vrijdag 4 december 2009

Week 9: The End (okay, THE BEGINNING)

This week has really been action packed and full of Bikram. We had lectures with him Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the evening and also Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. And class with him Tuesday. We had demo tryouts on t
Tuesday- I didn't get picked. When I saw the selection process I could see I really wouldn't get picked but I was glad to have been there. Monday night was another optional movie (why does he do that?) and I stayed. I was disappointed though- it was a war movie in black and white from the1950's. No romantic comedy bollywood movie with lots of dancing and costume changes. Wednesday, another optional movie, I stayed, but only for an hour. So I've had 2 nights of 3am bedtimes this week. This last week has been so exhausting- our breaks have been shorter and we've been up till 1am at least every night. We had a demo of the advanced class on Wednesday which was cool. Very strange to just sit and watch a class! It's amazing what people can do with their bodies and great to have a front row seat to watch it.
We've had posture clinics all week with Bikram, and for most of the postures we could go up and have them fixed by Bikram. This is where he really shines, and it's amazing to see what he can get people to do. I went up for standing separate stretching- still no forehead to the floor but much closer than before. Craig Villani was here this week, he used to be the director of the trainings. There are lots of stories about him from the past, I found him to be fun and informative. I have a feeling he is quite different as a guest than he was as the director. His famous awkward pose was for us a minute long- that's not too bad. And he has a lot of experience and knowledge about teaching and this yoga.
Last day of training- can you believe it? Tomorrow is an optional Saturday morning class and then graduation in the afternoon.
I'm too tired to have any philosophical moments about the whole thing.
Oh, and apparently I am teaching at HQ next week- I haven't gotten the day and time yet, but my first class will be in LA before I go visit my family. I'm both excited and terrified. I need to practice my dialogue!
My good friend Julie from LA is coming today for graduation, so this is my last post before training ends. I'll have a wrap up post though sometime next week!

zaterdag 28 november 2009

Week 8: The penultimate week.

I blogged every day this week for a change, here's how it went...
Monday was mellow enough. We had a teacher from LA in the morning who got everyone riled up- he was calling people out for drinking water in and between postures and leaving the room and just fidgeting in general. I think he was right in principle, but we are allowed to be a little lax here in TT and I think it was his tone that set people off. Posture clinic in the afternoon and we finally finished rabbit pose. I had people purposely doing things wrong in my clinic, and handled it okay but lost a lot of dialogue which was not good. We had Lisa from San Antonio and she is a lot of fun and gave some good general advice. Monday night was lecture with Bikram. We are back on the Mahabharat trail and saw 3 episodes before leaving at 2am. Ahh the Mahabharat- 70's style. I'm surprised they haven't made an updated version of it, it seems like it would be right up Bollywood's alley- plot for days! A cast of thousands! Costume changes! How can they resist?
Tuesday morning the staff brightened our mood with a fashion show! Yeah! The staff came out in some of the new line of Bikram yoga togs. I think we are not buying enough in the store. I had a very good class Tuesday night- I felt less stiff and was more open. Right after having a very stiff and painful class in the morning.
So far... teacher training isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Yes, the days are long and my body is inexplicably stiff after all this yoga- but the classes have been pretty normal and the nights not too late, for the most part. I guess I read too many teacher training blogs and thought mine would be all the worst things combined. Either that or it sounds bad when you read about it but when you are coming home at 5am from a night of movies, into a 8am claas, it's just something you deal with and then move on. It does seem though, that we have been a bit more lucky. It's dry and cool here and they haven't really been able to make the tent very hot or humid, like in Acalpulco. We haven't had the marathon string of late nights from the last training. Having said that though, this week did have quite a few late nights....
Tuesday night lecture with one of the senior teachers and then bikram came down for a couple of episodes of Mahabharat. We were invited to stay longer if we chose and I stayed for one more. I find it a little sad that almost no one wants to stay, even though it's late and we are all tired. It's teacher training ! With Bikram! We are supposed to be tired and sore! I don't know... the one good benefit of staying a little longer is that even though I was quite sleepy on Wednesday morning, I felt like it was my choice, not like I had been forced, and I was in a better mood than most people.
Wednesday: We finished our postures! Hooray. It is a good feeling and kind of amazing to think we have plowed thru 20 something postures and now are ready to go out and teach them. I'm excited and panicked at the same time- I need to do some more practicing for sure. I think I was pretty okay overall in the clinics- my main notes were to keep the energy up and to breathe and I feel confident I can do those things. Wednesday night Bikram taught a good class and then we had a lecture with a senior teacher/studio owner. It was good- he knows Bikram very well and has a more educated opinion of him and his world than I do and I appreciated getting a little insight.
Thursday- Thanksgiving! We had a morning class and then a dinner at 4pm, but otherwise were free and it was such a welcome break. The dinner was good- good food, some impromptu music from some of the musicians in the group and nice to see everyone dressed up in grown-up people clothes for a change. Thursday night after dinner my roommate and I both crawled into bed and watched holiday-night tv- just what we needed.
Friday was business as usual, with a really good posture clinic where we got to “start” a class, I was glad I got a chance to do it here before the real thing.
This week was also very emotional for me- I was tired in body and mind for a lot of it. I am having some financial difficulties at home that I have to resolve while I am here and that has been causing some additional stress. The holidays made me miss my family and my home. Week 8- we have been here two months, my god! One more week, but of course when I am in the moment it doesn't matter if I have one more day or 1000 more days- in this moment I am still here in Las Vegas, still going to class, still going to lectures. The good news is of course, weekend does roll around, next week we have a lot of good lectures and classes coming up and next Saturday I will be graduated!
I am “trying out” for the demonstration group. At graduation about 30 students (I think...) will demonstrate a fast version of the class. I assume they want students who look good and have full expression of the postures- which I TOTALLY do not have, but I can't help trying out. I want to do it, and I have a tradition from Amsterdam to uphold. I don't have high hopes but I'm going to wear my cutest outfit, smile a lot and try to get picked anyway. I'm hoping Bikram remembers who stayed for optional movies, Mahabharat and make-up classes!

