Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The First Snow!

I've been checking the forecast during the past week to see when is it going to snow.. and so it did today!! I waited till it was night to go out and walk down the streets with other three friends and took photos for my first and tiny snow experience!

This is the finest view that I could get though...


Friday, October 20, 2006

Starting New..

Well, hi! It's been way so long a time since I last wrote something "real" here! Sorry, folks, but I never imagined that I would this busy.

It's been so crazy and hectic since the very first day I left home, probably before that too. Saying good-bye to my family was the hardest part, way harder than I ever imagined it could be. Well, let me just start from the beginning cuz you probably wonder how I got back to the scholarship program after being announced as "unsuccessful".

I, myself, don't know how that happened actually. The more I think about it, the more I see how weird it is. Back is July when I got that email from the Fulbright telling me that I no longer could go to the U.S. for my studies as a result of having been rejected in several universities for reasons that were, and still, unknown, I decided to go to Jordan with my mother and sister to clear my mind and think of what to do next.

On that morning when I was at the airport back in Baghdad waiting for the flight to Jordan, I got a phone call from someone who works in the embassy and told me that he got news from the Fulbright regarding my university placement. I couldn't absorb what he was talking about cuz I was assured several times that that was it! But the man kept telling me that he got a new answer from them saying that they got me a placement in a new university, and that they would send me an email with full details about it all. Then I knew that I had only one month, if not less, to finalize all my papers, get the visa and head to the U.S., and that's why I had to cut short my trip to Jordan and go back home to do the rest of the paper work and get done with packing.

I was interviewed for the visa and got it on the same day, but I was already a few days late for the beginning of the semester in the university, and then we had a long curfew and some situation-related issues in Baghdad that prevented me from going to pick up my passport and visa, and so I ended up being two weeks late! Anyways, I got my itinerary and started my journey on Saturday, September 2nd. I spent more than 18 hours in the sky, transferred in four airplanes starting from Baghdad – Jordan – London – Washington D.C. – then another city before my final destination. My first port of entry in the U.S. was Washington D.C... I arrived there at night on September 3rd, and had to catch another flight on the same night to another city, but that flight was rescheduled till the next morning, so I was checked into a hotel room near the airport. I was too tired, though so happy for arriving to the States at last without having one single problem or an obstacle. It even took me less that five minutes to have my papers checked and my passport and visa stamped, and that was cool as I heard about the so many stories of having put to some sort of investigations and questioning at the airports. Luckily, none of that happened to me.

The moment I heard the crew-man in the airplane saying that we were landing in D.C. and I started to see the land, trees and buildings, I couldn't help not crying and wanting just to jump from the plane and walking out! I was beyond happy and so overwhelmed and kept reminding myself that that was a truth now and not just a dream anymore. I worked hard during the previous two years in order to make this dream come true, and now it's a truth and I'm living it, though still sometimes when I sit with myself and think back I feel that I'm in a dream and can't believe that I'm here and a student, again!

The first two weeks were the hardest, and since I missed the orientation and the first week of classes, I had to learn everything on my own. The first problem I had was with the electrical cords as I had to change them all, and it took me a week to get the internet connection in my laptop. I was getting crazy just wanting to talk with my family, I felt so alone and abandoned especially in the first week, I missed my family immensly and I was crying every time I talked with them, and even cried over silly things like one time when I thought I lost a phone card to call my family!!! I kept crying and searching for the card for a long time, and then I cried even more when I found it in one of the drawers!!! I laugh so much when I remember this now :P luckily, my roommate wasn't in the room to see me in that crazy state!

It's been a month and a half since I came here, and I don’t know how time is passing so quickly! Sometimes I just don’t remember if I did a certain thing today or yesterday for how fast the time is passing… and this is also making a conflict for me with studying as there is hardly a time to do anything else beside reading three huge novels, several articles and writing responses every week!! I haven't been out of campus except for Wal-Mart for a couple of times! I have a fall break for a week which started just today, and when I thought that I would have some time to rest and maybe go somewhere and see places and stuff, I was faced with deadlines to work on the final papers and do some presentations and readings ahead of time!! So, there is literally NO break for me this time!!

There is just so much that has been going on since I came here, I went to a football game on my second week. It was in the campus, and though I didn't know the rules of the game and how they were playing, I had fun watching it. Then the university was holding a homecoming celebration last weekend and I went there too. I haven't seen a parade before, and this one was so cool.

There is a problem with uploading the photos with the post; Blogger doesn't take it!!!