Friday, October 9, 2015

Friendship Across the Ocean

I can say that last week was the best week and fastest week of my life! The friendships and memories I have made during this short week will never be forgotten. All they way from discussing how to say nutella to going to Walmart with Shauna and Imogen for the first time. Not only did they learn that the portion sizes are huge here but they learned that Ursuline is not only a sister school but another home for them!

My favorite memory with them was picking them up from the airport and seeing them for the first time. Before they came to America I had skyped them so I had an idea of what they looked like, but I was still a little nervous. What if they thought I was weird? What if we did not know what to talk about? I remember seeing them turn the corner and just sprinting in their direction practically knocking them over. At that moment I knew that this was going to be the best week of my life. Once we got home they gave me loads of chocolate and biscuits(aka cookies). And as they would say it was very nice. I learned so much from Shauna and Imogen in one week and I can't wait to got to England and visit them. I an grateful to have an amazing friendship with people that live across the ocean.

-Abby England, '16

True Sisters Will Never Be Drawn Apart

It amazes me how close I have become to girls I have only known for a week, it’s absolutely crazy!  As all of the host students were waiting at the airport with our signs that we made for our Brentwood arrivals, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown…...I was freaking out!!!!  I was so nervous about having two random girls that I had never met in person, although I had been texting them for three months prior, stay at my house for a whole week!!!  I literally thought I was going to cry I was so nervous, and I was terrified for the moment when I would first see them, should I hug them, shake hands?  To be completely honest, I was a nervous wreck.  Now, when I think back to that very first day, I was absolutely nuts, because when it was time for them to leave I was crying because I wanted them to stay, sad that they could not have stayed for two weeks, and I felt like I had known them my whole life.  This might sound crazy, but it is the absolute truth, the global education program at Ursuline Academy in St. Louis has changed my life.

Me and my sister, Katrina, who is a senior, became friends with our England girls, Mikki and Molly, right away.  They both came running up to hug us when they first saw us holding their signs at the airport.  I will never forget that moment, especially because it made all my nerves fly away.  We did many things during that week that bonded us together as true sisters, including getting our nails done for homecoming together, bringing them to a movie theater, going to an American football game, and eating dinner at ballpark village.  However, the most fun part of having them stay with us was the little things, like the late night chatting and laughing until our stomachs hurt, our intense ping pong tournaments, our daily selfies in the car on the way to school, figuring out the different words that they use, hearing their American accents, and our laughter at the most random of things.  I always tell myself to cherish the moment, because soon it will be a memory and you will wish that you had it back, and no matter how “cringy” it might sound, that is my motto that I will always follow.  I always told Mikki and Molly to cherish the moment, and by the end of the trip, they were saying it to me.  There were two moments in particular that I will remember for ever.  Mikki and Molly gave us gifts on the night before they were going back home, which were I love London sweatshirts, necklaces, and the most meaningful part….little notes written from the heart.  In her note, Mikki said: I really have had such a wonderful experience and it is all down to you and your family who I can honestly say I love so much!  This made me burst into tears, because I honestly love her so much, and to here Mikki say that made my heart so happy.  That night, the night before they left, we stayed at home, watching movies, chilling, playing ping pong, jamming to our favorite tunes, eating, laughing, and my favorite part….stargazing.  Mikki, Molly, Katrina (my sister), and I took pillows and blankets outside and laid down on the concrete pad for almost an hour just watching the stars from my house which sits in the middle of the woods.  Even though we were not even talking to each other, it was by far the best moment of the trip, and I was silently crying as we looked up at the sky, because I did not want my sisters to leave.  I was so thankful to be able to meet these two girls, and I am truly blessed that Mikki and Molly are now a part of my life.  I know for sure that I cherished every moment of their visit to St. Louis, and I am sure that they did too.  They may live on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, but Mikki and Molly, Katrina and I are friends forever, never apart… maybe in distance, but never at heart.  Until I see you again Mikki and Molly!  I love you so much.

-Erica Rebholz, '17

Sharing Ursuline Sisterhood

Wow, this past week has been such a whirlwind of emotions!  From the moment we saw each other at the airport, it seemed like we already knew each other because we had been talking the whole summer.  We had an instant connection and I was looking forward to a great week with them.  

