Sunday, 27 January 2008

Cataloochie ski trip

Just back from the trip and had a wonderful time. It was organised for the international students by the Baptist Student Ministry.

We left just after 12pm on Friday and got to our destination at 9pm although we did make a stop at Arbys for dinner and a couple of pit stops. One of which was a garage which had the most interesting drip coffee. I had the Cinnamon coffee cake as I am not brave enough to try chocolate banana, tiramisu or smores (chocolate and marshmallows on a pie crust). They also had syrup and powder to put in it too so we were all wide awake when we got to the church at 9.

There we stopped for more refreshments and met other baptist ministry students from other schools in Georgia. First we had to say where we were from and shout out our country so it could be put on the map. I was the only one from Scotland. Then an international students made a short speech to us about being ambitious which was nice. We then had another chance to mingle and grab more to eat.

We were then told to sit down so they could go over forms for the students skiing as they had to know name, address, weight, height and shoe size for everyone. Then the fun really started and we were all taught the Virginia Reel and a line dance! 200 people line dancing is pretty funny in itself but when they are from all over the world and have never line danced before, oh it was fantastic.

So after that we all went into the hotel and were put into rooms with 3 others. I stayed with a woman from Thailand, a girl from Japan and also a nice girl from the BCM who I know pretty well now and love to bits.
We woke up at a 6am after getting around 5 and a half hours sleep and had to be ready and in the van by 6.45am to get to the ski resort nice and early!

We all met in a large wooden lodge which had lots of picnic benches around. Everyone was given their tags and taken outside if they were going to ski and around 10/15 people stayed in the lodge. The BCM girl I stayed with, a woman from Turkey and I were approached by one of the men in charge of Cataloochie Ski Area and asked if we did want to ski. He has a certain amount of tickets he could give us for free as long as we kept quiet about it. So after having a wee think about it the 3 of us said yes please and made our way out. We collected our ski's and went to the beginners area. They took a group of 14 of us and we were taught the basics (although not all that well as I was still pretty awful).
I was out in the snow from around 8.30 to 11.30 maybe as I had fallen over enough and was quite uncomfortable with the beginners area being so busy making it terribly easy to crash into people.

I went back to the lodge and had lunch which was provided by the BCM and also Subway. Then after talking to a few people I decided to go for a little walk and take some photographs which I did with the lady from Turkey and a lady who is from Jordan.
The three of us spent most of the afternoon together and they are such fun interesting women. The scenery there was just stunning. It looked wonderful. The fake snow looked so real too.
I also bought myself a t-shirt. It is pretty cool.

At 4pm we had to be all packed up and ready to go. Which I was but of course the people on the slopes took a wee while. Then we hit the road again, stopped at Zaxbys this time for dinner (chicken fast food) and managed to get home at around 1.45am I think it was.
It was a little sad as I had met such nice people and really wanted to say a nice goodbye to everyone but we were all so tired and everybody just wanted to get straight to bed, including myself.
So I stayed in my jim jams until around 12.30pm and then thought I had best get up.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

boo computers

So my computer has broken. The whole reason I bought the nice Mac was because I didn't think it would break on me. But nope. Broken. Stuck on the 'boot screen' according the the Valdosta University Tech Shop guy. In other words, it just won't turn on.

However, I have had a pretty good day. My sculpture is looking less like a tree trunk which is good as it looks more like a sculpture. Although also sad as I do like tree trunks.
I also bumped into a few friends on mine and have been invited to a Movie and Pancake Evening with the Baptist Student Ministry tomorrow night so that should be nice.

Tonight I saw a good friend of mine. She cooked me dinner and we watched The Queen which is a very good film. Almost made me like Tony Blair.

We also went on a quick shopping trip where I found a 6 pack of noodles for 65 cents. So yay me!

Off to call the apple people.

Monday, 21 January 2008

So today is Martin Luther King Day. Celebrations went on in Atlanta but as far as I know nothing was planned in Valdosta.

I saw a friend of mine around 10am and we ate lunch at Palms Dinning Hall on campus. On my meal plan it costs $6 to go in which is very expensive for here. It is all you can eat but usually I don't eat too much. Today I took 3 tea bags and a banana home with me to try and make myself feel better about wasting all that money on an omlette and cinamon bun.

I had a nice evening with my host parents, brought my camera to the restaurant Outback so they could see the NYC photographs. I had a small salad and grilled chicken sandwich which was very tasty. Then we went to Target (kinda like a nicer Matalan maybe) so I bought a cardigan for $5 and a belt for $10 to hold up my jeans I bought in NY that don't fit me, really annoyed I didn't buy the size down but Gwen said I can try and shrink them in the dryer maybe.

Anyway, don't have class till 12.30 but want to go work on my sculpture for an hour or so as I missed class on Friday. Hopefully it will all be fine, just a bit nervous that I have to finish it by the 11th of February and it still looks like a tree trunk.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

leadership weekend GRSP

Dunwoody and Atlanta Rotary Clubs and The Halle Foundation hosted a leadership weekend for the Georgia Rotary Students of 2007-08.
We all arrived at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta which looks like an old English castle. Three GRSP students stud there and I am pretty jealous of them.

