September 9, 2011 Friday
It’s raining. You were right. Thank you mother.
I knew there was a reason I listened to her when she made me buy a rain coat. I was all snuggly warm and dry today.
When I woke up it was drizzling, it is supposed to drizzle again tomorrow morning when we have to move in to Uni. That is what they call Stirling University.
After some yogurt and bananas and tea and toast, I was ready to start my day. There are 246 stairs up the Wallace monument.
When we arrived at the meeting spot I was the last into the taxi so I got the seat of honor. Joking, I had to sit in the front between Mary, the coordinator, and the driver. It was very awkward and silent the entire way into City Center and up to the monument. The monument is situated up a hill. We struggled along this steep muddy twisting path up the hill to the monument just to be met with a foggy view of Stirling. It wasn’t too disappointing though, when we reached the top we sang happy birthday to David and ate cookie cake. The stairs were narrow, which was okay on the way up but scary on the way down, my hand froze as I held the railing all the way back down not stopping to re-visit the landings that were all done up.
By the way there was a penny press machine there and the pennies come out smaller than the one in the States that I am used to. I got a monument and cow pressed in.
Then we walked to the university and ate lunch in the lobby of AKD. The rooms weren’t open to look at so naturally Kelly and I went to find the pool. We were a little lost so we stopped for directions and asked a sports team and they told us kindly.
It smelled soooo good in there. To go in we had to wear overshoes like you would in a hospital, but it was worth it we talked to a guy and he told us about the pool. It can be long or short course and he directed us to a timetable so we can lap swim. It is a bit warmer than I’m used to but it will certainly do. :)
Then we went shopping, we took the bus to the Thistles mall where we were yesterday, and I went a little crazy buying stuff for my dorm. I can’t wait to unpack for real.
I split from the group and when I texted Jenna, I found out she was already home. I tried to call the cab but I couldn’t figure it out then luckily after calling Jenna in a panic, Kevin and Becky appeared and I went home in the taxi van with them and Storm, Megan and David.
I was a happy camper, I went upstairs and immediately put everything away, my suitcase is considerably heavier than it used to be.. After another amazing three course meal of potato soup, mac and cheese, garlic bread, sticky toffee pudding and ice cream I went for a jog.
I’m not sure how I made it home I’m just glad I knew enough landmarks to figure it out. Plus, I didn’t get raped. I followed my home-stay mom’s advice not to talk to or even look at anyone else and I was fine.
After my shower I wrote a thank you letter and I went to bed around 10:30.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Thomson,
It has been a real treat for me to stay at your house here in Scotland for these past three days. You both were very warm and friendly to both Jenna and I. It was so very kind and generous of you to open up your home to us and to feed us home cooked meals. I really enjoyed everything you served us and I admired how everything was as good as it looked. It almost looked too good to eat. I especially loved the soups, but everything was tasty!
I can’t imagine the sadness you went through with the passing of your son, and to be willing to accept strangers into your home and help them get acquainted with you in a personal way after so little time is amazing. I feel like I am really a part of your family and know your story and I know and admire how much you cherish all of your grandchildren. I genuinely feel welcomed and at home in your house and I just love how you have fixed it all up. I love the style and I especially love the flowers!
Coming into a foreign country from the United States is very shocking and it was really kind of you all to tell us a little about the area and where to find the best deals for shopping. When I got separated from my group, it was really kind of you to offer to pick me up in the City Center instead of leaving me to figure out the bus alone. Although I didn’t end up needing that, it was a great relief to know that you would go out of your way to help me.
I really hope that this isn’t goodbye forever and that we can keep in correspondence in the future. Thank you for all that you have done. :)