Lions, Essays, and Dance Dares, OH MY!

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Ahhhhh!!!!! Life has been so busy here in Wales! This week I officially handed in the last piece of academic writing of my career as a Bachelor student. I managed to spend a good portion of this paper writing about sex, and orgasms while making South Park references. It’s was such a huge relief to hand it in that I had one of the best poops I’ve had all year and then curled up in bed for a celebratory nap. Now all I have left to do so I can graduate is to finish my creative project, finish a presentation that I’m working on for a conference, and to write one more final. After that…I. Am. Done. Besides school, life has been go go go go go! I can’t believe that I’ve been back in Wales for two months! It feels like I just got here. However, it also feels like I have spent several lifetimes here. Time here in Wales is weird. As a result, here is what I’ve been up to! It’s all in no particular order because I can’t remember what happened first, second or last. It’s all been fun and I’m nothing but extremely grateful and humbled by each new memory I get to create with my Wales family.

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Turd and the Turdettes

I guess to start, I should say that I’ve become a Turdette! One of Josh’s nicknames is Turd and back in February our Student’s Union hosted a Fetish Ball. Rather than dressing up in a kinky manner, Haylee, Lisa and I all borrowed some of Josh’s shirts and made jokes that we had a Turd fetish. That night we became Turd and the Turdettes and the theme has made its way into our day to day lives.

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Haylee dance daring on Josh and his two friends, Billy and Sam.

Now that I’m a Turdette, there are lots of things for me to learn from the other Turdette’s. Like what a DANCE DARE is! I had no idea these things existed until a few weeks ago when the Student’s Union hosted a jungle themed party. That night Lisa, Haylee and I all dressed up a bit. That night I learned a dance dare is when you sneak up on people and dance behind them without them turning around to catch you. We spent all night sneakily dancing behind people and I wish I’d caught more of it on video rather than taking the copious amounts of pictures that I did of Haylee and Lisa getting up to mischief.

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Lisa, Haylee, Sam, and Pumba (Harry) dance daring on Josh.

By the end of the night more people had joined us in doing dance dares and my tummy hurt from laughing so hard. Besides the late night shenanigans, training sessions for basketball and netball, and actually attempting to be good students, we also take some nights to hang out and relax. After practice, Haylee, Josh and I hang out and have movie nights together. This term we’ve managed to get Josh to watch the remake of Footloose and he finally convinced me to watch Up! Haylee has gotten us into watching Orange is the New Black. It’s a great show, except for one yucky part. The other week there was an episode where a guy was talking about what some women do with their placenta and I was so disgusted that I actually puked. A lot. I have no idea why, but just the thought of fried placenta and…I’m happy to say that I made it to the toilet in time. I decided that night that celibacy was a good idea again as well. 10429843_10100443664425893_7255754513948871150_nOur dance dare shenanigans carried on to St. Patrick’s day. We borrowed three of Pumba’s shirts, painted our faces, and went out to sneaky dance the night away. Except our night had to end early because… IMG_1783The next day we had to be on a bus at 9:30am to go play in the Varsity games that my university hosts. Every year the University of Wales has a showdown between its campuses where the sports team play against each other in a day of games. This year, my basketball team was the only team that was invited to compete in the games. We are all excited to be going and competing. Unfortunately we got a late start and Haylee and I got take a walk down memory lane and change into our gear on a bus. If you’ve never tried to change while in a moving vehicle, I don’t recommend that you do. Especially if you’re a girl and there’s boys about. I wound up wiggling into my sports bra and changing shirts while hoping that the boys on our bus didn’t accidentally turn around to look at something. They didn’t and we stepped off the bus ready to play. Except there was a game happening before ours that had just started so our bus change was for nothing. Our game against Carmarthen was great. We got off to a slow start, but eventually found our groove as a team. It was the first basketball game that Pumba had ever played in and he did amazing for someone who is only just learning how to play the game. One of the best parts of the game was watching Haylee and Lisa playing defense together. They made a deadly pair who hassled the other team from tip off to the final whistle. IMG_1782In fact, everyone on our team that day played their hearts out. Though the highlights of the game for me that day were Josh’s passes. Before the game he and I had goofed off for a bit by passing behind the back to each other and I jokingly said that someday I was going to pull a behind the back pass off in a game. And maybe someday I will pull a behind the back pass off. And maybe it will be like the one Josh pulled off that game. Towards the end of the game Haylee popped to an open spot on the court for a shot. I saw it. Josh saw it. Then we all saw Josh shoot his hand behind his back for a beautiful and text book behind the pass that went straight to Haylee. Unfortunately she missed that shot, but the pass was still beautiful. Another beautiful pass that Josh pulled off was when I popped into an open spot under the hoop on our end and he hammered a beautiful bounce pass through a very congested key. I saw him look and and I though “no no no,” but he still pushed the pass through and it bounced and popped perfectly into my hands for an easy two points. Even though Lisa, Haylee, Josh and I are all on the basketball team together, basketball isn’t the only sport we play. Lisa and Haylee are on the netball team with me and these past two weeks Lisa has played in her first netball games and totally rocked out in them. You wouldn’t know that her main sport is football (it’s really soccer) because she’s so at ease on a basketball court. The other week all of us and Pumba all went to our university’s football pitch and we kicked a football around. I learned that my feet are not intelligent at all and there is definitely a reason why I should stick to basketball. I kind of felt like a drunk flailing around with my feet in the air. 11053652_10100441960725123_2237090528513806354_nThough now that I’ve spent some time in Wales, I’m starting to enjoy watching football! I still don’t understand it, but it’s interesting to watch. Especially when Lisa is with me to explain what is going on. The last game we went to was fun to watch because it was such a close game! There were some intense moments. I didn’t realize until I’d watched that game how hard some of the hits could be. There were a few moments were I cringed in pain and was amazed that the player got back up and kept on playing. With all of that said, I still have a lot to write about! This past weekend we went to London! Plus tomorrow I’m leaving Lampeter to head out on my Easter break adventure. Haylee, Charlotte and I are going to PARIS! PARIS! Then after Paris, Haylee and I will carry onto Amsterdam while Charlotte heads back to the UK. After Amsterdam, Haylee and I will spend another couple of days in London (I really love London!) before we come back to our tiny town to settle in and start finishing up our final projects and assignments for the year.

