Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Yesterday I went to a Rotary meeting and listened to the Serenader's. They are high school children who sing. I got to meet some more lovely people which was great.
I also went to see a couple of my host parents school pupils wrestling in a competition between the Valdosta Wild Cats. It was one of the most horrible experiences I have ever encountered at a school (and I grew up in Portobello). The boys were only 10 years old and had to pin each other down so their opponent had both shoulders on the ground. This of course made their wee faces turn blue and they just looked in pain. I couldn't watch it. And it was so bizarre to me that the parents in the audience were shouting and obviously supporting their children but if that was my child, I would be down on that ring in a flash.
We only managed to watch two boys and then ran away from it all.

We went to a shop to find an outfit for Gwen as it was the Rotary Christmas Banquette last night which was lovely. They had a very talented harpist playing but I don't think I liked her that much. She said she would answer some frequently asked questions. Although she doesn't like it when people ask how much it costs as you wouldn't ask how much someones house costs. Erm. It's a harp. She doesn't live in it, it is a musical instrument that she plays that is rare and hand carved, I think it is a valid question.
She also wanted to clarify that men also play the harp. Now I don't know where she heard that question but obviously someone was not a fan of the Marx brothers. It is in Harpo's name, of course men play the harp.
Anyway, it was a lovely evening and as always I met some wonderful and interesting characters. One retired man in his 80's felt the need to sing Old MacDonald to me. He was a charmer.

Today I should be going to the bank and possibly to the Middle School to read to my host mothers class. Then tonight I am traveling to my dorm at uni to stay over so I can leave early Thursday morning with a friend up to Atlanta to meet my lovely mum.

Monday, 10 December 2007


All finals are completed. I am out of school and feeling pretty good about it. I will miss some friends but hopefully it is not the last time I will see them.
I am spending the next few days with my host family before to traveling to Atlanta to pick up my mother and show her this fine state.

Yesterday I saw a Christmas Youth Choir at a Moultrie church and yesterday was the Moultrie Parade.
Now, that was fantastic, nothing says Christmas like Hells/Christian Christmas Angels! Fairy lights on the bikes and dead wolfs on the head. Nice. Also loved the fact that the floats were dragged along the street by the Jon Deere tractors. It was an experience though for sure. I got to see the Middle and High School marching bands and all.

Friday, 30 November 2007

This week has been horribly busy with school work. I am so thankful that it is all over now. Just have one week full of final exams before I will be done with this semester.
Just saw a play by the student theatre group, everything written, directed, performed etc. by the students themselves. It was a very good play I loved it. A friend of mine performed and did so well I was chuffed for them.
Tomorrow I will be going to a luncheon at the international office. We will learn a little about American traditions and are to talk a bit about our own. Then I will be meeting with a friends aunt which should be fun.
I will have to try and get as much revision done this weekend as possible though which is a pain.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Well I only have one more class left tomorrow morning and then I will be on Thanksgiving break! YAY. Once I am back at University next week there will just be two weeks of classes left before the final exams. I have to admit that I am a little worried as we are still starting new topics in some of the classes. Ach well, I am just going to have to make the most of it and study when I can, I just hoped there would be more time to revise over past topics.

This weekend I stayed in Valdosta on campus. I had revision to do for my sociology test so that kept me occupied. I also went on a couple of quick trips to the gym this weekend as it is just next door to my halls and I think I should maybe make some room for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners ahead.
It is a friends birthday over the break so we went out on Saturday night to celebrate it so a few friends went to Rockin' Rodeo. It was a good night and the club was packed which made it more exciting.
Sunday night the Baptist Student Ministry who organized the trip to Stone Mountain, made a thanksgiving dinner for the international students of Valdosta. It was a lovely gesture and idea. I got to meet a few people that I hadn't met before and also say hello to some friends I had made on the Stone Mountain trip.
So pumpkin pie.....not too sure about it. It is all wet and smoochy. Also I tried the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top but there is no way that I will ever do that again. A couple of the people from America said that they have sweet potatoes as a desert with marshmallows and cinemon on top. 'Hmmm' is all I could bring myself to say.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Just back from a play by the universtity theater company. It was so funny and very well done by the cast. A friend from one of my classes was in it and was really good, the play was 'The Man Who Came to Dinner' and his character was called Banjo and was a representation of Harpo from the Marx Brothers.
Also I have just found out that Family Guy is on TBS.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Atlanta weekend

Well I had a crazy busy weekend in Atlanta. The Georgia Rotary students met on Friday night for a meal in one of Atlanta's high schools. Lasagna made a lovely change from the regular hot dogs and burgers. Once we all had our dinner and catch up we were told to go into groups of four and find a Rotarian who would be our host parents for the night. I stayed with a girl from Malaysia, France and a good friend from Scotland. The couple that we stayed with were really interesting and had traveled all over the world and had been host parents for 7 students in the past. They were also very interested in us, our views and our country which is always nice.
We had an early start in the morning at 8am. We arrived at the YMCA to drop off our bags as we were to stay there on Saturday night. We took a school bus around Atlanta with our first stop being the zoo. It was lots of fun and there were giant pandas there. After the zoo we went straight to the World of Cola. They had a tasting room at the end with different coke products that are sold in different countries all over the world. Although I didn't recognize the lemonade that is sold in England and I did hear a few other people saying they had never heard of the juice that is meant to be from their home countries.

