Morganne Percevault

Lithuania

Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida
School: Nease
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Sunset, Florida
Host District: 1462
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Siauliai Harmonica



My Bio


Labas!! Hello! My name is Morganne Percevault and I live in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I am so so very blessed to say that I will be living in Lithuania next year! You may be asking yourself, “Does she really want to go to Lithuania?” The answer to your question is yes! My grandmother was from Lithuania, and I am excited to experience my heritage. The language is daunting, but just as so many other aspects of exchange, I am ready to overcome challenges! I live with my parents (Bonnie and Joe) and my older sister (Mallory). I am originally from Pennsylvania, where I lived until I was 14. Currently, I am a junior at Nease High School. I am a member of the cross country and track team, and I am involved in a number of clubs, including, Student Council, Best Buddies, and French Club. I work as a hostess at a small restaurant, and the people I work with are some of closest friends. When I’m not studying or working, I enjoy running, reading, and going to the beach with my friends. I will miss my school, family, and friends while I am gone next year, but I am welcoming my new school, new family, new friends, and new life with open arms! I would like to give a BIG thank you to Rotary, and all of the volunteers who make exchange possible! I am ready to grow and change as I go through this crazy journey! Viso Gero!!

Giving a presentation to my rotary club

Giving a presentation to my rotary club

More host family pics :)

More host family pics :)

My French friend Fanely and me

My French friend Fanely and me

My host family before walking 25 kilometers

My host family before walking 25 kilometers

My host sister and me in Spain

My host sister and me in Spain

My arrival in Lithuania

My arrival in Lithuania

All the exchange students

All the exchange students

Journals: Morganne-Lithuania Blog 2019-20

  • Morganne, Outbound to Lithuania

    Labas! Currently, I am writing this journal on a trip back from Spain with my host family. This vacation, besides being beyond enjoyable (full of beautiful views and delicious food) (BIG thank you to my awesome host family for bringing me along), it also made me realize some things about my exchange. As I was walking around Spain with my Lithuanian family and friends, I realized I was visiting Spain not as an American, but a Lithuanian. Although it has been just two months in Lithuania, I already feel connected enough to the people and culture that leaving for Spain made me feel as if I was leaving my home. Now, as I am on my flight back to Lithuania, I feel as though I am on my flight back to my home. This is crazy to think about, because again it has only been two months. How will I feel about Lithuania during month 4, 7, or 9?? Clearly, you can tell by my writing that I am still loving Lithuania. Another month and a half has passed since my last journal and I have made stronger connections with my host family, local friends, and exchange friends.

    My host family has begun to feel more like my true family, not just a place to live. My host mom yells at me when I don’t wear socks, and I’ve learned my host sister is not a morning person. I feel more comfortable with them, I can ask them for anything if I need help. I will always be appreciative towards them for how they have welcomed me into their home and have made me feel a part of their family. In addition to the trip to Spain with them, we have gone to a play, a 25k hike by the sea, and a shooting range. My favorite times with them however, are when we sit at the dinner table together, and they try to understand the little Lithuanian I know. Those times are filled with smiles and laughter that are irreplaceable!

    School has luckily become much easier, I’m not nervous to go to class anymore! I have lots of people to talk with in the hallway and eat lunch with. The goal has also been accomplished to be invited to things outside of school, which is always a lovely feeling!! (Thank you to those awesome friends for making me feel so welcomed at school and in the community). At school, I’ve given several presentations about myself and America. It’s interesting to see what the other students know or don’t know about America. At school I also had the opportunity to teach the English classes for a day! I gave a lesson on English slang, which I think everyone enjoyed. Currently we are on fall break, so I have a week off of school. :)

    My exchange friends and I have also grown close to each other. (There are only 12 of us in Lithuania because it is so small) When we are all together, we only have laughs and good times. I’m personally very happy that I’m with a small group of students because we are able to grow close and support each other. The other exchange student in my city (Fanely from France) and I have gone to the capital city where most of the exchange students are to visit a few times now. We all usually just walk around the city looking like a really strange group of people. Two Americans, four Brazilians, two Frenchies, two Mexicans, one Taiwanese, and one Italian provide for a very odd looking group of people! We are also all going on a skiing trip together at the end of November, which should be quite fun.

    The first two months have been quite busy for me. There have been a lot of things going on in school, stuff happening on the weekends, after school activities, and of course studying Lithuanian. One thing that has begun to happen to me however, is I do not feel like I have truly accomplished anything meaningful in Lithuania yet. Yes, I have done everything I have needed to make my exchange go well and be enjoyable. I have had lots and lots of fun, but I would say I am someone who is used to having a lot of responsibilities. I was involved in sports, had a job, and studied hard in America. Here in Lithuania, I don’t have to study much in school, so it’s almost like I’m going a little crazy only having fun. Therefore, I have a few goals this month. I’m going to work harder on studying Lithuanian, and try to find volunteer opportunities in Lithuania through rotary or another organization. I would like to make my exchange about helping people and doing something meaningful, not just living “for myself” while I am here. I’m also going to try to teach myself guitar, so that should be interesting! I will keep you all updated on how I make my exchange matter. ;)

    My language is of course one thing I also really need to work on. The more I learn Lithuanian, the more I realize I need to learn more Lithuanian. I think I’m saying something totally correct and then the person I’m speaking to says, “well, actually it’s this....” This has proved to be very frustrating for me. I was expecting to understand more than what I am understanding at two months with the amount of work I have put into studying Lithuanian. Of course, I cannot give up, so I will be studying even more this month. The goal is that by the end of November, I will be able to understand and use twenty verbs correctly in the past, present, and future. I am also going to work on understanding and being able to change the endings of nouns. (I will explain what I mean by this) In lithuanian, they don’t use words like “in,” “on,” “of,” etc; they change the endings of the noun that those words would refer to. For example, if you say “I am going home,” you say “Aš einu namO.” But, if you say “My home is there,” you say “Mano namAS yra ten.” There are seven different variations of each noun, with some variations that are extremely difficult to understand because we don’t have the concept at all in English. This is why Lithuanian is not only difficult to speak, but also difficult to understand. I may learn one form of the noun, but may not be able to recognize it when someone is speaking because they are using a different form of the noun. This means, to truly be able to use and understand one word, I need to know seven words. However, I am working on it!

