Rachel Daly


Hometown: Lecanto, Florida
School: Lecanto
Sponsor District: 6950
Sponsor Club: Crystal River
Host District: 1913
Host Club: Osijek


My Bio

Dobar dan! My name is Rachel Daly and i am stoked that i will be going to Croatia next year. I live with my father Chuck, my brother Clay, my fathers girlfriend Karen, and her three kids, Renzo, Lauren, and Gianlucca. My forever comfort food is cheesecake. I am very active in my church and youth group. I perform with ACT at the Art Center of Citrus County, and I love it so. At school i am with the AVID program, the Lecanto School of Art and my schools Interact club. I am an art kid, with singing, acting, and painting as my main passions along with learning. Helping others is what I want to do when I get older. In my very limited free time I like reading and hanging out with my brothers. I enjoy making others laugh (especially when they need it) and although I can be really shy I enjoy being around and meeting new people (and in small towns you dont meet many new people). I am super excited to even have this opportunity and so grateful. With new learning experiences, new friends and new culture exposure; I just know that my time overseas will be an experience that will forever change me, hopefully for the better.

Journals: Rachel – Croatia 2016-17

  • Rachel, outbound to Croatia

    Read more about Rachel and all her blogs

    5 months have passed and looking back it seems time has flown so fast. I don't just mean while abroad. Rotary tells you that exchange is a 3 year process. I am half way through my exchange and my memories of the "before going abroad" are so clear its freaky. From the intense nauseousness that hit me in the parking lot of the St. Pete college the morning of my interview. To the group yard sale the outbounds from Citrus County did to help raise funds. To last goodbye I gave those kids before they left. Talking to the future outbounds gives me flashbacks of how I felt before, during, and after my interview, when I knew I got accepted, when I found out which country I'll be calling home, and the first Lake Yale Orientation. It was all a year ago and it seems like they happened just yesterday. Yet, I can feel in my soul that I have changed. I am not the same as when I boarded that plane in August, I don't want to lose the person I've become. I've learned a lot about myself that I never could have in the States. 

    Being away from Florida has shown me that it's my home and I long for it, especially these snowy winter days. I took a lot of things for granted. Most importantly quality hispanic food. What they qualify as guacamole hurts me in my soul. The beaches I hated, seem like a haven now. I have only visited the coast once here and it was too cold to swim but what people tell me, they have very few sand beaches. Just small pebble beaches. The cheesy beach decor makes me smile now, when I see it. I learned after some tiring and sucky days that I crave nachos and they are my comfort food (not cheesecake as previously stated). I learned which college I would like to go to, something I've never had an answer for and some clues to what I want to study. I've learned all about my flaws and what I need to work on, to be the person I want to be. 

    My daily life here is comfortable. I go to school, then after or before I hang out with my classmates at their usual cafe bar. Before I left I only knew that I wanted to push myself to be more social and I am making progress. I'm not where I want to be exactly but I'm still working on it. For the rest of my exchange I want to act more like a Croat, not an American living in Croatia. For the most of you who don't know what most Croats act like, I have made a list of things I've noticed every Croat does no matter what age they are. (9-99) 
    How to be a Croat:
    1. Socialize at a cafe bar/ coffee shop for 3-8 hours a day with friends or people you want to be friends with. 
    2. Curse. all the time. For any reason. For no reason. Especially when greeting a friend anywhere. Croats are very creative with their curses and most of former Yugoslavia and some of the other Balkan countries use Croatian curse because they are that great.
    3. Insult friends/ yourself. That's how you know your friends with that person. 
    4. Crude jokes are so popular. Everyone makes dirty jokes all the time.
    5. Participate in Nightlife. From concerts, to special museum nights to just having a calm night in the old part of town. 
    6. Be a great hostess.
    7. Taking up a sport or musical instrument. Learning to play an instrument is very popular here. Every town has a special music school. 

  • Rachel, outbound to Croatia

    Read more about Rachel and all her blogs

    Dobar dan! I have been in Croatia for a little over a month now and I love it so much to say the least. 

    My flight went very smoothly and I was lucky to have no problems. I went from Orlando to Frankfurt then Frankfurt to Zagreb. In Frankfurt my carry-on got checked for explosives and I saw notes my dad and brother wrote for me. I teared up a little bit in front of the security guy. My host parents greeted me in the lobby of the Zagreb airport with this little purple bouquet of flowers. They are so sweet and I love them so much. My host mom speaks English and my host dad doesn't but he tries the best he can. He wishes me good luck to school everyday. He is also an amazing cook. People here have a certain taste for sweet and bitter things. Everything I have had here has been a combination of sweet, sour or spicy. Lunch is the main meal and its the family time. 

    Everyone I have met so far has been so nice. Old people strike up a conversation with you when you are waiting for the tram or bus together. I have been stopped a couple times on the street because I try to help someone but I accidentally speak English then they know I'm foreign, so they ask to take a picture with me. I have been to a couple peoples houses and the mothers are very good hosts. Most of the girls in the volleyball club with me are very kind, even though most of them don't speak English well. My classmates are so cool and nice. I really like going to school because of them. In school I attend 15 subjects instead of 4 a semester. 

    Osijek is pretty easy to get around. After a week I got my sense of direction back. I kept getting lost because the main river (Drava) was to the North, not South. The trams make getting around very easy. A lot of people have bikes here because its mainly flat here so biking 6 miles from one end of the town to the other is a breeze. 

    Very few, little things seemed so foreign to me. Like how they store their milk outside the fridge in the pantry. Or just the smells of certain places. The fridge smelled so much like pepper paste i was knock back every time I opened it. and the bathroom cabinets smells of lime and nutmeg it was so weird. There is also a lot of stray cats and dogs here, which I find very strange. 

    If you want to read more, I have a lot more to say on my blog. Also a lot more pictures of the famously beautiful Croatia. And will soon be posting about the school system, food and experiences in much more depth soon. Check it out, also a lot more great captions.

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