Friday, September 16, 2016


Time passes, the exotic becomes conventional and familiar. However,  the foreign gleam of Botswana continues to entertain me, like a bug drawn to a lantern in the middle of the night.  It’s something I can’t  explain, I’m just drawn to it. After 7 weeks  I feel stable, I know my friends, I have a routine, I have favorite restaurants, shops, etc. Yet, every day seems to present it’s  own unique obstacles that are ever so vague and contain a nearly indescribable nature but have an effervescent glow that makes them uniquely Botswana. These obstacles have not even the slightest effect on my or the group's morale. Why? Because this is what we signed up for. We knew that coming here wasn’t going to be Rome, Madrid, or any other over-romanticized European city so many American students study in. We came here searching for something different.
In Gaborone, it is impossible to tell what every new day will bring. The most common problems are administrative. Whether it be major like the Ministry of Education's failure to deliver financial aid to students on time (Causing most faculties at the university to begin 4 weeks late). Or minor like having to devote 3 days to finding where bedsheets are for you to use in the dorm. Maybe it is something to do with a lack of toilet paper in the bathroom (there is never any), or lack of warm water in the shower. Every day is sure to test your patience. On our first day, our awesome program leader announced to us, “Welcome to Botswana, this country will test your patience, but if you are calm and persistent things will always get taken care of.” This is true, if you are calm and persistent things will be taken care of. However, sometimes in life, it is impossible to be Cool Hand Luke, and you become irritated and ask yourself why you are here, why you didn’t choose a different country, “Why, why, why”. The question repeats on my frontal lobe. There are no easy days here. Even when the culture isn’t giving you a run for your money, the hot sun is sure to test your patience, as AC is a hard luxury to come by. There is no relief.
Coming to Botswana also restricts your personal freedoms to a degree unknown to lots of Americans. It is not safe to walk at night, it is dangerous to have your cell phone or wallet visible in many public places. They will be stripped from your hands quickly. Leaving your laptop unattended for a second in the library while you run to the bathroom? Forget it! What would you like for dinner? Pizza? A burrito? Chinese? FORGET IT! You get pap, chicken, and a small ration of vegetables.
The fact that you don’t look like you are local is yet another cause of irritation. As you walk past groups of students you hear “Lekgowa” followed by laughing. Lekgowa is the word for white person. Or at the mall, it is assumed as a foreigner you have money and strangers approach you as friends only to ask you to buy them a beer. The women in our group have it even harder. They are proposed to and harassed daily. A cultural patriarchy pins them as lesser and even views them as commodities that can be bought with cattle. There is no doubt that all the women in our CIEE group have thick skin and are totally badass for putting up with it every day. I have nothing but respect for them.
So why do we do it? What is the purpose of coming to a place so sure to test all your convictions? Why wouldn’t you rather go to a place where you can relax and enjoy all the aesthetics and comforts of western life? It’s because the beauty of life is not in its comforts. The beauty of life is found in its most abstract experiences. It is in the people you meet, the foods you try, and the questionable late night cab rides back to the dorms. The beauty begins where your comfort zone ends. When all's said and done there is nowhere I could be happier to spend a semester of my college career.  The experiences are all too surreal, and the obstacles just add an extra dimension of spunk to what would be a boring day. The group of CIEE students I get to spend my time with are all amazing people, and I’m grateful to have their friendships. The local friendships I create are equally beautiful. Every day here is an adventure or exploration into modes of life most people in the US will never experience. The luxuries here are not what many people back home may call luxuries. However,  I can testify that jumping into a packed combi (van/bus) full of locals contains much more luxuries than any Ferrari ever could. And the taste of a juicy orange from a street vendor is 10x more savory than the best chocolate cake served at the Ritz Carlton. Life here is authentic, it is wild, it is pure.  Every night I go to bed feeling like I have really lived, and what more could I ask for. A semester here is difficult. Yet, for those who do go, the rewards are far deeper than any meaning words could deliver.

