Monday, November 23, 2015

No Matter Where You Are, Whether It's A Quarter Mile Away Or Half Way Across The World, The Most Important Thing In Life Will Always Be The Family

Home. You're not gonna find a place, anywhere in this planet or in anyone else, where you'll feel like at home. It's true. Don't get this wrong, here is awesome, I'm doing great... but yes, I miss home, how couldn't I? I just wanna say thank you again to all those who support me about this experience and most of all to my parents; and to all those who didn't believed in me, here I am, I made it. My dream is true, and sometimes I just stop and think about it and I can't believe it. Time's going really fast, in just 190 days I'll be back to my life, to reality and I'll be happy to, but it's not time yet, my place is here now. Never forget what's important and don't let anybody take it away from you. I'm not a person who believes in destiny because I don't want to think not to be able to do what I want, it's my life and it's gonna be as I say it will. Realise your dreams guys because we only live once, but never forget about your family and the people you care about because that's where your home is and will always be.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Hands Off From Europe - Pray For Paris

This is not an actual post about my experience or whatever and it's not gonna be long, I'm not even gonna translate it. Due to today's events I just feel like I need to write something, and so that's what I'm doing.

If for I don't know what reason you didn't hear about it today in France, precisely in Paris, there have been multiple terrorist attacks, a mass execution at a rock concert, hostage situations and another attack near a soccer stadium where President Francois Hollande was watching a match between France and Germany. In the Bataclan Theatre four gunmen wearing suicide vests started shooting and shouting 'This is for Syria. Allahu Akbar'. Other shooting and terrorist acts were reported in several places like bars and shopping centres. Right now it has been confirmed the death of 128 people and 5 terrorists have been killed. Isis claimed the responsibility of the act of war that it's considerated the worst violence witnessed in France since World War II. Holland made two decisions: first he declared the state of emergency, which means certain places will be closed, traffic may be banned and searches may also take place throughout the Paris region; and second he closed the borders not to let anybody come in to commit any act and not to let those who did the attack leaving the country and then catch them. 

The Eiffel Tower turned off its lights in memoriam of the victims who  lost their lives. I feel really close to what happened even though I'm halfway around the world. There are rumours that Rome will be next and then London. Italy has enforced the controls at the borders and it's in a state of alert. Things like this should never happen. I just wanna ask everybody to say a pray for Paris and for everybody who lost somebody because of this attack, to be close to them and to really take a minute to think about it. This is not the place, the world, where I wanna raise my kids, these aren't the values and the fears I want them to grow up with, so let's fight for our freedom, for our culture. Leaving is not the solution, but to stay and fight for what is ours.
#HandsOffFromEurope    #PrayForParis    #JeSuisParis

'What the terrorists want is for us to be scared. But in the face of terror, we have to be united and will vanquished these terrorists. Long live the republic, and long live France'
Francois Hollande


Thursday, November 12, 2015

News - Soccer MVP, Snow & Soup Kitchen

Hey guys, today I'm gonna talk about different things, it's pretty much an update about what has happened lately. I'll talk about the volunteering activity I did with my organisation, about the banquet for soccer and some other stuff. 
Last Saturday I went to the soup kitchen for the CCI Greenheart, my parter association here in the United States. It's a catholic place where volunteers make food for homeless people and everybody who is in need. It was an awesome experience, I really enjoyed. There were really nice people, ready to help and to be there for everyone. It taught me a lot and I'll definitely go also next time, which should be next month. 
The other main thing I wanted to tell you about is that we did the soccer banquet. It's a sort of dinner where everybody bring something, we eat all together to close the season, we say thanks to the coaches and rewards are given to the players. I was recognised as MVP, which stays for most valuable player, of my team. I really enjoyed this season even though I wasn't supposed to play.