zaterdag 21 november 2009

Week 7: Light at the end of the tunnel

Well, they can throw “trust the process” at us, they can keep telling us to cherish every moment here, they can still crank the heat and pile on the movies for the next two weeks, but they cannot deny the truth- only two more postures to learn, only 22 more classes to go- we are definitely approaching the finish line to this teacher training. I am finally admitting to myself that what they say is true- the 9 weeks DOES go fast and I probably will miss it when I go. They tell us to enjoy every moment here because it's so special, but the problem is that so much of it is not very enjoyable. Classes or posture clinics in a single serving can be fine, but doubles of everything for weeks on end can be very tiring and even tedious. The posture clinics are in hotel rooms and we sit on the floor for 3 ½ hours which is uncomfortable. The lectures are in the lecture tent on hotel chairs which are also uncomfortable. We need the yoga just to survive the rest of the sitting time in training! The yoga too, though- 2 classes a day is starting to feel, to me, like a lot of work. My thighs are aching, my hamstrings are tight and I've (incredibly) regressed AGAIN in eagle- that hard fought for toe-around-the-calf is popping out again- frustrating!
This week started kind of gloomy for me- so close to the end and yet still so far to go! We had class and lecture with Bikram on Monday. I'm a girl who likes to plan and know what is going on from day to day and that is something that you really can't have here- one day to the next we don't know if we'll have one posture clinic or two, one lecture or two, lecture on top of two posture clinics, 4 hour bollywood movies on top of lectures- I hate not knowing! So I have to be honest and admit the week got 110% better when we realized on Tuesday (it wasn't announced) that Bikram went out of town after monday and won't be back until next week. So the rest of the week has been a reasonably regular schedule of lectures and posture clinics. Even more impressive- good lectures! We've had a lecturer who has explained about fascia (connective tissue running thru the whole body) and has had some pretty controversial ideas- that fitness is not, for most people, a health tool, 12-step programs for addiction are not recovery programs. He is also an advocate of The Laws of Attraction, which says that you are in control of your total reality. Which is great if you are talking about bringing good things into your life. It gets more difficult to accept when you follow the logic all the way- that you are also responsible for the bad things that happen in your life.
It's hard to believe we are almost done with learning the dialogue. THE DIALOGUE. We are at the last two postures. It will be so great to start practising sets of postures we know instead of having to memorize endlessly. I may have a chance to teach at the Asheville studio when I go there and now I'm looking into possibly teaching a class when I'm in LA. I don't want my first class to be in Amsterdam in front of students I know!
We have CPR this weekend and I may go to the make up class this week as it is on Sunday. Otherwise I think I am going to spend the rest of the weekend curled up in bed or downstairs at the sauna. My body is cranky and tired like a bear. Two more weeks! And Bikram is back in town so we have to be prepared for anything.