After we all went a little mad in the giant Cola shop we headed to the Varsity. Two Saturdays in a row...not so good for my wee growing belly. We had some people from Atlanta with us so I was able to ask what the best meal was and although the picture didn't look too appetizing the chicken was rather tasty and not too greasy.
After lunch we went to an arcade which had go kart racing. We didn't all have enough money or time to go racing so most people just played the arcade games.

Then we went back to the YMCA to play the arcade games that they had there, and eat our pizza and salad. They opened up the climbing wall and swimming pool for us until 10pm which was fun. It was nice to just relax with everyone and have so much time to talk with people that I hadn't had the chance to yet. So we all slept on the floor of the gym on yoga mats and sleeping bags. It was not all that comfortable however, the fact that I was so extremely tired after such a busy day meant that I just fell asleep as soon as my head hit the floor.

Sunday morning I was collected along with the other students from Valdosta. We went to the aquarium which was just stunning. They had the most beautiful beluga whales and such stunning colourful fish. It was all just stunning.
Needless to say we slept well on the four hour journey home.

It was so tempting to just jump straight into bed when we got home but it would be so early and I didn't want to wake up in the middle of the night. So I waited until 10pm before I went to bed. This did not work out how I had planned as at 10pm the fire alarm went off once again and we were told to evacuate the building for another 4 hours while the rooms were checked for another apparent bomb threat that was called. A few people are getting paranoid but I really don't think there is any need to be. It is still an odd experience and something I could really .do without as with finals coming up it would be good to get enough sleep as possible.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

stone mountain

It is 2.20am and I am just back from a day trip to Stone Mountain, Atlanta. It was organized for the international students at Valdosta State by the Baptist Ministry group on campus which was so kind of them. I had so much fun there but now I am so tired. I have a lot of school work to do tomorrow so I thought I should write in the blog now rather than sleep in and not have time to.

So our day started at 8am and we started the four hour journey to Atlanta. Once there we went to the Varsity which is one of the largest fast food restaurants as regards the size of the building. I think it is only in Atlanta and they have t-shirts and hats for sale which is rather crazy. I had onion rings (they have grown on me since being here) cheese burger and also a large drink so I could get it in a plastic cup and take it back for a souvenir.
After lunch we hit the shops. There were all these NASCAR racing cars about and their different sponsors such as McDonalds and Kodak. Most had lots of freebies so needless to say I picked up a couple of things.

After shopping we headed to Stone Mountain which is the largest block of granet in the world. At the woodland area on the mountain we met other international students from different universities in Georgia. I managed to speak to a couple of people, one girl was from China and was very nice. We all ate together and there was a live band to play good ol' Southern music. I am always in the mood for Sweet Home Alabama! After dinner our Valdosta group went up to see the stone in all its glory. They had a patriotic carving of leaders from the Civil War on a part of it. Around the mountain was a little old Western village type place. There was a blacksmith shop with a man going presentations and an example of an old fire 'engine' which was just a couple of barrels on a cart. It was all decorated for Halloween with pumpkins and hay scattered around. Also all of the buildings were lit up and covered with tiny fairy lights. It was just beautiful I could have spent all day there.

After our wonders we sat and watched the laser show. It was projected onto the side of the mountain and were little anomations outlined in different colours which went along to music. It was so much fun, I sang along to most of the songs although there were a few that I didn't know. There were a couple songs about America and I enjoyed listening to them. Made me think if there are any modern songs about being proud to be a Scotsman. I can't think of any but that might be because I am so very tired.

After the laser show it was time for us to head back to Valdosta. We watched Shreck on the way back which is always funny no matter how often I see it and has such a good soundtrack.
Well now I am off to sleep. I hope that this makes sense as in my sleep deprived condition I am not too sure it will.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Well it has been a busy and rather stressful week. This is the week to register for classes next semester. This is done online and started monday for seniors through thursday for freshman. This system meant that the classes I had planned to take were all gone by the time I was allowed to register. I am pretty happy with the way things worked out but it was a horrible stressful time. I had to find other classes to take the night before registration and try and work out the time schedual too. So the classes I have chosen are:

Introduction to Engineering

I think they will all be pretty useful for my architecture course next year.

