Carli Eurton

Italy

Hometown:Orlando, Florida
School: Edgewater High School
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club:College Park-Orlando, Florida
Host District: District 2060
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Pordenone

 

My Bio


Ciao! My name is Carli Eurton; I am one of seventeen lucky young Americans in Rotary District 6980 about to embark on the greatest journeys of our lives! I am so excited to be spending 10 months in ITALY! Currently I am a senior at Edgewater High school in Orlando where I will graduate on May 23. I am the Captain of the Girls’ varsity lacrosse team & am looking forward to making my last season on the field the best! I live in a historic district of downtown Orlando in 1920’s home with my Mom, Dad and younger brother Will who is 13. My favorite things include spending time at the beach, hanging out with friends and just being creative (drawing, painting, photography). Living abroad and getting to travel to Europe is something that I’ve always aspired to do! I am looking forward to this opportunity because I want to expand my knowledge of other countries outside of the United States. I know that this opportunity as an exchange student will widen my perspective on the world. I am looking forward to immersing myself in Italian, and hopefully I will pick it up rather quickly. The thought of meeting new people, seeing new things, trying new foods, everything NEW, is so exciting to me! I cannot begin to thank Rotary enough for this amazing opportunity, and am looking forward to what Italy has in store for me! Stay Tuned! Carli

My first steps on Italian soil!

My first steps on Italian soil!

Duino, Italia

Duino, Italia

Inbounds of District 2060

Inbounds of District 2060

Florida girls!

Florida girls!

Jumping for joy because we love Italia!

Jumping for joy because we love Italia!

Enjoying the vineyards

Enjoying the vineyards

My best friend Libbi Sham :)

My best friend Libbi Sham :)

Bassano del Grappa, Italia

Bassano del Grappa, Italia

Christmas time in CivitaNova

Christmas time in CivitaNova

Visiting Maria Giulia in Milan

Visiting Maria Giulia in Milan

Family vacation to Naples

Family vacation to Naples

My 2nd host family

My 2nd host family

2060 inbounds celebrating Christmas together

2060 inbounds celebrating Christmas together

Chiara and I with our Jack-o-lantern

Chiara and I with our Jack-o-lantern

My first time skiing!

My first time skiing!

Journals: Carli - Italy

  • Carli, outbound to Italy

    October, November, December and now January. The past 3 months and a few days have gone by in a flash, and I can't believe that I have already been here for 4 months. Four months in my favorite country, with the most amazing people, the most delicious food, and the most breathtaking views. The days seem to go by faster and faster as time goes on….I really wish that they would slow down because theres nothing I want more than to stay here as long as possible.

    October seemed fast and full of season changes, new foods and pumpkin carving. It was my first time seeing the leaves change colors and the temperature dropping little by little each day. I don’t know how I’ve lived so long without seeing Fall before.

    My first host family always laughed at me for taking pictures of leaves, but to me, it was a big deal since I grew up in Florida. I introduced them to the wonderful American tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween. My host sister, Chiara and I had so much fun making our own Italian jack-o-lantern and then cooking and eating the seeds afterwards, which is one of my favorite Fall treats.

    To celebrate Halloween, I went to Venice to stay with my friend Jennifer (another RYE student from California). We had a blast walking around Venice dressed up as a cat and gypsy until we finally realized that everyone was dressed scary, but us. LOL. It was one of those things that you just don’t get the memo for! The next day we went sailing all around Venice with her host family on her host father’s sailboat. It was a perfect windy and sunny day, which is not so common in Venice, so we we’re lucky. October came to an end very fast and it was time for me to switch host families. I am so thankful for the time that I spent with the Menegazzi family. They taught me so much about the Italian culture and were the first perfect family for me. They will forever remain as family :)

    November was full of change! I moved to my second host family, The Baldassarre! Gustavo, Barbara, Bianca and Maria Giulia live in a two story home in the center of Pordenone with the perfect view of the mountains behind their home. I absolutely love living in Pordenone because I am so close to the center of the city and also to school. It is so easy to just walk into the center and grab a bite to eat, or the daily cup of coffee, that is now needed (Really... I can’t live without it).

    My host sister, Maria Giulia is 19 and studying in Pavia, a small city close to Milan so she comes home for holidays and long weekends and we always have so much fun together when she comes home! I went and stayed with Mari in Pavia for a weekend and we had a blast Christmas shopping, sightseeing and traveling to Milan for the day to see all of the wonderful things that city has to offer, plus she is the greatest travel partner. My other host sister is Bianca, she is 13 and is in the last year of middle school. She is an arithmetic dancer and also a great artist! I love having a little sister around! Barbara and Gustavo are such amazing host parents! They are both so loving and caring and I am so happy to be living with them!

