso, sono amichevoli, sto lavorando duro, sono divertenti. Sono affidabili, sono determinato, sono capace, sono sicuro. Mi sono responsabile, sono emotiva, sono qualificati, sono stravaganti. Sono orgoglioso, sono tollerante, sono autosufficienti, sono una donna.

Passare lungo questo messaggio a sostegno di tutte le donne del mondo che ancora soffrono di disuguaglianze di genere. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

When Your Friends Become Your Family

On Facebook, we, the exchange students, have a group called You Know Your A Rotary Youth Exchange Student When..., and one of the most popular posts, and certainly one of the most true posts is, "when your friends become your family". I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have the most amazing friends in the world here in Italy. Without them I'm sure I would have went home back in October when my grandfather passed away and it's time like this week when I'm feeling homesick or depressed, that I am so grateful that I have them to lean on.
Last Saturday night I had all of the Cremona Exchange students over to my house for a small party to celebrate Christmas and the New Year and also to open up our Secret Santa gifts. 
On Monday, my friend Lizzy, invited me to eat dinner and sleep over at her "house" (it's really a mansion, her host family are the richest family in Cremona) because she didn't want to stay at the house by herself since she is afraid the house is haunted! 
On Tuesday, Lizzy and I, went over to Ashley's house for dinner because her host parents were going out. Her mom made the most amazing home-maid pizza for us, it was incredible! 
Wednesday I had my vocal lesson with Monica, we started working on All I Ask Of You from the Phantom of the Opera, which is a duet that I will be singing with a boy also from the Association for the Easter Concert in April. 
Thursday Ashley came over to my house and we watched Eclipse, the 3rd installment of the Twilight Saga (if there was a way to make a vomit face icon I would :p). 
On Friday after I went to the gym with Kayleigh, Corinna came over. She was going to teach Matt, Ashley and I how to waltz. Unfortunately the other two forgot so it ended up just being us. We didn't dance so we talked instead. Than I went over to Lizzy's house again for dinner since her host most was stuck in Milano.
Saturday afternoon I went to Brescia with some girls in my class. Right after school we walked to the train station and took the train to Brescia, it was about 50 minutes. Than we walked to the mall where I had a Piadina (grilled sandwich) for lunch and than we walked around and shopped. I found a couple of great things from H&M. At 5 o'clock we left the mall and went back to the train station. Two of the girls lived in a different direction than Cremona so they took a different train than we did. My other friend had to get off a few stops before Cremona as well since she doesn't live there either. So after a while it was just me on the train home. It was actually pretty cool because I realized I could definitely travel alone. It was a real confidence booster. 
Saturday night (last night), Matt, Ashley, Kayleigh and I went out to a Chinese food restaurant with our friend Sierra to celebrate her 16th birthday, which was on Wednesday. The food wasn't as good as the Mandarin but it wasn't horrible either. After dinner we walked to the centre where we met up with Lizzy, Corinna and Francesco and we went to the Irish Pub for a while. Unfortunately, because I was in Brescia all afternoon I was pretty tired so I called it a night around 11:30pm and went home. 
This has been a great week with my friends! I love them all and they are most definitely my family while I'm living in Italy. It is so weird to think that in exactly 154 days I may never see them again.
I will try to update you more regularly on everything that is going on in my life here and I would like to wish all my friends back home good luck on there exams starting next week! 
Ciao
Amanda 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No, Not London, Ontario... London, England!

Growing up, everyone always told me that I'm a lucky girl, but I never realized how lucky until I spent the first week of 2012 in London, England. I spent the wee hours of the first day of 2012 watching Canada kick a** in the World Juniors Game vs. USA. Than I spent that afternoon and evening waiting in airports, flying in planes, taking trains, and driving on the wrong sides of the streets. It was a very long but very exciting way to celebrate the first day of a new and what I hope, an amazing year.
London was incredible, I love it! And this time instead of it just being my host mom and I, it was also her friend, Ale, and Ale's daughter, Ughetta.
Day 1:
Buckingham Palace
St. James Park
Piccadilly Circus- Not an actual circus for people that don't know (Mom)
AĆ©ropostale-  Which was the most impressive example of corporate, brainwashed America.
Soho
Oxford Street












video


Day 2:
The British Museum
Carnaby Street-Good Shopping!









Cleopatra's Sarcophagus 










Day 3:
The London Eye
The Tate
Millennium Bridge
St. Paul's Cathedral


























Day 4:
The Tower of London
The Science Museum
































Day 5:
Westminster Abbey
South Kensington
Trafalgar Square

























So that's London in Pictures and Words! London is, in the words of Jim Carrey, B.E.A.U.tiful and now I am a pro at using the London Underground!