Week 11

 

IMG_4495alternately titled: ‘what I learned in the blackout’

-Showers are terrible because the water is cold and the air is cold and your towel is never dry and warm

-The little things in life really are the best. Like having light when you’re trying to go to the bathroom

-Listen to your mom and don’t procrastinate on things like emails and washing your hair.

-I may be able to move to another country on my own, but sleeping in an empty building with no power is really hard.

-You meet some really amazing people.

-You make good friends very, very, very fast.

-You might as well stay up incredibly late with those friends because nothing else is going on and you have so little time together

-Wear your pajamas to breakfast even though its the tacky American thing to do. Then take really bad pictures.

-Don’t try to plan friendships. Being friends with study abroad students is worth it, even if they leave you after a few months.

-Dance. For hours. Even when the power is back on.

-Don’t sleep the night before everyone leaves, even if you have 17 hours of travel the next day. Enjoy those last hours.

-I am so incredibly grateful for the last few days. I didn’t know being stuck on campus with no power could be so wonderful.

Alex

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The Blackout of 2015

On Saturday evening, the lights flickered. Then, they went off. We had no idea then what was coming.

For a country where it rains constantly,  a flood sure did a lot of damage to this city. Apparently rains north of us flooded quite a bit of Lancaster, including the power main. This resulted in a city wide blackout.

When we woke up on Sunday (after spending most to of Saturday night awake, gathered in a kitchen, my housemates and I found there was still no power and ventured out to find information. Things were beginning to feel apocalyptic, though I blame that on the fact that everyone watches Walking Dead. The Chaplaincy Centre had a backup generator on, so we went there for power, tea, and information. This is where we found out that school was cancelled. For the rest of term. This would be great information, if you know, I wasn’t in a different country.

So while all of my British friends called their parents and packed their bags to go home, the international student looked around, lost. We were told to ‘pack our essentials’ and head to the Great Hall. This turned into us spending the night in the Great Hall, which felt like a scene out of Harry Potter (thanks Sirius Black) and the worst sleepover I have ever been too. I know when I walk across stage at graduation in a few years, I will look over at the spot I slept in and think of this adventure.

IMG_4446

We had some hope on Monday when the power came back on for a few hours, but it did not last. The power has been out since, though we were originally told it would be back on by 7pm on Tuesday. Now we are hearing 4pm on Wednesday. Who knows?

They’re feeding us and we’re supposed to be sleeping in one of the lecture buildings tonight, so its another night of cold floors and close proximity with people I don’t know.

Its an adventure to say the least.

Alex 

Week 9

Oops, late post.

Last week was busy, but wonderful. I had a few extra meetings, and a few social things, but they were all quite good.

I’ve found myself eating oatmeal (porridge as they call it here) which is a shock, because I hate oatmeal. I think my body is just trying to cope with the intense wind and rain that leaves me chilled to the bone if I spend more that 10 minutes outside. Luckily, oatmeal can be made slightly more bearable, with additions like fruit, copious amounts of cinnamon, and my favourite, raspberries and dark chocolate. I like to think that because its dark chocolate, and I don’t add sugar, its still healthy(ish).


I got to Skype with so much family last week, it makes it a lot easier when they’re all grouped together and not at work/school. It was really great to see them and hear voices, and I know they’re probably just as excited for my trip home as I am. I think my mom is more excited than I am.

Saturday we had a Friendsgiving, which consisted of 6 of us eating a ridiculous amount of food, and talking until much too late at night. I stuffed turkey with brie and apple (not the whole turkey, that would never fit in our tiny oven) made mashed potatoes, stuffing, and roasted veggies. I learned that and rutabaga is a sweed and also evil. I now have a least favourite vegetable.

I finally made pumpkin bread with the pumpkin I ordered online, and its heavenly. It made the entire kitchen smell like home, and I will probably eat entirely too much of it in the coming days. I have no regrets.


I have one last essay due on Thursday, and then its just lecture until term ends! I’ll see you in 11 days Austin!

Alex