- Logan

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Lessons of 2 Months on the Road

Approximately one year ago, I arrived home from a year studying abroad through RYE in Italy. During my year I kept a blog of my travels and experiences. The blog however ceased its updates when my life once again became routine, and I was back in the USA. Well my last two months have been anything but routine. In fact my last two months have been two of the most fun, exhilarating, and entertaining months I have yet to live through. I have been on a two month expedition through what will conclusively be seven different countries (a quick stop in Denmark remains). My travels have carried me to Iceland, Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Italy, and Denmark. The experiences and lessons of these travels undoubtedly constitute a new blog post. When I was in Italy I updated readers on all the highlights and complications of my life abroad. However to update any and all readers on all the triumphs and tribulations of the last two months, you would need a stack of papers taller than the Empire State Building. So I don’t even intend to attempt such a feat. Instead I intend to talk about the realizations, and changes that my mind made as a result of my backpacking throughout Europe.
Before I start I want to create a distinction between my current expedition and my year abroad. The difference is while on exchange, you need not worry about where your next bed may be, or when your next meal may come. Although there is not one easy thing about exchange, it is in a sense travel with training wheels (not to discredit the many cultural benefits exchange holds that backpacking simply can't offer). For if exchange is a bike with training wheels, then backpacking is a 10 speed Cannondale.

If you have made it to here; I invite you to buckle in for the long haul and read the rest of this post.