So it is Halloween in America and some people are going a little bitty crazy. Others are not at all as they don't celebrate it so it is a little odd. I shall be trying to find a costume in the one and only Walmart this evening before I meet up with some friends of mine. I can't say how awake we will all be as last night/morning was a little tiring. This was because of the alarm in my hall going off at 3.30 am, waking us all up. Then after hovering in the cold for roughly an hour we were all told to go inside the gym next door. So, I was there until around 6.30am before walking to the dinning hall for breakfast which stared at 7. So I was not in my dorm until 7.50 this morning. Thus, I am extremely tires, my human communication teacher did not help matters at all so now it is 2.30pm and I am going to my bed.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

fall break

Hey Ya'll

Well this weekend and Monday and Tuesday (my fall break) have been so much fun.
Friday was another GRSP Conclave with the students from the scholarship. Of all 71 of us 67 students came to Savannah which is a great turnout. I was so excited to see everyone again as well as a little nervous as I was ill and couldn't go to the previous conclave so I was frightened that people wouldn't have remembered me but of course everyone was lovely and I had a ball. We arrived a little before dinner on Friday night so the Valdosta crew went on a little walk along the river front which was just so beautiful. Once we had eaten the burgers, hot dogs and 2 and a half cookies in my case, we all went on a ghost tour. I was a little scared that it would be like the ghost tours back home with people dressed up and jumping on your back however it wasn't like that at all. A woman drove around 40 of us on a bus around downtown Savannah telling us lots of stories of sightings of ghosts in the different old Georgian houses.

After the tour, the five of us from Portobello went to the host parents house. They were very sweet and had bought bourbon creams and shortbread for us as there is an actual Scottish shop near them. We talked until we fell asleep and then had to wake up a few hours later to go to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. It was a very interesting museum and they had so much information on WW II and different things on display I think I would have needed a day in itself to take everything in.

After that we went to Tybee Island to walk the 178 steps up the lighthouse which gave the most incredible view. It was so gorgeous there I could have been there all day too just watching the world go by. Then we all headed to the beach house of one of the Rotarian's. The beach was lovely and the sea was nice although once in it I didn't want to get out as it seemed so cold. Everyone had a lot of fun at the beach and the house it was just the most wonderful atmosphere.

Sadly enough after the beach we all went home, slept and then had to go our separate ways Sunday morning. However the fun didn't stop there for me. My Colombian friends host father took the four of us studying at Valdosta to a place called Jekyll Island which is where a lot of people go on holiday to escape from the world. It was very pretty and had a lovely beach however cactus plus flip flops equals problems but thats another story.
On Sunday night I stayed over at a friends house which was lovely. Her parents own 100 acres so we went around on the golf buggy through the pine trees and by the lake. It was so pretty. Her father made the most amazing steak for us and I brought them some shortbread which her mother loved. I was also so happy to find that they had Nutella and there is a shop here where I can buy it so that is amazing. When I left on Tuesday her mother had bought me a jar as a gift so I am extremely happy.

Monday my friend and I went on the almost 4 hour drive to Panama City, Florida which is the most beautiful beach. On the way there we bought some grapes, fig rolls candy called Air Heads and lots of water. We also dropped into a Dollar Store to see if they had a bucket spade which they didn't so we just bought cups to make our sandcastle.
At the beach we sunbathed for a while, went into the outdoor swimming pool of the hotel next door, sunbathed some more and read a little before building a 'sandcastle'. This took us from around 12 till 5 and then we thought it best to pack up and grab a bite to eat at Pineapple Willy's. This is the place to eat on the beach, we managed to get seats outside so we could see the sunset. We shared some alligator bites. They tasted a little like chicken but had a hint of fish and were really tasty.

We got back to her parents house around 11 so I stayed another night as it is about an hour and a half away from the campus. In the morning I met my friends sister and we all went with her mother to a cute town called Boston for lunch and a little look around its antique store. Then we went on a little tour of Thomasville so I could see the old oak tree and some of the pretty houses there. Back at the house my friends father was going out on the tractor for an hour so asked if we would like to join him. We both had a shot of driving which was fun although I was not born to be a farmer it seems.
So that was my fun long weekend. I am a little sad now that it is all over and school starts tomorrow. I think I needed that break though so I am glad that it turned out to be so much fun.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

yay me

3D design project=A+ oh yes, 95% people. Bring it!

Monday, 8 October 2007

All of my tests have come at once! Why?! One down today but Sociology Wednesday and Costume history on Friday. On top of all that is the homework that I am expected to do at the same time oh and of course the plaster sculpture which I am to start carving into tomorrow.

I saw an amusing event on Wednesday last week. 'Big Man on Campus' was set up by the ZTA sorority girls in order to raise money for breast cancer. One boy was picked from each fraternity to be the 'Big Man' which was really like a Miss World type thing. Each had a swimsuit competition (snorkels being very popular) and also had to do a talent and answer a question asking what animal they would describe themselves as or how do you cook a turkey. The guys that took part were very funny and obvioulsy extremely comfortable in their sexuality and bodies as there were a few ballgowns going on. I know I end a lot of my blog entries like this but really, who knows?

Friday, 28 September 2007


Saturday is Valdosta States football teams homecoming game. This has been celebrated all week with different events. Wednesday was a comedy show which hundreds turned up to as around 100 people were waiting outside to get a seat when we were told that the auditorium was full and we all had to go home. There was also a trip to a theme park nearby called Wild Adventures which I decided not to go to as I had been told it is quite expensive. Of course I heard the next day that it was free for the students that day so I was a little miffed that this fact was not written down.