Ellie and Holly fit right in.  On Monday, we went to my tennis match straight from the airport.  They both love to play tennis, but they haven’t watched it like that before.  One thing that they absolutely loved while here in America was shopping!  We went to the mall three different times to buy things.  They love Vineyard Vines since they don’t have that back at home and they also loved shopping at Kate Spade.  Friday night we went to Ballpark Village and we got to go up on the rooftop deck which is something I know they will never forget.  Then, we went to the SLUH football game...they loved sitting on the bleachers!   Something else that we did with the girls on Saturday was go to the pumpkin patch.  They were so amazed at how big the pumpkins were and that there were so many of them all in one place.  Later that day, we got our nails done.  They were fascinated by the massage chairs and wanted to stay in there forever!  As Saturday night approached, they got more and more excited, and I was excited for them! Homecoming this year is one I definitely won’t forget because I got to spend it with two of the best people from England.  While driving home from school on Friday, I asked Ellie and Holly if they liked Ariana Grande...and of course, they answered yes.  My question followed with, “Well, do you want to go to her concert with me on Sunday?”  Their reaction to this was priceless.  They almost cried from excitement.  So, after Fall Fest, we went to the Ariana Grande concert.  They were amazed that we were actually there, seeing her live on stage.  Saying goodbye to people you only met a week ago may not seem that hard to do to some people, but for me, it was like saying goodbye to people I have known my whole life.  I never wanted them to leave, but I look forward to seeing them over in England soon!  I am so blessed to be a part of a school that has sister schools around the world, and even though we live in different countries, we still share the same Ursuline sisterhood.
-Meg Dunn, '17

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 3, 2015

IMG_1766.PNGIMG_1769.PNGSo far the girls have been awesome! But I’m so tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.This morning we went to the zoo. According to Danielle and Caragh, the zoo in London isn’t much to look at or go to. They don’t have nearly as many animals there as we do here. The first place we went to was to go see the elephants. It was chillier morning, so I was worried there would be no elephants out. But there were four! One of them was a baby too! We then rode the train to see sting-ray exhibit, the penguin house, the new polar bear exhibit, as well as the sea lion show. After leaving the zoo, we stopped off at Target for some goodies. The girls got some free slushies from the little food place because they were British. We then headed home for a rest before people came over to get ready for the dance! My friend Taryn came over, then Amanda and her students Ellie and Deanne, then Katrina and Erica and their students Molly and Mikki. So there were a lot of girls in my house! Danielle is a make-up magician, so she helped people with their make-up for the rock and roll themed dance. Everyone dressed up in black, leather, and gold. We took a lot of pictures before we left. The dance was a great time! Everyone had fun. Afterwards we went to Katrina and Erica’s house for a sleep-over where the girls got their first taste of s’mores! It was an awesome night and the best way to spend my last homecoming dance.


-Megan Rechtien, '16

My Two New Best Friends

This week has been unreal, with my two new best friends there is nothing that could have made this better. Today we went to the St. Louis zoo, and bread co! The girls loved seeing all of the animals especially the elephants since the zoo in England doesn't have any elephants. Also they love how I drive us everywhere, compared to how they take a lot of public transportation (trains and buses). At bread co they loved the bread bowls, I was trying to explain to them how the soup didn't leak through the bread but they just had to wait and see, and they loved it!

Today I took my two girls and two of the other students to get our nails done after school! All of the girls loved it and we had time to get to know each other a little more! After we all got our nails done we went to Party City. The girls thought it was so cool that there was a party store and it had red solo cups (they don’t have those). We tried on different costumes, hats, and glasses. After singing and dancing around the store, we all loaded up and went to the long awaited Target. There’s no Target in England so we did a little damage to their bank accounts there. The girls bought tons of makeup, candy, clothes, ranch dressing, and about 15 EOS lip balms. That night we went home to a dinner of Fettuccine Alfredo, and enjoyed some Fro Yo after dinner! Also the whole day, Ellie was teaching me a liverpool accent, “I’m from liverpool”

-Amanda Worland, '16

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Until You Have to Say Goodbye