Upon arriving in Iceland, I was no rookie to travel. Yet, I had never traveled outside the confines of my parents, school, or Rotary. I was finally on the Cannondale, and I was ready to race. Me and my two travel buddies (Nash, and Errol; who were even more juvenile to travel than I was) had arranged to stay at the apartment of our friends brother, a 20 year old college student named Olafur, and that was all we knew of the journey that lay ahead. In Iceland life began to take course, the gears started to shift on us, and all thoughts of home were quickly forgotten, like they were the dreams of a night before. once in Iceland we were stunned by the price to do anything and everything. We found ourselves without the ability to afford the basic comforts of home we were all accustomed to, such as never going to bed hungry, decent sleep (4 men in a 1 room apartment), and just a general feeling of comfort associated with the ease of knowing your surroundings was all stripped from our realities. Our wallets, and our location could not support the comforts we had previously put so much enjoyment into. So as humans we did as we are designed to do and  adapted to our surroundings. We learned to adapt to what we could afford. For example there was one period in Iceland when we spent a little less than a week circumventing the island, during the stint we lived off of two tuna sandwiches a day. An amount of food I would have previously called an average sized lunch. Instead of beds we became accustomed to sleeping bags and busses. Instead of knowing what lay behind the bend, we became accustomed to old tattered road maps. Yet in exchange for our adaptations we were given endless adventures. One morning I was waking up at small cabin in rural northwestern Iceland, and I began processing the way of life we had been enacting during the last weeks in Iceland and it finally hit me. That is, Life begins when our acquired comforts no longer seem to be necessary, or to be comforts at all, and that the real comfort from life comes from living in itself. Yet living isn't achieved on a couch or park bench. Life is best lived on a knifes edge. Like Oscar Wilde once said “Life is either a big daring adventure or it is nothing at all.”
From this moment of realization, a transition of mentality started to take course in my mind. First it came about me slowly, but then it encompassed my way of life like a full moon encompasses a night’s sky. I began to care less about money, I began to care less about my next meal, I began to care less about my next comfortable bed. Instead I cared more about surrounding myself with good people, I cared more about chasing my desires with a burning passion, I cared more about living, and not passing my life by on the wayside. At the end of the day, so to speak, you will always find a means to food, and you will always find a place to rest your head. I ask all my readers to not waste another second sitting idle on your beds, couches, or sofas because you don't think you could accomplish chasing your dream. An idle mind is where death will first take hold. Character is fate. STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE PECUNIARY; ACT ON DESIRE NOT FEAR. “However mean you life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life poor as it is. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from a rich mans abode.” - Henry David Thoreau. No life will be beautiful all the time. Even a king must weep at times. Only a fool hopes for happiness in all faces of life, all the time. For he would then miss all the other emotions which life can lend upon us. It is paramount to find the beauty in even the deepest of depressions. How could a mountain seem high if you had never seen a valley? We find a rose that is black to be just as beautiful as one that is red. Make no mistake, you must learn to enjoy the reality which you see, for paradise only exists where you let it; the minds eye. No matter how far away your dreams may seem, follow them, as there is no remedy to regret. We all have a drum beat in the back of our heads, if you listen to yours, a chorus playing to the same beat is surely soon to arrive. If you can’t find the job that makes you happy, listen to your drum beat, it will lead you there. If you are worried to find the love of your life, listen to your drum beat, it will lead you to her. if you feel lost in life, listen to your drum beat, and it will carry you to where you need to be. Yet don’t rush the roads that life takes, too many of us are in a hurry to be starved, as soon as we have finished eating. Most of the beauty belongs on the road itself. That is why we are all entitled to the PURSUIT of happiness, and not just to happiness. 
I have just begun the novel which I will justly title My Life. There is so much I stand to still learn, but sharing the little knowledge I currently hold with all who care to listen is the just thing to do. To digress, after I held this realization in my mind, I decided to live the rest of my voyage to this rhythm; to my drum beat. As I did, the Cannondale shifted to 10th gear down a steep hill. I was on a knifes edge navigating through out Europe. Looking out across Budapest from the top of its tallest cathedral or free diving in the Mediterranean sea. Life had become the daring  adventure Oscar Wilde had foretold centuries ago.
Currently I am face to face with a return to California, where within a week of arriving I will start university, and travel will be replaced with study sessions, yet I will not let that silence the drum. When faced with the mundane, the mind becomes an equally beautiful place to explore as the world around you. You can dive into depths deeper than the deepest ocean cave, or rocket into dimensions more untold than the farthest galaxy. Never stop dreaming! In acceptance of the end of my voyage throughout Europe; I bought tickets for next summer to spend two months is South America, dropping my bank account to a number that would have thrown a two month younger me into a cardiovascular Pompeii. Now I see it as a sign of the progress I have already made, and a testament to the direction I'm heading, the direction of my dreams. 
Although this blog failed to focus upon the aesthetic and natural beauty my eyes feasted upon, or the plethora of new and wild experiences I received in the last two months, I promise you they were as glorious as the lessons they left me with. I challenge everyone to take the leap and follow their drums as they beat in the direction of dreams. So go out and follow yours. If you stayed with me this long, thank you, and I hope you enjoyed the lessons that I so enjoyed learning myself. 



Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Trips Continues

Hello friends,

So, I  have been on the road a lot in the last 3 weeks. Accordingly the need to update my blog presented itself. To which I can also proudly say that it has been less than a month since the last time I updated. However that is a fact which is most likley more entertaining for me than for you. Yet I have digressed from the original point. Back to the traveling, shall we? So the last time you heard from me, I was preparing for a trip to The Blue Coast of France and Italy. After that trip I returned to Varallo only to leave several days later on a trip to the Cinque Terre. To this trip, the credit belongs to Rotary. Thank you Rotary for your generosity in organizing the trip to the Cinque Terre. To present day, I am on a bus returning from Rome at this moment. Then to the future, we will see what travel it brings me. 