Yesterday I went to the pep rally with a friend. It was in our PE complex on the basketball court so already I was excited as it was huge. I felt like I was in a movie there was just that this atmosphere and buzz in the place. It started with the cheerleaders. They were spectacular I have to say. On each others shoulders and flips in the air, I was amazed. Unfortunately they were only wearing t-shirts and shorts so that wasn't all too exciting but the bows in their hair were smart. Made me wonder if they are given them as part of the uniform or whether they are told what type of ribbon to buy and have to go to the haberdashery.
There are also dancers. Not too sure what there deal is to be honest. It seemed a lot like cheer leading but without the acrobatics. Still rather kinky though.

After the dancing it was time for us to meet the judges who would be judging the skits performed by the sororities and fraternities. They call it the lip sync contest. The theme was 'blazing into the future' (the football team are the Valdosta Blazers). So most of the songs had something to do with burning or fire and went from the 50's to present day. It was very funny and the people performing didn't take themselves seriously and just had fun with it so it was a good laugh.
The fraternity that some of my friends are part of won in the end so I am chuffed for them. Also, the fact that they one and didn't resort to wearing woman's clothing for a cheap laugh was very commendable. Although I have to give my respect to the boy wearing the pink, PVC HIGH heeled boots, I don't even know if I would be able to walk in those.

Well tonight is a parade with different floats made by different societies at Valdosta. I know some people that will be riding on the floats so I am going to show my support with my friend from London (hopefully).

Oh, I also voted for Homecoming Queen although I am not sure how to find out who the winner is. All the girls were part of sororities apart from one who was a cheerleader. I voted for the girl who wasn't blond. She looked the nicest.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

So the last couple of days have been pretty good fun.
Last night i went to see a play called 'Wit' by Valdosta's drama company on campus. I have to say that I was incredibly impressed, the lead was fantastic. The set was also very clever and well designed.
Then I went to my friends Fraternity house for a short while and played a little ping pong. They have a lovely fairly old building with a cast iron fire place and all their pictures on the wall of previous years. It was interesting to have a look around. I had a lot of questions but it is all very secretive so not a lot were answered which was a shame.

Today I had my 3D design class which I enjoy so much! After I used the laundry room for the first time which was successful. I then went round to a friends dorm and watched 'Shaun of the Dead' as he had not seen it. For dinner we went to a place called Zaxbys which is a fast food place but with chicken. The chicken was tasty but the crinkle cut fries/chips were a bit hit or miss.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Disney World

Oh yes people, the title says it all!
Well on Thursday night I was invited to go to Disney World with my flat mate from Colombia (also here with the Georgia Rotary Programme) and her host parents.
Friday we had a rotary club meeting at Pelham Rotary Club. It was emergency service appreciation week. I was just hoping that there was no need for any of the people there during the hour as that would be a little dangerous.
After that we went back to the house and watched Sleepless in Seattle while I attempted to revise for my Sociology test (we won't talk about how that went). Then Pelhams football team were playing so we went along to give them some much needed support. The team generally don't win any of their games although they put there all in, bless their hearts.
The marching band was a lot of fun to see, I think that was the highlight. We didn't watch the whole game and went home to sleep for a few hours before getting up in the small hours of the morning so we could leave for Orlando at 5am.

When we arrived in Florida around 10am we picked up the host families son who works at Disney World. It was great as he knew exactly what we should do and how to plan our day. Also it meant that we got in for free which was fantastic!

We started in the Animal Kingdom and saw a short stage show of The Lion King. It had acrobats, fire breathers and crazy flying bird women in it. They sang the hits of the show and it was pretty spectacular. We also saw Finding Nemo the Musical which was done with fantastic puppets and some well done projection. There was a 3D show of a Bugs Life which was done very well once again. We also had a little wander around the park which has a tour of some different animals such as fruit bats (cool) and tigers. We also went on Splash Mountain which was good fun and very refreshing as it was ridiculously hot!

After that it was off to the Magic Kingdom with the big ol' castle. We had our lunch and saw the Haunted House, another 3D show with Donald duck just being silly and getting in the way of some other Disney movie songs. We also went on Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters Inc, Dinasaur trip. Then we got to see the parade which was fantastic, all the characters were covered in lights and it was just magic. Then there were the fireworks at the castle which were amazing. Oh, we also went to a puppet show of The Little Mermaid which was pretty cool.
So that was Saturday over or at least as much as I can remember.

Sunday we went to Epcot with its giant golf ball. We saw a Finding Nemo ride and the fish tank inside which was huge. We also went on a ride called soaring which made you feel you were flying over California. I now want to visit California very badly...and I also want to fly but who doesn't? There was also a ride where you were made to feel that you were testing cars so you could go crazily fast which was fun.
We also went to the MGM Studio which I loved. It was done up like a 1940's film set so was right up my street. We went on a trip 'through the movies' which had all the charters around you in all the classics Casablanca, Alien that sort of thing. We saw a play of Beauty and the Beast which I loved. Also I was persuaded some how to go on The Tower of Terror. I coped very well I have to say. It just went up and down very very fast but didn't last too long so I was pretty good.
We saw a little of the MGM parade which was pretty fun. The muppets were there!

Right I have to get some sleep as I have my 8am class tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

i saw my first Valdosta fire engine yesterday. It was very shiny and looked very cool, I was a little disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me.

