Sunday, October 9, 2011

Post Arrival Orientation

We had our post arrival orientation at Columbus High School in Columbus Wisconsin (at least I am 80% sure that's where it was). We were split up into groups and went through a series of activities.

My group consisted of Odin (the previously mentioned Norwegian), Joana (a girl from portugal) and myself (we were the smallest group by far). Firstly we played a game involving naming flags from countries which participate in the AFS programme then we moved off to start our cycle of activities.

We started in the "school" activity room, which involved a discussion about how school works. We also got to practise with combination locks (which I still have trouble with on october 9th!) which was fun. Next up we had money, which was pretty much just going through the coins and what they look like/are worth. American money still frustrates me, the way NZ does coins seems to make a lot more sense (10,20,50,1.00,2.00 as opposed to 1,5,10,25). Our final activity was swear-words, stuff I already knew being an english speaker but was fun anyways. They basically just went through what words not to use and what swear words are acceptable/ are used between friends and stuff.

We ate lunch once all the groups were done. We had turkey sandwiches with salad and orange drink, a very american lunch. I don't remember exactly what we did after that (bit of a blank period in my mind), the next thing I remember was lining up to get our AFS Wisconsin t-shirts which are neon orange and totally awesome.

We took a few photos and had another lecture about something which I don't remember and I doubt anyone else does because at this point we were all like "JUST LET US MEET OUR FAMILIES ALREADY!!!!!!!!."

Next thing we knew we were lining up to walk into the school gymnasium where all of our host families were waiting for us. We lined up across the gym and stood with a stand full of american families in front of us. They made us all introduce ourselves, say where we came from and who our host family was. I was first in line and was looking around to see if I could find Dick Schultz (my host dad) ahead of time seeing I had skyped with him and knew more or less what he looked like. I couldn't find him until I announced who my family was and he stood up with Martin (the closest thing I have to a host brother over here, he stays with Dick periodically but lives in an apartment with his mother and sisters most of the time).

We joked around a lot on the way out of the school and I knew right away that this was going to be a good man for me to be living with for the next 10 months or so. Martin and I also hit it off right away which made things easy for me from the beginning.

Next post will be about the first couple of weeks of US life, pretty much from arriving at my new home in Fort Atkinson to the end of the summer break.
Columbus High School (location of post arrival orientation)

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