Hi I'm Madison Lichtmann, I am a junior marketing major from New Hampshire. I am currently studying abroad in London, England. Some of my involvements on campus include, Resident Assistant, Staff Coordinator for Orientation, Information Center Employee, Secretary & Fundraiser for Bryant Cheer, and of course student blogger!
February 24th, 2014
I decided to look for an internship in my field of study, I wasn't sure of exactly what I wanted to do but I knew the only way to find out was give it a chance. I was very lucky to not only find an internship in the area that I was interested in but was given the opportunity to work there for the semester. Can you believe it, real world experience already, just yesterday I was a first year student here and now I'm interning for a company!
The company is Big Orange Productions a marketing event staffing agency who works with various clients to staff in store demonstrations and sampling opportunities. I was very excited to work with them and a little nervous as to what to expect in terms of my responsibilities and duties but on my first day they let me start right in! I was doing reporting for company's clients, sending demonstration promo packages and learning the ropes quickly. Being there has definitely helped me grow and learn and I have only been there a few weeks.
I hope as the internship continues I can further my understanding of the event planning and staffing agency and gain some real world experience. I think whether you are sure of the field you wish to enter or not applying for an internship or experiencing the interview process is extremely helpful. It also will is another piece to the puzzle of finding a job after graduation and building your resume!
February 10th, 2014
When I say home sweet home I am talking about being back at Bryant with my bulldog family. Yes I know it sounds cliche but since coming back to Bryant after a semester abroad I have encountered the warmest welcome homes and the typical question "how was your trip" which I haven't exactly found out how to put into words. It really is nice being back, regaining a sense of routine, normalcy and seeing the smiling faces of my peers and friends. When we call ourselves the Bryant/bulldog family and community we genuinely mean it. Since being back I have noticed some differences, don't worry they are all good, they just show how quickly time is going.
For one thing, our gorgeous new Fisher Student Center. It looks incredible, more space as well as better use of space, comfy couches & chairs, a more inviting atmosphere and of course the food options and placement couldn't be more perfect. Another thing I have noticed since being back is the sense excitement and student pride and involvement with our athletic teams. Even being considered for the Bryant 6th Fan is incredible, but the students, athletes or not have really taken it upon themselves to boost our rankings and share with the social media community how awesome our school really is. The last change I have noticed was the improvements and amazing feedback, participation and dedication to the first years Bryant IDEA program. For it to only be the second year running this program the accomplishments, energy and attitudes towards it have changed remarkably. As for me I think I have changed throughout my experience as well.
I appreciate the close knit ties I have with my friends and peers on campus. I have come to appreciate all that our campus has to offer, the opportunities they provide and the leadership and growth that I have been gaining along the way. I truly consider Bryant my second home and can't even imagine where I would be without all the experiences I have had at Bryant. Yesterday marked the end of my official role as an Orientation Leader but it was the perfect way to say goodbye. I was able to provide guidance, insight and comfort to the 40 students who took it upon themselves to transfer into our growing Bryant family. It really solidified my love for my school and gave me a new perspective on my upcoming years at Bryant. I can't wait to see what other changes and new opportunities will come my way, but for now I am just happy to be exactly where I belong.
February 4th, 2014
Looking back at my journey through Bryant these past 2 and half years I can't even begin to explain how many amazing opportunities I have been fortunate to be apart of, and that have changed my life. Coming into Bryant the only thing I was sure of was trying out for the Bryant Cheerleading team. If I did nothing else on campus cheerleading was how I would make new friends, stay in shape and continue to develop and learn new skills and "tricks". After making the team and experiencing all that campus had to offer I wanted to get involved in more, challenge myself and become more integrated in the Bryant Community. This is when I thought back to my first experience at Bryant, freshmen Orientation, my Orientation was amazing, calmed my nerves and made my feel comfortable and confident in my decision to attend Bryant. That's when I decided I wanted to be that person for the first year students. I was fortunate enough to receive the position, the position that I would later find changed my future.
Orientation was the most rewarding position and experience I have ever been a part of. So much so that one year wasn't enough, the growth, leadership and experiences I received from being a part of the program helped to mold my time here at Bryant. I loved Orientation so much that I went on to become the Staff Coordinator the next year. This was a completely different experience and learning opportunity. I learned more about myself, and my team then I ever thought possible. Being able to experience the Orientation program from such a different perspective was truly amazing. Which brings me to another equally rewarding position on campus that I was lucky enough to be a part of.
