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Back for Good?

I’m not sure if anyone has ‘popped in’ to read my blog since my last post. If you have, you have probably noticed that I’m no longer updating. It is a little sad, considering that I’ve had this blog for a few years. But I really don’t have time to write anymore. I’m in the middle of my senior year and have my eyes on the prize, to say the least! My top choice is still SOAS, London, closely followed by Lund University in Sweden. If I will make it? I’m really not sure…

Maybe I will write an occasional post here, in the future. Something important that I would like to keep documented if you see what I mean. Now there is nothing much worth recognizing. I was in Barcelona last weekend with my family; my extended essay is finished; and my university applications are moving along. Something at least!

Oh and I’ve started an initiative here at AISB where the upper elementary, middle school, and high school are each going to raise money and sponsor a Senegalese child to go to school in Warang (the same school that I helped build!). It will be linked to the french department and  “service-learning” because the students will learn about la francophonie by exchanging pen-pal letters and picture books that will be passed on during the february break when Noa is going to Warang. I’m so excited! Next monday, the NGO founder Sophie Camara, is going to skype with my french class, and Evelyn and I are going to present to the middle school and upper elementary about Senegal, what sponsorship means, why it’s important, and so forth.

Salonta Romania, October 7th-8th

Salonta Romania, October 7th-8th

Salonta Romania, October 7th-8th

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Driver’s License

A couple of months ago I wrote in my blog that my goal for the near future was to get my driver’s license. To be frank, it seems quite impossible to do this- at least for me! It feels like I know the test-center inside out, and trust me, it’s not a good reason!

To make a long story short, I failed my theory test the first time. The second time, my driving school forgot to book a time at the test-center so I showed up for no reason. And now the third time, there was a bomb alert so the building had to be evacuated! Talk about frustration when I’m nearly halfway through my exam with no mistakes, and police officers suddenly barge into the room with walkie-talkies. Three police cars were outside, and I had no choice but to stop taking my exam. Right now I feel as if I’ll never be able to get this done before I graduate. It’s such a hassle, and I feel bad because my parents have spent so much money on taxi rides to take me back and forth from the test center, which is on the other side of the city. Next time will be my 4th attempt, and hopefully nothing will get in the way then!  Not to mention that my whole day gets ruined due to the fact that I’m rushing everywhere and missing school. Keep your fingers crossed so I can eventually get my driver’s license!

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As you can probably tell by my absence for a couple of days; school has started, and I’m a senior! It’s really unbelievable that I’ll be out of high school in less than 9 months! I have a long way to go until then, but I’m ready for all the challenges. After all it’s my education, and I want to go as far as I’m able to. I can honestly imagine myself studying at SOAS, but then I don’t want to get caught up with only one idea for my future… I have to finalize my application in the next few months, and I’m still not sure what exact subjects I want to study. I definitely want to study international development and would prefer if I could combine it with another subject like Social Anthropology… or…African Studies… or even Politics. You see the problem 🙂 I really have to choose, but everything sounds so interesting! For now my method is to read as much as I can about these subjects and hopefully find an area that I particularly want to find out more about.

Now the picture below really has nothing to do with the post apart from that this is what I’ve had to do for half an hour after school; jump up in the air. My brother loves photography, and he’s always trying out new techniques. This photo is my favorite!

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NYC: Brooklyn

On the 3rd full day in New York, we visited Brooklyn. We began by looking around Borough Park which is where the largest Hasidic Community lives in the whole world. Basically, they’re extremely conservative orthodox Jews. It was actually my mum’s suggestion to go there, and I’m so happy we did. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it was like going 100 years back in time! The men walked around in huge hats, some even fur hats [(kolpik) and it was 35+ degrees celsius!] and the women wore wigs and were dressed in black. All of them wore a little hat and walked around with their prams. At first glance, it seemed like all they do is walk around with their babies! Apparently, their children go to special schools and there are restrictions for driving… well I don’t know much more, but it was very fascinating!

the area looked very run-down

After that we went to the vintage and second-hand store in Park Slope. Everything was very cheap, but I was a little disappointed because they didn’t have as much as I had expected. Next time I’ll try the store in Williamsburg instead. To conclude our mini-Brooklyn visit, we went to Brooklyn Heights and walked on the promenade which boasted a magnificent view over the New York City skyline.

I did end up buying something though!

Iconic Brooklyn Bridge

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Fingerprint Portrait

I don’t think I ever took pictures of my ‘fingerprint self-portrait.’ I’m not taking art IB, but I still love painting or doing something creating now and then. My only problem is that I take forever to finish something! This is my favorite piece, and I was inspired by Chuck Close. The Metropolitan Museum of Art actually featured some of his artwork, so I could show my parents where I got my idea from. To quickly summarize what I did: I took a photo of myself with high light contrast. Then I pixelated and posterized it. After printing the image, I took a large piece of white cardboard (roughly 100x70cm) and drew the contours of my face. After planning what shade to put where, I evenly rolled out a thin layer of black lino paint onto a metal tray. From there, it was just to keep on ‘dabbing’ in the black paint with my pointy finger (can you even say that?). The most difficult part was to control that I used the same tint and shade in one area of my face.

My inspiration

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Náncsi Néni

In between all the work I’m doing before school starts (and updating posts about my trips over the summer), I met Floorke for dinner at Nánsci Néni yesterday. It’s a really traditional Hungarian restaurant; I can’t say the food is the best, but it’s convenient because it’s biking distance from both Floorke’s and my house. We were there for about 3 hours and had a lot to talk about after not seeing each other for more than 2 months! Apart from that we had a really creepy waiter. Asking us 2 or 3 times if we wanted a blanket, was a bit annoying. But then it became too much when he kept on saying “there you go beautiful girl” whenever he gave us a dish or a drink. Not to mention that he asked for our phone- numbers to (now this is the most hilarious part!) practice his english!?! Now come on??? Possibly if I got paid to teach him haha, well naturally we didn’t give him this. Finally, we wanted him to take one picture of us. Taking one here was definitely not enough, it seemed, so he kept on taking photos while Floorke and I laughed nervously 🙂

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We didn’t see much of NYC on the first day because we arrived to JFK in the evening. Although this was my second time visiting, I was struck by the unfriendly and somewhat scary airport staff! After all the mandatory fingerprints and photos taken during the visa process, this huge man who was patrolling the baggage reclaim area terrified all the tourists by bellowing: “KEEEP YO’ CELL PHOOWNS AAAF!”

Finally we managed to get hold of a yellow taxi and made our way to the big apple. Three things that stood out to me during the journey were the enormous american cars, rough suburbs and the ubiquitous “Dunkin’ Donuts” sign!

view from our hotel room

Legendary times square

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