Eight days! I am going home in eight days! I’ve not been away from home 76 days, making this the longest stretch that I have ever been away from home. I can’t believe that it’s been 76 days since my first international flight where I cried every step of the way to Lampeter. And I’ve survived! Not only have I survived, but I’ve been having a blast here in Wales! I’ve definitely not blogged as much as I should have, but I’ve been up to other shenanigans while I make myself at home here in my temporary home away from home. Since landing my life has basically been a mess of laughter, tears, and lost underwear. I’m not even sure how it’s happened, but I came to Wales with 10 pairs of underwear and I’m now down to 4 lonely undies. I’ve also managed to go from having 12 pairs of socks to only being able to find 4 pairs. Besides the lost underwear and socks, I’ve managed to keep the homesick feelings at bay by staying incredibly busy.
For those of you who know me, you know that I love basketball and netball. So I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was when I was able to sign up for netball! But just imagine how excited I got when Haylee (a girl who is also from BC and is like a sister now) told me she saw a guy with a basketball! Naturally, because we both love basketball we followed him and wound up joining the men’s basketball team that very night. Except it’s now a co-ed team! I have a ball in my hand every day of the week and I couldn’t be happier. On Monday’s and Wednesday’s I have netball practice and on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s I have basketball practice.
Unfortunately being in the gym so much means that I have lost a little bit of weight and now all but one pair of my underwear is too big. So three out of four days I have to find places to discretely pull my undies back up because they’ve slipped so far down my butt that I’m fairly certain that they’re about to fall out the bottom of my pants.
That’s also what I’ve been up to while I’m here in the UK! Getting used to the words everyone uses. This is what I’ve picked up so far.
Fries are called chips. What I would call a chip back home is actually a crisp. And what I would call a crisp at home (like apple crisp) is actually a crumble. But wait! It gets better after that because over here underwear are called pants. Just sit back and image me running around talking about my pants (it happens more than you’d think) to people who think that I’m going on and on about my undies because over here pants are called trousers. Except I don’t like that word so I continue to talk about my pants. The last and final difference that’s entertained me to no end is fanny. In North America a fanny is a butt. In the UK a fanny is a vagina. I don’t use the word fanny ever, but I love the giggles I’m going to get the next time someone talks about their fanny pack.
Anyway! I’ve been extremely happy playing basketball and netball here. Especially basketball! We had a mini, day-long tournament a few weekends ago. It felt like home sitting in the gym all day while we either played or waited to play. It was a long day in the gym, but it felt really good to spend the day doing something I love. Since that weekend Haylee and I have started showing the team new drills and we’ve even been able to introduce the team to a full court press and new zone defence.
Haylee and I have also introduced a few of our teammates to poutine! To everyone here it’s cheesy fries with gravy. No matter what it’s called, poutine has become a favourite snack food.
Besides playing basketball and netball I’ve also gotten to explore a few places in the UK! A few weeks ago I got to visit Bath! I can remember being a teen and learning about the Roman Baths and wanting to see them. In my mind I always wished for that “someday” to happen when I could actually go and see the Baths and explore them. That day finally happened and it was like a dream to me. I waited in this long line-up to actually get into the Baths and I couldn’t help but think that maybe seeing the Baths wasn’t worth it because there were a lot of people and it felt like I was stepping up to see an over commercialized venue and not the piece of history that I’d dreamed of seeing. But then I actually walked into the main are of the baths and I was in love. I was by myself (I tend to wander off when I explore) when I entered the baths and I’m pretty sure that I peed a little. Then I tripped over a stone because the walkways were a bit uneven. I actually started to vibrate because I was so excited! In my limited travels there are very few places that I’ve been where…
It felt like something was about to happen. Being there and actually seeing the baths was magic. When I first stepped out to see the baths I wound up standing still and looking around because I was waiting for something to happen. Of course nothing did happen, but I still felt like I was in a dream. I’d been waiting for so long to walk the steps that I was walk and I was convinced I had to be dreaming. So I took a selfie to prove to myself that I was really there and had really and actually seen the Roman Baths. I spent the better part of two hours wandering around the area trying to commit every detail to memory. Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t very good and a lot of my photos didn’t turn out very well. One of the more odd details that I fixated on was the fact that woman’s bathroom I used was actually heated by the baths! It was like going pee in a sauna! Not only was it strangely relaxing because I was very warm, but I was also just very amazed in a very country girl sort of way that the bathroom that I was peeing in was being heated by a piece of history that I’d always wanted to see.
Oh, I’m also doing really well in school. This semester I only had classes two days a week on Thursday’s and Friday’s. The grading system here is a bit odd, but from what I’ve managed to figure out I’ve rocked the two assignments I had to hand in.
Hopefully I’ll be able to write more about my adventures when I get home. In the meantime I’m going to go watch one of my basketball teammates play in a soccer match and spend the rest of my weekend attempting to get some school work done.