Valen, Outbound to Lithuania

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Labas! It’s been over a month since I arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania. The weather is the coldest I’ve ever been in!! And we are not even in winter yet. My family has been so nice to me. Even though they don’t speak English well, they are always trying to communicate with me. I live in a big house close to Vilnius the capital city. The food has been so great, my host mom is a great cooker! The next day I got here my family took me to a folk festival where we saw traditional dances from Poland. They were trying to explain me what they were saying and what did the dance represent, but like I said their English is not very good. They had to use the translator and as we know sometimes the translator is not very accurate. They ended up saying that the dance was a “Pig dance” which I didn’t understand at first, but then they realized that the translation was wrong and then we all started laughing. The first week was language camp where we had to drive to Vilnius Universitetas. I met the other exchange students, the district youth exchange chair, some former exchanges students, etc. They are only 8 exchange students: 3 from United States (including me), 2 from Brazil, 2 from Taiwan and 1 from Canada. We all became good friends. In this week we learned basic Lithuanian, we went to see the old town, we ate Lithuanian traditional meals, and we visited historic places. It was an excellent experience. On September 1st school started, I did not like the school at the very first moment, I didn’t make any friends in this first week, and people were rude, which made me feel sad. My host family though it was going to be better by next week, but they saw me so sad that they wanted me to change schools for my own good. But after a week sitting alone in the library, and leaving school early because nobody talked to me, the seniors in my school decided to come to me and accepted me in their class. Now I have many friends at my school who help me to learn the language. The next week all the exchange students, we went to Panevėžys (a city in Lithuania) for the Rotariada. We met some of the rotary district chairs, and I met the president of my host club. We also went to a famous alpaca farm and it was so adorable! Then we went to a high ropes cores park, I had so much fun! After school, me and my friend we signed up for the gym and dance classes. On September 28th, my host club invited me to their anniversary ceremony in the city of Siauliai, I liked to so much because I met my host club, I went to the hill of crosses that is a very popular place here in Lithuania. I also met some former exchange students that went to America, and we had a sleepover it was so fun! I stayed in the host club president’s house for 2 days, and I felt like home! Her husband was Italian and he made home pizza for me and it was so delicious. They live by the lake so I went into the sauna, and then I jumped on the lake it was a great experience. The last Saturday the other exchange students and I we went to go to Kaunas by ourselves, it was super nice even though it was raining the whole day! We went to some castles and vised some famous museums, and lakes. The next day I went to a basketball game that was super important for Lithuanians because is the beginning of the season, so I had so much fun and it was pretty nice even though we lost :( The last Monday I had a trip with my class to Anykščiai which is a very traditional village and I liked so much because it’s really beautiful and I learned a lot about Lithuanian culture. My Lithuanian is not so good but I been learning new words every day and my family and friends help me a lot! I’ll keep writing more adventures!!