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Birthday, Bath, and Beyond!

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I’ve been away from home for six weeks now! Every week has brought an amazing routine of basketball, class, netball, class, more basketball, and trips to the grocery store to see if anything good has been put in the reduced section. Every day has brought new experiences, more laughs, and more time spent with my friends. Plus, ya know, more shenanigans as I’ve gotten more comfortable with my friends here.

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I got to go back to Bath for a second visit! Last semester I spent most of my time there on my own, exploring and completely falling in love with the city. Read: I got lost and wandered around a lot. I was so incredibly stoked to see the Roman Baths for the very first time that I was basically speechless because I was so awed by the place. This second trip, Haylee and I planned to spend together. We explored the Roman Baths with other international students and being there was just as amazing as the first time. However, this time had the added fun us pretending to throw each other in the Baths.

That day I learned that if I were my height when the Baths were originally built I would have gotten a lot of concussions. Throughout the baths are several doorways leftover from the original structure. Apparently the Romans were really short and I’m kind of tall. Those two tings added together make me happy that I exist in a world where I have zero chance of slamming my head into the top of a doorway.

After the Baths all of us wandered around the city while we looked for the Fashion Museum. Only Haylee and I went in though. While I thought it was interesting to see fashion through the ages, I was the most excited seeing the ballroom and the chandeliers! I’ve never actually been in a ballroom, nor have I ever seen actual chandeliers, so the country girl in me thought seeing both together was about the best thing ever. Then I got to dress Haylee up in Victorian era clothing. We strapped her into a big hoop skirt thingy, put her in a corset and then put all of the dresses on her. Naturally I was wearing a top hat almost the entire time because it felt like the thing to do.

The week after we went to Bath, we had another basketball game against Carmarthen! It was a good game because both teams have been improving and starting to mesh as teams and I had a fun, but very physical game rebounding. Back home in Canada, I am usually one of the tallest on the court and never have any issues playing my position (I’m a post player), or rebounding. Here in Wales I am no where near the tallest on my team (He’s 6’6″!) and I am definitely short compared to a number of the guys on the Carmarthen team. So it is safe to say that when I play in games here, I play a very different game. It’s all still a lot of fun though! I love any day that I get to be on the court playing. We won that game.

Haylee, Lisa and I weren’t able to celebrate our win for too long though. We had to get on a bus to go to a Chinese New Year celebration in  Swansea! The performances were interesting and we got to see a couple get engaged! One of the performers proposed after his performance and she said yes. I thought it was incredibly sweet and the hopeless romantic in me melted a little. Then there was the food. Oh my days, was there ever food. I’d been craving broccoli for ages, so when I saw a giant pile of steamed broccoli I nearly screamed in delight. Thankfully I contained myself. I’m not sure how the people around me would have felt seeing me freak out over a vegetable.

