Sunday, July 15, 2012

Moving to a new location

This blog has moved to a new location.  Please join me and my life adventures at the following website :

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hey all

So last week was completely CRAZY!! The Macy's Parade was so much fun and exciting and made me nervous all at the same time!! Plus, my mom, dad, sister, and little brother came to visit me in NYC and it was fun to hang out with them, tell them about my adventures, and do some sight seeing!! It was sad to see them go back home, but easy to say goodbye because I know I will see them in just a few short weeks. It is sad to say that my trip has almost come to an end. Also, to all of yall out there that I didn't get to spend Thanksgiving with, HAPPY B-LATED TURKEY DAY!! I can't wait to see so many of my family and friends when I get home and as the christmas season approaches so quickly!! So anyways, back to New York... While my family was there we spent a lot of time sight seeing and that was great!! We went to time square, Little Italy, China town, Rockafeller Center and many more places! It was fun to explore the city. It was also great to have my actual family in the audience for our performance as well, because although I love performing for my host families, it is just extra special to have my actual family there, supporting me, and being able to take in what I have been doing for the past 5 months!! So it was great!!
I am now currently in Bernerdsville, New Jersey and will be here for the rest of the week!! My host family here is great, especially the kids because they have so much ENERGY!! I don't know how they get it, but I wish they could bottle it up and give some to me!! Today we had our last BTS, a mini show that we usually perform at schools for kids that we work with, and it was weird to think about. I guess all good things come to an end and it is just proof that this entire experience will eventually end as well. Another cool thing about this week is that we will be spending all of Thursday and Friday in NYC at the United Nations! I am so excited for this because we will get to hear from some incredibly intelligent people that have passion for issues that we as a cast are just learning about and finding our passion for!! Don't know if that completely made sense, but it did in my head before I wrote it down so I am just going to leave it. Well that is all for now, I will update soon again!! Peace out!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Late as usual!

SO it has been FOREVER since I last updated! Life has continued to fly by and with only about a month of my trip left, I cant quite grasp how fast it has really gone and how in the blink of an eye I will be done and returning to life as usual, but it wont be 'as usual' because I am not 'as usual' anymore and so it will be like experiencing everything in life again, but through different eyes! Crazy right! By the way, I am sorrz if my z and y are switched up because although I am in the states, I am on a German computer. :) So basicallz I am not readz for this incredible experience to be over, but I am getting excited to take all of mz experiences here and get the opportunitz to applz them all to real life experiences!!! yay!!! So anzwazs, here is the update! Get READY, SET, GO!!!
So the rest of Winston-Salem was great!! Mz host familz was incredible, as usual, and we spent the week in the cast doing a lot of preparation for the MACY'S Thanksgiving daz Parade!!! It was so crazy to actuallz be working on it becasue it ment that it was getting closer which is alwazs exciting! For our regional learning in the citz we went to a place called Old Salem where we saw one of the biggest organs (the instrument, not body parts) in the world, at least I think that is what thez said. Anzwazy, so it was crayz big! For our communitz impact during the week, we went to a salvation Armz store and worked in the back arranging and hanging clothes and stocking them out on the floor I wont lie when i saz that it wasnt the most fun CI I have ever done, but it had its moments. For instance, NC has been going through a drought, along with manz other states on the east coast, and so it was cool to come out of the back room to move the clothes to the floor and see that it was POURING rain outside and it continued like that for the entire daz!! So we joke that Up with People brought the rain!! :) The show daz for this week was crayz!! We has so manz things going on. in the morning the new rotation of interns was announced and I found out that I am the new lighting intern so I get to work with all the lights for the show and will eventuallz work up to programming the lights for the show and actuallz running them during the show!! Crayz cool!! Also, we had a 'show me' before our show. This is a chance for the students to work on a piece of music or dance from the show and present it to the cast! I sang a song called 'one to one'. It went ok but I was soooo completelz nervous at first that it made it hard to concentrate! Then after that we actuallz had rehersal and performed that evening.
Next update tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An update finally!!

