Hanna B is in the United States of America...and yet seems to have fallen off the technological radar somewhat; ironic. Apologies to all those who may have logged onto this blog expecting something more exciting and informative! Things have just been completely hectic this week: a jam-packed schedule, coupled with a hint of jet-lag and more than a hint of a time difference (9 hours to be exact), makes for one very exhausted South African! But I promise to be more committed to my blogtivity as soon as things start to settle into more of a routine. For now, a brief summary of the past couple of days:
So far this week has been all about orienting the international students! There are over sixty of us, making us the largest group that Willamette has ever hosted. It has been completely awesome meeting people from all over the world, and it is really a great group of people. Orientation has involved administrative stuff (yawn), tours of campus and town (fun), a dinner out in the town at a coffee shop called the Ike Box that is also a non-profit organisation and has a stage with loads of concerts and open mic nights (very cool, Hanna is immediately paying attention), and today a trip to...drum-roll please...the beach! (And the crowd goes wild) Or the Oregon Coast. Despite the fact that there was an icy wind blowing, it was a wonderful day, and the Oregon Coast really is beautiful. In fact, Oregon in general is a stunning state. Lots of trees, rivers, open spaces...and other such good and pleasurable things. I braved the freezing cold water (my dad - who swears by cold showers in winter - would be so proud), and can now say that I have swum in the Pacific Ocean! Hooray. (After that glorious swim, and truly, it was glorious, I was completely freezing and have never been more grateful for dry underwear and a hot drink...it's the simple pleasures).
What else is there to say? Willamette University campus is just as pretty as Oregon and Salem (the town in which it is situated). The lawns are as green as green can be, and beautifully tended, there are lots of trees, and even a creek running through it with big white deck chairs on which to pass the time. The food here is UNBELIEVABLE...SO fresh, such variety, an amazing salad bar (and Hanna goes wild), about 5 different salad dressings - as well as olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a fruit bar at breakfast with a variety of fruit already chopped up, a cappuccino machine, muffins, cookies, pastries, hot breakfasts, breakfast cereals, about 5 different sodas and fruit juices on tap, with their diet counterparts, a cappuccino machine...you get the picture. Indeed, the first world is certainly something to behold...the wireless internet access that is free, as well as free access to the gym and printing, are testament to this (Rhodes students will appreciate exactly what this all means).
I hope this has given you all a bit of an idea of where I'm at and what I'm doing! I will upload photo's as soon as possible, so that you can have more than a bit of an idea of the above.
Thanks for tuning in!