čtvrtek, března 29, 2007

How I Long for Thee....

No, of course not all you special people in my life. I miss Australia. So for the first three hours of school today, we went to a movie theater in town and saw a documentary about Australia. And it really made me miss it. Hearing didjeridoos, and seeing kangaroos, and Sydney, and Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef and all that. It just made me really want to go back.

I really wish I could have brought my didj with me. I miss [trying] playing, and all that stuff. I love what you can do with it, but I still have so far to go with circular breathing and everything (Hannah, want to set up a trumpet/didjeridoo/learn to circular breath session?? =D ).

But other than that, it was a pretty good day. After the movie we had an hour before we had to go back to school, so I sort of tagged along with a group of my classmates. It was like 12 people to start with, but then a bunch of girls decided they would rather go shop than to get coffee, so getting coffee (at KFC's, of course) was 4 guys, another girl and me. It was good, despite my initial not wanting to go. I got to talk to the girl for awhile, and one-on-one, which I am a lot better at.

After that, I had 2 more hours of school, but my first class (4th hour) ended up being gone for some other excursion, so I read kronikla ohlasene smrti (Chronicle of A Death Foretold) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and it was great. It only took me 30 minutes to read 10 pages!!! But in all seriousness, it is a really good book, and though I am only like 1/5 through it, I would recommend it in any language!!

And my last class of the day was Math, a class I usually enjoy. We are doing functions (I love them!), and so it's pretty easy seeing as they are just learning about functions, something I did in like 8th grade. But figuring out what the teacher wants you to do without them telling you is another story.

So that was my day at school.

Tomorrow I am off to Prague for the weekend with AFS. Not really sure what we are doing yet, but I'll let y'all know when I get back.

Note: I do miss all you special people in my life, but the title does not refer to that specific missing-ness.

neděle, března 25, 2007

Nemocna. Ještě.

So I am sick. Again. This sucks. I have no idea why I keep getting sick, but I do. So far since I got to my new school 2 weeks before Christmas I have missed 13 days just because I have been sick. Colds, an ear infection. It's annoying.

Last school year, I was never sick. Everyone else in school and at home got sick. But I didn't. I guess this is it getting back at me.

Anyway, sorry for the intermittent blogging. It's hard to figure out what from normal life would be exciting for people to read. (Hint: ideas accepted).

So I guess the next big thing besides school, is me going to Prague next weekend with AFS.

I was supposed to go to Bratislava for two days right after to see Amanda and help with the program she's going with and celebrate Passover, but AFS here said I can't. They are really bugging me right now. So now the thing is to figure out how to do Passover in a foreign country where staples of the diet are pork and bread. Because now I don't know how to get my matzoh from Amanda in time.

pondělí, března 19, 2007

Ted' reknu jak pravdy vymena

So as an enterance into this post, I have to warn that it involves the stark reality of exchange. I am not sure what you or the general public thinks of exchange, or what type of time I am having, but I guess you will find out now.

Let's just start with the fact that I think youth exchange is a great idea. It is a way for people on both ends (not just the student) to learn about the world, and to expand their horizons. Immersion is the best way to learn a foreign language, and this provides all that. It is an insight into a culture that is hard to get any other way.

I don't regret coming here this year; it hasn't been quite what I expected, but it is definitely not an experience I regret.

Coming here, I had a few expectations, pretty much being to learn the language, get on well with my family and make friends. The language thing is going pretty well. Let's just say my grammar sucks, but czech is hard, and I think I am doing well. Definitely in the top three langauge wise in Moravia.

Family stuff has been hard. As I think you all know, I changed families in December due to various things, and while my new family is mostly good, we still have a lot of ups and downs and I think we have some different ideas on what the relationship is supposed to be.