So to update all y'all!! I know it has been awhile, but here goes... Belgium continued to be great and my host family there was INCREDIBLE!! It seems that every host family I stay with is so different and yet they all are wonderful!! To highlight Belgium a bit, we performed two shows on our show day there and I think the first show was my worst by far. I remeber being told in the beginning of our trip that we will all have a bad show at one point or another, but I never believed it and for the most part was pretty consistent. Then came Belgium... during the first show I did so many things wrong and I seriously felt like my body was detached from my brain at moments. So to fill you all in, the show started and everything was going great until before the rythm portion of our show. I had been moved to mic groups for the song before rythm and then during rehersal my enterance for the bucket portion was switched to the other side, so I got off stage after mic groups and was saying something to a cast mate when all of a sudden I heard the intro music to rythm and got this look of "oh crap" on my face and sprinted to the other side of the stage so that I could grab my bucket and go but by the time I got to the other side I was way late so I instead got to watch everyone else do buckets instead. I know this doesn't sound that bad, but believe me, it gets better. So I was really mad at myself for not paying attention and not having my head in the game as well as it could have been but it was not a big deal cuz it happens to everyone at some point in time or another and so i tried to brush it off and just continue with the rest of the show. Then we get to the Culture Jam portion of our show and I am in mic groups for the American swing dancing song. So I am up on the mic platforms jamming out because you are suppose to just have a good time with the song and so I was really getting into it, then we came to the part where we all throw our hands up in the air repetidly from one side to the other. So as I go to do this I forget that the mic is in front of me and completely knock the mic over and see it fall in slow motion and hit Yui (one of the main dancers) in the head and then hit Chris (her dance partner) and then proceed to fall on to the floor with a loud thud and a high screech....ooops :( So at this point I would have loved a picture of my face because I am sure it was probably one of complete horror and then turned quickly into an "oh my gosh, what do i do now!" face!! Then I recomposed myself and kept jamming out on the mic platform, trying to pretend that nothing had happened when in fact I thought that after the show I would be killed by Gaby (the head of the tech team) because in staging they gave us all a big lecture on how to properly carry a mic, and how you treat a mic which definitely didn't include throwing it on the floor... But thankfully they didn't kill me cuz otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell this story to all of you today. I did however feel so bad after the little incident that it was hard to get back into the rest of the show, but what made it even more wierd was that the tech team never said anything to me... Seriously not a word, like nothing ever happened... I expected to never live it down or to get a rediculous nickname out of the entire situation, but seriously, nothing. the next show however did go 85 times better than that show did, I guess we are all just allowed a bad show at some point and I had mine. So that was Belgium and I think my host family would agree with the fact that it was probably my most clumsy city. I seriously dropped something on an hourly basis there.

After Belgium, we boarded the plane and headed to Atlanta, Georgia! We actually stayed in a suburb of Atlanta called Gwenitt County. My host family here was also very great! To highlight what happened in Atlanta, for community service, we did our first Stand for Peace in Creekland Elementary School for a bunch of 6th graders and it was FABULOUS!! I had such a blast with the kids there and I can't wait to continue doing SFP in other schools in the states. After SFP, we performed a mini show for all of the 6th graders and it was so great! Officially one of my favorite noises in the world is a gym full of kids performing Stomp on the bleachers with us!! I think it just goes to show how easy it is to have a positive impact on young kids if you just take the time to spend with them. Also in Gwenitt County we spent some time at the Boys and Girls clubs in the area. My favorite time there was playing touch football with a bunch of 10 year old boys that didn't think I would want to play or could play!! I am glad my coordination was working on that day because I really needed it! I had such a blast with those kids! And one final highlight of Georgia was going with my host family to Stone mountain and seeing the lazer show there. One of the very first songs they played at the lazer show was the song by Bon Jovi and the girl from Sugarland and I think it is called something like "Who says you can't go home" but in the song it talks about going all around the world and that no matter where you go or how far you travel, home will always be there when you want to go back. The song made me really think about how by the time the program is over and I fly back to Minnesota, I will have traveled all the way around the world and how i will go back to my home looking at it through different eyes knowing what I know now, but I also think I have gained more of an appreciation for it and the people there! So it was such a great feeling to know that I have loved all the places I have been, will continue to love all the places I have yet to go, but still have a love for where I have came from!! So that is great I think!! That caps up Georgia and from there we headed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina!

I have been here for just 2 days now and haven't gotten the chance to do or see much, but we had a discussion today about tobacco companies and the positive and negative affects on people and communities that tobacco has had and continues to have. We discussed this because Winston-Salem was built on tobacco companies and so it is a topic that is interesting for this region! But that is all for now, my hands are exhausted!! Lots of love to all and goodnight!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


So to update all of you... Crazy busy here all the time!!! Erfurt was great and it was so nice to see the city and really get to know my way around!!! We walked everywhere and it was great! Some highlights from there.... I think I had the coolest CI project so far when we were asked to paint a self-portrait of ourselves, not how we see ourself on the outside, but rather how we view ourselves from the inside out!! The coolest thing about this was that I had always thought I was horrible at painting, drawing, and basically anything artistic so when I was able to paint and it actually turned out better than I had hoped for, I realized that maybe I am not as bad as I thought I was! :) Next, the show was great and we had some guest break dancers perform in our show which was very cool and they were incredible! The only disappointing thing from the city was that the evening before the show I had my wallet and my camera stolen. :( But there is always a lesson to be learned and so it really brought me back to the reality that life is full of good and bad and that sometimes it takes a while to see the reason behind things that happen. The only thing that is really disappointing to me is that I had taken a picture of my painting and now I can never show it to the people I love back home, but such is life.

