June 16, 2008

Bournemouth, England

Well here I am in Bournemouth, England! I arrived around noon yesterday after an exhausting trip. I had a one hour flight, a six hour layover, an eight hour flight, and three hour layover before I could take a two hour bus ride from London Heathrow Airport to Bournemouth. I usually sleep very well on planes but this time I only slept for about one hour! (I guess I was too busy watching The Other Boleyn Girl and playing games; each passenger had his or her own little screen to watch movies or play games with) I made it in to England, for my first time, after being grilled by the passport officer as if I were a potential terrorist.

I am living in a lovely little town called Bournemouth which is located two hours west of London, right along the southern coast. It's a beach resort town, very popular with domestic and foreign tourists alike. Bournemouth is rather young compared to most other English towns, but it still has that wonderful English charm about it.

This summer I will be working for Richard Language College, a school for foreign students who come and learn English as a second language. I am the only American on staff here and the staff consists of people from many different countries, which I really enjoy. My official job title is "summer social organiser," which basically consists of planning activities and excursions for the students' enjoyment. There are evening activities Monday through Friday nights, which range from kareoke nights and BBQs to laser tag and beach volleyball. On Wednesday afternoons we take half-day excursions to nearby towns, such as Salisbury and Stonehenge. Then on weekends we take excursions to nearby cities like London, Oxford, Windsor, Bath and the Isle of Wight. On those days I'll act more as a tour guide. This job is pretty amazing....getting to travel England and get paid for it?! I was set up with this job via my friend Jelsea Lemanska who did this job last summer. She raved about this job and after my first day working here, I can tell I will, too!

I'm living with a host family; Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd are in their 50's and host students year round, often many at a time. There is currently a Chilean girl and an African gentleman staying with them, but they come and go. Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd are so friendly and kind and they have a very comfortable home. The home comes with the beautiful English gardens out front and back and their home smells like flowers. They will be responsible for feeding me my meals, and from what I can tell thus far, Mrs. Shepherd is a wonderful cook!

After arriving yesterday, I took a walk into the main part of town, despite my horrible jet-lag and lack of sleep. I wandered into a market with fresh meat and breads and then I found myself in one of Bournemouth's public gardens, one of the many things the town is noted for. As I was heading back, it started to rain, as is such typical English weather. But I didn't mind...I got a bit wet but the rain was warm and as it soaked the leaves of the trees, bushes, and flowers, a sweet smell filled the air.

I slept long and hard last night, but I still feel quite tired. As I was getting ready this morning in my room, I received the perfect reminder that I am in a seaside town as I heard seagulls outside of my window. It's going to be quite an experience here in England--it's going to be wonderful, it's going to be amazing, and it's going to fly by.


1 comment:

the woolseys said...

is matt with you!?!?


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