Another Kodak moment which was missed was a trip to the cowboy shop. The amount of cowboy boots on display! Spectacular and also very odd, there must have been well over one hundred! There was also a grand display of hats and all the cleaners you could need for your cowboy hat. Loved it.

I have a paper for my human communication class due tomorrow so I will be hard at work today. 3D design starts at 8 am which is harsh but means that I have all the afternoon free to do whatever I want so I should be able to get it done.
Design class was good fun today, i was cutting acrylic plastic and bending it. However I did bash my leg against a locker door so now have a giant red mark above my knee. I don't know how I can use a saw without injuring myself yet walking seems to be a problem.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Here we go then my weekend away in Augusta for the first GRSP conclave was so much fun.
It took 5 hours for us all to get to August from Valdosta and although I was so sleepy I only managed to sleep for just over an hour. I think because I was so tired I just slept in a really odd position and then by the time I woke up I had this horrible pain in my side so then I could never really get comfortable.
So we arrived in this huge hotel and got a big hug from Janice who is like the coordinator of all the students. Then we checked in our luggage and got our picture taken as we get a year book at the end of the year. Then we had Mexican for lunch which was really tasty I liked that a lot. And so people just kept arriving and mingling which was nice. I got to see all the students from my home town Portobello and had a huge run up to hug my friend like those cheesy films it was sweet.

So then we had a lot of talking to be honest. They split it up so we had a nice break but wow there was a lot of talking.
They showed us a nice video at one point of really picturesque scenes of Georgia, however I don't know where any of them are which is a little annoying. Then at 4.00 we were given host parents for the weekend. I stayed with a lady who was so sweet I liked her a lot. Her house was full of tiny trinkets and thing it was amazing I loved it. And so she looked after me and the sweetest girl from Bulgaria who I just adore. She gave me this lovely little traditional wooden painted bottle type thing but it isn't like a bottle at all really, it holds rose oil as Bulgaria is famous for its rose oil. It sounds like beautiful country I think I would like to go one day, she told me that where she stays is very old so I think the buildings must be beautiful.

Then we all went out to a dinner with all the Rotarians, host families and students. I sat at the Bulgarian table with my friend from Scotland which was nice. We both ate a pie which was really tasty, very sweet.
Then all the students had to go up on the stage and say their name and country, which rotary club they were with and also their university. Which was a little scary to be honest so I think I may have just raced through it but hey. I wanted to say that I come fae bonnie Scotland in broad Scots accent but decided against it.
Then they gave us some freebies which was nice.

The next morning their were talks once again. Then we had our picture taken as a group which to be honest was torture! It was so warm outside and they kept having to move people about so we could be seen also I didn't want to be seen. I managed to spill some coffee on my nice new GRSP white polo shirt. I though that there was just a little in the bottom of the cup and I could still clap with it in my hand. Nope.

After lunch we had to get things ready for the performance that night. First we had to do the flags as we all walk in with a flag each side of the room and go up on stage. It was so funny though, we did it with music that sounded like a mix of star wars and Disney background music shoved together. I laughed. I was a little nervous too though that I would slip and fall and then it would be a domino effect with everyone behind me falling and all these flags falling on top of them and everyone would be like 'silly Scottish girl'. However it didn't happen so all is dandy.

Once we did the flags it was time to learn the Peace song. As my friend from Colombia is an amazing singer she was given the C.D. to take back and practice so she can sing it at our next conclave.

Then we all went in groups to practice our piece which was fun. We all just checked that we knew the Gay Gordons and then just spent the rest of the time having fun. We went back to Lin's so shower and change before we went back for the meal and performance. It was a buffet and my table were the first to go up so I got to find the biggest piece of chocolate cake. Then we did the flags and the song and all the little performances started.

There was a video about Colombia and they had a little dance and the girl from Malaysia did a fan dance which was so beautiful i loved it she looked amazing. Poland and Vietnam both played piano, not together they just both played. And the girl from Turkey danced by herself.
The four Bulgarians also performed two traditional dances.
The Gay Gordons went very well. Once showing the audience we asked if anyone wanted to come up and try so I danced with a little girl who was a part of a host family for another student, she must have been around 9 I think. She was lovely although it meant that I had to play the man which I am not quite used to but she looked so eager to come up that I couldn't say no. Of course it turned into a bit of a shambles but then again, that is what it is all about. Everyone had fun which is the main thing.

Once all the performances were done the Rotarians went home while the students danced in the hall. A lady played some salsa music and the usual pop music. We also requested that she play the Scottish music again so once again there was a mad shambles which was grand.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Hello everyone,

I just have time for a quick note. I have been away for the weekend in Augusta which is so pretty. It was the first Georgia Rotary Scholarship Programme conclave. It was a lot of fun and I have a lot to tell but being away I am now a little behind in my school work.
Once I have completed everything and am calm I shall give some more details. I have some photos but I am unsure how to put them on the blog.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Just a quick word today as I have work to be getting on with. I just wanted to let you know about my new discoveries. The first being drive in pharmacy?? you don't even have to go in the shop you can drive by a window, ask for some cotton wool and then drive away.
Also, you don't have to walk to the garage to pay for the petrol/gas you have just put in your car as there is a chip and pin machine next to the gas.