zaterdag 14 november 2009

Week 6: Yoga Boot Camp

This week all the legends came true- movies every night until at least 3am, 2 posture clinics a day AND lectures and this is the first week I'm having trouble being positive about the experience. Monday night we had 2 posture clinics and a lecture after the evening posture clinic. Then Bikram gave us the option of staying to watch the movie and god help me, I stayed. Bikram didn't see me, tucked into his comfy chair up front, so no brownie points, but it was a good laugh. It was a more edgy movie than the ones he normally shows, a murder mystery thriller with about a dozen plot twists and truly atrocious translation (“You stop going person! Drunker too bad on the night!”- what?). The good guy wins in the end. Bollywood, like Hollywood loves a happy ending. Next day was another double posture clinic, then lecture, then a not-optional movie. Same for Wednesday and we got out on Wednesday night at 5am, meeting business people heading out as we were heading in. Thursday was sleepy cranky day, but surprisingly both classes were really good (I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here, but I'm too tired to process it.) I forgot to sign in for the Thursday evening class so now I have to go to make up class on Saturday. The good news for me is that they are having a recertification training this weekend, so the first Saturday class is 11am instead of 8am and now the make up class will also be with the recertification at 5pm. I was thinking of going to one of the optional recertification classes this weekend anyway, so I don't feel too bad now that I HAVE to go to one of them! I also am happy there was someone taking some photos for that class and I am in one of the photos- so I have proof I was in the class and not just skyving off. I have to say I've been struggling a little more emotionally and mentally this week. I was sad when my mom left and it made me feel homesick. I've also just been so frustrated that we are 6 weeks into this, 66 classes done and STILL some of my postures are so terrible. I feel like I work hard in class, really trying to stretch further and harder, and still nothing changes. I feel fat and ugly and terribly old, and I was thinking I'd be coming out of this training all yoga-buff and cute. Ha! No expectations... I finally stayed after class on Friday and asked a visiting teacher for help with a couple of postures, and am going to do that until I feel all my problem postures are better. I probably need a mental workout too. I still think of myself as having this short, stiff, inflexible body, and if I think it, my body is certainly going to be it. Diane Ducharme taught class on Friday morning and said that each posture prepares you for the next posture. I've heard this before of course, but this time I really heard it. I will try to focus on the posture that comes before my problem posture and see if that helps. I probably need to work harder in class too- I think I do, but I have plenty of bad habits, and here with 300 people in the room, it's easier to get away with it I think.
A couple of positive things- Las Vegas overall is much nicer than I expected. The weather here is lovely every day and it's not a bad place to be. The hotel is very comfortable and things I was worried about- water, groceries, laundry, etc. haven't been difficult to manage at all. Surprisingly doing yoga twice a day is probably my favorite thing about being here- it doesn't feel like doing doubles at home does.
Saturday.... just 2 classes to go and then a day of rest. I'm hoping to memorize the last of the postures so I'll be prepared for next week. Only 3 weeks left!

zaterdag 7 november 2009

Week 5: Oh dear

Supposedly in this really intense 9 week program weeks 4-5 are supposed to be the “breakthrough” weeks, or in other words, the really hard weeks. I'd say week 5 lived up to it's reputation. They rediscovered the floor heating and it got pretty hot last week outside as well, meaning we had some very hot classes this week. They also decided that the pace of 3 postures a week was not going to work and that it would be much better to get thru 7 or 8 this week. So although there were no late-night lectures or movies, there was lots of stress, late-night study sessions and quite a bit of crying. I was sad to have a return of the nausea and dizziness in class and I found classes all very difficult to get through from Wednesday on. Life was looking very grim, but in the awesome roller coaster that this training is, the highs come with the lows. Friday began as my worst day- morning class I stayed in the room but I mentally GAVE UP- I laid out in savasana for pretty much the last 40 minutes of class. Terrible. I then proceeded to cry for the rest of the afternoon- but because of our tight schedule I had to do some of the crying in posture clinic, and that's when the day started getting better. My group was totally supporting me (and offered the nutritional advice that the nausea might be from not enough protein, which I think might be right) which made me feel better. My mom is visiting this weekend and she came to the 5pm class which was great- and mercifully the heat was not blasting, I had a great class and Bikram gave us the night off. Totally great and perfect timing. He also said something which I appreciated and was also perfect timing- he said “One person suffers alone- so much suffering. 500 people suffering together- suffering less because you share it”. And guess what- more than halfway there now, only 4 more weeks to go. I still can't wait to teach my first class!

zondag 1 november 2009

This posture is only 10 seconds...