I was able to apply and receive a resident assistant job on campus. I was placed in one of the freshmen halls and was at an advantage from having met the entire incoming class. I again was able to learn, grown and gain valuable leadership skills. I enjoyed working within my staff, my peers and everyone else involved that I decided to continue as an RA this year. So much has changed since entering Bryant all because the opportunities are endless here. I have grown, learned and experienced more in these 2 and half years than I ever though possible. So I encourage you all to look at Bryant with an open mind and experience everything this place has to offer!
January 7th, 2014
It's a weird feeling only having one more night left in London. Where did the time go. 100 days ago I stepped foot in London for the first time, and in Europe for that fact. Looking back on my journey I am heading home having visited over 7 European countries, traveling through every London airport, taking the cheesiest tourist pictures one could possibly find, making the three best friends I could ask for and having the most amazing experience abroad. These are the memories and moments I will take with me everywhere I go. I have come to appreciate the little things in life, have learned so much about myself, and have opened myself to new experiences, new opportunities and perspectives.
I honestly don't know where the time went, every week seemed to fly by and we'd be off to our next destination, our next holiday or our next class project. I came to realize how lucky I was to meet such awesome people abroad. I was forced out of my comfort zone, thrown into what felt like an alternate universe and forced to make it on my own. Independence has an entirely new meaning and you learn more than you ever thought possible. I am so sad to see this experience come to an end but I am so grateful I had this opportunity and I encourage everyone to take advantage of it when the time comes.
It's going to be a strange change going back to America tomorrow, seeing my family, my friends, and transitioning back to Bryant, but I am ready and excited to see what my future has in store. It makes leaving a lot easier to know I have so many amazing people and things to go back to. I look forward to being a second semester junior, seeing what new opportunities are ahead and always carrying with me this amazing semester abroad.
December 2nd, 2013
As my time in London comes to a fast approaching end I couldn't help but think to myself how can I possibly explain my experience or everything I have gained in knowledge, experience or life while being here. At first I thought about doing a said attempt to remake the 12 Days of Christmas to the 12 Days of London, but how could I possibly fit everything I have done in only 12 days! So I did what everyone in my situation would do, and counted on the calendar the exact number of days I've been here. From September 6th, to December 14th, marks exactly 100 days in London. So what better way to be all nostalgic and capture my experience than writing my 100 favorite memories, experiences, challenges, and ways of life I've learned since being here! Oh yeah and it's completely biased, enjoy!
- When using the escalator the left is for walking, the right is used for standing (it's basically the law)
- Never take your two minute walk to class for granted! 30 minute commute, by tube.
- With that being said the tube is the fasted means of transportation within London.
- The tube stops at 12:30, if you like going out you must learn how to use the bus system as well…
- Piccadilly Circus has some of the best night life and is very similar to Times Square
- There is a difference between being British and being English
- Dogs aren't required to wear a leash!
- Everyone bikes EVERYWHERE (they use the same road as the cars…)
- You must wait for the green man to tell you it's okay to walk, cars don't stop for pedestrians
- The food here is not processed like it is in America, it's actually healthier, which is why it tastes funny
- With that being said don't ever get a hamburger from McDonalds while in London
- Tea is the equivalent to coffee in America
- They have flavored CIDER
- Students only go to University for 3 years here
- Freshmen year is pass/fail, second year is only worth 30% and their final year is 70%
- People will ask you where you are from, half the time they want to hear what state half the time they want to hear America. YOU CAN'T WIN!
- Don't call pants - pants, it means underwear
- Stonehenge importance and use is unknown
- It does not in fact rain that much here, unless your friends ask you on certain days because then it's always raining when they ask
- Prices are the same as America, but the dollar is weaker = BROKE
- Traveling is so easy, and fairly cheap especially when there are 4 airports just outside of London
- Since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving they make up for it by going all out for Christmas
- You must go see the changing of the guards, it's really cool
- Kate and William don't live in Buckingham, they live in Kensington Palace
- You can get anything and everything you may need (except food) at Primark
- There are Starbucks on every corner, don't go looking for a Dunkin Donuts, unfortunately you won't find one
- But you will find Chipotle!
- You can get your hair cut and colored for under 20 pounds during model nights, or at training academies
- There is in fact peanut butter, but Nutella is 10 times better
- Fun fact: There are dragons on the outside of London, if they are facing you; you are entering the city of London vice versa.
