Sooo just to keep everyone updated, I was officially accepted to AFS Chile! All I have to do now is get a visa and wait to find out where I'm going. Except...I'm not a patient person. This whole waiting thing is killingggggg meeeeeee. But oh well, I don't really have any choice but to wait.
Also, I just got back from my pre-departure orientation in Poland, Maine. It was soooo much fun! And I miss everyone :( So it all started out at 5:45 am on Saturday. I don't think I've ever woken up that early on a Saturday... Anyways, Danielle Cyr's mother picked me up at 6:45 and she drove Danielle (going to Turkey for a semester), Imogen (from GSA to Turkey for the summer), and me (to Chile for the year!) to Poland, Maine where our orientation was. We talked about AFS and listened to music the entire time; it was pretty chill. However, we got there about 15 minutes late and were the last ones to arrive. S'all good, though. There were about 15 kids going abroad at the orientation, but some didn't show up, for whatever reason. And a lot of them are going to Germany. Anyways, we sat in a room from 9:30 until 1:30 talking about being an exchanger, keeping an open mind, culture shock, etc.
Random story: Nate (going to Germany) made cookies for his talent (we were having a talent show later that night) and so he had like 80 cookies that he brought. So he left them in the kitchen, and apparently everyone else ate the majority of them during our talk sessions. And I felt so bad!
Back to the orientation. After four hours of talking and activities, we went back to the lodge to eat lunch and mingle with the hosted kids. Babi (who's from Chile and goes to my school) was there and I met someone else from Chile (Fernando). So I got to talk to them about Chile for a bit during lunch. Afterwords, I believe all of us split up again and the 'sending kids' went back to the brick building to discuss culture shock. Then we had some more free time to mingle with the other sending and hosted kids. Finally, it was dinner time which consisted of a whole bunch of salads, hot dogs, and hamburgers. There was also this strange salad that had marshmallows and tangerines in it. Then after lunch, there was even more free time and just hanging out, but only for a bit.
Next, was the talent show. It was soooo much fun and I have some pictures of it on my facebook. Hm, I should probably get some sort of thing to put pictures on of this whole adventure thing. I'll let y'all know when I get one. Anyways, I was the second one to go and I did 'the worm' haha which was the only talent I could think of. Other people sung, danced, read stuff, juggled, did tae kwon do, origami, etc. All in all, it was extremely entertaining. At about 10 or 10:30 we all walked down to the lake (which was slightly difficult since no one really knew where they were going and none of us had thought to bring a flashlight) for the boat launching. Earlier in the day, we were able to make little boats out of stale rice cakes and decorate them with candles, flags, leaves, etc. So we lit the candles and launched them into the lake. I thought it was a pretty cool experience. And then they all kept track of who was in the lead and some tried to sink others' boats. After a while, we all headed back up to the hill where some of the volunteers had started a bon fire. Once again, there was more mingling and relaxing and joking around. I hung around with Emily, Nick, Imogen, and some people whose names I forget from Italy (I'm better with faces than names) and finally got to bed around 1 in the morning.
The next morning our cabin was woken up at 7-ish by one of the volunteers, Carmen. And to get us up, she sang us a lovely song. I was determined to go back to sleep, but Imogen convinced me to go get breakfast before it was all gone. Then we ended up being the first ones there. After breakfast there was more mingling and I ended up playing Bullshit with a few people. Oh, I also want to learn how to play poker before I leave. Anyways, then my parents came and we attended the parent info session which was basically a recap of the day before. And after many goodbyes I finally left around 12:45 and got to drive home.
All in all, it was a lovely experience and now I'm even more excited to leave! Also, I apologize for the long post and I'll update if I find anything out!