The Place Promised in Our Early Days
I apologize for the lack of updates, but I've been basically running non stop for the past three weekends, and am finally slowing down to catch my breath! Anyway, it all started three weeks ago with my home stay experience. As part of the Arcadia study abroad experience, we are all required to stay with an English family for a weekend. Out of the possible places Arcadia could have chosen to send all the King's students, they picked Swansea, Wales. It must be written in the stars because I actually used to live in Swansea when I was little. It is also the main reason that I wanted to come back and study in the UK because I had such fond memories of the place as a child.
I was a bit nervous about staying with another family I had no idea about, especially given the fact that my host family details included only a name: Mrs. Hughes. With my luck so far, I was expecting some batty old woman with twenty cats. Alas, my fears were abated when I was greeted by Lynda and Matthew, who turned out to be wonderfully charming and extremely funny host parents. I was also not the only host student they were having the weekend; our group included Jake and Jason, who both attended Royal Holloway. I was definitely excited to hang out with some of the other American students not going King's.
As the three of us bundled in to Lynda and Matthew's car and prepared to drive off, we were flagged down by the head coordinator lady. Apparently, she made a mistake in assignment, or missed assigning a student, and had to put ANOTHER student with Lynda and Matthew! It was my fellow King's friend Viral. It was crazy, considering his host family assignment was actually the head coordinator lady. I guess she didn't want him after seeing him or something Anyhow, Viral squeezed into the back of the car with the rest of us, and the male bonding experience began. Little did I know how "close" our host brother relationship was going to get.
We all chatted away happily in the car, and was told that Lynda and Matthew were actually expecting three girls until a few hours ago. Then it turned into three boys. And then to four. They also told us that they had another student abroad student living with them called Adam. Adam was from Slovakia and was here improving his English. Apparently Lynda and Matthew took Adam in when he arrived in Swansea, without a place to stay, or a school to go to. Yikes!
I was starting to wonder if there was actually going to be enough room for all of us! I was definitely right to worry because when we got to Lynda and Matthew's house, we were shown the bedroom on the top floor. The room itself was AWESOME, with slanted ceilings and painted with the most amazing pictures of rockets and aliens:
However, I soon realized the dilemma after seeing only three beds. One of pair would have to double up and cuddle together on one bed. Guess which pair lost....... So yeah, KCL lost to Royal Holloway, and I slept with another man. My friend said my study abroad experience so far was like "A Series of Unfortunate Events". I say it's more like "The Never Ending Story". So first I become a terrorist, and then I turn gay. This study abroad experience is definitely life changing.....
The beauty of Swansea is so hard to put into words, so I'll let my photos say them for me: