Saturday, January 15, 2011

exchange-related tidbits

Sorry I haven't posted. For a quick explanation, I got contacted by my potential host family about two weeks ago and I was going to post when I got the confirmation from AFS that they really, truly were my host family. However, I still haven't gotten confirmation, and I don't want to jinx it by going into too much detail in case the family doesn't get approved. But as soon as I have concrete information I'll make sure to tell the hoards of people reading this blog! (joke).

Well, Leo, our Brazilian exchange student, is arriving in our house TOMORROW. He's somewhere in Madison right now at an orientation so we are frantically preparing the house for another teenager. I'm moving out of my room and into the office for the 5 weeks that all three kids will be in the house. Unfortunately, the office is about half the size of my old room and you have to walk through it to get to my parent's room, but we all have to make compromises to have him with us. I keep telling myself that giving Leo a nice, big bedroom of his own will help his adjustment.  Here's a picture of my "new room". It's not completely moved in, but you have the general idea.

I'm not sure if I already mentioned this, but another thing I did over break was complete a "practice pack". AFS limits you at one big suitcase and one carry on for your trip down, so I made a list of all the things I wanted to bring and tried to fit them all in one suitcase. Unfortunately, that plan failed, so I reworked my packing list (cutting about five thousand items of clothing) and I think I'm starting to get into pretty good shape, packing-wise. I have a feeling that I might need two suitcases on my way back home, though....

I also got my new ipod over break, which allows me to share this very nice pictures with you all. And everyone knows that a blog is more fun to read with pictures!

I almost forgot! I got my official travel notifications from AFS last week or something. I freaked out; any piece of information I get from AFS is exciting. It's not copying and pasting correctly so I'll just type it out. Basically, I fly from Madison to Miami first, leaving at 6:10 Madison time on February 23rd. All the exchange students going to Chile have a 1 night orientation in Miami, and then on February 24th, we leave at 11:25 PM and arrive in Santiago at 10:15 the following day. I leave Santiago on July 28th at 8:00 PM and arrive in Miami at 4:45 on the 29th. I don't have a plane flight back to Madison yet, but I'll probably get home in the late afternoon/early evening of the 29th.

Finally, my good friend Rosemary got back from HER exchange in Chile on Thursday night. I briefly saw her Friday at school (I cried when I saw her I was so excited. The teachers around us were worried about me.). Hearing about her incredible experience makes mine seem realer. I don't think that's a word. Here's her blog:

Well, I have a couple more blog posts being schemed up in my head that I'll write up soon. Next week is finals week so I don't know how busy I'll be. Hope you all are doing well.

P.S: I was officially awarded $200 from AFS for hosting an exchange student, and just got another $50 dollars in the mail, which pushes my total up to $1580, officially passing my goal. Thank you all for your support! It means a lot to me.


  1. So, I am super excited to keep getting updates. I have you on my Google reader now, so your blog posts get pushed to my phone. This way I won't miss a thing. :) xo

  2. Nikki i love you blog so much! i especially liked a previous blog in which you toted your love of paperwork and filefolders. you a such a special person and i love you with all my heart. I hope this exchange is everything you wish it to be. You have the power to create your own experience, and im confident that you will have an amazing time. Good luck!

  3. Hi there,
    I'm Emma, also from Southern Wisconsin (Beloit) and I found your blog on cultures-shocked. Good luck with everything... I'll be avidly reading your blog prior to my departure to a currently unknown location in August!