    At the beginning of December I changed schools. I was really not happy at the artistic school for many reasons and now I am attending a Linguistic school in Pordenone where my classmates study French, English and German. I am so happy to be at my new school and I love my class so much! My class is all girls and one boy because a Linguistic school is not very popular amongst Italian boys. Everyone is so sweet and has been so welcoming since I arrived!

    Soon after I arrived at the new school it was already time for winter break! On the 23rd of December after Bianca’s winter dance recital we drove four hours south to Civitanova, a small town on Adriatic Sea where my host mom’s mother lives. We spent Christmas Eve there, where we ate a huge “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner with all of their family members and stayed up until midnight for “Babbo Natale” to arrive and bring presents.

    On Christmas morning, we woke up and drove another four hours south to Naples to spend Christmas with my host dad’s side of the family. We had a huge lunch with 50 of their relatives. It as such an amazing experience getting to see how Italians celebrate Christmas compared to my family back home. We stayed in the center of Naples in their aunt’s apartment where we had our own room to ourselves overlooking Mount Vesuvius.

    Everyday we woke up late, took our time, casually walked the streets, through markets and shops, truly living like the Napolitans. One night in Naples the temperature reached below thirty and started to snow. It was the first time I had ever seen snow fall from the sky and I was so happy that I almost cried. (Really...there's a video to prove it!).

    For New Years Eve, we shot fireworks out of their grandma’s balcony, bouncing them off the buildings in front of us - it was crazy! I was told to be careful that the New Year’s tradition in Naples is for people to throw things out of their windows; however I didn’t see anyone actually do this. Later in the evening, we walked to the city center to watch a fireworks show being shot from the Castel Dell’Ovo. It was amazing and the fireworks were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s safe to say that I fell in love with Naples and I am so excited to go back in February with Rotary.

    One day during our Naples trip, Maria Giulia and I traveled to Rome by train for the day. We started our day early at the Colosseum and made our way to the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and many of the other important sights in Rome. We had so much fun wandering around and spending our time popping in and out of shops to keep warm (It was 35 degrees and very windy that day). We ended the day by sitting on the Spanish steps and people watching while eating warm chestnuts made by a street vendor. I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly winter day in Italy but in Rome!

    I can’t believe that it is already 2015!!! I am so happy that I get to start the New Year in Italy, and so incredibly grateful to be here. I am constantly still doing and seeing new things, and I am so happy that I can finally consider Italy my home (my Italian ancestors probably like that too!) .

    Yesterday, I went skiing for the first time in Piancavallo, the mountains in Aviano which is about 30 minutes from Pordenone. It was my first time skiing! I was absolutely horrible at skiing, but I had the best time ever with my host family. Lots of laughs and sore muscles for this Florida girl.

    The 9th of January was such a sad day for my inbound district because that is the day that my two Rotary Youth Exchange friends Libbi and Tom returned to Australia. I am so sad that they are gone, I have grown so close to the both of them. But now, I have a great reason (in fact, two great reasons) to visit Australia!!! They will both be missed so much by everyone in our district but we will all see them sometime in the future! On the bright side, the new year is sure to be filled with many exciting upcoming events and adventures!

    Stay Tuned! Ciao! Bacci!

    Carli


  • Carli, outbound to Italy

    My long yearning for change was finally a reality and there was no way anyone could have wiped the smile off my face.

    September 10, 2014 was the day my Italian adventure began! From Orlando to New York to Venice, my travels were smooth and on schedule. As I flew over the Atlantic all I could think about was that my dream was really becoming a reality. As we began to descend upon arrival I was in awe of what I was seeing outside my window - the snow covered Italian Alps and then the amazingly beautiful city of Venice! I knew the second that I stepped off the plane that I made the right decision. The chaotic buzz of Italians moving throughout the airport, the strong aroma of espresso in the air and the excitement of meeting my first host family was so overwhelming, but all in the best ways possible.

    My long yearning for change was finally a reality and there was no way anyone could have wiped the BIG smile off my face (I’m still smiling a month and two weeks later). I patiently waited for about 20 minutes for my two bags of luggage to arrive on the carousel and I quickly exited the baggage claim to the meeting area where I was greeted by my host mom, Alessandra, host dad, Rinaldo, my Rotary counselor, Elena and the fantastic Libbi Sham, another Rotary Youth exchange student from Sydney, Australia who has been living in Sacile (and now one of my best of friends) since January. My first meeting of my first host family was everything I had dreamt of and more as they were so welcoming and excited to see me too!

