Alright, I am currently waiting to hear back about my visa. I mailed in all of my papers and my passport to the center in New York on either Friday or Thursday. Eh, it might have even been Wednesday... either way, I received an email that it arrived, so yay! Unfortunately, I had to wait until I got some papers from Arcadia University (the affiliate university here in the states that has the program I'm enrolled in) in order to fill out the application for my visa. Now, it takes 3-5 weeks for a visa to be processed once it arrives in New York. I received those papers about a week and a half ago, leaving me with about 5 weeks until I leave (26 days from today!!), so I felt it necessary to pay for priority service. An extra $150, but at least I know that I won't get kicked out of the UK, right? Bleh.
Let's see... oh, so, lovely Arcadia knows I have no money until I get my loans, yet they expect me to pay $2,026 of tuition by today. (They're so nice, letting me put off the rest of the amount I owe, about $16,000, until I get my loan...) I felt so screwed. I spent almost everything I had on my plane ticket and my visa, leaving me with about $30 in my account. Luckily I have an incredible family who scraped together and let me borrow the money. If it weren't for my brother having gotten a full-time job this summer I would have had to sell my violin or something.
Word of advice: When studying abroad, save every penny you have so when unexpected fees appear you can pay them.
In other words, don't buy a new iPod Nano at the beginning of summer because you have left over loan money from the previous semester. (Even though I do love my Limey so).
Ohhh man, so, even though this isn't study abroad related, I crashed my bike on Thursday! (That reminds me; I did send off my visa papers last Wednesday. I remember because I was able to walk.)
Yeahh, my whole neighborhood is under construction, with only one road that I can take to main Lehi without a fear of dying. Unfortunately, that lovely road is now closed. Due to construction. I'd only been on my bike ride for like, 3 minutes, so I was determined to keep cycling. I turned onto this road that had been under construction in May, but now it's just a little bit under construction. There was a bit of traffic, so I went into the rich neighborhood beside that road rather than going down it. When I got out of the rich neighborhood, I was on the other end of that road, but traffic was lighter, so I decided to go ahead and take that road back to where I'd started my bike ride. I was riding, probably around 15 mph, and I hit this huge hole in the road I hadn't seen. I lost control of my bike and crashed into the concrete barrier that was lining that road. Have you seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? You know, that part during his first Quidditch match where he catches the snitch, hits the field, and then does a couple of flips off of his Nimbus 2000? I kind of looked like that, except I flipped sideways. I don't remember exactly how many times I flipped, but I do know that my bicycle was on top of me at one point. I jumped right back up and picked up my bike. Both of my knees were covered in gravel, black powder (not quite dirt), and blood. My left elbow was also looking that way. I figured I was done biking for the day so I got on my bike and started heading home. That's when I noticed my lovely Greta wasn't quite right. The impact of crashing into the concrete barrier had readjusted my handlebar. In order to keep my wheel straight, I have to have my handlebar turned to the right. I biked maybe 1/4 of a mile then decided since I'd nearly died once (if there had been a car behind me, or if I hadn't worn my helmet, I'd be a goner), I probably shouldn't be biking with a bike that couldn't face straight. So I dismounted and walked 1.5-2 miles back home.
At first I was pretty pissed, but then I realized it could have been a whole lot worse, so I'm happy :-) However, I am currently disabled and cannot walk, run, or really do anything that requires standing for a period of time. I can't really bend my knees or my left elbow either. It's a bummer... like, I'm suffering from exercise withdrawal. Oh! But I didn't break any bones :-) I do have a pretty nasty bruise on my right clavicle, though. And some pretty uncomfortable road rashes.
Well, that's been my exciting life, I suppose.
But, travel related, I got to go to New York and search for my great-great grandpa's grave with my mom and my youngest brother, Aidn. I FOUND IT! (With a ton of help from my mom!!!) It was awesome. Clockville Cemetery in Clockville, Madison, New York. It was incredible. Plus I found a whole lot of other people I'm related to (and didn't even know it) thanks to a mysterious old man in Otselic. It was a great experience. I love grave hunting.
Oh goodness, I cannot wait to get to the UK. Part of it is I feel so trapped when I'm home for the summer. I love my family and visiting them, but my only mode of transportation (since all the cars are taken for job-bound folks) is biking. The only road out of this neighborhood that is safe to bike on is closed, so I see it as extended quarantine time. Once I'm in the UK, though, FREEDOM!! I'm going to have 2 extra days before orientation when I arrive, so I'm going to take a day and explore Liverpool. I am so freaking excited!! Then I think I'll head to Bangor the next day and do some exploring in Wales. Either way it's going to be great. I really want to see Holyhead, too, since the Holyhead Harpies hark from there :-D
Ok, that really is it for now.