For those who may happen to be geographically impared let me explain where The Blue Coast. The Blue Coast, is the name given to Southern Frances border with the deep abyss. The region also continues into Italy, yet is best known for its French beach towns.
However, to the actual expirience. I spent one day in San Remo, one in Monte Carlo, and one in Menton. Of the three let us concentrate on Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo, is the most famous and only city in the Principality of Monaco. The city is renound for its yearly Formula 1 race, which features cars flying around tight corners overhanging the perilous ocean. Monte Carlo is also known as one of the worlds most famous billionaire hangouts. The amount of wealth in the city is part of what gives the city its unique character. We walked along the truley magnificent harbor which is filled with breath taking  yachts like normal cities are filled with Toyotas. After navigating ourselves through the floating jungle of, we hiked to  the heart of Monte Carlo; the casino. I arrived at the casino with spirits high, as I am a skilled poker player, but left with spirits crushed. Why you ask, because even in Monte Carlo 17 year olds cannot gamble. I will have to wait till next time to display my poker skill. After being turned away from the casino, I did what any normal 17 year old would do. I took a picture next to the new Rolls Royce parked in front. After leaving the casino we ended our day by driving to the high point of Monte Carlo where there is the princes palace, that is rightly accoustomed with a view fit for a prince. At the end it was a day I will never forget, and a city I hope to return with my own Rolls Royce on day. 

The succeeding trip was to The Cinque Terre, which in english transaltes to the five lands. The Cinque Terre are five old fishing towns that have turned into a tourist attraction. The draw to these five towns is quite exciting for an adventure lover like myself. The first notable thing about the Cinque Terre is how isolated they are from the rest of Italy. To arrive and to leave the area, you must take a train or boat, the towns are not accesible by car. Then once you arrive in the Cinque Terre, you are instantly overwhlemed by the beauty of the ocean mixed with the multi-colored buildings. It is really a sight to see. The trip as mentioned before was Rotary operated and funded. We (RYE Students & Rotarians) spent two night exploring the area in and around the Cinque Terre. The trip was exquisite, and what I saw was gorgeous. However if I had to chose the best part of the weekend it would be the time I spent with my fellow exchangers, and the memories we created togeather. Then before I knew it I was on a bus back to Varallo with only memories to comfort the fact that the weekend was over. 

The historical Mecca of our modern world. The Vaticans shield. The capital of Italy; the city of Rome. Early this week I returned from this cultural paradise, which I quickly dubbed Varallo's 
antipode. The city is to grand to correctly summarize in any type of blog, however I will briefly describe the city to my interpretation of it. Rome is a city to be visited by all goers of life, as it contains a mixture of culture unique to itself. The food is always good, the people are happy, and there is always a new monument to explore. The highlight of my trip was a tie between the colliseum and Piazza Navona. Then without a doubt, a  night walk to the Fontana di Trevi should not be turned down by anyone. It is a must do for any future tourists. However as stated the city has to much to write about in one blog. So I will stop my summary on Rome here.  I will leave you with the fact that the mix of culture, atmosphere, and monuments is what gives the city its axiom as the city of love. It is a city that belongs at the top of any travelers list.

That completes the story of my recent travels, and in turn completes my blog. To my readers, I thank you and until next time...

Grazie e Arrivederci,
Logan White

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Marina
From another angle
End of a hike in the Cinque Terre

Cove in Cinque Terre

Rotary Friends and I

Inside the Pantheon

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marathon Edition!!


It has been way too long since the last time I checked in with you. However I am justified in my actions, as I havn't found a free day in weeks. The last time I wrote to you was at the start of March. During that time I was very excited for the marathon which was quickly approaching, and is now in the rearview. Before I get to the marathon, lets talk about the trips and expiriences of March.

I started March off with some weekends at Alagna snowboarding all the different terrain I could find. Then as the sun eroded away the snow, and the middle/end part of March took flight, I started traveling on weekends with my family. The first trip we took was to Como. Como is a famous lake town that resides on the shore of... you guessed it Lake Como. The town is famous for its amazing villa's and famous residents, namley George Clooney. Then the following weekend, we once again went to the lake district, only this time closer and less famous. We went to Lake Orta, and spent a day in the accordingly named city of Orta. Orta was beautiful just like Como, infact I liked it more! The town was smaller and not covered in tourism like Como, in turn, the city of Orta is much more of a cultural gem. Then to finish off the month, we took a trip to Bergamo. A city about an hour east of Milan. Bergamo was a beautiful city from was I was able to see. The history behind it is intresting, to learn more we took part in a guided tour while we were there. 