They say time flies by when you’re having fun. You don’t realize it until you have to say goodbye. Over this past week I have gotten the opportunity of a lifetime. I became friends with the two sweetest girls, Lauren and Charlotte. We asked them Monday morning what their top three favorite things were that they did while in St. Louis. They responded; the high school football game, the view from the arch, and homecoming. I loved taking Charlotte and Lauren to the football game on Friday night because it was something they had never experienced. We are all buzzing the whole night! Homecoming this year was one of the best yet. I loved being able to share with Lauren and Charlotte what our homecoming dance is like and we all had a great time dancing and taking fun pictures together! The girls liked going up in the arch to see what St. Louis was about. They loved the view especially being able to see Busch Stadium.

My top three favorite things that we did while the girls were in St. Louis were; just simply hanging
out and getting to know one another, homecoming, and our car jam sessions. Some of my best memories are talking about how we say different words for different things and arguing about who is right. We would always end up in laughter and ended up using each other's words. Homecoming was such a cool experience to share with Char and Lau because we got to have fun and dance all night together. We bonded over our mutual taste in music over this past week. Each time we rode together in the car we plugged in our phones and sang as loudly as we could to our new favorite songs. I had the most amazing time this week with two of my new best friends. The only thing I would change would be to lengthen the trip because I am already missing my girls! I can’t wait until I can go visit them in England!! xx

-Rebecca Adams ‘17

So far but yet so close

From the moment I learned I was selected to host, I was excited to meet new friends. Their different way of life was very interesting to me. I wanted to share what life was like at in the U.S. but also learn their ways. I connected immediately with Shannon and Harriet. We emailed, FaceTimed and chatted often. We shared out backgrounds, school, and likes and dislikes. During their stay we tried new and different things like eating at Kobe Steakhouse, BBQ, and Mexican. We went to Target, Walmart, and the Mall, all places that they didn't have and were amazed by. It was funny how they reacted to little things like how cheap chapstick was here compared to there. We went to a high school football game, homecoming, fall fest and many more these were all new and fun experiences for them. Our bonded friendship grew and we became very close.After they left I realized we weren't very different after all. I had such a great time meeting now people and making new friends. I am already planing a visit to Essex, London!

-Anna Wurtsbaugh, '16

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Friends For Life

How can I even begin to describe what a wonderful time I have had with my two best friends from Brentwood England? The answer is simple. I cannot, but I will do my best. Waiting today at the airport with Mikki and Molly, along with all the other Brentwood students and their hosts, everything that has happened in the past week flashed before my eyes. All the comparing of cultures, the long late night talks, and the laughter that makes your stomach ache because you are laughing so hard, suddenly condensed into one overwhelming realization that they are leaving in a few minutes and you can only get so many more hugs in before they depart. I know it sounds really sad and I am literally crying my eyes out right now, but I want to share how wonderful this experience has been for me.

A particular favorite moment of mine was one night on Wednesday the 30th when Mikki, Molly, Erica (my sister), and I were all laying around in Mikki and Molly’s bedroom after dinner at the country club. It was around 10:00 pm so we were all pretty slap happy from the long day, but that did not keep us from staying up to laugh and talk and just enjoy each others’ company. We laughed so hard that night my abs still hurt. Mikki’s attempts at an American accent still make me laugh when I watch the video and all of our silly comments just bring a smile to my face. It is like we were meant to be together, meant to make each other laugh.

Hosting these two amazing young women from England has been one of the best experiences in my
short, 17 year old, life. Honestly I would not trade anything in the world for this past week. On Sunday night, their last night in our house, Mikki and Molly gave us gifts and cards. In her card Mikki said, “Love ya like a sister and feel like we are best friends already!” Now imagine tears streaming down my cheeks and Mikki and Molly promptly hugging me to death in an attempt to stop me from crying. They are truly two of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know and I sincerely hope the Global Education program at Ursuline continues to bring people like us together. In one of my last hugs with Molly she whispered in my ear, “Don’t you ever change, Katrina. Stay this way forever.” For me, this put the whole week in perspective. Yes we were born in completely different parts of the world, but distance and diversity is not strong enough to prevent true friendship from blooming.

-Katrina Rebholz ‘16