Monday, September 24, 2012

First Day of School

So last week I started school. However, it is bit of a confusing story.

On Monday, I went to school with my host aunt. I was late, and only after freaking out for an hour about being late for school while my host aunt was talking with some of the school’s staff about what they should do about me (they apparently were not ready for me yet, even though I had already been there with my counselor Ece to give them a heads up), I learned that I didn’t even have to go to school that day. So my aunt and I went home.

On Tuesday, I woke up and got ready for my first day of school, yet again. As I was about to leave the apartment, my aunt and uncle (who were at home with me while my family was on vacation) came downstairs and told me that I didn’t have school that day. So, I went back to sleep. This happened on Wednesday, too.

So, Thursday was finally my first day of school. I arrived to school a bit late after I got lost trying to find the school and waited once again with some school staff for them to tell me where to go.  After thirty minutes or so, I went to my classroom and turns out I had missed the first class. That class was English, which I actually would have understood. The rest of the day, we had classes that I could tell were boring even for the kids that knew what was happening. The last two classes were math, which I was able to follow because, as luck would have it, math is pretty much universal. On my way home, I took the wrong bus and ended up in some neighborhood that was completely unknown to me. This wouldn’t have been a problem if my phone wasn’t broken. After taking several more bus rides, I finally got to the right part of the city, still with no clue what to do next, and found someone to lend me their phone to call my counselor.

That is pretty much the story about my first day of school. Since then, my school days have pretty much been the same, but without the getting lost thing. Oh, and I found out that 8:45 actually isn’t when school starts; it starts at 8:00. So today was my first day of being on-time to school.

Saturday, September 15, 2012



This time, it is hello from Istanbul! I landed a few days ago and so far it has been really nice :) My flight was 10 hours long, which I didn’t care too much for. However, I got to know the other kids heading to Turkey (we had a camp in NYC before we left) so I had something to do. Me and some of the other students even got up from our seats and took walks around the plane.

The first day in Turkey was VERY tiring. I couldn’t fall asleep on the plane, so I was tired the whole day. We arrived in the morning and I was ready to fall asleep. When we got to our rooms, we were allowed to rest for a bit, so I slept on the room’s porch (it was so great outside). Our camp was a “Turkey Survival Camp”, where we learned things about Turkish culture, got to know each other, and learned some Turkish.

A few days after we landed, the students were sent off to their corresponding cities. The other Istanbul student (and some other students) and I took a one hour bus ride to the AFS offices in Istanbul to meet up with our families. The bus ride was great because we got to see a lot of the city :)

When I arrived at the AFS offices, my host family was right there :) After some greetings and introductions, we drove back to their apartment. There, I met my grandmother, uncle, and aunt and we had lunch.

On Wednesday, my counselor Ece and I visited my school and it was nice, but I didn’t see much of it. Apparently, my school did not know that I was going there this year, so we didn’t get much done. On the way back to my house, we got lost and finally got back a couple hours later.

Finally on Friday, the other AFS students in Istanbul and I went to pass in some paperwork for our residence permits. I however, forgot the paperwork and the money, so we had to make new copies and photos and I have to pay back the AFS volunteers 200 TL.

Overall, it has been a nice stay so far. I have been enjoying my family, the culture, and most other things. I am also excited for school to start on Monday and see what that is like :)