Nikki Packo

Italy

Hometown: St. Augustine, Florida
School: Ponte Vedra High School
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club: St. Augustine Sunrise, Florida
Host District: 2032
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Sarzana-Lerici


My Bio


Ciao! My name is Nicole Packo, but please call me Nikki. I am from Saint Augustine, Florida born and raised. Currently I'm a student at Ponte Vedra High School in the biotechnology academy. I'm super excited to go to ITALY!!!! Italy seems so amazing and my personality will fit in great. I come from a huge close family, I have 5 older brothers. My brothers have been lucky enough to travel the world now its my time to go and travel. I love animals they are very important to me. I cant wait to see Florence football it seems like so much fun. I'm so ready to try and learn some many new things from their culture. I have been blessed by a great family who has many stories to tell me especially my grandfather. My grandfather Daniel J.Hill is a huge American hero and I want to make a impact on people like he has on me, and be able to pass down the experiences I get from this exchange to the next generation. Then they will be able to do the same and it becomes a tradition. I hope to do some great things with Rotary Youth Exchange. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have gotten with Rotary.

Orientation in Tropea best photo we could get

Orientation in Tropea best photo we could get

Everyone at orientation

Everyone at orientation

Rock climbing

Rock climbing

When I went to Rome with school

When I went to Rome with school

Journals: Nikki-Italy Blog 2017-18

  • Nikki,Outbound to Italy

    Ciao tutti,

    I've been busy lately, I just moved to my 3rd host family a couple days and it was hard because I really liked my 2nd host family. I felt really connected with them. I went to London with my 2nd host family which was so much fun. My 2nd host mom took about a thousand photos of me and my host sister. I was excited for Starbucks because in Italy there is only one I think in the Milan airport. It's crazy how I have about 2 months left. It stills feels like yesterday when I was talking to a past exchange I met on the airport before landing in Pisa. This weekend I'm having friends come over for brunch because I'm making pancakes... I found out Italians love pancakes. I have to say since I'm on the topic of food, Italian food is really good. My favorite is Gnocchi with Pesto and it's easy to make but Pesto is amazing. Also this weekend I am hoping for good weather because then my friends can take me to Cinque Terre for the first time. I'm excited about that. School is good. The students in my class treat like one of them, so that's good. It was really cool because my class went on a field trip to a jail and we went to Rome. In Rome Giorgio Napolitano said hi to my class which I thought was really cool. In May my class is going to Napoli. I'm excited about that because I've only been to Tropea in the south and I was told Napoli is so different from the rest of Italy, especially the language. It's nice now because it's starting to get warm which means I go can go to the beach. My 3rd host family is just me and the mom because one daughter is in Mexico and the another studies in Milan for university. It's nice because my host sister now (the one who studies in Milan) her best friend is my other host sister from my 2nd family. It's nice because at least once a week my 2nd host mom will call me to see how I'm doing. Every Sunday my new host goes to Nonna's for dinner which I enjoy. Easter was good but the day after Easter is like the Easter for friends where they cook and hang out but I was sick and got my sister sick. Over the weekend the weather was nice so me and my friends went to Lerici which is right by the sea. It's so pretty right there because of all the boats. It's like a perfect picture. Plus in each town they have a little castle or fort which is always nice to see and normally they have a nice view with them too. Also the castle always have some history to go along with them and the towns which is interesting. Lerici is really beautiful. I rather like going to there with all the boats is very beautiful.

    Click HERE to read more about Nikki and all her blogs

  • Nikki, Outbound to Italy

    Ciao ragazzi

    So it is Christmas time and it has been crazy around here I have been really busy. Let me start off with the day we decided to put up the Christmas tree. My host mom bought a brand new fake tree and my host dad opens the box not knowing what to do with it , so I knew exactly how to set the tree up and did that in like 20 minutes or so. After a minute of setting it up the base of the tree isn't really holding the tree at a balance so my host dad tries to fix and my host dad is not really a "handy man" he doesn't like tools and stuff. I think we had to take the tree apart 3 or 4 times. He ended shoving wood pieces in the base to get the tree balanced and my host mom kept telling him that she would just get a new tree but he didn't want to set a new tree up. Once the tree is balanced my host mom says she wants it taller so we have to find something to put the tree on when we do we tried like 3 different tables and every time we would pick the tree up to move it somehow we would end up dropping and starting at square one. We finally get everything all good and my host dad wants to go take a nap because he got so frustrated with the tree. Also if you come to Italy there is a Holiday so you can put the tree up. Then in school I did secret Santa with my class. I think we had to draw names 3 different times until like a week before Christmas everyone was like no more changing our person. So I drew the same person twice and he got me twice too and the girls in my class we did gifts too. In my class its about 28 students with only 6 girls because I am in a Sport Scientific class. Yesterday night we had the family over for dinner and then after we open the gifts on Christmas eve because that's when Italians celebrate Christmas. The dinner yesterday didn't finish until 1:30 am. Today I went to church with Nonna (grandma) and that was interesting compared to home at church before you leave you kiss baby Jesus which I thought was interesting. Then we all went out with the family today for lunch at a restaurant right on on the ocean, it was nice. I ate about 4 plates of seafood and was dying because I didn't think I could eat so much food. My host parents told me we weren't going to eat dinner because we ate so much at lunch. Around 6 my family starts showing up with more food and I was like we are eating again. Also it wasn't like a little snack it was like a 4 course meal I was dying trying to eat all of it.