    Although I really miss my family and friends, I would not say that I am homesick. I think of my parents and sister every day and I wish they were here to experience certain things with me. (I love you guys so much) However, I’m still experiencing lots of new things, and enjoying my new life. One thing I am a bit worried about is seasonal depression. It is only the beginning of November and it is dark at 5:30 at night. I started to take vitamin D though, so hopefully that helps with it. I’m also starting to exercise more, I was so focused on trying a lot of new foods that I put a couple extra pounds on. ;) But as my host sister always quotes from the movie Eat Pray Love, “So this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to finish this pizza and then we're going to go watch the soccer game and tomorrow we're going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.”

    Thanks for reading my journal! I again recommend exchange to anyone, so far it has been full of only good experiences. I’m always thinking about how one year ago, it was me reading these journals, thinking about how crazy it would be if I actually became an exchange student. Now I’m on exchange, and sometimes I’m still thinking that it is crazy I am really here! However, Lithuania is the only place I can imagine being. I am happy (and cold)! Until next time, viso gero!

    Click HERE to read more about Morganne and all her blogs

  • Morganne, Outbound to Lithuania

    Labas vakaras mano draugais! I am so happy here, and it has only been a week and a few days. Never mind the beautiful scenery or fun activities; the best thing for me so far on exchange is the kindness I have received from the people around me. It is unbelievable how loving people can be when they barely know you- when you can say only a few phrases in their language. There have already been so many moments where I feel a surge of happiness run through my heart due to the smiling faces of other people. Of course, it is also difficult. It is difficult to not be frustrated when you cannot understand what your host parents, friends, and teachers are saying. However, my Lithuanian has gotten better each day. My desire to learn Lithuanian is indescribable. I listen to the people around me speak, and it almost hurts that I cannot understand them (Lithuanian is one of the hardest languages in the world). Of course, the people here only encourage my efforts to learn their language; they are even surprised that I want to learn Lithuanian. This is surprising to me, as of course I want to learn the language of the country I will be living in for a year. I am writing down all the new words I hear on my phone to ensure I remember, and doing my best to only speak in Lithuanian.

    Now of course, I will talk to you about my activities. I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of a few places in Lithuania with the rest of my exchange friends. We toured Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania (where 8/12 of the exchange students are staying). Vilnius is the biggest city in Lithuania, with 750,000 people. It has different districts, including the old-town and art district. I enjoyed the tour, and I am excited to visit Vilnius again. I however, live in a city called Siauliai. It is the 4th largest city in Lithuania, with 100,000 people. My city is much quieter; the people from Vilnius claim that it is boring! I am happy to be in a smaller city though, I think it is the perfect size. I am able to go downtown to get that “city” feeling, but when I am there I do not have to push through any crowds like in Vilnius. In my city, I have one other exchange student from France, Fanely. She is awesome- I can already call her my best friend! My host sister is my other best friend here- Vilte is beautiful both inside and out. We have already had many discussions expanding my outlook on the world. My host mom is great, we use google translate to talk to eachother- which I am sure you can imagine has provided for many laughs! I am currently writing this in my living room in my family’s apartment, which is beautiful. One thing that is quite cool is that in addition to the apartment, my family also has a house in the country. It is about thirty minutes from the apartment, and I think is going to be my favorite place. At the “homestead” there are chickens, bees (for homemade honey), and lots of trees. It is peaceful in comparison to the city that I will be spending a lot of time in.

    My first day of school occurred today, which sure was something. I was fortunate that my host sister was able to show me around to all of my classes, and introduce me to my teachers. If she had not, you can bet that I would have been lost and very, very confused. My teachers all reacted to me in different ways; a few introduced me, and a few let me introduce myself. The stares I received from the other students once they knew I was from America was honestly a bit scary. I did receive a few smiles though, which were helpful to get me through my day. It was only the first day of course, so it can only get better from here! I am excited to make friends outside of my family and exchange friends. One thing that is interesting about school here is that you can have breaks in your schedule. During this time, you are able to leave the school to grab a coffee or something. Something else that is interesting is that we do not have the same classes every day. Some days I have three periods of Lithuanian with one period of biology, some days I have two periods of math with two periods of art, etc. Update: I am finishing up this journal the following day, so I have some more to say about school. The second day went much better. People talked to me in all of my classes, and three different people asked me to hang out (Goal ACCOMPLISHED)! Other than school, I am also getting involved in some other activities. I am going to take a Zumba class, and join a running team. I may also try traditional Lithuanian dance and guitar. I will update you on these endeavors once they begin to happen, of course.

    There is so much more I could fill you in on. I could talk about how good the food is; fresh and homemade. I could say what the weather is like (already slightly cold). But the most important thing to say is I am happy. If you are considering exchange, DO IT. It is definitely a challenge, but exchange offers so many rewards. I would also like to thank my host rotary club, my sponsor rotary club at home, and my mom and dad. Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity! Until my next journal, viso gero.

    Click HERE to read more about Morganne and all her blogs

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