We got home late at night on April 6. I’m pretty sure it was actually April 7. Seeing Chris was exactly what I needed after the long journey home. Unfortunately we couldn’t hang out because he had other things to do. Which was just fine because I had the NCAA basketball final to watch! It was Wisconsin vs. Duke. As much as I love Duke, I really wanted Wisconsin to win. I was determined to stay awake and watch the game. Except I passed out during half-time and woke up to see that Duke had won. Go Duke!
Even though our adventures abroad were over and we were back in Lampeter, Haylee and I still had two weeks of Easter Break left. Yeah, that’s right, my school got a three week vacation for Easter. +1 point to my school for having a spring break on steroids. Josh’s birthday was coming up and Haylee and I had a netball game to get ready for. We also had (and still have) our dissertations to write. Even though we were on break we still had a lot to do.
Our first few days were spent relaxing and recovering from our trip. Josh came back from his visit home and we spent our days doing work, shooting around in the gym and going to netball practice. It was nice to be able to chill out and just spend time with them.
The next week we had a netball game. Our captain was away, but she had already picked the team that would be playing. There were seven of us so that meant there was enough for a team, but no substitutes. Then one night at practice one of our teammates, Beth, said that we would have a substitute for the game, but she said it was a surprise. I personally thought she wasn’t telling us who it was because she thought we wouldn’t like that person. Then later the night while Haylee and I were telling Josh about us having a surprise substitute for the game, I had a thought.
Was Lisa coming home early?
Lisa is an American international student. We sort of met her the day that I came back to Wales. That day we saw her carrying her Olaf pillow pet and Haylee and I both hoped she was coming to our campus. And she did! At first we slowly got to know her. She plays soccer for her university back home, but we convinced her to start playing basketball with us. One night after practice we invited her and some other internationals over for a movie night. That night I learned that she has a similar sense of humour to mine and we spent the entire movie joking back and forth. Never mind that the movie was If I Stay and was supposed to be a tear-jerker. I decided I wanted to keep her that night.
From that night she quickly became my shorter half, so it sucked when she left for Easter break and we all went our separate ways. Naturally, I was really hopeful that she would come home early.
The next day at practice, Haylee and I were practicing shooting when I saw a familiar shape walk into the gym. I didn’t have my glasses on so I didn’t see them clearly at first. Then I realized the person that I saw walk into the gym was Lisa!
I screamed. “OH MY GOD!” And then I was running to her. I was so happy that I peed a little and then I cried a little.
The next day was our netball game and Lisa had a surprise planned for us. She made us Easter dinner! Yes, it was late, but it was still awesome. Haylee and I helped so the three of us spent the day in my kitchen making a whole chicken, stuffing, and bunch of other yummy stuff. I cried (I’m a bit of a crier now) when Lisa told me that she had contacted my younger sister, Tiffany, to find out what I liked to eat for Easter. Lisa also contacted Haylee’s sister to find out the same from her. As a result I got mashed potatoes with carrots and Haylee got mashed parsnips. As the day went on Lisa continued to surprise Haylee and I with our favourite foods, junk food, and bunny ears!
I didn’t realize until she gave us our bunny ears that I was a little sad at not getting any for Easter. Normally every year my mom buys my sister and me a pair of bunny ears to wear. We wear them gleefully for the holiday and then they get added to the growing pile of bunny that we have. Getting my annual bunny ears from Lisa was a special treat that made my day.
Lisa, I know you’re reading this: Thank you again for that day. It meant the world to me!
Later that night we had our netball game and we easily won. It was a good game with Haylee and I playing as goal shoot and goal attack. Even though we’ve only known each other a very short amount of time, she and I make a great team together. Lisa played part of the game as goal keeper. Even though she is short, she is really quick and she made quite a few amazing stops and had a couple of steals.
While we were away at our game, Pumba came back! Like Lisa, he had planned to come back Lampeter at the end of Easter Break, but wound up coming back early.
That night Haylee, Lisa and I attempted to make a cake for Josh’s birthday. Except it didn’t turn out overly well. It was still cake, but it was kind of ugly as far as cakes go. We were confused because we either made the cake mix or we baked the icing mix. In any event we wound up buying a good cake to go with our attempted cake. To me it kind of looked like a baked turd. Which was fitting since one of Josh’s nicknames is Turd. While we were baking Josh walked into the kitchen and we had to quickly hide our surprise from him. We had to shoo him into my room so Lisa and Haylee could finish baking.
April 16 was Josh’s birthday! This semester I’ve gotten the chance to get to know him better and he’s become like a brother to me. Josh is from here in the UK! A few people have mentioned that it’s odd that I mostly spend time with other international students, but I also spend a lot of time with Josh too! He’s been here for all of my ups, downs, and turn arounds. He’s been one of those people that has made my stay here in Wales a happy one, even when I’m missing home and just want my mom. Plus, he’s always ready to go along with any shenanigans that Lisa, Haylee and I throw his way and sometimes even manages to be a voice of reason in our silly antics. Not only that, but without Josh, the Turdettes wouldn’t be the Turdettes and we wouldn’t have met and gotten to know the guys on his football team. Thanks to Josh, I’ve met a great group of guys who also go along with the shenanigans that Lisa, Haylee and I come up with. Needless to say, Haylee, Lisa and I were all excited to be with him to celebrate his birthday. So right at midnight we gave him the first part of his gift and wished him a happy birthday. Then we settled back into my bed together to keep watching Orange is the New Black.
For his actual birthday we all down to the bar on our campus. That night we got to show Josh’s birthday present. Matching t-shirts for Turd and the Turdettes! He got a kick out of Lisa, Haylee and I when we walked into the bar and took our sweatshirts off and he saw we were wearing shirts that matched the one we had gotten him for his birthday.
While we were on a bus to Paris I had Josh make me a Spotify playlist of music that he likes so we had an idea of what to play on the juke box for him. We spent way more money than we should have on the juke box, we danced, and we had a blast celebrating. It was great to see Josh dancing to his favourite music and having fun. At the end of the night we all stumbled back to my flat for pizza and to hang out while we waited to get sleepy enough for bed.
The week I got home from my European adventures was a busy week and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I didn’t realized how much I had missed Josh, Lisa and Pumba. It was nice to be back in our home away from home and settle back into school life.
Now I’m back at school, classes are over and my dissertation is due in four days. AHHHHH!!!!!!!