Vale, Outbound to Czechia

Ahoj! Šťastný nový rok!!!! Happy New Year everyone!! 

Its been 4 months since I have arrived to Czechia, land of stories, and I have been having the best time of my life! 

Coming from a hectic city like Miami, I now came to live in a small town in south Moravia, close to the Slovak and Austrian borders. 

My first host family lived in a small village, 15 minutes away from the nearest town. Here the mood was always very peaceful and soothing. My house's backyard was actually a huge hill that gave to the area's natural forest reserve where it protects many types of native plants and animals. It is also a perfect place for mushroom picking during the fall, a very popular activity enjoyed by many Czech people, so it was something I was glad I got to experience at the time I got here. 

The second week after I had arrived, my host family and I went on a week long trip to France, a trip organized with several students and teachers of my school.

It was truly a very beautiful trip. We went on a bus from Czechia to France, passing by Germany on the way and ending up in the farthest west point of France. It was quite a long trip I will admit but all the sights seen are so indescribable as words cannot do justice how beautiful it was. 

Once back, it was finally time to officially start school. I have been placed in a grade with classmates almost two years younger than me, so they are all 16 turning 17. I do not mind though, as I do get along very well with them and I have made lots of friends with people in the next two grades higher so its all been great.

My school is quite small compared to my school back in the US. Here my school has approximately 500 students, and that is even less than my whole graduating class hahaha. Nevertheless I think it is better to be part of this school. It is located in the town called Uherský Brod. I am the only exchange student in this area so everyone in school (and I would not be surprised if the whole town) knows who I am hahaha. I have even had to give many presentations in neighboring schools, talking about the where I am from and things like that. Actually, to anyone who reads this, be prepared to give many many presentations as an exchange student. I was never a fan of giving presentations about anything, but now I have learned to accept it, as I have had to give so many presentations in school, Rotary meetings, and in other schools as well. Really I have never had to give so many presentations in my life hahaha but now I have grown to enjoy them, especially because most have been about sharing American culture, and in my case American and Hispanic culture, so it makes it quite fun. 

Something so amazing that I have gotten to experience here is SNOW!! Oh my it has been so cool to be able to actually live in cold weather and see snow casually now during the winter time. I was even able make a snowman and have snowball fights with my friends and family! 

Personally I think the weather here is great. In Miami it is nearly impossible to see the change in seasons, but here I have been able to experience the ends of summer, the beginning and end of fall, and now winter. There is actually a change in temperature and the most beautiful part of all is seeing the colors of everything change. The transition between the seasons have been so wonderful to see that it really makes one appreciate the beauty of nature. 

I think that this journal is getting quite long yet I still have so much to say. I think it will be best to just finish it off like this for now so my final words will be that being an exchange student has been the best thing that could have ever happened to me and I am so grateful to everyone in Rotary for making this happen.

Also a word to all of those who maybe do not get the country or any of the countries of our choice (and speaking from experience), this opportunity comes only once in a life time, and I am sure that if I had not taken it, I would have regretted it so much, because I have been able to meet such amazing people here, and have been able to experience so many things I would have never I dreamed of so, if an opportunity like this crosses your path, take it, I assure you it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life!

Click HERE to read more about Vale and all her blogs