On the 23rd of December we headed off on the long dreaded drive to Queeche, Vermont. Here was our home for the holidays, days prior to the trip it had been snowing which left an incredible view outside of the condo. Unfortunately I was unable to participate in the outdoor winter activities because I had a boot on my foot, although I couldn't do much, I made the best of the situation and had a great time overall.

We travelled to small local towns, including Woodstock and Dartmouth. I also had the opportunity to travel not so far into Boston, this was definitely the highlight of my trip. We went on a tour around the city, stopped off at the public library, Fenway Park, north side and much more. The tour was great because I was able to learn about the history of the city as well as look at the beautiful scenery. We stayed the whole day and ending the evening in Cambridge, the home to Harvard University. I'm not going to lie, I felt really smart walking inside of the University. That day is one to truly remember.

Christmas in the snow, COMPLETELY different to the 40 degree heat in Australia that I'm used to. Was a dream come true, to be able to open the window on Christmas morning and see snow falling from the sky, I felt like I was living in a winter wonderland. American traditions for Christmas are quite similar, but there are minor differences including the types of food they eat, because Australia is in my heart all the time, I had to make pavlovas for Christmas dinner. They were a huge hit! Everyone loved them.

New Years, coming into the New Year made me reflect deeply on where I would be without the support of everyone around me, I am very greatful for all of the things everyone has done for me.

On New Years Eve, we celebrated surrounded closely by family and friends, it was a great start to the year to be surrounded by all the love, laughter and joy we brought each other. My family doesn't do resolutions for the New Year because we are firm believers that you should set goals all year round, so one of my many goals for the duration of my exchange year is to yes to everything and take opportunity to do everything I can.

The holiday season was awesome and I wouldn't have changed it for anything. In February we are headed back to Vermont, so I can learn to ski, and experience more of an American winter.

Here's to the New Year, for new memories, new friends, and new starts.

Hope you all had a great Holiday season.

Love always,

Niamh xxxx

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On the 22nd of December, marked 17 years since I was brought into this world. My birthday was a day to remember, it felt like it lasted forever though. I started to get birthday wishes on the 21st (here in the US), because it was already my birthday in Australia. On the 21st here my host family surprised me after school with cake and balloons, it was really awesome. The Karlson's (our neighbours) joined us for an afternoon of celebrating my birthday and eating cake.

On my actual birthday in America, I had to spend the day at school, although it wasn't that bad because it is not ever happening again! After school, I spent the evening having dinner with the Rein family, celebrating both my birthday and the start of Hannukah. We exchanged gifts, ate amazing food including more cake! And overall had a wonderful night.

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday truly great, thank you for all the birthday wishes and gifts.

Love always,

Niamh xxx

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For thanksgiving break, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Michigan for thanksgiving with my new host family! It was great, we all bonded with each other during the long 9 hour car drive and throughout the week.

My favorite part of the week was by far the food, it was so good. I can say I have never ate so much food before. While in Michigan I got to meet my host grandparents and all family.

I know this post is late, sorry. I have been super busy lately. There is so much going on during this time of year , especially now that it's close to Christmas, and winter break.

I have been living with the Bashes for about 3 weeks now, I really miss living with the Reins but it's great here. I'm excited to be celebrating my 17th Birthday in the USA next week, I know it's going to be one to remember. Also next week I'm going to Vermont, to go skiing for winter break. I'm so excited, hopefully I'm good.

Love always,
Niamh xxx

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November 18th-20th, I spent thanksgiving #1 with my wonderful family. We travelled all the way to my host aunt's farm about 4 hours away, northern Pennsylvania. We spent the weekend eating, playing cards, showing magic tricks and hanging outside. The food was amazing, all prepared by my host family. The most exciting part of the weekend was it started snowing on Saturday night, I was so happy that I got to experience this with my current host family before I have to move. Dylan and I had a slight snowball fight, not very long as it was dark and cold! On Sunday morning after we ate all the leftover foods, and said our goodbyes to the portion of the family leaving, Dylan and I bundled up and went outside to the lake, to fully see all the snow. We again didn't last outside long because it was cold. After an eventful weekend, we headed back home to the warmth (not that much warmer).

I am very thankful for being part of this wonderful family. Also thankful for all of the opportunities they have provided me with. Love you all so much

What a great weekend! This week I am heading to Michigan with my new host family, I am super excited to see another part of the beautiful country. Next week I move homes, I am sad but excited at the same time. It's going to be great, plus I now have multiple reasons to come back to the US.

Love always

Niamh xx


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November 11-13, I had the opportunity to go with my friends and wonderful leaders from Young Life to the fall weekend camp at Lake Champion in New York. We arrived late Friday night, after the long bonding bus trip we went straight to club. Club was great, the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was enjoying themselves so much. On Saturday we had club once again, as well as bonding time with our districts (west Philly). We played multiple team games against the other districts and to end the wonderful morning off we had a shaving cream fight, at first I wasn't too fond of it but it turns out it was great! The work crew did an amazing job as the cooks and servers of our food for the weekend.

My favorite parts of the weekend were learning to play different card games and bonding with all the girls in my cabin.