    We left the airport and drove to Treviso, a city in Veneto, northern Italy and birthplace of my host Dad, to have lunch and get to know each other. We ate sandwiches called “Toast” which are toasted pieces of bread with prosciutto, melted cheese, and a dipping sauce that is a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup, a typical Italian lunch item. Yummy! After lunch we hit the road for Sacile, my new home. I peered out the window from the backseat of the car taking it all in and my excitement swelled for what the future had in store for me.

    Sacile is a very small town in the province of Pordenone, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy located approximately 40 minutes north of Venice with a population of about 20,000 people. We live in a three story apartment building on the top floor with a balcony overlooking the view of, well, currently construction because there is a new complex being built. However, if you look out the other windows you can see the beautiful city of Sacile. It is very common to see someone you know everytime you walk out of the house and It didn't take me very long to settle in and feel like I was at home.

    My first weekend, I met all of the other Rotary Youth Exchange students who are on exchange in Italy/ Rotary District 2060. Our first time together was in Cordovado, an even smaller town than Sacile, located to the south of Pordenone and about 45 minutes away by car. We all stayed in a bed and breakfast, ate pizza made my our Rotary Youth Exchange Multi-District Chairman and bonded over the mixed emotions of being an exchange student. I am so thankful to have 17 new friends from all over the world that I can consider as my extended family and share the experience of being an exchange student together. We see each other often and have a lot of adventures planned together ahead of us. Next, we are off to Florence this Friday!

    I was so excited to return home on that first Sunday to finally meet my host sister, Chiara who I didn't meet upon arrival as she was away at a sailing camp. Chiara and I bonded instantly! Last year she spend a year abroad as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Australia so we already had Rotary in common! I am so thankful for our friendship - we do so many things together & she helps me out so much as I continue to learn the language, culture, and more.

    Early on Monday morning, I headed off to start my first day of school at Liceo Artistico E. Galvani, it’s an artistic high school in an even SMALLER town than Sacile and Cordovado, called Cordenons, approximately a 45 minute bus ride away. My first day of school was better than I expected it to be as many of the students were very friendly. In fact, several students had previously been on Rotary Youth Exchange in the states. My first class was English, thankfully, where I introduced myself to the class and got to meet my classmates. Most of them don’t speak much English but those that do had lots of funny questions for me such as “What’s homecoming?” and “Are cheerleaders real?”

    In Italian high schools students don’t change classes like we do in America; the teachers rotate into the classroom for each subject. It took a bit for me to get use to this. I am the oldest in my class as I was placed in Level 3 of 5 Levels of classes which are mostly 16 and 17 years olds. We go to school Monday - Saturday (yes Saturday!) from 8:15am to 1:15pm & I take English, Math, Physics, Science, Philosophy, Art History, Italian and Gym . Several days a week, my school day extends to 5:00pm as those are the days I take Photography and Graphics. I still don’t understand a lot of Italian just yet, but every day gets a little easier.

    Yesterday we had a substitute teacher who asked everyone to introduce themselves for role call. When it was my turn I introduced myself in Italian and in return got a roaring applause from all of my classmates! It was a moment I will never forget as everyone was so proud of my three simple sentences. I’m taking an Italian class every Tuesday and Thursday night from 7:30 to 9:30 to help me with my language skills and to get more comfortable with speaking.

    My daily life here has become “normal” and I enjoy every day that I live here experiencing new & interesting things, which I love so much! Here are a few examples:
    -Squat toilets are the only kind of toilets in my school
    -Almost every Sunday the trains go on strike
    -My host grandma thinks my Mom is ½ japanese (I tried to tell her in Italian that my Mom had a Japanese made car...didn't turn out so well)
    - Sometimes we just casually go to Venice after school
    - I took the SAT at the United States Air Base, in Aviano, which is home to all American families with military jobs, based in Italy

    Pizza, pasta, gelato, espresso, yes it’s true, everyone here eats and drinks them constantly, but there are so many new foods that I have also tried that are to die for! Most interesting but very tasty was beef cheek! My host Mom is a great cook and I enjoy everything that she makes. It is true that gelato becomes part of your everyday food, and I have a guilty daily obsession with Nutella gelato, commonly here called “Cremino”! Thank goodness you walk everywhere here, otherwise I think I would be 400 pounds by now!

    I can’t believe how fast the first month went! My life is so welcomingly different now...I am embracing the change, enjoying the new experiences & I have definitely caught the travel bug! I have gone or done something new every weekend since I’ve been here. Just walking around is one of my favorite things to do. And yes, I have gotten lost many times, but it’s fun to get lost because you see many new & unexpected things, and of course you always find your way back. I have so much to look forward to and to be thankful for. Exchange has opened my eyes to the world and I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store for me!

    Thank you Rotary for this gift! A doppo! Arrivederci!


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