Monday 6/24: We’re here!

Finally touched down in London at about 8 this morning! Customs wasn’t too slow so we made it out by 8:30, thought we lost our luggage but found it after a few minutes of searching “the floor”–we’re used to just grabbing our bags off the belt, but here the airport staff had removed some. (One man we asked for assistance called us the “three blind mice.”)

After hauling our suitcases into the “boot” per request of our ACS chauffeur and exchanging splitting grins as we listened to him spout off about the “bloody Heathrow traffic,” our charmingly haphazard ride from the airport ended at the school campus, which is amazing. There are very few places in the world that I would venture to call “quaint,” and Cobham is definitely one of them. Every building looks cozy, cottage-like–I envision miscellaneous hobbits emerging from their thatched recesses as the sun breaks the cloud cover at dawn, or the shifty, scone-toting brainchildren of Downton Abbey gliding easily, their lilting comely voices raised above the tall grass, to slip into the thresholds.

My roommate’s name is Brandy, and she’s from Houston, which is exciting for me since I was born there. She seems cool–super talkative, which I appreciate. “I want to be completely translucent,” she tells me. That’s the kind of person I can totally be friends with, so I’m really excited to get to know her.

We are going into town in a few minutes for a coffee run, which will hopefully serve as both a spark to our wakefulness and an opportunity for picture-taking. We have been warned not to sleep lest our circadian rhythms be thrown off entirely for the remainder of the 2 weeks. The lack of light in our room and my current gummy worm-induced food paralysis are endorsing the alternative, but I’m holding my own.

The remaining four of the nineteen total students will be arriving tonight, two from Chicago and two from L.A. The program doesn’t technically commence until tomorrow, so today has been set aside for R&R–and, in my case, hopefully an hour or two of jogging around the track. The weather has proved a bit of a shock to me–lounging around the pool (albeit, indoor) doesn’t have quite the same appeal here as it might in Charlotte at this time of year, not when temperatures are peaking at 60 degrees–so my sweatshirt will probably serve as a permanent accessory. I may have to rethink the outfits I packed, the majority of which are reliant on a foundation of Nike shorts.

Anyway, everything is going well so far! I’ll check back in later!

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