Amanda Schnidrig, Switzerland
Finding the right terminal in an airport you have only been to once before in your life is difficult, especially if there are no signs leading you.
When I first arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, I was lost. I knew I had to go to the John Bradley Terminal to find someone with an EF-sign to pick me up. This happened to be quite difficult because I could not manage to figure out where exactly at the airport I was.
I had just left the airplane and started my first journey all alone. But, as soon as I left the immigration station behind me, I had no idea where to go. I was able to find a customers service desk and the friendly woman there told me that I was actually at the right terminal. I wanted to thank her and look for my transfer, but the woman was faster and started to page them. When she finished, she immediately called the emergency number, without waiting for the transfer to react. I told her that I had only been there for a couple minutes, but she had already started calling. As soon as they picked up the phone I saw a young woman with a pink EF-sign walking towards us. I told the woman at the customers service desk that I could see the EF transfer person and thanked the woman at the desk for helping me.
The young woman with the EF-sign told me to wait there until another student arrived. She came back about half an hour later with a Japanese girl. Before we were able to start driving to Santa Barbara, our driver had to fill up the car with gas. The driver told me that it was her first time using this car. Unfortunately, she had no idea how to gas up. First, she picked the wrong side and had to re park the car. After she had tried for 10 minutes to fill up the car, she looked for help. Two employees came and tried to help her, but no one seemed to be able to solve the problem.
About an hour after we had left the airport, we were still at a filling station near the airport, but somehow they managed to fill up the car. And finally, we were able to start our drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.
We drove for about two hours and first I talked to the Japanese girl, but then I was too tired and hungry. I tried to sleep in the car because on my twelve hours flight I had not slept very much. Half an hour before we arrived I had to call my host family. The father picked up the phone and seemed to be very friendly.
When we arrived in Santa Barbara, the driver accompanied me to the door. When I first entered my new home, the father of my host family welcomed me and gave me something to eat. Shortly after, my new roommate came downstairs. She introduced herself and told me that this was going to be the best time in my life. I was also introduced to the other two EF-students living in the same house. I was too tired to remember all of these new names afterwards.
As soon as my head started hurting, the mother returned with her five year old son. He is really cute, but also very loud. He hugged me and asked if I wanted some candy. I thanked him and went to sleep.
It was a really hard day, but I was very excited for the next day to start school.