Well I have no idea how it is already February as I am writing this. January went by way to fast and I have no idea how the next few months will go but I can already tell they will go fast just looking at my calendar. But more about January. After regaining the ability to hear after the blasting fireworks on New Years, just kidding but they were really loud, I had a few days to relax and be at home with my host family. It was really nice to spend the break with them and spend some more time with them before I would be switching! But before I get to that, we switched at the end of the month, much more happened! Starting off after the New Year’s recuperation I went to my hockey practices and that great to play hockey and work off all of the Christmas food!
I felt so fat the first days and I was incredibly tired trying to play. Then during the week of my break I went to Žilina with my host grandfather to see Soňa! There my host grandpa and I walked around the main square and got lunch at a restaurant where my grandpa had eaten 40 years before! It was amazing that he remembered it, let alone knew where it was! Then spending some time with Soňa was awesome! We talked about lots of things, In Slovak and English and eventually decided we wanted to do a trip around the United States together! So we returned and it was overall a great time in Žilina. Then a few days later Sofie, the Mexican girl in my town, had her birthday! Her family threw a surprise party for her in her house and she loved it! We had pizza and cake and it was awesome to see her so excited and surprised with us!
Then one day our school had a floorball tournament, our teachers allowed us to watch the tournament the whole time so we didn’t have to go to classes but we were on school grounds. There our school won the tournament and will go on to the harder, better class of players in the Counties as we would call it in the US. They could go further if they win the tournament and I think they could! I hope they do as they are good players and it would be exciting to have that team! Then we had a District Rotary Orientation meeting in Poprad. This was a meeting where we learned about our Traveling rules and the forms we have to do to complete them. We also had a language test where I still don’t know the results but I am confident in my abilities. Other than that we walked around Strbske Pleso, a famous area for hiking in the High Tatra Mountains.
If you look up a picture of Slovakia you would probably find a picture of Strbske Pleso! I also met a family which lived about 15 minutes from Piestany. It was great talking with them and it sounds as if they might have a future exchange student in their family! But overall spending time with the other Exchange students is always the highlight. They are my best friends here and they will be friends for life, I am 100% sure of this. It’s hard to describe the connection we have but it’s basically that we have very similar situations and getting to talk about that makes us closer, everyone is always willing to talk with each other and I love that we can connect in so many ways. Further the next weekend we had a Rotary Ball! This was a really interesting night for me because we got to experience a Slovak Ball! There weren’t many differences than a normal ball besides that our President, the host, greeted everyone coming and gave each woman a rose!
This may have just been this ball and not all Slovak ones but I loved it, it was very nice. Us students also had to welcome everyone in our mother language, so for me English, Isadora Portugese, Sofie Spanish, Kris Chinese! It was incredible to hear the 5 different languages one after another! Us students helped a lot during this event and we raised 1014 euroes for our club! I was proud of us for that! Of course there were costs that our club had to pay and its not 100% theirs but it felt good to do that for them! Further on one of my best Slovak friends from my class,
Matej went to New Zealand for 1 year! He is not a Rotary Student but I was excited and sad to see him go! I know he will have an awesome time there! But before he left he and his family had a small get together with his closest friends and I was invited. I felt so honored to be there for him and wished him the best for when he would go! Then my host aunt had a birthday party where we went out for lunch and had a wonderful time the day before I would change families. Talking with them and being with almost the whole family was great! I was excited and sad to be leaving my first host family because I truly feel that I am part of their family. I was treated like a son in all ways and they will always have a place in my heart. Then the next day we switched families and living with them for some time was different but all is well! I am still learning what to do here and to build a relationship like my first family it takes time and effort. But I know they are good people and want the best for me!
I am still playing hockey every week and I have started playing basketball on Sundays. School is going better and my classmates, besides exchange students, are my best friends. They are awesome people who are really dedicated to school and succeeding, but still know how to have fun when they have the time! I also may be starting to play in a “Village Hockey league” Where I could play in games! I am incredibly excited because it is looking as if it will go through and I would love to get that competitive spirit out again in hockey! I am also planning some trips around Slovakia and to the Czech Republic with our new freedom of traveling. I really would like to take advantage of this and see as much as I can!
Some other thoughts are that I am doing incredible. I am so happy here and I don’t know what I will do when I get back. I am already done with half of my exchange and it has gone by in the blink of an eye and that was supposed to be the slower part?!?! All in all I am so thankful to be here and that I have been so lucky in so many ways meeting new people and being able to just experience so many new things!