Week 4
Week 4 done and done. It was a really good week. Bikram is back and we had classes in the evening with him but no lectures this week. We had a pizza party on tuesday (and a party ALWAYS includes a bollywood movie!) instead of lecture which was fun. The rest of the week was posture clinics in the evening and now the pace is picking up as they want us to finish the standing series by next week. I'm game though- each posture done is one less to worry about. We had a study group on Saturday and that was really interesting as we got to discuss the dialogue and the posture in more detail than we usually get when there are 40 of us in the room. We had some good guest teachers in again this week and apparently Diane Ducharme from Boston is coming next week and she is supposed to be really great.
The other highlight last week was halloween- we dressed in black and orange for friday night's class and costumes for saturday mornings class. The best was 15 people or so in front and center in diapers. A cheap and clever costume and it looked great. Sadly I left my memory card for my camera in the computer not the camera and lost some great pictures. Last night we went to the strip to see everyone in costume and had a stroll thru the boulevards of Paris as well.
It can be windy here! We are in a yoga tent for yoga and a lecture tent for lectures and the ceilings and upper walls wap and wobble fiercely in the wind. I keep expecting to see a huge hole open up in the ceiling, but so far no joy. It's quite fun in the yoga tent because it gives the feeling of it being quite breezy on the inside and the mirrors, which are made of mylar, bend and shake, making it a funhouse yoga. And the mirrors seem to breathe with us in the last breathing exercise which I enjoy very much.
One of my favorite quotes from a song is “I'm standing exactly where I'm supposed to be” (Poi dog Pondering, Lackluster, if anyone wants to know). I think about that a lot in my normal life, but when you make a decision to suspend your life for 9 weeks and pay a lot of money for it too, you especially want that to be true. Everyone here has done something to be here- the reasons for being here might be different, the extent and type of sacrifice might be different, but in the end, being here for 9 weeks doesn't just happen- a decision has to be made and preparations have to be made and in the end, it has to be done- once you are here, if you want to leave with a certificate there is no choice (they are fond of that phrase here). You have to go to class twice a day, you have to be present at lectures, posture clinics and all the extra movie fun as well, and you have to learn the dialogue. I came here with a clear goal- I know I want to teach. I also wanted to have this retreat, this time to shake up my life and my routine.da I think it is important, if you are thinking of taking this training, to have this kind of goal. It gives the training as a whole a clear perspective. Every day I set my intention to positive (borrowing from another blogger at the last training) and just... do it. I know when I leave I will be doing what I wanted to do all along and that gives everything we have to do a purpose and a meaning. So far, I feel incredibly grateful that my purpose is clear. I do feel as well that so far the training is giving me what I need, which I am also grateful for. I also read a quote from “The Game”, the book about pick-up artists, about some tenets of Scientology which I thought and still think apply well here: set a good example, fulfill your obligations and don't expect praise, sympathy or approval from anyone. Not that we don't get praise and sympathy- but just not to expect it!
Next week- halfway there!

zaterdag 24 oktober 2009

Week 3: Balance there comfortably

Well, week 3 is over and so far so good. This week had a lot more structure to it. Emmy was here giving classes in the morning and lectures in the afternoon, which have been very instructive. I got a poke in the butt in half-moon- my first correction since I've been here. A good one too- I guess it's true I push my hips forward but I don't really squeeze from behind, and it's good support for that posture. We've had some great guest teachers in the evenings and they have really inspired and motivated me. The big lesson you learn in yoga (and improv) is to stay in the moment- always stay in the moment, and it's so easy and so hard to do! I'll drive myself crazy thinking about 9 weeks and 99 classes and 26 postures that need to be learned. Far better to just be in each moment, in each posture and not worry about the rest. This week I had no nausea or dizzy issues which was such a relief. I seem to have found the good balance of food, water and electrolytes needed for myself to get thru these hot classes. Pedialyte rocks! It's totally disgusting to drink, but a shot of it before and after class and I've been good to go. And I have to admit that mixed with a bit of water and iced up and during class I find it to be the nectar of the gods. But I've started leaving the water bottle out of the class again this week. I haven't been having dehydration issuse this week, and if it's not necessary it's really better not to drink anything during the class. We've started posture clinics and they are a lot of fun. Everyone goes up one by one and delivers the posture and then gets feedback from one of the coaches. I'm so so glad I learned up to triangle and even a bit more before I got here- there is a lot of visible panic going around and so far I still feel pretty prepared. That may change in a couple of weeks! Next week Bikram is back and there will be less sleep and more tension I guess.