- London is only 1 square mile and only apprx. 5 people live in it. The rest is considered the city of Westminster
- Tower Bridge NEVER GETS OLD
- You will wear out your shoes from walking so much, don't worry you get used to it
- Oxford Circus is where are the high end clothing stores are located $$$
- It is possible to see all the touristy things in a weekend, I've had to do it!
- Markets like Borough, Camden and Portabella are really cool; antiques, clothing and FOOD!
- Never take a taxi it's like getting into a strangers car, unless pre-booked, as told by tube advertisements
- Parks here are massive, you will most likely get lost, but no worries there are tube stops at each corner (Hyde Park and Regent Park are my favorites)
- Covent Garden always has street performers and awesome no name singers
- Leicester Square is the best place to find half price theater tickets
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is AMAZING.
- Platform 9 ¾ always has a cue (that's a line) but it's totally worth the wait
- The platform is actually located inside King's Cross St. Pancras Train Station
- The locals are really bad at giving directions, they usually don't know what you are talking about
- Finding someone you don't know but trust to take a group picture is a struggle!
- They take futbol very seriously (that's what we call soccer)
- On the same note RUGBY is huge here
- J.K. Rowling has a flat in London, her license plate has her name on it
- Famous people always come here, you just have to know where to go see them
- You can literally get away with wearing ANYTHING here
- Londoner's always look photo ready
- Heels are the norm here
- No one talks to each other on the tube…
- Which means singing in public is frowned upon =(
- All the museums here are free, so go get cultured
- You really come to appreciate the little things you took for granted back home
- You and your family become a lot closer and you realize how much they support you and help you in any way possible
- You meet some of your best friends abroad
- There's always something new to see, do and explore
- You become super independent
- You may even learn to cook, I know I had too
- You learn how to really budget your money
- You get to travel and see the most amazing places, with the most amazing people
- You learn to live without TV, which isn't as bad as it sounds
- You become the ultimate packer
- You learn to live only with the necessities
- You learn how to open up and communicate all over again
- Face to face communication is sometimes your only means of communication
- You love when you see the sign FREE WIFI
- Whatever you do, DON'T turn your data on!
- If you're lucky, like I was, you only have class three days a week
- You have to pay for public bathrooms! WHAT!
- People know you're American when you have to swipe your credit card, they use cards with chips in them
- No matter how hard you try you are almost always spotted as an American
- Even though after 3 months you feel like a true Londoner!
- The experience is really life changing, you may not realize it now, but just wait
- The possibilities and opportunities are endless
- British people laugh at your attempt to do a British accent
- They don't use the doctor like we do, if you need a prescription you go to a drug store and tell them your symptoms
- If your program offers any trips or activities DO THEM (they are much cheaper)
- Take pictures of everything, but don't ruin the moment
- Keep a journal or a blog
- Always keep your safety in mind
- Try something new ALWAYS
- Push your limits and comfort zone
- FEEL ALIVE!
- Climb EVERYTHING
- Take up a new hobby
- Favorite landmark: Tower Bridge
- Best views in London: Primrose Hill, St. Paul's Cathedral, The 02, & The Eye
- Best museum in London, naturally the London Museum
- Best food: crepes with nutella and strawberries
- Best pub: O'Neil's
- Supposed best food: Fish n Chips
- Must experience: Chelsea, at Sloane Square tube stop
- Must find: The American Grocery Store
- Must take a picture with a guard
- Must study abroad in LONDON.
December 2nd, 2013
Ireland, the Emerald Isle. I'll start by saying this was my favorite trip thus far. After being thrown into the hectic London lifestyle, and being somewhat passed by and ignored by locals stepping foot into Dublin and having a kind man immediately give us help finding our destination was the perfect change of pace we all needed. We found our hostel fairly easily walking the busy streets of Dublin on Halloween, experiencing some very interesting costumes and very traditional Irish Pubs and Bars. We heard the music before we saw the hostel, and quickly found out they were throwing a Halloween bash to the public. We checked in and immediately went exploring.
The next morning we started off with a walking tour and history lesson of Dublin, with this awesome Irish girl who made the history fun and exciting for all of us. We passed Irish landmarks, and movie landmarks along with the infamous Trinity College, where a graduation was commencing. We walked miles and miles until we ended up at an Irish pub (O'neils), go figure, here we had beef stew! AMAZING. Naturally being in Irish culture we ventured to the Guinness Factory where we had a personal tour of the factory and ended with a complimentary Guinness pouring lesson and beer. We took our beers to the top of the factory where we could see all of Dublin. (Come to find out it was NOTHING like the view from the Cliffs of Moher, still pretty cool) From there the entire group of 40 ventured out together, experiencing the different Irish night traditions and cultures. It was a night I will never forget, with some of the best people I have met abroad.
