Sonntag, 28. September 2008

i will be your ferdinand and you my wayward girl (not entirely child safe)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
l-r: me, italy, becca, afs, erik, afs, ellis, nicha, norway

so, this weekend was our so called late orientation. the premise is simple: a group of kids from all over the world living in their host country come together for a weekend. we talk about rules and our experiences and sex (more on that later) and eat awkward food and dance.

for me, it was quite the experience.

first off, the hostel. i was very impressed by the hostel: it was very clean and the staff were very friendly. the food was good and the bathrooms and showers were relatively clean.

this is what our hostel room looked like on sunday morning. it was messy, but there were six girls and who ever else wanted to sit on the bed in there almost always.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

note the giant bottle of fizzy apple juice. i love drinking out of big 1L bottles: they're shaped very nicely.

this is most of our room, except for the girl taking the picture. we are brushing our teeth and hat boy (the only normal hostel guest, who had a room right across from ours and was always giving us strange looks from beneath his white trucker cap interrupted us while we were taking this picture.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(l-r) me, italy, karen, becca and nicha

and this is a bonus!shot of me failing at making my bed.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(in germany, we use duvets and you cover them. this is shortly before I figured out the trick to putting on a duvet cover.)

we did a whole bunch of seminars about traveling, rules, culture, communications and sex.

sorry, mum and dad. but this is too hysterical not to share. younger readers, avert your eyes. apparently, there was a boy from hong kong who had never heard of a condom/thought about having pre-martial sex. i don't know what went on in the boy's seminar, but I didn't get this part of it. So, anyways, whilst signing autographs, we had this gem:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


it was amazing to get to meet everyone from everywhere and realize that, ultimately, we're all just people. meeting exchange students is amazing, because you realize that we've all decided to go on an exchange, so it's a bit of a common thread.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
people from mexico and norway make funny faces just like me!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
we also like cookies. (I made 'em!)

see? universal. but really: we learned dances from different parts of the world and hearing so many different languages is wonderful. since most of the camp was in english, the americans (me, and two other girls) were perhaps the loudest.

but i am so awed and humbled by how many things are different that i just don't realize. take, for example, that before three weeks ago, I'd never met a person from thailand. or hungary or costa rica or poland, really... but all of them have beautiful, complex cultures.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(a thai signature on a flag)

the girls from thailand performed a dance, dressed in beautiful skirts. so did we. someone videoed it, so I'll post as soon as I have it. But I, Katie, learned (and performed) the Soldier Boy Dance. I didn't even know what it was.

And at the end of the weekend, we were amazingly close. we all wrote letters to give to ourselves at the end of the exchange and they handed out the little prince and then everyone hugged and it felt as if these folks are some means of family.

and here's everyone.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(this is kind of a fail-- we were all doing the peace signal and then we stopped, but only some of us)

and just for memory-- after my first international flight.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

that's all for now


Vickie hat gesagt…

Dear Katie,

Please write more. It is my only form of entertainment. Are your host parents ready for more Advil yet?


margot hat gesagt…

Hello Katie (this is Zoe, by the way),

My room in MY late orientation camp looks identical to that! I suppose it's probably part of the same youth hostel-chain. Very fun.

Also, your Smiths reference was very refreshing for me. I did not bring any iPod or CDs with me, and I miss the Smiths so!

No I never had a job, because I'm too shy...