Wednesday, 15 February 2017

"Give an exchange student chocolate, and they will be happy for a day.  Teach an exchange student to ask for chocolate in their host language., and they will feel happy for their year abroad."     

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Chocolate Festival at Modena

Yesterday, my exchange student friend Ethan from the United States informed me of a chocolate festival that was taking place this weekend in the nearby city of Modena, and, of course, I had to go.  After school, we went to the market, and feasted on far too much of the delicious artisanal chocolate.

The entire town was celebrating for this festival and while we were exploring the city, we saw circus performers and street musicians.   We had stopped to listen to the street musicians, and, after learning where I was from, they played a traditional Quebec song for me.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Saturday, 14 January 2017


It has been an eventful month since my last post, so I have much to talk about.  I've seen many beautiful Italian cities and have experienced a traditional Italian Christmas.  

Homemade Cappelletti
I had a wonderfully relaxing Christmas break with lots of delicious traditional food.  We Italians are much luckier than all you Canadians as we do not only have much tastier traditional food, but we also have many more feasts during the vacation to enjoy them.  It all starts on the evening of the 24th (like in Canada) were we share a dinner with family. Both of my grandmothers were here for Christmas, and I got to know my Italian aunt and uncle.    I was able to understand most of the conversations, and we talked of family memories, chamomile tea, and Uncle Franks told me of his stories of the second world war in Italy. My entire family is incredibly kind, and this dinner is a great memory for me.  The next day I got to sleep in.  My family and I exchanged gifts before I went to help my grandmothers prepare for the Christmas meal.  For lunch we went up to the apartment of my nonna to eat a variety of delicious food including cappelletti.  On 26th we are all extremely full from the past meals, but we managed to eat one more feast for St. Stefano.  For the following days before New Years, we dieted.  Then, to end the festivities, there is the Epiphany on the 6th.  This day is also known for the Befana who is a good which that brings gifts.  I woke up to a bag filled with chocolate outside my door.

I am very happy with my Italian.  Thanks to my host family and Italian tutor, I have greatly improved over these last weeks.  It is exciting to see how much more I can communicate with every passing week.  However, I do miss he ease of speaking in English, and I find it very difficult to express myself within my limited Italian vocabulary.  It is impossible to find just the right words and phrases, or properly employ a dramatic pause for effect.  These leads me not to feel rather unamusing, dull and not quite myself.  Although, these emotions are difficult to experience, they do inspire my to try and study more Italian.  In the end, this feeling may help me to learn more and make the best of my year.

Now that my holidays are over, I have resumed my schedule.  School is going very well, and somehow I have been managing to pass most of my classes.  My favorite classes are English and history.  In English, I am able to participate much more than usual, and I find the ancient history taught to my class extremely interesting.  After school, I have a quite busy schedule.  On Mondays and Thursdays, I attend theater class.  We are now practicing acting through various exercises, and, at the end of the course, we will perform scenes from Hamlet and Macbeth.  I also have classes of Italian two days a week.  My teacher is very kind and has helpful.  Some days, after grammar lessions, she will teach me about Greek or Roman mythology which I find absolutely fascinating.  During the remaining days of the week, I will sometimes meet with friends or travel to new places.

When I haven't been  eating, relaxing, learning Italian or attending these activities, my family and I have been visiting other beautiful old Italian cities.  These days have been some of my favorite.  Walking down these communities' ancient little streets feels like I have been transported back to another time.  As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, so instead of attending to describe these memories, I will share some photos.  However, since my computer isn't functioning properly, I have not managed to upload all of my photos today as it would take far too long.  Over the next weeks I will continue to upload photos creating albums for all of my favorite cities.

Ciao for Now!




Sunday, 20 November 2016

One of the four cakes that I got to eat for my birthday.
Hello everyone!!

I have just reached the end of a quite busy, but fantastic week.

It began on Saturday, which was my sixteenth birthday.  Other than school I didn't have any plans for the day.  However, my parents and their friends arranged a surprise party for me. 

The following day, I met with some of my friends to celebrate my birthday again.  We met at lunch t eat some delicious Italian pizza, and then walked back to my home to watch a movie.  Two of the these three girls are in my class.  One day, while we had a substitute teacher, I had started talking to them.  Discovering that we all have much in common, they invited me to spend Halloween with them and another friend.  That night we watched a horror movie, put on Halloween styled makeup to go for gelato (I was pop-art), and, of course, ate lots of chocolate.  The next morning, we finished off the chocolate snacks for breakfast, and learned to play a duet on the piano together.

My friends and I with the community theater behind us
This week, I have began a theater course.  My host sister had been a part of it for many years before her exchange in Mexico, and I thought that it sounded interesting.  So far, I am really enjoying the classes.  My friends form Haloween are also in the theater classes, and I am getting to know the other students.  Everybody seems extremely kind, and they are all very helpful when I don't understand some of the Italian instuctions.  We will be doing a production of Shakespeare at the end of the course in May, and I am looking forward to it.

A few nights ago, I attended my third Rotary dinner.  Everyone I have met have been very friendly and welcoming, so I have really enjoyed attending these meetings.  A few weeks ago, on the day before my second Rotary dinner, I went with my counselor and the club to see the Duke of Modena's summer palace. I was an absolutely beautiful building.  We took a tour of the palace, and a professor who spoke English was able to translate the guide's words.


 Both of my Italian nonne (grandmothers) are visiting this week.  My nonna on my mother's  side, who lives in the apartment above me, has returned from a vacation to France.  My father's mother lives in the South of Italy.  They are both extremely kind and it is delightful to spend time with them.

Ciao for now.