zondag 18 oktober 2009

Weekend

Just an update over the weekend, before I go back to the hotel. Boingo is 10$ a month and you can cancel any time, which I didn't mention in the last entry.
Saturdays are busy getting things done- emailing, calls, laundry, groceries. We went to the Fashion Show mall yesterday and spent way too much money buying yoga clothes for teaching. I got a really cute pair of pants and two tank tops. It's an investment right? I got kind of excited about it- I can actually start to imagine myself getting up and teaching and I'm so looking forward to that. I was also excited to go grocery shopping- food! I bought more rice-y and soup kinds of things to make a sort of dinner in the room with our little hot pot. We have to bring our rolly suitcases to fit everything in to walk back to the hotel. We went out to dinner at an indian restaurant where a bikram teacher was waiting tables. They were very friendly and the food was nice. Sunday.. ahhhh. A sweet day with time at the pool, studying some dialogue. I went to the cafe for a big omelet and hash browns and it was delicious. They say here if your body is craving something, to go for it and I totally finished the whole thing. yum!
Off to study more dialogue and I'm going to try and make some pasta with plenty of himalayan salt on top for dinner tonight.
More practical matters- I budgeted 150$ a week for food and stuff (but not for yoga clothes!) and I am happy to say that at the moment that I may be able to keep it at 100$ per week. Groceries are more expensive than I expected but it also goes in waves- the first week I spent 100$, the 2nd week $40 and this week $60 and next week should be a bit less again. After grocery shopping there aren't too many big expenses, so there's a little room for treats like coconut water or trips to the fashion show mall.. :-)

zaterdag 17 oktober 2009

Week 2: Water, water, water

Well this week was definitely more intense than week 1 although still not at full level. The heat is on and the bollywood movies are a playin' until 3am. Thursday was a bit of a breaking point for me- had a not-great AM class where I was dizzy and nauseous. I stayed in the room though. The whole rest of the day I felt slightly sick and was having a hard time eating or drinking. Then the PM class- oh dear! It was a blazing inferno and the floor was hot enough to fry eggs on. I didn't stay in the room that one- I tried- I stayed upright during the standing series, and then we flipped over to savasana for the floor series on that baking hot floor. Flipped over again in cobra and kept saying to myself, just stay, just stay... and then I crept out in locust, got control of my breathing, and then went back in 3 postures later- only to lie on the floor until savasana when one of the kind teachers just came over and pulled me out again. Sweet. Apparently Bikram didn't realize how hot the floor actually was until after the class, and he had them turn it off (the floor heating I mean) for Friday's classes. I spent all Friday desperately trying to eat and drink enough to make it thru both classes. I made it, but this nausea and lack of appetite are new things to me. Otherwise, we've had some good lectures with Bikram, we got thru all 300 Half Moons and have seen some pretty good movies- Akbar/Joddha- I recommend it for any bollywood fans- really beautiful visually and a darn good story.
In all not a bad week, I'm looking forward to posture clinics and anatomy beginning, and hope my stamina improves so I can get thru these 11 classes a week!

Practical matters:The Hilton is about 250 meters off the strip and at the north end of the strip. If you go down Riviera Blvd. you will hit the strip. You can go left, and then after another 250 meters there is a Walgreens, and also an internet cafe. If you go right, about 250 meters there is a CVS pharmacy. Both these stores are good for pharmaceuticals, some household stuff (inexplicably the Walgreens closest to the Hilton doesn't sell Brita water pitchers) and food- but snacky kind of food like potato chips, cookies, etc.
For groceries we've been walking to the Albertsons- you walk out of the North Tower, take a right onto Joe Brown Parkway, then a right on Karen Ave at the stoplight and then it's about a 20 minute walk but a straight shot down the street and there is a sidewalk for pedestrians. We've been warned not to go alone as it is a dangerous neighborhood. There is also a CVS there and a Starbucks and a great little health food store called Rainbow's End, that also has a vegan cafe with reasonable prices (haven't eaten there yet so I can't say about the quality of the food!). The Albertsons is a perfectly good supermarket with a fair amout of organic brands, although not so much for organic fruit and vegetables.
I haven't done the Whole Food or Trader Joe's route yet. They are going to arrange shuttles over the weekend for us to go to those places, but they didn't have them set up the first weekend. I think other students either share with cars or have shared taxis.
Taxis, monorail and the bus seem to be the only transportation options if you don't have a car. Taxis are not too pricy if you share with other people. There is a bus that goes up and down the strip, $7 stop on and off all day. The monorail is insanely expensive at 5$ a trip or 14$ for an all day pass. The range of the monorail is not great- it starts at the Sahara Hotel just north of us and finishes at the MGM grand. It drops you off behind the hotels so you have to go thru the casinos to get to the strip- clever, eh?
Internet- you can have it in your room for 14$ a day. You can sign up for boingo and go to the hotspots- mcdonalds or starbucks, but the best is the convention center. If you don't have boingo or something similar it seems sometimes you can grab onto a network provided for any exposition in town- sometimes the expos have visitor computers set up too. They have one computer for visitors in general at the convention center too if you don't have a laptop and are totally on a shoestring budget. There is also the internet cafe nearby but I haven't been there yet for prices.