All of this possibly adds to how lazy people are getting now but at the same time, that is pretty good isn't it? Drive ins, you can't beat them.

Friday, 17 August 2007

I have just finished my first week of classes.
I think that they went alright but it is early days. I have already been able to make a couple of friends which is nice. The teachers also seem very nice. Ar first I was a little worried that I might have a struggle with the accents although I don't think that it will be a huge problem.
I was given homework straight away from all but one class. It hasn't been an issue though as most of my classes finish in the afternoon. I am just worried that I will think I have plenty time so do nothing.

I might be seeing a girl today that I met the day before yesterday and we started talking while waiting for our lunch. She was rather excited about the fact that I was Scottish and has told all her friends about me so they all want to meet me.

Oh, I saw my first dungarees today. That made me laugh.

I think I will be going back to see my host family this weekend so that will be nice. I am looking forward to catching up with them. Hopefully we will be able to go shopping at some point. I still haven't had a proper shop in the states yet.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Bought my books. They cost $413 of the $450 I was given for one semester. Also, that is only taking four subjects which is the minimum that I could have taken. That is insane. However, I wanted to buy them yesterday so I would be all set for Monday. Then I was told that it is best to wait until Monday to see which books you need. So I may have to walk back and return them all which is just awful in this heat. It is a 20 minute walk in this heat with heavy heavy books. Costume History is of course a 600 paged hard back text book. Which I will have to carry along with my two Sociology books and Communication book. Now I am worried.

Had a 'cook out' with the other international students yesterday. There was a boy from Valdosta there who had been hiking in Scotland and so I had a nice little chat with him. It had to be little as my hiking knowledge isn't all that good. So the conversation moved on to Scottish men buying more and more whiskey for the boy.

Then I just hung around the apartment/dorm with some of the people that we have met so far. One boy has Irish roots so I had to tell him to be proud of his freckles and ginger beard but I don't know if I really convinced him.
His father has his own swamp. That is mad.

Have just had a very lazy day today. It is probably for the best as I didn't sleep to well and am going to have to be prepared and awake for Monday. Scary stuff.

Thursday, 9 August 2007


So, my subjects are 3D design, human communication, sociology and costume history. I start on Monday so I shall have to buy my books tomorrow.

Yesterday I had a little chat with some other International students. There is a nice girl from London and a boy from Newcastle so that is nice. I met the other two rotary students attending Valdosta too. One from Argentina and the other from Denmark. They both seem lovely.

I went to a reception at the house of one of the host families who is looking after the boy from Denmark. The house was huge and also rather beautiful. I felt as though I was walking into a Jane Austin story.

I met my trustee along with other host families and members of the Thomasville Rotary Club. It was very nice to speak with everyone and they were all very welcoming.

After some embarrassing photographs were taken we were presented with a cheque for our food and books. As my back card came today i was able to put it into my account straight away which is a relief.

We were also given a lovely spread of food and I tried grits for the first time. I actually put them on my plate as I thought they were mash potato but they had some cheese in them I think. Anyway, they were tasty. We were also given little bags from the host's wife to take away the left over cookies and brownies which I thought was very kind.

I stayed over with my host family after the reception. I hadn't been in contact with them for two days and so it was nice to hear how school was as they have just started the new term.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007


So, I have slept in my dorm overnight and although it was a little cold it is a lovely apartment style dorm. There are four of us living there in total although I have only met one of the girls who also stayed here last night. She is form Columbia and is on the same Rotary programme as myself. I think that we should get along well as she seems really nice.

After dropping off my luggage at the dorm yesterday, my host mum took me to Moe's (a Mexican restaurant, not the pub in Springfield). It was set up like subway and you could pick from all the different meat, veg and beans. I tried black beans for the first time which were pretty tasty. I asked the man what they were like and he 'couldn't really describe them' but did ask me if i knew what the chicken tasted like once I had ordered it. He didn't make me laugh with his customer service, but did have amusing facial hair. You win some you lose some.

Anyway, after Moe's was a huge Walmart shop. As the schools started today, Walmart was packed full of families buying school supplies, and pack lunch food. It was a rather chaotic atmosphere but we were able to pick up everything that was needed for the apartment. I now have a matching shower curtain, toilet brush, tooth brush holder and soap dispenser. Oh yes. I hope that the girl I am sharing with likes flowers and stripes but hey, I got there first so that is what the poor girl just has to live with. It's just a year anyway.

My room mate and I were at an International Students Preregistration Preparation Meeting. That's a mouth full. This was scary at first as there are a lot on mandatory subjects for students here such as math, English, physical education, as well as government and history of Georgia and the USA. Luckily this does not apply to myself as I won't be graduating.
I shall choose the subjects that interest me most and make sure that I am studying 12 hours a week. I shall just have to wait and see what is available for me but fingers crossed there will be a space. I am rather frustrated that most art subjects need prerequisites but it is understandable. I will be able to attend drawing and 3D design however so am planning on splitting them up over the two semesters.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Going to the university to drop of my things and register tomorrow. Very excited about that. I can't wait to see what my dorm looks like. The past few days the Internet hasn't been working.

