Thursday marked 5 weeks until I board 2 trains and 3 airplanes towards my final destination of seeing my family. It seems as though the days are going by a little slower now that the weather is colder, but I have enough things planned to get through the next 5 weeks, hopefully rather quickly.
I thought I’d give you all a highlight of my week. I forgot to mention that last weekend, I had the chance to chat with some family friends from Portland. I was able to give them a tour of my apartment, town, and unexpectedly, they meet 4 of my neighbors. It was quite comical on my end and probably complete confusion and laughter on the American side of my skype chat. The story is pretty funny, so I thought I would share with everyone how my neighbors met my parents and friends from 5000 miles away. It all started when I wanted to show my parents, Suzi, and Kevin a view of my town from outside of my front door. You would be surprised how much of the town I can see from my apartment. I walked outside, still talking to my family when I turn to my right and spotted one neighbor. Now, I understand that I probably looked crazy, carrying a computer outside and talking to it, but it was just a simple tour…Until, my neighbor headed towards me and started a conversation with me. Since she was curious about the computer, I showed her my parents through skype. She then invited the other ladies who were outside to come see my parents and family friends. In the end, there were 4 older women, huddled around my computer, asking me questions about where I’m from and how it is possible that I’m talking to my family right now. While this all is happening, the four Americans were sitting there, taking in every moment of this conversation. In the end, I had to politely bow (literally) out of my conversation with the ladies because I don't think they understood that my family was patiently waiting on the other end.
Another side note about these ladies that I get a kick out of: one day last week I was walking back from the grocery store. They asked me if I went shopping, and of course that started a simple conversation with them. One question they asked, I gave them an answer that they are convinced I’m lying about. The question was: who are you living with? We always see a man in your apartment, therefore, you can’t live alone…I politely said I live by myself and cook for myself, but they wouldn’t believe it. I get a kick out of this because I’m not quite sure why they have this idea. My predecessor was a male, so unless they think we live there together, there is no other foreigners in my town.
This week marked my final week at JHS, and then I start my ES rotation all over again. This week was quite easy because Thursday and Friday were final exams. Yikes! Monday through Wednesday was spent just finishing up details that the students would need to learn and it was quite relaxed. However, during the actual final exams, I was terribly bored. It only took me one morning to get caught up on my work, leaving another 10 hours to kill. Since some of the teachers know that I have nothing to do, I was lucky enough to be asked by the special education teacher to accompany her and her student while they looked for pinecones to make Christmas decorations. Like I said, Christmas is a big deal here.
Here is another amusing fact. I finally turned on my heater Wednesday night and it was totally worth it. I have a split AC unit, meaning it cools in the summer and heats in the winter. The lowest it will heat my room to is 16 degrees Celsius, which is 61 degrees Fahrenheit. That being said, when I opened my bedroom door to see how cold it really was in my house, the heater said the house was below 61 degrees. So, my calculation is that the interior of my apartment is about 13 degrees warmer than outside, meaning it was 55 degrees inside and 42 degrees outside! Burrr… The good news is that I have more clothes I can wear and I have 3 other heaters that I can use. This should make for an interesting winter.