zaterdag 10 oktober 2009

1st week

Las Vegas! Prettier than I expected- there are mountains all around, and the weather has been lovely- 25 degrees and sunny every day. It's so DRYYYYY.
There are just less than 300 students, so they still had pretty good enrollment. I'm so grateful for the dutch crew, 4 of us, it's great to know a few people in the begin. The hotel is nice- they have really tried to accommodate us, the beds are comfy, and laundry is not so bad- the air here is so DRY, even inside, things dry out overnight. We have a tiny fridge. The water is really terrible, and that's a problem- we got a filter pitcher, but I'm not 100% satisfied. I'm really happy with all the things packed- it's great having my favorite mug from home and handy to have a few plates, etc.
The training.... welllll. I'm not going to make too much judgment yet. It's pretty much what I expected. The yoga so far is great- really awesome to be doing it, and with only posture clinics and lectures to go along with it, it's not so tiring, yet. I had a pretty rough class last night though- the floor was baking, I swear!

The Dutch crew went up the first day to do the dialogue, and now after watching 200 people say the dialogue for half moon (only 100 more to go!) I think we are happy we all have gone already. Rajashree is very nice! She is so motherly and gives really balanced classes. Bikram gave a great class on the second night. I can't wait to have all the different teachers.
We are set up in a big tent in the parking lot, which works well.
So far so good. They took it easy on us this week, we'll see how the next weeks go.

vrijdag 2 oktober 2009

Tomorrow it's Vegas

I'm going to Fall Teacher Training for Bikram Yoga. I've been doing Bikram for about 3 years, the last two with some intensity. I've been preparing for teacher training since about May.
Tomorrow I fly to Las Vegas with about 50 pounds of stuff- clothes, yoga outfits, a cutting board, knife/spoon/fork, bowls/plates, a laundry rack and some detergent. I will be at the Las Vegas Hilton for 9 weeks taking 2 classes a day plus lectures and posture clinics.
I really enjoyed reading other people's blogs about the experience, so I am going to write my own, although I have never written a blog before.
I'm pretty excited to go. It's going to be a huge break in my life and I feel so lucky that I'm able to do this. I'm already a theater coach/director and I love to teach, and I'm so looking forward to learning how to teach this yoga and to come back to Amsterdam and do it.
I have packed:
7 yoga bottoms and 7 yoga tops
2 pairs of jeans
2 cardigans
6 shirts/sweaters
2 skirts
3 pairs of sandals
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of low heels
1 nice dress for graduation or other events
2-3 summery dresses for cover up
socks, underwear, bras
1 small cutting board
2 forks/knifes/spoons (2 in case my roommate doesn't have any!)
2 bowls
2 small plates
1 laundry rack to hang on door
1 bottle detergent
Tons of toiletries: band-aids, paracetamol, flu medicine, face cleanser, lotion, suntan lotion, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel and lotion, hair ties and clips, ear plugs, razors for legs,
1 coat (going to the east coast for xmas after the training)
jewelry
1 bag of himalayan salts
1 empty glass bottle to make the solution for the himalayan salts (electrolyte replacement)
1 alarm clock
1 notebook- the paper and the computer kind each
1 ipod
adaptor for all my european things
Things I need to get when I get there:
brita water pitcher
protein bars (? maybe)
FOOD for breakfast and dinner (I have a list for this too but not going to go into it!)

Okay, I need to go finish recording the dialogue for training and I think I'm going to repack my massive one bag into a slightly less massive two bags.