Sunday, October 9, 2011


I'm breaking down the past 1 and a half (almost 2) months into several posts because I have so many awesome things to write about. In this first one I'm going to stick to talking about arrival.

We (the other NZ'ers heading off to the USA and myself) left as more or less a bunch of strangers from entirely different parts of the country. We made our way through customs with the odd bit of awkward conversation and were talking a little bit more by the time we boarded for our 11 hour flight to L.A. The plane trip was long and largely uneventful although the food is worth mentioning. I don't recall exactly what we had but I do recall that it was definitely restaurant quality stuff, the meals were probably the highlight of the flight for me.

When we arrived in L.A. we were met by two AFS USA volunteers. There's no way any onlooker would have guessed that our group had only known each other for a day. We had all become a lot closer on the journey and it was sad to have to say goodbye to so much of the group so quickly. I was lucky enough to have another kiwi from the group flying to the midwest with me.

We went to good ol' Maccas for breakfast and shortly after boarded a 3 hour flight to chicago. O'hare is one of the most spectacular airports I have ever seen. As soon as we got off the plane we walked into a stream of people traffic going at what seemed like 50 km an hour in every direction. It was extremely disorienting for two NZers trying to locate the baggage claim. To make things worse when we found our way over to an elevator, the buttons had weird numbers next to them instead of G,1,2,3 etc so we guessed at one and got it right.

Shortly after we were met by another lovely AFS volunteer and took a freakin' rail (never imagined an airport with a metro rail type thingy to take you from one point to another) from where we were to the part of the airport that we needed to take a shuttle from.

After a really long wait, we took a shuttle along with some brazillian and thai AFS students to a hotel which was basically a holding pen until another bus arrived to take us to the state we belonged in. For me it was only about an hour before the bus for Wisconsin arrived but Chelsea (the other kiwi I was with all the way from auckland to chicago!) stayed the night at the hotel in Chicago.

With about 10 minutes to go before my bus was due to leave I was feeling pretty sad about leaving Chelsea as everyone else seemed to have a whole group of fellow countrymen with them. I was dreading the bus ride to Wisconsin because I didn't think I'd have anyone to talk to which would have made for a boring 2 hour bus ride (I think it was 2 hours). Literally as soon as that thought entered my mind, an Australian girl came and sat down at the table we were at ( we were in like a conference/function room eating dinner at this point) who was also Wisconsin bound. I ended up having a great bus ride chatting, listening to music and watching "Easy A" with Myffanwy (the Australian).

Finally we arrived in Wisconsin, had a briefing about the post arrival orientation which we had the next day, and were given our rooms (there were 3 of us to a room). I shared a room with a boy from Norway (Odin) and a boy from kazakhstan (I can't remember his name). there were only two beds in our room and I opted to sleep on the couch which was actually more comfortable than the beds (I tested them to check). Never in my life did I consider the possibility of sharing a hotel room with a Norwegian and a Kazakh!

I didn't expect to have so much to write about two days but they were pretty eventful ones. The next couple of posts will be about post arrival orientation and the first week of american life.

No comments:

Post a Comment