A Travellerspoint blog

whew!


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This past weekend was pretty awesome. On Thursday we had to sit through 2 history lectures before going on a 3 hour long scavenger hunt around Nicosia. We had a surprise party for one of the guys, Chris’s, 21st birthday. We had 2 cakes and decorated our floor of the house with balloons. He was actually completely surprised. Afterwards we all went out to a club called Bling (yes, Bling) where we had a VIP room reserved. It was a great time.

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On Friday we had to be at the school by 10 a.m. to meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Seeing as how we shut the bar down the night before, we were all looking and feeling our absolute best ;) . We went downtown for a museum tour, and then some of us spent the afternoon shopping. By this time we were all dead so we decided to take the night off and stay in.

Saturday we were scheduled to take a trip to the mountains for the day. We ended up not going because of bad weather. The 8 of us girls living in Maro house decided to go out to dinner together. We went to a really Greek restaurant that Pantolis, Lauren’s cousin, recommended. I’m actually starting to like the Greek and Cypriot food.

That night me and another roomie, Alex, went and met up with some others at Lidra Palace for a UN Charity Boxing Match. We had to cross the Green Line for the first time since the palace was in the Buffer Zone between the Turkish and Greek sides of Cyprus. It was kinda scary, probly just because it was so dark and quiet out, but we made it. Everyone was all dressed up and the matches were actually really cool. I never thought I’d like boxing. Most of the matches were between guys in the British Army, but one was between two US Marines we knew. After that ended we went to a little taverna and I had some coffee…yum. Six of us ended up coming back to the house and hung out downstairs playing pictionary until we ran completely out of paper…we’re cool, I know.

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On Sunday we had a free day. I ran some errands in the morning and went for a walk around the neighborhood to take some pictures. We cleaned the entire house in the afternoon. That night a local bar owner closed his place early and kept bartenders there all night so we could have the place to ourselves to watch the Super Bowl via satellite. It was really fun and I’m pretty sure they thought we were all insane Americans. Kickoff wasn’t until 2 a.m. so it was a late night.

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Classes began Monday. I’m taking 5: Intro to the EU, Art History, European History, European Geography, and Cultures. All of the classes are 2 ½ hours long…which is rough to sit through.

Tuesday I went to my classes, the market for groceries, the bookstore for some schooly stuff, and to a soccer game. Two of our GLS kids, Chris and Rachel, were playing in it. It started at 10 pm and it was by far the coldest day in Cyprus yet. Not to mention we didn’t have heat or hot water at the house. It was just a miserably cold time. The game was great except for the fact that I couldn’t feel my toes. We got home and there still wasn’t heat, but the program directors brought us space heaters for in each of our bedrooms…which was nice, still cold though.

"There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it."
-- Charles Dudley Warner

Posted by Stefani528 12:06 Archived in Cyprus Comments (0)

It's the Real World:Cyprus

Ok, so traveling across the world isn’t so glamorous. It took a lot to get here, but all of it is okay now that I am.

sunny
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The first flight I was supposed to be on out of Pittsburgh had mechanical problems so I spent four extra hours sitting in the airport waiting for it to get fixed. It ended up not being ready so everyone who was supposed to be on it had to take the next flight into New York. The plane was tiny, completely full, and they paid people to get off because it was too heavy.

JFK is HUGE. I only had to wait a few minutes before getting on my plane to London, which was nice. New York City is amazing to see from the sky at night. This flight was much better. I even got wine w/my dinner (hehe mommy ;) ) and since it wasn’t very full and the two seats next to me were empty, I got to lay down and sleep a little.

Heathrow is huge too, but since our connecting flight to Cyprus was leaving pretty much as soon as we got there, we (all the kids on the NY group flight) had a bus take us straight to out terminal. We got on the plane and 5 hours later touched down in Larnaca, Cyprus!!!

My luggage was left in London, as was everyone else’s who flew in from New York. That really sucked. If I wasn’t dirty enough from the day and a half of sitting on planes, I now had to wait two more days until it would arrive. All the other girls in the house were really awesome and let me borrow their stuff and gave me clean clothes and everything… <3 roomies!

Ohhh…. And when I finally got it I plugged my straightener in for the first time and left the room for about 2 minutes or so. When I came back the room smelled like burnt rubber…part of it had overheated and melted. Stupid.

Cyprus is amazing. I feel like I’m at the beach every morning when I wake up & look out the window. The beach is ½ hour away…rough, I know. There are palms and citrus trees everywhere. One of my roomies, Alex, made fresh lemonade from the lemons. The weather here is out of control... a bad day here is better than the best day in PA. There are on average 300 sunny days here a year…which is okay with me.

So, our house = even more out of control. We’re seriously living the Real World: Cyprus. Most everyone is living in apartments right outside the Intercollege campus, but 11 of us were put in Maro House. There are 3 guys living on the bottom floor, and 8 of us girls on the top. It’s an absolutely beautiful and huge place. We have brand new everything, and there are 5 bedrooms and 4 baths.

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Everyone on the program is really cool and we all seem to get along great so far. We kind of have to, I guess, because no one knows each other and we’re thrown into this crazy situation for four months. The program directors and professors and everyone I’ve met so far are really great too, and live pretty amazing lives.

I can honestly say I am a good driver by Cypriot standards. They drive on the left side of the road, and like MANIACS.

The Cypriot people are pretty nice, noone seems to smile much though. It seems to be pretty half and half. Some people don’t like us because we’re the loud, awful Americans and others are super friendly and helpful. We’ve been trying to learn the basic words in Greek. We always get laughed at when we try to talk to the locals in it but they seem to think it’s cool when we actually try.

So far I’ve tried some of the local food…souvlaki is kabobs, only they put the meat on pita bread with some veggies. It’s decent. We had a cooking demonstration by a local chef and professor to show us how to make some Cypriot food, too. We went out for coffee one night. I tried the local Frappe and it was really good.

We had a nice dinner out as a whole group one night and then went out to a few clubs/bars. The whole drinking legally thing and not having to pretend to be 21 is ridiculously nice. Wine is really cheap, which, you know…is kinda cool.

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The U.S. dollar isn’t worth crap here. The only thing I have to say about taking a trip to Europe…win the lottery first.

So far we haven’t had any classes. They start on Monday. Up until now it has all been orientation stuff. We had a geography class, a cooking demonstration of local food, and other stuff like that.

Ok, enough for now but I have tons more to tell so I'll write more again soon!

You should know,
that wherever i go,
You're always on my mind.

I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is “Who in the world am I?” Ah, that’s the great puzzle.

Posted by Stefani528 11:29 Archived in Cyprus Comments (0)

almost!

snow
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Here's the travel schedule:

I'm leaving on Thursday. I fly out of Pittsburgh at 11am, out of JFK (NY) at 6pm, out of Heathrow (London) at 6am, and I'll finally arrive in Cyprus at around 5 pm on Friday. I'm not too excited about this whole 30 hours on planes deal. It'll be worth it though! (maybe i will have to pack some snakes and samuel l. jackson to keep myself busy;))

I'm gonna go try and pack now, I'll write more when I'm actually in Europe and things are a little more exciting!

i must be travelling on now, 'cause there's too many places i've got to see.

Posted by Stefani528 11:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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