July 29, 2008

Always tired but always happy

We're finally experiencing beautiful summer weather here in Bournemouth but unfortunately I haven't had time to go to the beach. My friend Jelsea, who had this job last summer, mentioned that she was "working all the time." And let me tell you, she sure wasn't kidding! Since I have been here in England, I have only had two days off. Other than that, I've been working seven days a week. I have accepted that always feeling tired is my state of being with this job. Even if I get a decent amount of sleep, I use up so much energy during the day that I don't think I'll ever feel truly "rested" while I'm here. But that's alright....I knew before I came here that this job would be demanding on my time and energy, but I have to admit, I kind of like the challenge. And the rewards are far worth it.

Last week we took some students to a place called Game Stadium for one of our evening activities. It's a really posh place where you pay 3 pounds 50 to play any Playstation 3 game on your own giant, flat screen TV for one hour. I chose to play Guitar Hero---I've become addicted to that game since Matt got it last Christmas for his X-Box. On Wednesday, we went on a half-day excursion to the beautiful city of Portsmouth, famous for its port (hence the name). Thursday, we went to the cinema to see the film "Hancock," and Friday was a BBQ. We have BBQ's every Friday and the students really enjoy it.

This past Saturday we went on an excursion to Monkey World. This was not a typical full-day excursion for Richard Language College but we thought it might be nice to try something new. Monkey World is an ape rescue center. The park appears more like a zoo but the foremost goal of the center is to rescue apes that are being abused or that have been abandoned. There is every kind of monkey you can imagine and they were so much fun to observe. The park was quite large and really beautiful.

On Sunday I went to Heathrow Airport to meet a group of Japanese students arriving from Tokyo. At the international arrivals gate, I had to hold a little welcome sign for Richard Language College and when the group approached me, we did the traditional Japanese bow to one another. The group consists of 25 students and 3 leaders and they are all just lovely. I think they might be the most polite and respectful students I have come across thus far! They truly are precious.

Tonight I had to sort-of "double work" because we had a Welcome BBQ for the Japanese students but I also had to arrange an activity for the other non-Japanese students. We went shopping this afternoon for all the food for the BBQ and then I spent the remainder of the afternoon slicing tomatoes and making fruit salad. Then I took a group of 18 non-Japanese students to play "quasar" or laser tag. It was so much fun! Each one of us came out of the game absolutely dripping in sweat, which was gross, but we didn't care because we had so much fun. I also have to brag a bit. The teams were divided into 9 persons against 10. I was on the team with 9 and our team had the only 4 girls that came along; the other team was all guys. But OUR team won! Ha. Then it was back to the college to help finish up the BBQ and do the clean-up work. It's been a long day, but a great one.

The countdown is 2 days......2 days until Matt arrives!!!! He flies out tomorrow evening and he'll arrive on Thursday at 3 pm my time. Seriously, the anticipation is killing me. I absolutely cannot wait to have him here so he can share in all my experiences with me. I know he'll love it! Matt will stay with me in my host family's home and they will feed him, although we're paying them extra for that. He'll tag along with me all day and on all the activities and excursions, but as I've said a million times, it's all fun stuff, not like "work." Matt will be here over the next two weekends, in which we'll visit the cities of Bath and Oxford, and possibly London one or two times. He leaves on August 11th and I return to the US on August 21st.

I'm at the point where I feel really adjusted to the life and culture here. I've gained confidence in my job and I've made so many new friends. One thing that always makes me smile is that the international students always think that I'm English! I've even been told that I sound like I have an English accent (by a German girl), but don't worry, I'm certain that I still sound 100% American. I think most foreign students haven't been around a person with an American accent before and therefore they can't recognize one. I've also been told that I "look" like I'm English with my fair skin and red hair. There are quite a lot of redheads over here!

It is now 10:15 pm here and I must make the two minute walk to my host family's home to get as much sleep as I can. I'm sure that as always, I'll have no trouble falling asleep and I'll be having sweet dreams of when Matthew finally arrives and joins me here in England.


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