Then As quick as it started, it was gone. March ended and April started. In the first few days of April I had a break from school, in which I went to Milan a couple times. The most notable thing I did there was attend a museum of Leonardo Da Vinci. The window into the ideas of Da Vinci was amazing to see! His ideas were so very far ahead of his time. Then during that of the start of April my family took me to Switzerland for a day!! Not just to walk around the town, but to enjoy the THERMAL SPRINGS! It was a day of relaxing in the natural beauty of the mountains. Do not worry, we left with plenty of choclate! We got back from Leukerbad, Switzerland, with just a week before leaving to Vienna!

We left to Vienna, Austria, on the 10th of April. The marathon was on the 13th. After arriving in the city, we took 2 days to explore the prestine city. As far as a city goes Vienna is amazing! It is ranked as the worlds best city to live in, and I havn't been to all the worlds cities... Yet I can tell you that I wouldn't mind living in Vienna. The history is  just as rich as the art culture, and the food is always good. It is also a city where the buses always arrive on time, something Italy could learn (haha, but really) Anyway on the 3rd day, I woke myself up early, went down stairs to eat a high carb breakfast, got on the metro, and arrived at the starting line. It was marathon time. I had been training for over 3 months and was ready to conquer. During the training I had followed a strict training schedule, unfortunatly my Nike tracking app tracked 1.5 miles for every actual mile I ran. So in the end I was gravley unprepared for the marathon, having ran no more than 14 miles at any given time in my training. (I thought I had ran more than 20) I however was not aware of this at the start line, and only became awear when I was barley finished with 9 miles and my app alerted me that I had just completed a half marathon. From that point I knew the race was going to become a mental war. It's all in the mind afterall right? I reached 15 miles, and started to cramp. It was becoming hard to even walk, but I continued to jog as much as possible. My body was screaming stop after 18 miles, but my mind pushed forward. I had only 8.2 miles to go, and knew nothing was going to stop me, absolutley nothing. My body had broken down. It was my mind that was running. I had pushed my mind to a point past what it had before thought impossible.  I limped and ran to 22 miles, and with 4.2 miles to go, "Till I colapse" by Eminem came on my playlist, I listened to the songs message, and dug even deeper, forcing myself to seemingly sprint the last leg of the race. In the end I had heart pains, I vomited, and I colapsed, during the last leg of the race. However I passed the finish line, and nothing in the world could have felt better. I had ran a marathon and even more learned about the power of will. I had learned if you want something bad enough, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can stop you from capitolizing on your goal or dream. After the race I without exaggeration couldn't walk, and was asked if I needed crutches multiple times by event staff. I declined, because I knew my 2nd pair of parents would arrive (Patrizia & Gian) and I could use them as my crutches back to the hotel where I could rest back to health. In the end, I can say it was the best single expirience of my life, and I could not be more happy with myself for running it. 

Jumping forward to present day, it is spring break, and I am going to Monaco on Monday. I will get to see the stunning city/country with my own eyes and marvel on the beauty. Then a week later I have a rotary trip to Cinque Terre. The time I have left continues to shrink, it is sad knowing I must go, but every ending is a new beggining. 

Until next time,

Logan White

(Most my pictures are on my other camera)

Cafe in Vienna 
After the marathon!
I only have 1 picture of downtown Vienna on my phone, this is it.

The thermal springs in Switzerland
The alps behind the thermal spring
Curch in Bergamo 
Curch in Como

(I will put all the pictures on my camera on FB when I have the chance)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello 180 Days!

"How did it get so late so soon" - Dr. Seuss

That is a pretty good way of looking at the situation right now. They say exchange isn't a year in a life, but a life in a year. As true as that is, I then must acknowledge I am starting to approach the end of my life here in Italy. It remains true in this case, as it is true in every case that the end of a life is a sad thing. Although fortunatley for me the end if this life leads to a place where there is always sun. Yes, in a sense I am talking about heaven, but this heaven is called 'Summertime in California'

I last wrote in this blog a little over a month ago. A lot has transpired in the last 40 days. I switched houses, twice, thats right 2 times! I am now living with my first host family until I leave Italy. This is as scheduled. I am happy to be back with the Bettoni family, and finally to be settled in to a house for more than a month. 