Today was open house at the middle school so I have had the house to myself while my host family have looked around the school to find all their class rooms. Later today I hope to go shopping as it is tax free weekend. Which means that I will have the right sum of money on hand for a change. Ha, change, I didn't even plan that. Anyway, yesterday I saw the Art Centre's production of Oliver which was fantastic. I think that the pianist did extremely well keeping up with the very young children. As did the children. I would have been so scared on stage at that age. The accents were pretty well done. There were a few people that must have found the cockney accent a bit difficult so attempted a poss English accent which didn't quite work but hey. It was an enjoyable night and that is the main thing. The art centre itself has had a lot of work done to it and it looks great. There is new flooring and some new and improved studios. I will hopefully be back for their 'High School Musical' at the end of the month.

Before the show we went to eat at Ryan's. This was set out like a huge buffet. The deserts were so fantastic. I tried Red Velvet cake for the first time and found it rather tasty. The amount of food coloring is worrying but hey, I liked it.

Oh, found out today that Grooms at weddings have their own cakes. It is usually something about them. The man in the paper had a Valdosta State University cake (in the shape of a large 'V'). I don't think that both cakes are eaten at the wedding as that is a lot of cake considering the Brides traditional wedding cake.

Have driven past some cotton fields. Didn't realise that there are snakes in there but was told if I were to get my picture taken there not to go right in. I have also seen tobacco fields. There are what look like small flat telephone pylons in the fields. Think these are for growth of the fields in some way. The buds on the tobacco plants need to be killed so this may be connected but I wouldn't want to say for sure. If anyone knows please tell me.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

So things are starting to get a bit more organised now. I have a bank account and have had a quick visit to the university but was unable to leave the car as the rain was ridiculous. Next week I shall be dropping off all of my gear in my nice new dorm room. I shall be staying with other international students in this specif dorm so I am really looking forward to that. I have seen pictures online and will have a living area, kitchen area and a post office all under my roof. I also think that I will be sharing a toilet and bath with just one other person so I am really chuffed about that.

I will also go through the orientation and shall be able to chose my subjects in the middle of next week so that will be exciting. Today I went out for lunch with a lovely girl who lives near by. She will also be attending VSU so it feels good to have a friend before I even start. We went to a little cafe in Moultrie called the 'Three Crazy Bakers'. They didn't seem that crazy but made a nice chicken wrap.

Moultrie is a very pretty picturesque town. All of the houses are on a grand scale and are surrounded by land. One house even had a horse tied up in its front garden. Madness. There are pretty little shops with trinkets and jewelry. No high street shops at all. I think it's lovely.

The university is not too far away from a mall which is pretty dangerous to say the least but we shall just have to wait and see. I have managed to buy a pair of shoes already. They were only $7.50 and will come in useful for just wandering around campus as it is quite large.

Well I am off to read through my bank information.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

I am here

So on the 27th of the month of July I arrived in Atlanta Georgia. Now that airport is HUGE. I went through customs. Admitted to having short bread with me, not as the man said 'to make me feel taller' but just as gifts for the future anyhow. His son was planning on going to Valdosta but it was too expensive so I think that he may have been a bit miffed that I manged to get in and have my expenses paid for through the Rotary Club but what can you do. After that awkward conversation, I went on a huge escalator to receive my luggage. This took a long time and I was next to a lady that kept shouting at her children who were doing nothing wrong and must have been over the age on 17 so in my opinion should not have been shouted at as though they were 10 years old. Maybe that's just me being a teenager thinking that, but really the woman was horrible. And very load.

Once I picked up my luggage I then balanced it on myself to find a happy medium on weight distribution with my two shoulder bags. That was fun and I dropped everything at one point. Slightly embarrassing although I was asked if I needed help which was nice. I then gave my bags away again, went through security and then jumped on the train. Yes, there is a train in the airport. Who knows. I took this to the last stop to once again, collect my luggage from one of the ten off belts that had Delta on them with luggage going round.

I managed to find my friend and luggage and walked outside the airport on what was called a 'mild' day. I however felt as though I was walking into an oven. Not that I have every done that I am too big, but you get the point, it was hot. Gas mark 9 I would say. We then drove past the base ball stadium and got to have a look at the Atlanta sky line which was lovely.

Once in the house I had a little chat and a sit down. The house was lovely and filled with the most amazing objects from Thailand. I then met the wife of the couple and we all ate pizza. I went to sleep at around 9 pm which would really be 2 am. I slept for 14 hours, which was nice. Once awake I drank some coffee which was a smart move considering the day I had ahead. I also ate an English muffin which is like a bagel in disguise as a tea cake.

I was then collected by my host family in once huge shiney car. They were very lovely and friendy and asked me what Hob Nobs were. We went to the largest fast food restaurant in Geogia if not the States, called Varsity. It had its own gift shop. Madness. We then travelled to Ikea which is so much bigger than the one back in Edinburgh. I was given bedding, including pillow, duvet and sheets aswell as a lamp. Once at the check out we ate hot cinamon buns whaich were yummy.

