Thursday, August 27, 2009

Everything from previous blog

12 days
7 days ago

Got back from Yosemite National Park in California, It was pretty amazing. Definitley one of the places everyone should see before they die. I have 12 days left, so that means I am getting incredibly excited and I have been hanging with friends almost everyday since I have been back from Yosemite. I have been talking on Facebook to some other kids around the world who are going to Spain next year. I will be flying from Portland to New York with a few of them and then from New York to Switzerland to Madrid with more. All the exchange students going to Spain will meet in Madrid on the 4th of September. Through out the year next year there will be two weekend retreats. The first will be with about half of the exchange students going to Spain (with the other half having another weekend retreat somewhere else in Spain). Then about half way through the year we will all meet up again for a weekend. I have not thought about packing yet.....but hey I got 12 days.

Aug 4, 2009

So a week ago i turned 16 and got my driver's license, yesterday i got my visa, and i got my itinerary. On September 2nd I fly non stop from Portland to New York, then on the 3rd I fly from New York to Zurich, Switzerland, then later that day i fly to Madrid, and then after that im not really sure what happens, Im sure it will be fun. But for now im just enjoying the summer and getting ready to go to Yosemite for a week. I will probably put up another post before I leave.

I'm not sure what to title this
Jul 21, 2009

I just got back from a trip to San Francisco. I had to go to San Francisco to meet with the Spanish Consulate to get my visa. It was an interesting experience, I had to get "buzzed" through all these security doors. Once i got to the back i had to give my paperwork to this lady. She asked my how much i was paying for the trip, and how much the host family got. I told her the host family didn't get any money to have me stay with them. She couldn't beleive that and asked, "Then why would they host you?" I responded, "For the experience." All i got in return was one of those looks like i had something growing out of my head. It probably won't forget that. I also received my classes about a 2 weeks ago. One of them is French so that means i will be learning French in Spanish......that should be fun. I also wanted to say thank you for those of you who contributed to my trip. It takes a lot of my mind. Thanks. Hope your all having a good summer.

mistake # 1
Jun 2, 2009

I have been emailing my host family and I officially made my first Spanish speaking mistake. Letters in Spanish are usually ended by the word un abrazo which transalates to a hug but the other day i accidently said un abrigo which transalates to a coat. My mom (my real mom) thought that was hilarious so i can only imagine how hard my host family was laughing. Im sure there are many more to come, bring it on.

AFS Pre-Departure Orientation
May 5, 2009

About a week after I got my host family, I had to go to a Pre-Departure orientations. My mom and I drove up to Eugene were we had a 5ish hour meeting about going abroad. It was a lot of the same stuff we had already been through (I think it's more for the parents so they don't worry as much). However we did break into groups and the leader of my group was the greatest. His name was Gene and he went to Belgium in 1965. He told us story after story of what it was like for him. He said that when he went to Belgium they crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a 10 day trip in a boat carrying thousands of exchange students, that were returning or going abroad. To me that story was incredible because of that experience within itself. ( I just thought I would share that, Gene was a cool guy.)

Tengo mi familia!
May 5, 2009

I got my host family a few weeks ago, which I was incredibly excited about. This also means I know where I'm going. Next year I will be living near the city of Huelva, with the Castro-Serranos. I will live in a small town (or suburb, we have not decided yet) close to Huelva called Aljaraque, which I can't figure out how to pronounce. Anyway it's in the south of Spain (and everyone says "your so lucky") I don't know why, I have not been there yet. My host father is Antonio and he is a doctor of some sort. My mother Toni, and she is a stay at home mom, my sister is Ana (who probably won't be there because she is trying to come to the U.S. as an exchange student), and my little brother Javier will be 13 when I arrive. The school is within walking distance of our house and the beach is a 20 min drive away. Apparently people in southern Spain have a heavy acsent when they talk, so that will be a little confusing at first, and they also don't say the "s" at the end of words. so buenos tardes (good afternoon) would be said as buen tard (that is not the kind of Spanish I learned in school). I am so excited to go and I cannot wait for September to come around so I can begin this life changing experience.

Mar 8, 2009

It's March 8th, 2009 and I just got back from an AFS orientation. What we did was drive for 3 hours to a place called sky camp were there was a lodge and a bunch of cabins. At the camp we got assigned to our cabins and in each cabin there were about 10 kids all in bunk beds. There were about 50 foreign exchange students from all over the world, about 20 AFS volunteers, about 20 host siblings, about 10 Americans going abroad, and a bunch of host parents. We got into groups and did some learning activities, for me (since I'm going abroad) they just helped get us more prepared to leave. After we had dinner we had a talent show, and my shy exchange student did a Thai dance with some other Thai kids. We had a dance afterwords and then a movie. We all got to bed at about 3 in the morning. It was incredible. I can't wait to do it all again in Spain.

A great time?
Feb 11, 2009

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this earlier but I'm hosting an exchange student from Thailand named Now. Here in Bend, Oregon it is very common for people to go up to Mt. Bachelor (which is about 30 minutes away) and ski or snowboard. We went up today after school with some friends. I love snowboarding but today was a bad day. First my friend got in a car crash last night, we kept getting stuck in the snow (when it snows a lot and you fall you get stuck in about a foot of snow). My friend broke his ski pole, Now (the exchange student) broke his collar bone, and on our way to pick him up the car slid on the ice and got banged up pretty bad. Except for that, it was a good day.

Still waiting..........
Feb 3, 2009

It's the beginning of February 09 and my exchange student application is being reviewed by Spain. Hopefully they accept my application and so I can soon be waiting again. The next time will be waiting for a host family to pick me. After that it is just a matter of getting ready.

Nathan - Monday, October 27, 2008 5:37:51 PM
Oct 27, 2008

Hi, I'm Nathan and I am planning to go to Spain next year on the year long summer-departure trip. I am hosting an exchange student (from Thailand) this year and I can't wait to go to Spain and create my own adventure. I hope that I will make connections that will be life long with the people I meet on my trip. I have chosen to study abroad during high school because I won't have the same opportunity to stay with a host family when I'm older. I know this is a hard decision and I'm glad that my friends and family are supporting my decision. And a thank you to my sponsor for helping to pay for part of my trip!