Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carnevale Part 2: The Parties!!

Because it was Carnival we didn't have school Monday or Tuesday, so you know what that means, Party!! On Sunday night my friend Cristina was having a "Carnival Party" at her Oratorio. For those of you who don't know an oratorio is basically just a youth club! Since it was carnival it was of course a costume party! Yay! Unfortunately I didn't have any costumes here so I just dressed up as myself and wore my mask that I bought in Venice. Seeing as how it was probably the last time I was going to get to wear it, I wore it proudly! The party was a lot of fun and we played this one game where you put a piece of spaghetti between your mouths and start dancing and the couple left dancing with there "spaghetto" still whole, one! 

We also did group dances to songs like Hoe down Throw down by Miley Cyrus and Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michael Telò, that have organised dances to go with them which was really fun! 

On Monday, we celebrated my other friend Cristina's Birthday! We met up with about 6 girls from our class and went out for lunch at little coffee bar overlooking the park! We stayed there for about 2 & 1/2 hours before they walked with me back to my house. After that I enlisted Lizzy in my search for Cristina's B-day present since I still hadn't found the perfect gift! I ended up getting her a concert DVD of The Who, which is one her favourite bands! Than I went home and relaxed before getting ready to go to her party! My host mom drove me there and because she has never been to Cristina's town we got lost and ended up being almost an hour late! I only knew two people at the party, when I got there. My friend Maria from class and Cri's best friend Elisa but by the end of the night I had made friends with almost everyone there! It is so much easier to make friends when they find out your Canadian and you speak English! Apparently it makes me much more fascinating because for about two hours they just swarmed me asking me questions, it was a lot of fun and I can actually say that I now have a friend named Fabio! My host mom came to pick me up around 12:30AM but we didn't get home till about 1:00AM :) 

Mio Carnevale era una grande successo!-  If you don't understand there's always Google Translate!! :) Hope everyone had a great Holiday whether it was Carnival, Family Day or President's Day! 

Carnevale Part 1: Venice!!!

Ok everyone let me just start this post by saying CANADA NEEDS CARNIVAL!!!!
Carnevale for me officially started on Saturday when my Rotary district 2050 and the another district out of Milan, 2040, took all of the exchange students to Venice to celebrate carnival. It was beautiful just how I imagined it would be! 

The first thing I saw when we walked out of the train station was the beautiful grand canal and because it was the grand canal we all posed to take our group shot in front of it. This was not easy with almost 50 of us! After the photo op. we made it about 30 feet before we ran into a group of people dressed as the character from Mario except they were missing Mario, this worked out for my friend Kurt because he had dressed up as Mario for carnevale! 


Than we walked around Venice looking for mask shops and stopping to look at the different street shows and take pictures with all the different people in costumes. 
After an hour or so it was time for lunch. We went to this tinny little restaurant that Rotary must have pre-booked because there was barely enough room for all of us let alone any other customers. I really didn't care for lunch, the first dish was a seafood salad (i.e. cold), the second dish was gnocchi with octopus and some type of pesto sauce! Not the best meal but I wasn't that hungry anyway. The restaurant was decorated with a bunch of different ties and my new friend, who is from Niagara Falls, Jordan, saw a Canadian one, so she took my photo with it! 
After lunch we made our way to San. Marco's square, where the bulk of the carnival festivities were taking place. On the way Lizzie and I stopped in a Masquerade shop where I found a beautiful mask for only 8 euros! 
While in the piazza Jordan, Kayleigh and I had our pictures taken with tons of people in all different costumes. There was even a man dressed like Jack Sparrow, who, in my opinion looked very similar to Johnny Depp! 

At about 4:15 we all had to meet back at the tower with lion out front next to the water. There Ashley, Jordan and I had out picture taken with the Canadian flag! Canada represents!! 

Than Rotary paid for us all to take water taxis back to the train station, which was really cool! I got to a whole part of Venice I wouldn't have gotten to see otherwise!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Let's Talk Weather!

As most of you reading this are from Canada (and also other parts of the world) you know the weather of 2012 has been anything but normal. Of course for me to say normal, I should probably first state what normal for me is. Normal for me in Collingwood, ON, is about at least 5-6 ft (2 meters) of snow this time of year, with temperatures ranging from -10 to -25 degrees Celsius. Of course I knew it would be different in Italy. I thought it would be warmer, I hoped, but  didn't bet on there being any snow, and I especially didn't think that we would have earthquakes. No, you did not just read that wrong! 
Now I know earthquakes are not technically weather but since I didn't want to wright a whole other post just about them I thought I would lump them in with this one. Two weeks ago, while I was sitting in my classroom at school on the third floor, I suddenly felt my very first earthquake. It was a very surreal experience for me. I was just sitting in class "listening" to the Prof. when all of a sudden the desks started shaking and the ground started wobbling. A few of the girls jumped out of their seats and started to get under the desks. It lasted only about 40 seconds but after it was over we were all a bit "shook up" and for fear of another quake, our class along with a few others evacuated the school. When we went back inside and I sat at my desk I still felt as though the class was shaking. It was the strangest feeling. 
Two days later after I had finished school for the day and had eaten lunch, I was sitting at my desk, checking out Facebook, when I felt it again, that sensation of the solid ground shifting beneath me. I ran out into the living room where my host brother was shouting "Terremoto!" and our house keeper Angela was asking if everyone was OK. This second one was not as strong as the previous one but it was still pretty intense. I learned from the newspaper the next day that the first earthquake had a magnitude of 4.9 on the Richter scale. 
This week, on February 1st, I received my first snow fall of the season! It was only a couple of cm, 4cm at the most. However it was still snow and it was beautiful. Unfortunately it was not enough for them to cancel school the next day, even though that was what everyone was praying for.  It is so strange for me to think that last year I had two weeks of snow days in December and here nothing.
It also snowed again last night and it was bellissima. I went out for dinner to a pizzeria with my Italian friends and Matt, Sam & Kurt, where we watched a friend of Valentina's band preform. They where actually pretty good and they played some really good classic rock! After we walked in the snow to the centre and it was incredible. It was like magic, the moon shining through the falling snow, like something out of a movie. 
It was also snowing this morning and our courtyard had about 3 cm of snow! It was so strange to talk to my mom about the weather today because they have NO snow and very mild February temperatures for Canada, and I am living in Italy where it is snowing right now! Maybe the world really will end this year. I hope everyone is having a great winter no matter the weather! If there one thing I have learned since being here it is that if you try to enjoy and make the most of everything life hands you, you will be never be disappointed!