9/11/2009 - Italian student studying in Telluride this year
‘I feel good, I’m trying to have a new life, another life here’
By BEN FORNELL
for the Telluride Daily Planet
Telluride has an Italian exchange student in 12th grade this year
Mavy Lorandi said she was anxious to study abroad in the United States because she wants to make a life in America after she finishes her schooling in Italy.
This is her second time in the United States, after a trip to New York City last year for her 16th birthday, but says she’s grateful she ended up in Telluride.
“There would be many people, too many, in New York. I’m not good at making friends, because I’m shy. It’s easier here,” Lorandi said. She said she was shocked at how friendly people are in Telluride.
“I’m not used to someone I don’t even know saying hi to me. I didn’t know what to think. We could learn, Italians, to be more open, friendly,” she said.
She said that high schools are very different in her town of Trento, Italy, near Austria. She goes to school with about 3,000 students, divided into three different courses of study. Lorandi studied linguistics at her high school, and can speak English, Latin, German and some Spanish in addition to her native Italian.
Her own town is not unlike Telluride in geography. It lies in a mountain valley, roughly 2,400 feet above sea level, with peaks in the background. Its population is about 200,000, though — distinctly un-Telluride.
Other 12th graders here have been peppering her with questions about the mafia, and whether Barilla is really Italian pasta.
“The mafia comes from Sicily. I’m from the North and have nothing to do with it.” Right… that’s what you would say, isn’t it?
On food: “In the supermarket, there are all those sauces from Italy, and most are fake.”
Lorandi said she hasn’t tried any of Telluride’s Italian restaurants yet, but plans to cook some authentic cuisine for her host family. She is being hosted by Danny Hirsch and his family, who started the American Field Service student exchange program at Telluride High School when he was a counselor there.
Lorandi is slowly being indoctrinated with American high school traditions, starting with watching cheerleading practice today. It wasn’t for her, she said. She’s also heard of prom, but will make up her mind about that when the time comes.
She said she wants to see the whole country before she leaves, but has been to Lake Powell and Denver since her arrival. She wants to see more of the West, and more of the big American cities.
She said her parents were upset at first that she wouldn’t be home for the holidays, but are happy she’ll have this experience in the United States.
“I feel good, I’m trying to have a new life, another life here,” Lorandi said. My parents “were worried in the beginning, but they know I’m fine now. They’re happy for me.”
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