Program Introductions:

· Welcome: Bill Woulfin, Governor, Rotary District 6900

· Weekend Roadmap: Fred Brandt, Past President, Rotary Club of Dunwoody

· Making a Difference: Kathy Brandt, President-Elect, Rotary Club of Dunwoody

· Video: The Star Thrower, Joel Barker

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Key Note Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, President, Agnes Scott College

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Break – Refreshments

3:15 pm – 6:00 pm

One Person, One Group Making a Difference

· The Balashikha Project: Blake McBurney & Dr. Al Brann - Rotary Club of Atlanta

· MedShare International: A.B. Short, Executive Director

· A Personal Story: Kristi Matthews, Esq., City of Atlanta, Asst. Attorney

6:00 pm

Students picked up by Dunwoody and Atlanta host families

Students picked up by Dunwoody host families for evening at homes

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Potluck suppers for students and Rotarians in Rotarian homes




Presented by

Larry R. Hart, Chairman, Vistage International, Inc.

Students to have breakfast with host families in homes before program. Program begins at Oglethorpe at 9:00 am sharp.

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Program - Oglethorpe, Lupton Hall

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch - Oglethorpe Cafeteria, Emerson Student Center

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

Program Continues - Oglethorpe, Lupton Hall



Presented by

John Feight, CEO, Foundation for Hospital Art

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Paintfest - Oglethorpe, Emerson Student Center

· John Feight, CEO, Foundation for Hospital Art

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Student Rehearsal - Emerson Student Center


Open to all GRSP Students, Host Families and Interested Rotarians

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Refreshments/Beverages … Oglethorpe Student Center Lobby

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Dinner … Oglethorpe Student Center




Breakfast with host families in host homes before program. Drop off promptly at 8:45 am

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

GRSP Class of 2007-08 Creating a Legacy …

· Kathy Brandt and Rotarians, Rotary Club of Dunwoody

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch, Emerson Student Center – Conference ends

Saturday, 12 January 2008

christmas day

My first Christmas away from home!!
It started with a big ole breakfast with sausage, bacon, omelet, toast and cinnamon buns. The whole family was there and everyone ate together before any presents were even touched.
I had a phone call from home after breakfast which was really lovely to hear from them. Also a little odd as we had just had breakfast and at home they were just about to have cake.
Everyone exchanged presents and had a nice relaxing time together. My host mothers parents and brother then left to get ready for dinner. Then I watched a couple movies with my host parents until it was time for our meat which I think was pork but I can't remember. It was the usual mash potatoes, and peas but no brussel sprouts. Then there was cheesecake and brownies to be eaten.
Then we went back to the house and watched another movie before it was time for bed.

mums visit

So first things first. Sorry. I know it has been an awful long time since I have written the blog. It has all been pretty hectic really. My mum came over from the 13th to the 23rd of December so I wanted to spend as much time with her as I possibly could so didn't write the blog. Then it was Christmas with my host parents. Then on the 28th I traveled to New York City to meet my boyfriend from back home. Then I returned to Valdosta the night of the 6th of January and started classes the next day at 8am.

So I have a lot to write about...

It was wonderful to see my mum. My school friend drove me to Atlanta airport as he was going home to Henry County for Christmas. So once he dropped me off I managed to find mum and a family friend of ours who stays in Atlanta. We stayed at the friends house with her husband and sister who we are close friends with after she studied in Edinburgh.
The next day we drove to Athens to stay with our close friend. Athens is a beautiful city. There were a lot of lovely old buildings which were all being used as Fraternity houses. Which is a bit of a shame as I can only imagine what state the inside of the buildings would look like after a hard night of partying.

We managed to do a lot of shopping in Athens and found a nice bagel place to eat. We went to the Varsity fast food place which is only in Atlanta and Athens. We went to a church service. Mum also experienced Chick-fil-a which is another fast food place which just does chicken and again is only in Georgia. We made a visit to UGA and had a look at the stadium and bookstore. Also a visit to the tree that owns itself is a must in Athens.

From Athens we drove to Thomasville to saty with my Georgia Rotary Scholarship truestee. He is in charge of the four GRSP students in Valdosta so if we have any problems with our host parents for example, he will be able to find a new family or try to resolve the situation.

On our way there we stopped in a lovely place called Madison. We had a tour around a couple old houses and had a nice bite to eat. We also stopped to see the Brer Rabbit statute. It was pretty tiny.

Once in Thomasville we were shown our rooms in our wing of the house. I was in the play room, along with the pin ball machine and other toys.
We went to the black history museum, had a look around Thomasville. Saw another tree, this one was a large oak tree which is pretty massive! We went to the farmers market too.
A friend of mine from university lives near Thomasville too so my mum got to meet her and her mother. We went to Pebble Hill Plantation House which was stunning. The four of us had a look around the shops and ate lunch in Savannah Moon where I had a lovely salad.
There was also a nice pasta place called Fish Bones. The pasta is cooked in front of you and you pick the kind of pasta, sauce, vegetables and meat.

So then my mum and I went to stay with my host family in Moultrie. It was nice that she was able to meet my host family and friends here as I know it must be odd hearing all these names and stories and not knowing who anyone is. Her visit seemed to fly by but we did so much together.