Yesterday It snowed for the first time!!! It didn't last long, the snow melted quickly, but the temperature is always lower, this morning it was -3°C so it's probably gonna snow soon. Besides this everything else is okay, school, family. Last week I got my senior hoodie, unfortunately my ring is not ready yet but I hope it'll be soon. That's it, next week is thanksgiving and I'll probably write something about it. Bye :)

Italian Translation
Ehi ragazzi, oggi parlerò di diverse cose, è in pratica un aggiornamento su cos'e accaduto recentemente: un'attività di volontariato, il banchetto per calcio e altre cose.
Sabato scorso sono stato in questa cucina di volontariato con la CCI Greenheart, la mia associazione partner qui negli Stati Uniti. é un posto legato a una chiesa cattolica dove volontari preparano cibo per i senzatetto e per chiunque ne abbia bisogno. è stata un'esperienza fantastica, mi è davvero piaciuta. C'erano persone veramente disponibili, pronte ad aiutare chiunque. Mi ha insegnato molto e andrò di sicuro anche la prossima volta, che dovrebbe essere il mese prossimo. 
L'altra cosa di cui vi volevo parlare è il banchetto per calcio che abbiamo fatto, è una sorta di cena dove tutti portano qualcosa, mangiamo tutti insieme per chiudere la stagione, ringraziamo gli allenatori e vengono consegnate le riconoscenze ai giocatori. Io sono stato premiato come MVP della mia squadra, che sarebbe il giocatore che si ritiene sia stato il più bravo nella stagione.
Ieri ha nevicato per la prima volta!!! Non è durata molto perchè la neve si è sciolta in fretta, ma la temperatura è sempre più bassa, questa mattina era -3°C e presto nevicherà ancora. A parte tutto questo il resto va bene, la scuola, la famiglia. Settimana scorsa mi è arrivata la felpa da senior e sfortunatamente l'anello non è ancora arrivato ma spero che arrivi presto. Questo è tutto, settimana prossima ci sarà il Ringraziamento e probabilmente ne parlerò in un post. Ciao a tutti! :)


Thursday, November 5, 2015

United States & Italy - Curiosities

This post is going to be about the differences that there are between Italy and United States, of course there are a thousand of them, I just wanna point out the most important ones, the ones that surprised me. Before starting here is a preliminary remark: these curiosities I'm gonna talk about are compared to my life, the place where I live and my experience, so it may not be the same in other parts of Italy or here in the US or you may disagree. That's it :)

Affectivity. This is definitely the main difference in my opinion and I something I really miss from my country. Here people are colder and less affectionate. When you meet your friends that are the opposite sex of yourself in Italy you always hug them and kiss them on the cheek and there isn't anything wrong with that, it's a way to show that you care about them. When you see somebody you know you always say hi and ask how's he/she doing and wait for the answer, not just a 'sap' super quick that teens say here. In Italy we don't greet people we don't know, here they do and it's nice. 
Education. I've actually already talked about the school here in one of my first post of August, I just wanna say a couple of things. In Italy we don't choose classes but we choose the kind of high school,which also depends if you wanna go to college or not. And here is the big point: college in Italy and in a lot of other countries in Europe is free, here in the US is really expensive and that's the reason why lot of students don't go: because they can't afford it. In Italy we pay more taxes but it's less compared to the college cost here and it allow everybody to be able to be educated so this is something I don't like about the United States. 
Food. Here in the US people eat lot of ready meal, fast food, which is often unhealthy and fat. The reason? Time and money, it's quickly and it's really cheap. My host family is hispanic so their tradition is different and they cook almost always, which is close to my culture, we Italians cook every single day, but we don't eat only pasta and pizza as foreigners think. There are really thousands of different fast food I had never heard about, and a lot of them do delivery, so you can just order and they bring it to your house. Anyway it's not true that all the american are fat, for sure not the teens, since they do lot of sports at school. They also have food from everywhere, lot of Italian stuff that aren't actually Italian, like pizza that is not that good hahaha, or Italian dressing which is the weirdest thing ever in my opinion. In Italy the lunch is important and we often eat it all together in family, here it's not, they just eat whenever. Something that here it's really common and it's related also to food is the Drive Through, which in Italy we call Drive-In actually and we have it I guess just for Mc Donald. Here there is for everything, from ATM, to Pharmacy, to Liquor store, to fast food places. 
Driving. All the cars are pretty big and loud and have automatic shift, I guess that manual one does exist but it's not common at all. At the crossways they can always turn right even with the red light, they just have to give yield, they're also allowed to pass on right in the highways. The behaviour of drivers is pretty much polite and respectful, which in Italy definitely isn't, most of all about people walking. In Italy we have lot of roundabout, which here is not common at all. In a lot of states you can't drive the motorbike withiut a gel et, bust lots of people just do it re gardonese. You can also get your licence at 16 after driving with an adult for one year from when you're 15.
Metric System. The units are different in the United States, they have inch (2.54 cm), foot (12 inches), yard (.9 meter). Also for the weight they don't use grams and kilograms but pounds (lbs), for the fluids gallons (3.78 l) and ounces. Of course also the money they have dollars hahaha
Foreign Languages. Here being bilingual it's not that common. It is because there are lot of hispanic people and immigrants in general, but people born in the US usually don't study foreign languages, sometimes Spanish but that's it. Being bilingual is a minority for american native speaker, being trilingual is a rarity. In Italy english is mandatory from third grade and everybody can understand it and in middle school is mandatory a second foreign language (Spanish, German or French). 