The next day we journeyed 3 hours to the Cliffs of Moher. To get there you have to go through sharp, curvy, windy roads with no guardrails. I was with a group though and we were all braving the wind together as well climbed up the left hand side of Cliffs first. Guarded by rock walls on one side we were safe as we made it to the highest point and were spit out into the vast openness of the Cliff. Cue the pictures, and we ventured back down to the brave the other side. Unfortunately the wind picked up, the rain started and we didn't have the luxury of a rock wall guarding us. We ran to the castle's archway, (the only way in which we could stay on two feet). Yes the wind was that bad. Hats, scarves, papers, were flying everywhere, people couldn't walk straight, people were being thrown to the ground and linking arms just to increase their weight and ground themselves. So when I say it started getting scary, I mean it. And of course I thought we could brave the wind in order to climb the side path and take pictures with the cows. We got the cow pictures, but it came with a price. The decent down... My friend Maddie and I started off arms linked running for our lives down to the railing and inside area. We didn't make it there as fast as we had hoped, we were thrown to the ground, my hat flew off, and the rain was pelting us in the face. Scariest experience, we honestly didn't think we were going to make it down the Cliff's into cover, but somehow we managed.
Looking back on it now, it was an amazing experience, the Cliffs were unbelievable, the view unreal (we even saw a rainbow) and the feeling you felt so high up was freeing, liberating, it took your breath away (literally), something everyone should experience. We ended our experience with a quick trip to Galway were we tourist shopped and ate at a tradition Irish pub (again) Over all the people, the atmosphere, the scenery, and attitudes made it my favorite trip thus far!
November 13th, 2013
This week my best friend from home surprised me by buying a plane ticket to London just three days before the weekend. I was so excited that not only was she coming to visit but I was able to show her around London and experience all the "touristy" things with her. Luckily for me there were still a few touristy things I hadn't done, like ride the London eye. So what did we do, WE RODE THE LONDON EYE.
This is where I discovered that I am addicted to the top of the world. I know it sounds kind of lame almost cliche but it's true. Everywhere I have gone I have managed to happen upon a mountain, a cliff, a skyscraper an incredible, unbelievable view of different countries, and cities. I have come to love and appreciate a different perspective and view of the world through these "top of the world" moments and the Eye was no disappointment.
As I stood in one of the 32 London Eye pods (32 representing the number of boroughs in London) I saw everything, my adrenaline kicked in and once again I felt on top of the world. People have always told me that mountains, cliffs, and heights far above the skyscrapers make a person feel small, almost inadequate compared to the rest of world, but this has never been the case for me. I always feel big, powerful, and UNSTOPPABLE when I reach the top. It's a liberating, freeing, incredible feeling I have never felt before coming abroad.
These top of the world moments made me reflect back on my life, it will be these moments I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Our first trip ever to Edinburgh where we stood on top of a mountain (which we still don't know the name too) and took in the view of the entire town and finally realized we were "studying abroad." The view from the Golden Gallery on top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, second highest to the Eye, of course the EYE as well. Climbing and standing on top of the world famous Olympic Arena, the O2, and feeling a part of the rich culture and history that went along with it. And lastly ( barely standing due to wind ) a top the Cliffs of Moher, along the gorgeous countryside of Ireland.
I know this feeling is attainable at home, on top of our gorgeous mountain tops, but while I was home I never felt the need or want to experience them, something I am beginning to regret. Fortunately for me I still have so much time to appreciate these opportunities at home but I will never forget the feeling of freedom and life from the highest points during my study abroad journey.
November 11th, 2013
"No one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it" The slogan, anthem and truth behind studying abroad.
If you ask any whose ever studied abroad how it was, I can almost guarantee their answer is "the most amazing experience ever, unbelievable, you have to do it!" I too will come home answering the question in the exact same way, but there are some things to understand. No matter where you study please be prepared for a culture shock. Coming to London, an American speaking country I thought I would be all set, not too many differences, changes or obstacles to overcome. What I didn't take into account was my somewhat "sheltered" background.
