It’s 2017, it’s february, and it’s time for an update.

January was eventful (like every other month since coming here), and it was also the month I created some of my favorite memories with some of my favorite people, and the month where my eyes and mind were opened to so many new ideas and realizations. Let’s look back and re-live the beginning of the end of my exchange year.

JANUARY 1 

I started off 2017 with a hockey game!! I had no idea I even liked hockey until I came over here, but it’s become one of my favorite sports to watch. The Anaheim Ducks are now “my” team (even though they don’t have any Norwegians).

JANUARY 5-8

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The turtle tribe

Exchange students are the most amazing people in the world, and I got to spend a whole weekend in Boston surrounded by them. I dedicated my last post to the Student Ambassador Summit I attended in Boston with these 15 incredible exchange ambassadors (go read it and watch the video!)

Love you guys!

JANUARY 16

I hung out with Christian aka. one of my favorite Danes at the mall. We may or may not have planned to adopt an exchange puppy named Cali that we were gonna hand over to our IEC Sandi when we leave..

JANUARY 19-22

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Me and my host family flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend a b’nai mitzvah for Hal’s fraternity brothers kids! We went directly from school to the airport – when we landed, Caitlin picked us up and drove us to our hotel.

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Friday we had the day to explore Minneapolis before going to temple and the Shabbat dinner – so of course we went to the mall of America! They had like a tiny amusement park inside in the middle of the mall, so we had to try a couple of the rides – it ended up being the spongebob and Simpsons ride, which were surprisingly fun!

Saturday we went to temple again around 9 am – the service lasted for about 3 hours. It was a bit lengthy, but at the same time it was interesting to get a peek into a new religion and be a part of some typical traditions within Judaism. Definitely something I’ll remember! (even though most of it was in Hebrew)

We had some spare time before the twins’ party, so I decided to walk about the mall that was attached to our hotel to look around and get a coffee. Not a very good idea.. I walked back to the hotel, went to get in the elevator to get to our room, and my keycard wasn’t working. I was just standing in there with my card getting denied over and over, until finally a family we knew came in and helped me get to our floor. But then I remembered that I couldn’t actually get into the room without a working card – and of course everyone was out and about, so again, I was standing there just knocking on the door for 5 minutes hoping someone would be in.. Eventually, after a lot of SOS texts, Troy came to the rescue with a card that was actually working! (note to self: don’t keep hotel cards close to magnets, they will demagnetize)

I didn’t know what to expect for the b’nai mitzvah party, but at the same time it was exactly what I expected… If that makes sense.. The kids and adults had separate tables and food – I was placed at the young adults table with some really nice people + I got served vegetarian dishes!

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Photo booth with my second family

I don’t think I’ll ever attend something like this again, and I still can’t believe that I have the opportunity to actually do these things. I know that a lot of exchange students don’t get the chance to travel and see as much as what I have, so I am extremely appreciative and grateful for all the adventures I’ve been a part of so far and will be before I leave.

Before we left on Sunday, Caitlin showed us her university (University of Minnesota) and the area around.

We ate at this awesome burger place, and the shakes were AMAZING!

(She almost convinced me to move and go to school there)

JANUARY 30

I went with my host mom Cindy to spend the day in downtown Riverside, and it also happened to be Chinese New Year – which meant that we stumbled upon the Lunar festival! I had funnel cake for the first time, and they were selling these potatoswirls on a stick that I really wanted to try, but neither of us had cash so we had to pass on that.. Next time I will definitely buy one!

 

Hafway through February now, which means my 18th birthday is sneaking up and is gonna be here before I know it (approximately a week and a half) and I don’t know how to feel about it hahah. But then again, MY AUNT IS COMING TO VISIT ME!! And she’s gonna be here for my birthday! I haven’t seen her since August, so I’m super excited – and the week she leaves, I leave for Puerto Rico, so I have a lot to look forward to the next couple of weeks.

Living a daily adventure.

 

Love,

Andrea

 

 

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