I really enjoyed having cabin time each night with everyone because we got to reflect on everything we did that day and what we had learned.

I want to thank my friends and most importantly my leaders for making the weekend so memorable. I love you all so much. I'm hoping to do work crew this summer so I can give back to all the people who made my weekend great, and make the campers weeks memorable.

Love always

Niamh xxx

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At around 3 am on Wednesday, November 9th, Mr. Donald Trump was officially announced as the winner for the presidential election of 2016, I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to experience such a historic election. Although I was not able to cast a vote, I will still rooting for Hillary to win. During the last few stages of each of the candidates' campaign, I was able to attend one of each of their rallies. On Thursday 3rd of November I attended the Melania Trump rally, here in Berwyn, She and her husband had great points about how they could improve the country, I agreed upon some but disagree for a few. The rally here was small, about 300 people whereas on Monday 7th November there was around 20,000 people at the Clinton rally in Philadelphia. I have to say I enjoyed the Clinton rally a lot more than the Trump one. On Monday when we went to the Clinton rally we got there around 2:30pm, the event started at 8:30! We stood for 8 hours, it was tough but totally worth every minute. I got to see Barak Obama, his wife Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton herself as well as her husband Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton. The support people showed each of the candidates was great and I was so happy I got to see both campaigns.

The only downer for the campaign is the way that people treated each other after Donald was announced the winner. Both of them had great points but only one could win. I was disappointed in the way everyone saw Hillary after the campaign. She is a great woman, no matter what people say about her, I really thought she would've been the first woman president, but not everything turns out the way you want it to. I hope that Donald Trump brings many good things to the country, and I am sincere for the people who didn't want him to win.

Credits to Dylan for taking the pictures of the people in my post. She also covered the Melania Trump rally, if you want to watch the video here is the link. http://spoke.news/video-melania-trump-berwyn/

Love always,

Niamh xxx


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On the 31st of October is Halloween, a typical American holiday, because I am here I took full advantage of being able to celebrate the holiday. In previous weeks before the holiday, I went to multiple scary haunted houses, with Dylan and friends. Some of the events were scarier than others but I don't regret going to any of them. On the day of Halloween, we both dressed as minions, in a fluffy onesie and wore them to school luckily it was not too hot. We also carved pumpkins, which takes a really long time, the worst part of it was removing the pumpkin guts, it smelt so bad! As it was the first one I have ever carved, I took it easy and did a simple cat face, it turned out pretty cute! To end the wonderful day off we handed out candy to all the trick or treaters and did a little trick or treating ourselves, we got a lot of candy, more than we would ever need.

Thanksgiving isn't too far, I am so excited to see what has to come.

Hope everyone had a great day, love always

Niamh xxx

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On Thursday night (October 20th) I had the opportunity to go and see the Flyers play the Ducks. Ice Hockey is a fast intense sport that I really enjoyed watching. The atmosphere at the game was incredible, I have never experienced so much team spirit before. As soon as we reached the outside of the stadium, you could truly tell everyone was a proud supporter of their team, wearing the orange tee shirt or jersey as well as face paint, once we got inside it was a completely different vibe. Everyone was cheering them along with chants, waving signs and dancing around. The game was better than I imagined to watch, although our team the flyers did not win. I got to try the biggest piece of pizza while there, it tasted really good.

Thanks to my wonderful host family for taking me, love you all so much.

Love always


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Today, October 10th marks 2 months since I left my home in Australia to live in the USA for 10 months. It was the best decision I have made in my life so far. Words don't explain how incredible great full I am for being allowed to experience this.

One person who I truly have to thank for making my year the best so far is my host sister Dylan, she is more than just a best friend to me she is my sister and I love her so much, although she is a little crazy sometimes. Dylan is someone I now look up to and I truly will forever. She has always been there for me, and I'm not going to lie I kinda cried the night I was told I was moving families. Dylan I love you so much, I don't know where I would be without you xx.

My host parents, I love you both so much as well, thank you for bringing me unexpectedly into your home and making me feel comfortable. I have created some great memories with you both and Dylan and can't wait to see what the future brings for us all. Thank you for everything you have done for me xx

My parents I also thank so much, I love you both so much and miss you more than anything, Thank you for everything you have done while I have been away xx

To my wonderful sisters at home, I love you and miss you all so much.

And my best friend Ashlyn at home, I miss seeing you every day but I know you're going to be there the minute I get home and I cannot thank you enough for being there for me. Love you so much x

Love always 

Niamh xxx 

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2 weeks ago, 18th September- 24th September was homecoming week. Homecoming week started with Spirit days all week, this year's theme was superheroes so they were based on this. On Friday, was the first prep rally for the year, the atmosphere was great and the spirit for the school was awesome. I really enjoyed watching the band perform and seeing the cheerleaders cheer. Later that night was the football which my sister and I attended together with a bunch of our exchange student friends. The game was good, considering our school won. On Saturday night was the homecoming dance, the dance was great fun! Couldn't have asked for a better group of friends to go with. To me in comparison to Australia, the homecoming dance reminded me of school discos we used to attend, they were always great fun.

I am truly having the best time here in the US, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of friends to be experiencing this with. I love each and every one of them.

Love always

Niamh xxx

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