    Click HERE to read more about Nikki and all her blogs

  • Nikki, Outbound to Italy

    Ciao

    So since the last time I wrote I have changed schools and I am in love with my new class. The whole class talks to me all time. My second day there they asked to go to lunch and I thought it would be with a few girls ... Nope they are planning for all 27 of us to go eat lunch somewhere. My gym class went rock climbing and I'm afraid of heights but still did it and I was freaking out when the teacher said "once you get to the top just drop down" well it was scary at home I would never do that. I went to Geneva over the weekend. We went to the second largest aquarium in Europe. This Sunday the 26th I am suppose to go to Cremona with Rotary to meet district 2031/2. I have two little host siblings and love them to death my little sister reminds of me when I was her age the funny thing is she looks exactly like me at that age. She told her mom "Mom make sure you keep Nikki's number forever". My host parents want to send my little sister to live with me in America when she gets older. My little host brother says he wants to be fluent in English because of me. Next year my host family wants to come to Saint Augustine... I am super excited !!! I am suppose to make Thanksgiving dinner for my family and they are so excited because they love my cooking. I love how much this family makes me feel like their own daughter. At my house downstairs lives my host moms sister and below her Nonna (grandmother) lives. The other day I ate lunch with Nonna and after lunch she showed me all the family photos I feel like I would never forget that. In December I am suppose to go with my class to Florence. My town is starting to put up Christmas lights and I feel like a little kid walking around with big eyes. I went ice skating here it was kinda different from home but it was something different I enjoyed it. I am so excited to have Christmas in Italy I really hope it snows where I live even if it is only a very light snow because it already has snowed everywhere near us but not my town. I love Italy more and more everyday I really can not believe how much I fell in love with it. I love when I dress I look Italian I get so excited. Also if you guys are looking for gifts to bring your family my host family loves the peanut butter and yum yum sauce or shrimp sauce they literally put it on everything. Its funny because they put it on more things than I do. I feel like I made them unhealthy because they were healthy and now I feel like changed that. Everyday they ask me to tell my mom to send more yum yum sauce or if they can buy some in Italy.

    Click HERE to read more about Nikki and all her blogs

  • Nikki, Outbound to Italy

    Click HERE to read more about Nikki and all her blogs

    Hey guys so I am just starting to feel better after getting sick. I went to south Italy for orientation and I GOT ON ITALIAN NEWS!!!! I was so excited about getting on TV here I said I would give a speech on the news but they didn't want me to. My 2nd day of being home I was in alot of pain in my stomach so they called the doctor and he said I got a stomach virus. While here is the thing kids don't drink tap water in a foreign that you don't know if the water is clean. Guys if you come to Italy you will have your orientation in a paradise its normally in southern Italy the water is so blue. I went into the water thinking that its warm... Nope not true its cold and very salty which I thought was odd. After one of our meetings I got to meet all these Italians I was so excited, I think I scared them. Some of the girls were excited to meet me but the guys were like oh nahhh thats the crazy American girl!! I went on my first train in Italy going to orientation they are not what I thought they would be like. I thought the train was like the subway in New York where you stand up the whole time welp you don't you sit down ( without a.c. so it gets hot). Sunday I will be moving to my first host family they were moving houses. So I have lived with all my families but my first it 3-2-1. My first host families has DOGS and KIDS!!!!! Thats sounds exciting for me and these kids are little which is amazing. I hope my dog can sleep with me but I cant hold my breath on that one.

  • Nikki, Outbound to Italy

    Click HERE to read more about Nikki and all her blogs

    Ciao everyone my name is Nikki and Im in Italy.

    I would today I have been in Italy for about 8 days or so. My first day here it was good I got in around 11:30 in the morning. The second day here I went to hang out with the Australian in Sarzana. On my 3rd day in Italy I got this feeling of love and I feel in love with Italy which I never would of thought its such a amazing feeling to have. One day I went to Sarzana to see my friends and I got on a bus but I missed my stop and decided to get off this bus to follow a lady who said my town name but the rest she said I didnt understand. I follow her to this other bus and I say about 10 minutes on this bus she gets off and I have no idea where I am. The bus ended up at some bus stop thats 2 hours away from my house and my phone dies. My friend who put me on the bus is freaking out for hours because she cant get a hold of me. It took me about a hour or so to find someone to help because Im so lost. I finally find my bus and walk up my mountain to get home and I cant open the door so I had to wait till my host mom gets home. Right when she gets home I get the door open. Another time I go to take a shower and the bathroom gets alot of steam so I open the window and the alarm of the house goes off and I start freaking out. I thought I woke my host mom up from a nap because the alarm was going off.

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