This is all I can think about right now, if I find something else I'll write about it. So these are the most common differences between US and Italy in my opinion, you're free to comment if you want to share your opinion about something. That's it, hope it's helpful :)

Italian Translation 
Questo post è sulle differenze Italia-USA, ce ne sono davvero tante, io vi parlerò di quelle che ritengo più significative, che mi hanno sorpreso o che stanno influenzando la mia esperienza. In questa traduzione italiana farò più in riassunto in quanto non devo spiegare come sono le cose in Italia visto che gli unici a leggere questa parte in italiano sono italiani. Prima di cominciare una premessa: quello che dirò è basato sulla mia esperienza e su dove vivo potrebbe essere diverso in altri luoghi e potrete non essere d'accordo, questa è la mia opinione :)

Affettività. Questa è di sicuro la maggiore differenza secondo me ed è qualcosa che mi manca davvero. Le persone qui sono più fredde e meno affettuose, quando incontri delle amiche niente abbraccio o bacio sulla guancia, per carità. Qui si salutano con un veloce 'sap' che sarebbe una cosa tipo 'come va', e continuano a camminare senza aspettare nemmeno la risposta. Qualcosa di bello è che gli stranieri salutano e sono educati, è carino.
Istruzione. Ho già parlato dell scuola qui, se mi seguito dovreste saperlo, è uno dei primi post di agosto se vi va di rivedere. Volevo solo aggiungere che l'università negli Stati Uniti è molto costosa e per questo molti ragazzi non ci vanno in quanto non se la possono permettere, in Italia paghiamo più tasse ma è comunque meno rispetto alla spesa per l'università qui, e questo aspetto di questo paese non mi è mai piaciuto molto, tutti dovrebbe poter aver una educazione superiore. 
Cibo. Come saprete qui negli Stati Uniti le persone mangiano molti cibi pronti, fast food, che sono poco salutari e molto grassi. Perché? Tempo e Soldi, questo tipo di cibo è incredibilmente economico e veloce. La mia famiglia è ispanica quindi è diverso, loro cucinano molto come noi italiani. Ho scoperto centinaia di fast food che non avevo mai sentito, perchè noi non li abbiamo, molti consegnano addirittura a casa. Gli americani comunque non sono tutti grassi, soprattutto i ragazzi perchè fanno molto sport a scuola. Qui c'è anche cibo da ogni parte del mondo, ma è spesso solo una versione americana del vero cibo straniero, soprattutto il cibo italiano, la pizza è molto diversa e meno buona, ovviamente. Qui il pranzo non è importante, non mangiano mai tutti insieme, ognuno quando capita, a cena a volte. Una cosa legata al cibo è il Drive- in che qui si chiama Drive Through e c'è ovunque, farmacia, negozio di liquori, banca, ristoranti.
Auto & Leggi. Tutte le auto sono enormi e rumorose e hanno il cambio automatico, deduco esista il manuale ma è molto raro. Agli incroci si può girare a destra anche se il semaforo è rosso dando la precedenza; si può sorpassare a destra. Gli autisti sono rispettosi, soprattutto con i pedoni. Qui inoltre non ci sono rotonde, ne avrò vista forse una in tutta la città. In molti stati si può guidare la moto senza casco, è una legge federale quindi per esempio in Colorado si può, a NY no. Puoi prendere la patente a 16 anni dopo aver guidato per un anno con un adulto a fianco, cominciando a 15 anni. 
Sistema Metrico. Le unità sono differenti qui, hanno gli inch, che è 2,54 centimetri, i piedi e le yard per le lunghezze, le libbre per il peso, galloni e once per i liquidi. Come moneta ovviamente il dollaro americano.
Lingue Straniere. Essere bilingue non è normale come da noi, ci sono molti bilingue per la presenza di immigranti ispanici, ma le persone nate in america raramente parlano una seconda lingua, ed è assolutamente raro parlarne tre.