It is now March, and I thought the snow would be melting at lightspeed by this time, but oh how I was wrong! In the first three days of March the mountain has recieved nearly two more meters of snow! I guess I will have more time on the mountain than I thought. Speaking of time on the mountain.  A new hobby that some friends of mine and I do from time to time is what I have dubbed "Utimate Sledding". We rent bobsleds, take a lift to the top of the ski resort, eat dinner, and then sled down well over a mile guided by the lights we have attatched to out heads. This my friends, is the future of winter sports!

To continue with the sport theme, I went to Sestriere in the middle of Febuary. Sestriere was the center of events for the 2006 Torino Olympics, and is the heart of the ski/snowboard fantasy land known as Via Lattia aka the Milky Way. I was hosted there by an Italian family who's kid will be going to the US on exchange this coming year. I returned from that weekend and ran my longgest practice run yet, and 18 miler. The marathon prep is in full swing, and I could not be more excited for the race in April. All my hard work will cullminate into an amazing trip to Vienna, Austria where I will complete 26 miles on feet. My goal for the race is under 3 hours and 25 minutes.

 Away from the topic of sports, and straight into lyguistics. I am taking on the challenge of learning dialect. Every region of Italy has distinct dialects of the Italian language, not everyone speaks their regions dialect, but I have taken it upon myslef to learn this regions dialect. I am in Valsesia where the dialect is very unique. The Valsesia was the border of the Piedmont and Lombard regions/kingdoms almost 200 years ago. As a result you get a mixed dialect of Milanese and Piemontese that less than 2500 people speak. 

This coming month I do not have a lot planned so we will see where it takes me. Sometimes the best things come as surprises. I welcome this last branch of my exchange with open arms, and a hope of many many new expiriences, adventures, and educational growth. I will update in the next month or so. 

Until next time, arrivederci,
Logan White

Before ultimate sledding

A rare sunny day in Alagna


Skiing with Gianmario

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Half way

Hello to all,
(Pictures at bottom)

So it's been a month and some days since I last updated the blog. The last time I wrote was at the start of Christmas break. So that is where we will start this blog. 

Let me start by saying Christmas break was lots of fun, also shorter than it should be. The break was kicked off with a school party that transcended into the night. The following days were spent on the mountain snowboarding. This year has been amazing to the mountains with more than 9 feet of snow!!! I then spent some days with friends from school, and visited some other exchangers. At some point during the break I signed up for the Marathon of Milan. That is 26 miles of running to clarify. More on that later. Then with the blink of an eye break was over and school was back.

 School was back, but life goes on. I made a trip to Biella during the first week of school being back, to say bye to a friend. Luci the Aussie, had finished her year in Italy. (As Austrillia operates on a different time table)  To commensurate her time we had a dinner with the district head families and other students. We miss you Luci. That night wasn't all sad, as I neglected to mention before Luci leaving wasn't the only cause for the dinner. The other purpose was to welcome the new. Frances, a girl from South Africa arrived the day before, and we all came to welcome her to Italy. That night was very transitional for me. It felt as if a right of passage ritual had been completed. I am the "oldie" and she is the "newbie" as we call the positions here in Italy

Now lets talk about my Visa, and I don't mean the credit card. To come to Italy on exchange you have to get a student visa. I recieved my student visa without a hassle and continued on my path to Italy. Fast forward 5 months. Logan is in his room, and is reading about the return procedure and guidelines. One of the rules says you must return before the Visa expires. No problem right? Wrong.  My visa expires June 7th, let me explain the problems.
-1st school ends on the 6th so I recieve no rest or goodbye time.
-2nd I get no summer
-3rd  everyone elses visa expires late june or early July! Making me the first to leave
Atleast I will get to see my class graduate, I guess that is an upside. So the visa takes me to my next point I am now half way through my exchange which means I have been here for more time than I have left! See you soon Humboldt. (slightly joking, slightly serious)