Friends has been one of the hardest things for me. I have made some really good friends in the other exchangers, but making czech friends has been really hard for me. I still just have acquaintances that I can usually talk to in school, but a lot hasn't progressed past there. I credit this partly to the czech national attitude of groups being good, but probably mostly to the trouble I have in communicating in groups, even in english and multiplying that times ten in czech. I am not so much disappointed because I know I have made friends from all over the world, and I have really good friends back home, but sometimes this gets really hard.

This experience for me has been full of ups and downs. It is definitely not the best time of my life, though so far I may say that it has been the most difficult. Saying that however, I have learned so much about myself, something I couldn't have done if I had stayed at home. Sometimes it takes the most difficult times to really look inward and examine who you are.

I have tried so many new things here that I wouldn't have done otherwise. I have had great experiences learning not only about czech culture, but through my friends, about Brasil, Thailand, japan, Hong Kong, Iceland, Turkey and lots of other places around the world.

I know I have people all over the world who care about me, and this is something great.

This year has been a chance to learn a new culture, language, people. Meet people from the rest of the world. Learn tremendous amounts about myself. Learn how to be independent in new ways. Learn that life is hard, but there are always good bits thrown in, and when you make it through everything, that is what you will remember. I will remember the great times I had with various people. I will keep in contact with various people around the world. And I will come home with the realization of how much I love the people in my life, how much I appreciate certain things about the US, how I want to continue to learn about the other peoples of the world, and many, many other things that I cannot list right now.

neděle, března 11, 2007

A play on gypsies

So this weekend was a makeshift AFS weekend. Friday night was divadlo (theater) in Brno. It was called "gypsies going to heaven" and was a strange play. It was a musical, and the music was good (it was the closest thing i have heard to jewish folk music in 6 months), and made me realize that yes, gypsies and jews come from the same part of the world....no wonder the music is similar.

Then we stayed in a hostel in Brno friday night and saturday night. Saturday night I went with summer (hong kong), por (thailand), makki (japan) and poom (thailand) to 'Babel', an amazing film. I am the only one in that group who really understands czech, so we thought that it was in english, but the film ended up being in 4 languages, with czech subtitles. About half of it was in english though, and maybe a quarter or so in japanese, so everyone understood and liked it.

I thought it was amazing. It's been awhile since I have seen a film where you had to think about things so much, and how everything is interconnected. I would definitely recommend it.

It also made me realize how beautiful a city Tokyo is, and how much I really want to go there.

It was nice to go with them. I talked to Por more than I have ever before, and she is really nice. It is nice to know that I have people in a lot of countries in the world where I could probably go and have a place to stay, and people to see. It's a good feeling.

So this weekend Maria (brasil) is staying with me for the week....Wait, that sentence doesn't make a lot of sense, but I think you get the jist. I will update probably next weekend.

Papa! (like cau)...

pondělí, března 05, 2007

An 18th Birthday

So this last weekend I went back to Opava for Maria (brasil)'s 18th birthday. It was me, her, Hector (Paraguay), Henrique (brasil) and Honza (czech; hector's host brother). Basically we just hung out, went out and so forth.

I have discovered an interesting thing though, that whenever I go out late I usually end up with a cold or something after. It's strange, and something I should probably work on, and probably also related more so to the lack of sleep that usually entails.

Cau to all!

čtvrtek, března 01, 2007

60/40 folding seat

Well, not exactly, but as of today, I have been in the Czech Republic for 6 months. It seems so long when it is written down, but to me, it doesn't seem so long. I have 4 months left to go. I am over half way. It is a strange feeling.

I remember when I had been here for one month. The first month was a toughy (it is still tough though), and I remember thinking about it like a swimming set; the hardest one of my life. I had done one, and had 9 more to go. Now I have gotten through the halfway party, and things will start going faster.

When I look at my calendar, it looks like no time at all. Because it is after January, we are allowed to travel a bit, and I hope to. I think I may be going to Budapest for a couple days; we'll see.

I am at the library, so I have to go, but just thought I would record this momentous point in my exchange.