Tuesday, February 5, 2008

We're Here... For Real

We arrived here at Rhodes on Sunday evening. We spent some time registering and then we were placed in our rooms. We all (there are 7 of us from Washington College aka WAC) have singles and we are all in different halls. My room is very nice. It has a window that overlooks a porch with lots of tropical plants. It's very nice. I have a large closet, a built in dresser, a bookshelf, desk, bed and a sink. I love the sink, I wish they had those in dorms at home! The first night I did a lot of stuff with the girls in our residence (res for short). We need the standard meet and greet and ice breaker kind of stuff. We also went over some of the house rules - there are a lot. The residences are MUCH stricter here than they are in the States.

I went to bed very early that night and was awoken at 4:30am for serenading. They have a tradition here that during Orientation Week (O-Week). Every morning at 5am you get up and the boys from one or two reses come to the girls reses and serenade them and we serenade them back. Following the singing (outside mind you) we then precede to a meet and greet with those boys. The girls have to put their keys in a pile and each boy gets a key. You then have to get to know one another and introduce each other to the group. I have now done 4 of these and I hate them! Breakfast starts very early (7am) and ends at 8:30, so in order to eat you have to be up early. There are a lot of rules about the dining hall/food and the portions are tiny. Clearly they're much smaller than American portions, but I mean these are teeny-tiny!

We have orientation activities throughout the day and all of the international students are together, which is really nice. I have a girl from VA on my hall and we've been getting along quite well. Yesterday and today Grace and I, as well as some of the other WAC kids took a walk into town for lunch (the food is dirt cheap here, and much like American food - restaurant food at least) and then we went back down to do some errands. The town is very cute, much like Jamesburg or Chestertown. Everything is very Americanized and everyone speaks English which is nice. The university is kind of in a valley and surrounded by mountains with what we've gathered to be townships on top. The view from the main campus building is beautiful. I'm going to take a photo tomorrow and try to post it here.

Last night I went out on the town for the first time. Our sub-wardens (kind of like RAs) took us all out pub-hopping. It was a really nice time and I got to spend time with the girls from my hall (all freshman - very young). It's strange to me that these 17/18 year old girls can go out drinking and I can't even do that at home for another year! We went to a few clubs/pubs around town and they were all very different, but fun. Tonight Grace and I are going out again together. This will be our first time out to the pubs together which should be nice.

We're registering for classes this week, so I'll be picking those out tomorrow which is good. I can't wait to get into a routine and start working. I also starting getting ready to begin some AIDS volunteering/research soon. I have some applications to do, but I should be able to do what I want and really get a lot out of my visit.

Saturday our advisor, Ashwin, has planned a trip for us to the beach. I'm excited for that. It will be really fun. It's just the WAC kids and we'll be on the Indian Ocean which is a very strange concept for me!

I have posted some photos on Flickr from the drive in be sure to check those out. It's beautiful here.