Wednesday, 4 June 2014

'We are inviting you to have lunch with us everyday for the rest of the week and on Wednesdays we wear pink' - British Girl in a American Middle School

On the 2nd of June I began my next adventure - 3.5 months in the US of A working in a summer camp and travelling around after.  For the past two days I have ben staying with a host family in Virginia with two other councillors, one from New Zealand and one from the UK.  It has been a great experience learning about the American life and actually living it instead of watching it on the telly.  But what I can say has been the biggest shock / oddest experience was the trip we just took to the public school (state school not fancy elite school like Harrow or Eton) for lunch.

The girls, Hannah and Jess (not the same girls as the ones in my Europe posts)and I rode bikes to the local middle school (grades 6-8 aka years 7-9) - which was a traumatic experience in itself, what with having to cross massive 8 lane intersections and havin to look the wrong way when crossing the road - it's a surprise how I managed to fall of my bike only once!

So we arrived at the school and had to buzz and show our photo IDs to a camera before we were even allowed into the school - very different from a British school!  We then met one of our host sisters who helped us sign in, which was way more than having to write our name in a book, labels were printed with our nanes and reason of visit for us to wear. We then headed to the cafeteria (canteen). As soon as we walked in our ears were met by the sound of lots of very loud pre-teens. And it really was like in the films. There really was a plastics and jock table and and a table with kids trading Pokemon cards - everyone had their table and sat on it. But what shocked me the most was that there really was a police man,  with a gun,  just casually chilling there.  It was a really intimidating experience and made me feel uncomfortable. I find it really sad that this is the environment these kids have to learn and find themselves in.  Where is the trust?

At the school we were like celebrities - every one was staring at us (the crazy foreigners that talk funny). The school kids had a whale of time asking us to say words and then laughing at our hilarious accents!  It was very weird!

One of the things I did like about the school was that around the cafeteria there were motivational quotes,  and those who know me know how much I love a motivational quote!

So tonight we head to our electricity-less and flushing toilet-less camp and what is the forecast?   A thunderstorm! Could not ask for a better first day at camp. I will be sad to leave our host home as I have had so much fun here (last night we had a nerf gun war and played hide and seek in the dark with nerf guns - so much fun) and the family are super awesome and I really appreciate this experience!

So I better get ready for camp now - we have bought some awesome camp arrival outfits consisting of USA t-shirts and bandanas!

USA Ruch x

NB: Due to limited internet access blogging will not be a regular occurrence.

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