Then we started our trip back to Moultrie where the family live. Although we stopped on the way at a shopping outlet which allowed me to buy a $4 top and the family purchased some shoes and clothing too. We then went back in the car and ate at a Japanesse Steak house. That was good fun. The chef, who we think was from Mexico, but what you gonna do, cooked infront of us at out table. He would also do some tricks and spin eggs making them jump in his hat.

Once home it was 10.30pm and I was dead sleeping till one in the afternoon the next day. I won't go into the next couple of days. I shall only say that walmart was an experience and the bread bowls filled with soup must be one of the best ideas I have ever heard of or eaten for that matter.

Monday, 9 July 2007

I have hurt my finger at work today. I can't move the joint in the middle too well which made it difficult when assembling a dinning table with my dad today. It seemed alright but now it is really sore and I am typing with straight fingers which feels odd. I have put some Witch on it so it should feel better tomorrow.

Hopefully the weather is as nice tomorrow as it was today as I am hopefully going to the zoo. YAY! Very much looking forward to that. I haven't been in years so it should be good. I will also be able to pick up some leaflets that I could possibly take with me to show people in Georgia.

I wish I had a digital camera actually so I could take photos tomorrow however I am putting off buying one hear as they will be so much cheaper in the States. It would come in rather handy now though so I could take photos of my house and school and all my friends. Ach well, disposable cameras are still pretty decent.

Sunday, 8 July 2007


So the last few days have been rather stressful. Insurance is not a fun topic.

It was decided that it is safer for me to buy insurance in Edinburgh which will last me the whole year. If I had chosen to be with the university insurance it would have only covered me for the time I was at the uni and as I am having to leave a week before orientation starts, it wouldn't have been a good idea.
However, trying to waiver the uni insurance was a lot more hassle than you would think.
My poor Dad had to try to call them over and over again as no one would answer. And when we finally got round to wavering the insurance online we couldn't as I didn't have an American zip code. This meant that we could go no further on the form, even though it asked if I was an international student so you would think it wouldn't have to be mandatory that a zip code be written.

Anyway, I ended up having to write down the address I will be staying at when I arrive and hope that nothing will need mailing to me before I am in the States. Fingers crossed.

I am in a bit of an odd mood at the moment to be honest. It is the most bizarre and horrible thing to say good bye to people that you have become friends with, knowing that there is a chance you may lose contact.
It is also rather odd to think that I will go through the same thing when I leave the States. But we shall just have to see how that goes I suppose.

I was at a leaving do for people at my work last night and it felt horrible that I won't know what they will be doing in the future. I am 100% sure they will grow to be huge successes. Its just a bit sad that I won't be there to hear about it.
I may just be thinking too much as it is time for bed but I had a coffee with two sweeteners.
Not the best of plans when you have to be up at eight. Ach well.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Hello, I am just writing another quick post before I go to bed as I have been told to try and get into a routine of writing every other day or so.

I don't have anything all that exciting to say. I usually just work a couple of days at my department store but I have been doing some extra hours recently to raise money for Georgia. I also thought that it would give me something to do as I would be bored between the time I finished school and left for Georgia. However there is a lot of things to still do and I have possibly just given myself something else to stress over. However everyone I work with is lovely and I generally enjoy myself.

I have still to sort out my power point presentation as I am going to have to make a few.
Another thing that needs sorted is insurance as i think the university has their own policy which I have been advised to go for although there are certain things that it doesn't include so it may be a bit iffy.

However I have got a visa which is a good start. It took over three hours and my interview consisted of two quick questions but at least it went OK. Although it was frustrating that I couldn't really get into my book as I was worried my number would be called and I would miss it.

Friday, 29 June 2007


So sorry that this is possibly the worst blog EVER. I am just back from Paris which is why nothing has been written so I do apologies.
Paris is lovely, such a beautiful city. Even when it is raining. I was on a trip with the school with the art department as I do love my art. It was rather bizzare to see paintings that I have studied in books right there in front of me. It was rather amazing. Although I must admit that the Mona Lisa was disappointingly small but what can you do. She's still pretty spectacular.

Anyway, I know that Paris isn't Georgia. I'm still in Edinburgh for just now. I shall be flighing to the States at the end of July which is so exciting I can't wait! I will be there for just less than a year studying at University. As of yet I have not decided what I shall be studying whilst I am there although I am hoping to do something related to art and design as I am going to Dundee when I get back to study architecture there, so it would be nice to have a bit of a head start.

I am going to Georgia on a scholarship program which the Rotary Club of Georgia set up at the end of the second world war. It is to encourage peace and understanding with different countries and cultures. The program has increased in size from just one student to around 70 people internationally. As well as studying at the University I shall be writing power point presentations on Scotland and trying to give the rotarians and others I meet an idea of how I spend my time in Edinburgh.

I know it is going to be a wonderful experience for me and I am positive that I shall meet a lot of interesting people and make a lot of good friends. I am lucky that 7 students have been chosen from Scotland this year, four of which I went to school with. Although we will all be in different parts of Georgia we will be able to meet up every so often and talk about our experiences.

I'm afraid I have to stop writing now as I am meeting my Grandfather for lunch but I shall keep you posted on all the fun.