Thursday, December 27, 2012

December Update

Owen, Hollywodge, Me, Amber

Nadolig llawen! That means Merry Christmas in Welsh. I've had a lovely Christmas for my first here in Wales. The photo above is from our Friendmas-Christmas, which was last Friday, the 21st. It was an ugly sweater party. Amber and I looked everywhere for ugly Christmas sweaters, mostly settling for the Christmas part, though mine is a bit gaudy. Owen and Holly definitely won the award for ugliest sweaters! Josh was there too, but he was the photographer of the above shot.

I also had some great video chats with various friends and family members, including a Skype chat with my parents where we opened gifts together and a group chat with my entire family on Christmas Eve! Josh and I spent Christmas Eve at our flat and drove up to his parents' Christmas Day for dinner. While there, we played Monopoly with his sister--British Monopoly! I never knew there were different versions for different countries. The British version is based in London and locations include Fleet Street and Trafalgar Square. All in all, I had a really lovely Christmas just generally relaxing and spending time (either virtually or in person!) with the people I care about. For New Years' Eve we're hoping to drive up to Doncaster, England, to visit Josh's grandparents (and for me to meet them for the first time). 

I've also finished my first of two essays due January 9th, which feels pretty good. I was definitely nervous about dealing with word counts for the first time, but with Josh's help to read through and tell me where I rambled on too much, it was a lot easier cutting words than I expected it to be.

In January I will be training for a volunteering position with the British Red Cross, which I'm quite excited about. It's a program where volunteers are paired up with older adults who have become isolated at home due to bereavement or health issues, and the goal is to help them build their confidence up again about going out in public and socializing. Once I'm paired up with a client it will be for eight weeks, during which time I'll spend a couple of hours a week accompanying them on outings into the community. I've been looking for local volunteer opportunities with older adults, but it's hard because Carmarthen is fairly small and oftentimes the positions available here require you to have a car or provide your own transportation, so I'm really glad to have found something that will work.

I've also had a meeting with one of my professors to discuss my thesis idea and find out if it seems feasible, and I've had the go-ahead to start putting out feelers to different organizations that might be able to help me find participants! More details on this as it evolves.

Finally, after a lot of technical problems, our Swansea student blogs are up and running. For those of you who read this personal blog it may not be of much interest as it will focus more on university and academics, but feel free to check it out!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays :)

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