|My RA educational board on Dreams in my hallway.|
This last week flew by, but also without anything too exciting. I had dinner with my meet-a-family, the Beal's again this week for the first time in a month. It was great to see them again and hear about their travels to Cyprus. This time, their granddaughter was visiting because she was on half term break. She is about 9 years old and very sassy. She was really intrigued with our conversations and asked a lot of questions about the states. We had a really yummy dinner of traditional English foods (that I've forgotten what they're called now) and had trifle in the most traditionally English way Pat could make it for pudding. It was all so tasty; especially after a weekend of refectory food! We are seeing the Beal's again for this Sunday's lunch (a BIG traditional English meal) and may possibly meet their son and daughter-in-law. In a couple of weeks they're going to take us to a nearby town, Newark, for the afternoon to experience something a little more pretty and exciting than Grantham....It should be fun!
|My friends Jake (blue) and Mikey (silver) in their new morph-suits they've been tormenting people with around the manor!|
The rest of the week was very normal in school-work and hanging around the manor with people. We've started to arrive in that Culture Shock phase of being super comfortable with your surroundings and wanting to branch out and be with people more than just in your little group. I've been spending time with a wide range of people, and it's been great. I hung out at the manor on Thursday night with people and went into town on Friday with Ashley. We had a great time exploring Grantham a little more than usual in search for stores that could supply us with our costume needs for Halloween! We were heading up north to visit Matt for his birthday/Halloween and needed our costumes to look great! Surprisingly, we found everything we needed in Grantham and so I spent my Friday evening being crafty and putting together my costume.
Saturday morning, Pete, Matt's younger brother, picked us up from the manor and we headed off to Sheffield. It was only about an hour and a half drive so it was fun chatting with Pete and getting to know him a bit better. Once we arrived in Sheffield, our directions went off the map and we simply drove in the direction that "felt right". Sheffield is a large, industrial city (that we so conveniently had been learning about in British Studies) with really bizarre road structures. We passed Matt's uni and simply happened across his house. We never actually got lost and found it in good time! We arrived with the whole day to spare and quickly began to catch up. But the first thing we did, of course, was drink some tea.
|Ashley, Pete, and I wearing some of Matt's hats we discovered.|
Matt lives in a house with 5 other boys who were all really tall. It was kind of odd...But they have a great system of sharing all of their groceries and dishes so that they rotate a schedule for cooking dinner each night. It was a fabulous system because apparently all of the boys are good cooks! That night we were there we had a delicious roast chicken and potatoes. Their only downfall is that no one cleans, so the house was a bit of a mess. Ashley, Pete, and I all met the housemates as the morning went on and were always introduced as the American and the Bahamian. Lots of conversations ensued from that point on.
|Ashley and Matt in the gardens where we picnicked.|
We spent our day looking around Sheffield and such. We went out into the peak district to see the area as well. It was a beautiful day (as it always seems to be when we travel!!!) and the area around Sheffield is gorgeous. We had lunch in one of the gardens near the university which was also very pretty. We explored some of the university district and the neighborhoods around Matt. In an odd kind of way, the university atmosphere reminded me a lot of UW. But maybe the only similarities were lots and lots of hills and cool college type shops. Otherwise it was pretty English.
|Pete, Johnny, me and Ashley downtown Sheffield.|
We also explored downtown of Sheffield, which was surprisingly pretty and cool. Another of Matt's friends from home came over from Leeds to visit for the weekend, so he joined our group as well. We headed back to Matt's house for that roast chicken and potatoes dinner and in time to get ready for Matt's birthday party. He was sharing his party with another girl who lived in the same housing area as him and their theme was "Not our Generation". I went as a 1960's hippie and Ashley as Slash from Gun's and Roses (because they have the same hair, apparently). Matt decided he wanted to be very old, and walked around with a walker the entire evening. It was pretty ridiculous.
|Slash and Willow the hippie.|
The next morning we celebrated Matt's actual birthday and hung out for awhile. We had gained an extra hour of sleep (a week earlier than the states!) but still had to head out in the early afternoon to get our work done for the week. It had been a great weekend of catching up and seeing Matt's school life that isn't UE. It was great to meet his friends and put faces to names. We came back to the manor and jumped right back into getting work done. We have our second British Studies exam tomorrow so I've been studiously working on that. Afterward, we're having an early celebrations of Guy Fawkes day at the manor which should be a lot of fun. Friday morning we head out to London for a British Studies field trip and more Guy Fawkes day events. Saturday, Ashley and I are going to hang out with Matt again for the day because he's visiting home for the weekend. Sunday we have our afternoon lunch with the Beal's.
Basically, now that it's November, I have something to do every single day! We're cramming in events, work, and travels as our last 5 weeks here nears. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with everything!