Sunday, January 18, 2009

Portugal at last!

I am laying on a tough mattress in an ex-convent just outside of Lisbon Portugal as I write this. So much has happened in the short time I left ak. i made it to the gateway orientation in NY at 2 in the morning after a long couple of flights with smelly old men and crying babies. the next day I sat through several hours of advice and simple games with my 2 fellow Portugal bound students, and 2 other girls headed for Ghana. Sam and Sophia were both going to more northern cities in Portugal. Sam is blonde with glasses and from Oregon. Sophia is large and dark skinned and talked with her many friends on her cellphone until it ceased to work in London. We boarded the plane at JFK at 10:45 and flew into London the next day. Six hours on the plane and I had become completely exhausted and felt horrible, due to the fact that I caught the cold Izzy had, and my head ached like mad, my nose would not stop running, and my sinuses popped as loudly as my ears on the descent. Nonetheless, the London airport was something to marvel at. It is huge, with hundreds of stores and 6 terminals.
Before departing for Lisbon, Annie from Boston joined us. She had been held back by her visa. She is very energetic and not afraid to pronounce Portuguese words with her terrible accent.
Lisbon reminds me of a latin city very much. It has the same feel, with small alleyways, crazy driving, huge billboards plastering every open space, and grafitti and small shops in every corner. It has clearly marked signs, however, and lots more trees. The language is very different from what I thought it might be. It is very difficult to pronounce words. All in all though, the poeple are very friendly and open. They greet each other with two kisses, or one kiss, and touch each other often in a friendly way. The food is incredible, or at least at the camp it was. Everything is organic and soup always comes before the main meal. My first dinner was soup, salad, butter soaked noodles, pork, and fruit for dessert. ~
Even though it was pretty difficult the first night with all the traveling, the sickness, and the head cold, Portugal is amazing. I cannot wait to meet my family.


  1. Hi Alli - I like the puzzles on the site - haha. The weather is down right lousy. I might have to drop the Master's skiing dream because trails all over the State have melted away. We are missing you and your fun little comments that keep us in perspective. Tell Kenzie to practice Turkish. Say hello to your family for me and try, try , try to speak the language. Mom

  2. Alli! I miss you so much? Hows the weather there? Call us please!
    love, izzy

  3. Hey Allison, good blog, keep it up. Good to hear from you today...started to worry a bit. Sounds like your in good hands. You need to send a mass email with your blog address out. Do you want me to do it? dad

  4. a great description, but why are you in a convent? when do you get to meet your family? Good luck with everything!

  5. I'm in a convent for the orientation, but now I am at my new house. Its beautiful!

  6. HA! At first when I read that I thought they had sent you to a far-away convent where all the promiscuous american girls must go! However now that I am better informed I am SUPER excited for you and nervous for myself (well-being.. etc) Anyways, love you lots even though you definitely forgot to call me before you took off to the other side of the universe. Nighty night!