I am currently in Hasselt, Belgium and it is great! My host family is great and it seems that everyplace I go my host family is wonderful in thier own way! Today our CI consisted of going to a school for children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities. It was great because our job there was just to interact and play with the children! I completely had a BLAST and was continually amazed at how much life and energy these kids had! But that is all I have time for right now because it is time for dinner! Peace and love!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wow, long time no post!!

So sorrz about the long time between posts, but I am currentlz in Germanz and would like to update all of zou on mz life so far!! First, the kezboards here have the z and the y in the opposite places than American kezboards and since I don't have the time or the patience to switch all of them, zou will just have to bear with me. So startíng with Vimmerbz, Sweden... After the cast arrived, the week flew bz with so much to be done but it all went off verz well with onlz some minor problems, which we sloved with ease!! I think the best part of the week was the end. Getting to watch all of mz cast members perform the show was incredible and it was great to sit in the audience and see the reaction on people's faces. I think it was especiallz cool to get to know so manz of the people in Vimmerbz and then get to see them react to the show and be moved bz it. It reallz brought me back to whz we do the show and gave me a renewed energz and spirit for performing it!! It was incredible to have people we had been working with for the past couple weeks come up to us with tears in their ezes after the show and tell us how much thez loved it and how important it is to have a show like this for people to see and understand. The next best thing was Sundaz which was a host familz daz and Sokheoun and I actuallz got to relax for the first time in what seemed like FOREVER!!! Our host familz took us on a walk through the woods, which was beautiful; then to the biggest Oak tree in Europe, which we weren't suppose to climb, but did it anzwazs; then to thier lake cabin, where we enjozed coffee and some treats; next we went to another host families house, where we got to have dinner, sing, plaz games, and just relax! After all of this, we went home and hung out for hours before finallz deciding to go to bed. It was seriouslz the best daz in Vimmerbz I think because I didn't have to think about anzthing work related and just got to enjoz mz host familz. The following morning we had to saz goodbze and this was so hard because I had gotten to feel so at home in mz host familz that I didn't want to leave and even though I was onlz there for 2 and a half weeks, it felt like much longer!

So we boarded the bus and headed to our next citz, Uelzen, Germany. While here we did manz things, but to highlight, mz host familz was intimidating at first but once I got to know them I reallz enjozed them and all that thez had to offer. the CI I was involved in for the week was working at an immigration house, which is a place that mainlz zoung immigrant children can come to and get help with thier German and their homework and just to socialiye and hang out. While we were there, we helped them prepare for a partz that thez were having the Major attend to trz to get more funding for their facilitz. It was cool helping them set up and get readz and I have now decided that if I am adding "partz planner for non-profit organiyations" to mz list of potential occupations!! So anzwazs, the show in Uelzen was great and it was fun to be back in it. Mz renewed spirit and I were readz to put on a great show! The next daz we spent with our host familz just relaxing and having a good time.

Finallz, zesterdaz we traveled to Erfurt, Germany. I have come to notice that I think it is funnz that I still get nervous before I meet mz host familz for the week. One would think that I have had so manz that I would be comfortable with it bz now, but I think a little nerves are good sometimes. So we got to Erfurt and met our host families, mz familz is great and thez have hosted UwP students manz times in the past (6 in total i think not including mz roommate and I). Thez alreadz seem like a lot of fun!! Also, zesterdaz we found out that when our cast is in New York in November, we will get the incredible opportunitz of going to the United Nations!!! I am completelz stoked about this and I need to start doing research on it so that I go in informed!! But that prettz much sums everzthing up for now!! Till next time, peace!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Execution is key!

So the cast arrived and oh what a great feeling!! I don't think that i have been hugged so much in one daz ever!!!! It was so great and I didn't realize initially how excited I would actually get to see the entire cast!! I could describe the feeling at first until a staff member came up to me and asked if it felt like Christmas and at first I was confused, but then it totally made sense!! I completely felt like a small child at Christmas! Like you spend so much time waiting for the day to come, and when it finally arrives, you can't believe it and all of the emotion of that day and the time that has been spent preparing for it just comes rushing forward and bursts out of you! And all of the things that you struggled with throughout the week doesn't really matter anymore because the cast is here!
It has also been great having the cast finally here in Vimmerby as well, and letting them experience the things that we had planned and set up thinking of them and how they would enjoy it or what they would get educationally from it! I was originally very nervous to run the city with the cast here and to be responsible for a group of 70 students for an entire week, but now that I have a couple days under my belt, I have gotten comfortable and really enjoy the pressure and the hard work! But can't add much more now, gotta go!!