Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday!
     Just a quick update on things here. Unfortunately this week I don't have exciting pictures, but I can promise in my next post (likely to come next Monday or Tuesday) will be full of fun pictures from my AFS/Intercultura camp in Torino. I leave for camp Thursday morning and return to Sanremo Sunday evening and I cannot tell you how excited I am to spend time with my fellow exchangers! My time with them is always so fun and I learn a ton.
     When I get back, there will be English students staying with my classmates and I may tour Genova with them. Hopefully I can spend some time with them while my Italian classmates study hard. Here in Italy, the English taught is that from England and the vocabulary can be fairly different from American words. This is my chance to be a translator!
     My host mom made my first Spanish meal on Wednesday -- tortilla de patatas. Delicious! I am still waiting for a completely free day where we can dedicate 5 hours  to making and eating a paella! The seafood here would be perfect for it. In other Spanish news, my friend Naroa from San Sebasti├ín might visit me here Italy during her break in April.
     Yesterday I went to the mountains, and the valleys and tall trees made me feel right at home. The temperature has been cooling off in general here (unfortunately the humidity makes the cold more bone chilling) and it was even cooler in the mountains -- it felt like an autumn trip to the Rocky Mountains! I went with a new friend who was born in Georgia (yes, the birthplace of Luke Bryan) but has lived here for 12 years. It was fun to share stories of America and Italy both from an American girl standpoint. We plan to celebrate Halloween with costumes and a "spooky dinner" and also to make a large Thanksgiving feast for our families. There will be a whole turkey, mash potatoes, green bean casserole, and you can't forget the pumpkin pie!
     Today we are going to celebrate my host uncles birthday, and I am showing the whole family how to make my Aunt Ruby's famous tortillas! Aunt Francesca will be cooking up the rest, and I can't wait to see what is in store. I heard it might be an American brunch though, with pancakes and the works. What a shame! I have been saving room but I am sure they will still have to roll me out of their house and into the car!
      My new Saturday morning activity is going to the animal shelter with my host mom, brother and aunt to take food and walk a different dog every Saturday. The shelter is very sad and they are struggling to stay open because the community has stopped funding them. I am happy to be able to help in any little way I can though. Charity is very fulfilling!
     I don't have time today, but I can tell you that there is a post in the future just about Italian driving.  My mom and I agreed there is enough material that I can dedicate a full post to it! Perhaps I will also share a recipe with you all so you can have a real taste of my experience.
     The Broncos are still undefeated, Baby Garcia is getting ready to pop out any day, my nephews are rockstars in school and sports, Aurelia has a best friend named Adriana and my Ashlyn is walking. That isn't all the great news from Denver but just a few highlights from my loved ones!
     I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday and rest of your week.

Tanto amore,
Adriana <3

Monday, October 07, 2013

And the coastal breeze blows on..

Buon pomeriggio!
      Today I am going to have a short post because: 1. My external keyboard isn't working. 2. My iPad isn't charged. 3. I have more pictures. 4. I have a routine and there isn't too many new things this week. But nonetheless we continue!
      First of all, I [semi] apologize for not posting on the weekend as I normally do, but the good news is that I was out doing stuff all weekend! This weekend I got to have a girls day in Montecarlo -- a lovely city that is a part of Monaco (the second-smallest country in the world, after the Vatican). There are fancy cars, expensive yachts, the casino where multiple 007 movies were filmed and rude Frenchmen. No, I don't have anything against the French but I've seen the bad side of a few Frenchmen since I've been here. In general the French and the Italians don't get along too well (too much pride involved). Getting back to my weekend, my host mom and I took a day off from the boys in the house and did some shopping and sightseeing in Montecarlo with her friend, Floriana, and Floriana's adorable kids! Most of the pictures I have to share today are from my day in Montecarlo.
    Yesterday I went to Ventimiglia (a small nearby town) and walked a lovely beagle from the dog shelter. It was a part of a fundraising event for the animal shelter that Francesca (my Italian aunt) volunteers at and it was fantastic! They have so many animals and so little funding and help, but I am going to do my share by volunteering some Saturday mornings!
    The last thing I did with my weekend was make enchiladas for my family! They were accompanied by some chips and guacamole that I made and although they just weren't the same as my Grandma's (they never are if you're anywhere but Grandma's house), they came out better than I thought they might! Seeing as Italians don't sell ingredients for anything but Italian food, I found the ingredients at the supermarket, Carrefour, in Monaco. I couldn't wait to tell my grandparents what I had done and luckily they're going to send me chili powder so I can make them even better! Sharing my culture was fun and my host brother loved them so much he ate three! My poor host family isn't used to spiciness like I am and found them to be a bit too hot.
    School is going on like normal, but now I switch to other classes about 6 periods a week. I love it because I get to meet some older kids that are a lot of fun and super open, and just for the fact that I can meet more than the 27 kids in my class. I also am in a math class more at my level so I can get credit when I get back. (I can't start talking about when I return!)
    I keep tabs on the Broncos and am happy to know my hometown team is doing so well! I always wear my Broncos shirts in gym class ;)
    I am continuing my weekly Italian lessons but am trying to overcome a bit of a hill in my language learning. My progress has been really slow the last couple weeks but I want to keep improving! I am trying to maintain all the patience that I possibly can but I do get frustrated not being able to participate in every conversation like I normally do at home. A girl from my class told me I speak Italian with a Spanish accent... Hmmm is my host mom rubbing off on me? ;)
     That's about all for this week. I hope all my friends enjoyed homecoming and that sports, school, work and life are going well for everyone! Enjoy the photos.

XOXOXO,
Adriana