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Hour seven of twelve for the 12-hour basketball game.

That following Saturday there was a 12-hour basketball match that my team took part in. Yes, you read that right! It was a 12-hour basketball game. We started at 9am and it went until 9pm. Josh, Haylee, Sam and I were there for the full 12 hours. We weren’t playing the whole time and took lots of breaks, but the game continued on through the day as people joined in to play whenever they wanted. Thanks to Haylee, I’ve gotten used to basketball practices lasting anywhere from 2 to 4 hours so the first few hours weren’t that hard. I actually spent most of the first hour attempting to wake up since I’m not a morning person at all. However, by the sixth hour my legs felt like they were noodles and I was positive that I was going to fall over from exhaustion at any minute. Then the seventh hour rolled around and I started feeling better. By the time we got to our eighth hour of game play I was starting to get a second wind. At this point I was ignoring my body screaming at me while it wondered what the hell I was doing to it. I felt all icky and sticky from sweating all day, and I felt like I needed to poop, but had nothing to poop. Then the final alarm went off, letting us know it was 9pm and I couldn’t believe that I’d made it. Now that I think back to that day I know I made it through because I got to spend the day goofing off with my friends and every moment was just as fun as the last. Even when we were all collapsed on the bench for a five minute break, we were still full of jokes and smiles. If there is anything that I’m proud of accomplishing this year, it’s making it through 12 hours straight of basketball.

After the 12-hour basketball match we all got a day to rest and then Monday brought another basketball game for us. We were playing a team we’d never played before. That night we loaded up onto a bus and went to Llanelli and put another win down for the Lampeter Lions. I was extremely happy watching my team click together on the court. I love watching the guys and girls move and play together. For me, that’s magic.

When we got home from that game we all went to our Student’s Union where we all watched our phones tick over to 12:00am. It was my birthday! At first I was a little sad because this was my first birthday away from home, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be with. Lisa and Haylee played great music on the juke box and goofed off until closing. Then we all went back to Charlotte’s where I unknowingly sampled my birthday cake and ate vodka gummies until everyone was ready to go home.

The next day I woke up and it was…an odd day. I’m going to say it was an odd day because everyone was acting weird! Lisa made Kraft Mac n Cheese with hot dogs for us for lunch and then…well, things were weird. I’d originally planned for us to spend my birthday drinking and playing Cards Against Humanity in my kitchen, but Charlotte had other ideas. In fact, everyone had other ideas!

That night after basketball practice I went home and showered. We were going to meet at Haylee and Charlotte’s building at 8:15 for food. I figured that since we were always late that I should just take my time, so I washed my hair and took a really nice long and hot shower. It was my birthday after all! I wanted to be clean. As it turns out, I was late for my own birthday! When I walked into Haylee and Charlotte’s kitchen everyone was there waiting for me! It was a surprise and holy shit was I ever surprised! I almost cried because it was so awesome. I also almost pooped in fear because they had party poppers that they were setting off and I’m kind of totally terrified of loud banging noises.

My newest gnome that everyone got for me!

My newest gnome that everyone got for me!

That night I got to talk to Raz on the phone because he wasn’t able to make it back. After I finished on Skype with him, Haylee and I walked over to my building and there was a weird glow going on in my kitchen. It was another surprise! Charlotte, Victoria, Haylee, and Lisa had made me the most awesome cake ever! Again I nearly cried. I also nearly pooped again because of those damn poppers.

Needless to say, I had an amazing birthday. Everyone made it the best that it could possibly be and I couldn’t be more thankful to have the friends that I have here.

IMG_1067But the shenanigans didn’t stop after that! The next day we all got up to go watch Josh and Lisa play in a friendly football match against Carmarthen. Lisa was playing as a goal keeper. She did amazing and Haylee and I cheered for her the entire game. I still don’t understand football (soccer!), but I think I’m slowly starting to get it. It’s fun to watch anyway. Never mind that I think everyone is crazy for slamming their heads off a ball and somehow not getting concussed.

There has been a lot more going on with my time here in Wales, but it’s hard to record it all. I’ve gotten a little homesick here and there, but the girls and guys who are now like my brothers and sisters definitely make life here a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other shenanigans are on the way. I know for sure that I’m stoked to be spending a weekend in London with Haylee, Lisa, and Josh!

To everyone back home, I miss all of you. I especially miss my mom, dad and sister. So you can guess how excited I was to FaceTime with them while they drove to Kamloops…

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