I've never lived in a city, actually I live in pretty much the complete opposite, and anytime I went into the city, public transportation wasn't even a thought, I was driving and knew exactly where I was going, and where I could park. Living at Bryant, my second home, is AMAZING but let's be honest Smithfield is no city. So you can imagine my shock when I arrived in one of the most famous cities in the world, London, England. Where cars are scarce and public transportation is the norm. I was pushed, almost shoved into a crowd of people who lived and breathed London life, and then there's me who had taken public transportation maybe twice in my life. I had to figure it all out what tube (underground train), bus, above ground train, or bike I was supposed to take to class, to the tourist attractions, to the airports and anywhere else I could possibly be going, all without WIFI. Talk about a wake up call.
Another huge adjustment was the size and placement of my campus and housing. I live off of Old Street, just outside of London's center, which happens to be a 35 minute tube ride to class. Much different than my two minute walk to class. Oh yeah this 35 minute tube ride only takes me to Regent's campus, did I forget to mention University of Westminster has 5 different campuses around London? And has a student population of about 20,000. A little bit different from Bryant huh. I suddenly had become a statistic, a face not associated with a name. Cooking, laundry, cleaning, funds, travel documents; all of a sudden become totally, completely 100% my responsibility. I'll admit it, it's scary! And you have to figure these things out for yourself, and pretty quickly too or you'll go hungry, broke and dirty. Now I'm not saying this to scare anyone, or turn them away from studying abroad because it has honestly been the most life changing experience and such a huge learning opportunity.
The reason I wanted to share this with you all is because I thought I was prepared, I thought it would be a walk in the park, flowers and daisy's, magic everywhere. That is because no one ever told me about the not so great things. Luckily I'm the type of person who loves a good challenge and getting out of my comfort zone, but not everyone's like that. I'm speaking from my own experience and I can't speak or pretend to understand everyone's experience. But I will share with you this I now feel more prepared for my future. I realized I can live completely on my own, I can rely on my common sense and problem solving skills pretty well. I trust my gut, and am not afraid to ask for help, or directions.
I have had the most amazing opportunities and have been privileged enough to travel Europe, experience London life, see the most amazing sights, meet the most incredible people and have come to appreciate the smaller gifts in life. I guess what I'm trying to say is, no one ever seems to tell you about the hardships or not so great things about studying abroad, but they are natural, and a very important part in your study abroad experience. Everyone should love a good challenge, want to over come obstacles, and take control of their life and THEIR experience. Nothing ever worth having comes easy, and sometimes you need to get knocked down to get back up and see life from a new perspective. So like I mentioned before, studying abroad is "the most amazing experience ever, unbelievable, you have to do it!"
I will always cherish my new friends, my unforgettable memories, the unbelievable learning and growing opportunities I had, all while in London, but let me tell you, when I arrive back home I will be appreciating all the little things I once took for granted. (especially my two minute commute to class).
I encourage everyone to at least think about studying abroad, challenging yourself to grow, learn and go GLOBAL. If I can do it, so can you. (The pictures look pretty awesome too)
November 11th, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Rome! The ONE AND ONLY, ROME, ITALY. If you told me a year ago, even 5 years ago I would have the opportunity to not only study abroad but travel all over Europe I wouldn't have believed you. I always dreamed of traveling the world and seeing anything and everything but when I finally arrived in London, and traveled to my first few stops, I started changing my travel plans and dreams. Who knew how exhausting and stressful traveling could be. I guess you could say I took my parents for granted for always having my travel documents, passports, and directions to literally anywhere and everywhere we would want to go. Oh and they usually provided the funds... So you could say having to be accountable for yourself in literally every aspect it's a challenge. Completely worth it, but none the less another cultural, economic, study abroad challenge that one may not have originally foreseen.
Speaking of cultural challenge or differences in Italy they speak Italian, and no we didn't not see any of the cast of Jersey Shore. Yet we did see Pope Francesco. THE ACTUAL POPE. How many people can say they saw the Pope at the actual Vatican. Let me start from the beginning our hotel was with in five minutes walking distance of the Vatican, so of course after arriving in Rome our first stop was the Vatican. This is where we saw lines bigger than at Disney. Everyone lined the streets and came to visit the Vatican with what seemed like their entire extended family. What we later found out was the Vatican was only open for a couple hours in the morning because the Pope was coming and an event was being held.
At this point we still hadn't the slighest idea why it was so crowded and decided to do a city tour and find all the tourist attractions. Starting with the famous Trevi Fountain. You'd think someone was giving out free gelato or something by how crowded the Trevi Fountain was, and if you stopped for just a split second and looked around EVERYONE was taking the same exact (throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish) picture. Of course we did as well, but that's besides the point. From there we wandered around and happened upon the Spanish Steps. The steps seemed to go on forever and took you either down into the fashion and shopping distract or up to a monument overlooking the busy streets of Rome.