Now as promised the marathon. I have been running and cross training 5 times a week in prep for the event. Then I recieved an email yesterday saying I am to young to run and will be refunded my money. So now the hard part, find a marathon I can do. After expanding my search a million times I found the VCM, (Vienna City Marathon) yes Vienna, Austria. So now that is the goal. The race is April 13. Now I just need to work out the logistics. I have called upon my first host mom to be my guidance on the trip, but do not have an answer yet. I understand if she can't take me though, as going to Vienna is a lot to ask from a person. For now I just have to keep running, and hope the logistics work out in my favor.

Thank you for reading, and stay classy,

Logan White

Enjoy the pictures
Me, Luci, (Standing) Frances (Blonde) at The farewell/welcome dinner

Milan christmas time

Host grandma

Favorite restraunt on the Mountain

Xmas themed dinner with friends

Who does't love snow and beautiful mountains?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Time goes on

Hello Internet Users,

(Photo recap at bottom)

My last post was over a month ago, and with over a month of time comes over a months worth of life to tell you about. To start its scary to say that it was over a month ago that I last posted. It feels like 2-3 weeks at most. A lot has happend since then, in the way if travel and language ability.

The weekend after my last post my host parents took me and two friends to Lugano. If you ask the internet you will learn Lugano is a small city on the shore of a lake in the south of Switzerland. If you ask me you will learn it is a breathtaking city of the edge of a breathtaking lake with crisp autumn tempetures, rediculously high end stores, and an awesome public park. 

The next weekend I took a short trip north of Varallo to a small town of less than 100 people in summer and less than 5 in winter. The town is called Rima, Rima is beautiful and very cold, you could call it beautifully cold. The town is very old and had been a summer get away for high end politicians hundreds of years ago, but now is almost unvisited. Another intresting thing about Rima is it just had a 4 star resort buit in it. When I saw the resort I thought 2 things. 
1. Brilliant architecht
2. Horrible buisness man
The resort is drapped over a small river, and across from a large waterfall, everything about it is breaktaking its just a shame the only costumer could very well be the owner.

About two weeks later my class and I took a trip to Venice!!! And just to save room as I could tell you about the city for ever I will bullet list it.
• Spectacular views
• Amazing buildings and churches
• I wore a t-shirt for the first time in ever
• Lots of water (the amazing canal system)
• If you have the oppertunity to go, go.

Then I woke up after my venice day trip tired as ever, and made a four hour trek to Cremona where I met up with other Rotary kids from lots of districts and we all enjoyed the large Torrone festival. Torrone is an Italian sweet that is hard to describe so your going to have to believe me when I say it's good. Cremona is a city famous for the violin and invention of torrone, hence the torrone festival.

Since then my traveling has somewhat stopped as the mountain opend for snowboarding and thats been a more than easy choice to me over the last couple weeks. 

But hey thats not all folks!

I have been asking Luci and Jessica, inbounds living in Biella (city 1 hour away) to come visit me in Varallo. This mini trip was accomplished by them a few weeks ago. The three of us went for a tour of Varallo,got cafe, told jokes, and enjoyed eachothers company. 

Now the big news! 

This is big people, that means my time is 1/3 over! That is amazing, and also hard to believe. My new family is very nice, and I have no problems with them. Their house is beautiful, and I have host siblings, which is a nice change of pace.  With that said I loved the time I had at my first family, and will be moving in with them for my last 3 months of my exchange. I am thankful for all they have done for me, and my first host mom continues to drive me to school. (how sweet of her)

Christmas break start this coming Monday and I am more than welcoming it! I might even find enough free time to update my bolg before  another month and a half goes by,.

Thank you, good bye, and stay classy,

Logan White