After walking around and getting lost for what seemed like hours we happened to find our way back to the tour bus where headed to our next stop. THE COLOSSEUM. I've seen the pictures but seeing it in person was 10 million times better. As we stood outside amused by the architecture, rich history and placement of it all we had no chance but to head inside. Once inside we looked around finding the artifacts, the columns the once used to stand tall were broken and made into benches.We saw the inside where the prison used to be, and the cages where the people and animals were once stored and as you looked around you couldn't imagine that this place has seen so many deaths. It used to be a public affair, and still is, but the thousands of years between made for much different perspectives. Each place I visit seems to bring me more knowledge and a deeper connection and want to learn when it comes to history.
Over the next day or so we happened about the Pantheon, which seemed like it was dropped in a extremely random part of Rome, and a famous flea market where we obviously had to culture ourselves in the Italian fashion industry. We had too many margarita pizzas to count and could have been just as happy sitting baking in the hot Italian sun, I think I forgot to mention earlier it was 80 degree's there! Which may have been the perfect icing on the cake, or possibly even the entire cake! It was a weekend I will never forget, and in case you were all wondering, I know understand the saying "when in Rome" unfortunately for all you, you'll just have to visit there to figure it out. CIAO!
October 25th, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to not only bring my independence to a new level but meet some pretty awesome people who happen to be my extended family. For the first time ever, I only had myself to rely on when it came to traveling. I have never been anywhere without either another family member or group of people coaching me and guiding me along the way. I would finally have the opportunity to test my instincts, knowledge and independence on my trip to my great aunts. As I left early Saturday morning I headed for the tube station, having pre planned the route I needed to take in order to catch my four hour bus ride to her house. The trip usually only takes 30 minutes tops and I knew exactly where I was going, so I thought about leaving only 45 minutes before the bus but for some reason changed my mind giving myself an hour to travel there. Good thing too, because much to my surprise my tube stop, the one I use each and every day was CLOSED. I had never been to the surrounding tube stops and almost started to panic, not sure what to do next. As I gathered my things and followed the written directions I walked to the nearest bus stop, took the bus to the next tube stop and thought I could hop on my same planned route from there. What I didn't realize was that the entire line I use, not just the station was closed for the weekend! Luckily I figured out a plan b route from that next station. I ran to the platform and quickly boarded, THE WRONG TUBE. I was fortunate enough that I realized it and got off at the next stop which would connect me to where I needed to go. I kept looking at my phone, time was ticking, and I was far from the bus station. As soon as I arrived at the tube station I ran to the bus station arriving with only 3 minutes to spare. I honestly didn't think I was going to make the bus and I would have been so upset because I had such a fun weekend.
As I arrived in the midlands of England my Aunt and Uncle greeted me with open arms! Toured me around the countryside and brought me back to their house. The cutest little brick English home you will ever see. She has a beautiful garden, and Christmas type lights linning the entire back fence. You enter the house through the kitchen and can sit on a porch overlooking the garden and lights. The house was something I have never seen in the states, or even London for that matter, which made it all the more special. Not to mention not being in a home for over two months really makes you appreciate it when you have the chance to be in one! My own comfy bed, equipped with various pillows, a shower and bathroom I didn't have to worry about or share with anyone for the weekend. You may laugh but having gone without for so long can really take a toll on you! After settling in I was able to have dinner with my cousin, who I had met many years before on his visit to the states. He and his brother were both in the Royal Marines! The next morning was my great uncles 70th birthday, which meant I was in for a treat, I was about to meet their entire extended family as well.
We first went to see his mom, the cutest little 95 year old women you will ever meet, from there I was passed around and met with open arms from his brother and sister. Nothing like a bear hug to make you feel apart of the family. Oh I almost forgot to mention, the whole tea phenomenon is real. We had tea before and after breakfast, with breakfast, with lunch, for a snack and after dinner! They love it! From there we all went out for a birthday dinner celebration. I got to try thai food for the first time and I really enjoyed it! This is also where I met my younger cousins and learned all about their futbol games and practices (soccer to us Americans). It was such a nice and relaxing weekend and I was so happy I had the opportunity to meet some of the rest of my family. What a great opportunity, and they enjoyed it just as much as I did, since they are making a special Thanksgiving dinner for me (even though they don't celebrate!) I can't wait to learn more about their lives and more about the English culture.
I almost forgot, they teased my that I brought the rain with me, but look what else I brought