Už som bol na Slovensku za 6 mesiacov, pol-rok. Stále mam vel’a čas tu, ale ešte citim smutny. Pamätam nastupit’ na môj let do Europy, ako by to bolo včera. Citim vel’mi spokojny s mojou vymenou a viem že som urobil viac niž si som predstávil. Ale cítim smutny pretože čas tu ide priliš rychly, a život cíti viac aj viac normalny. Nemôzem predstavit’ sa vratit’ do Ameriky. Moja rodina, moja škola, moje kamaráti, všetko. Môj život je tu teraz, na Slovensku. Som taki št’astny že mám najlepše rodiny. To je pretože citim ako môj život je tu teraz. Skúsim žit’ práve tu a práve teraz, presne v tato chvíla. Ešte nehovorim plynule po Slovensky, a mam pocit že nikdy budem hovorit sto percent plynule, ale cítim sa dobre hovorit’ po Slovensku.

Ked’ cestujem, ked’ idem nakupovat’, už sa nebojím že nie budem rozumiet’. To je divny pocit pretože, mám vel’a pravidlá tu. Ako nemôžem cestovat’ sam bez Rotary dovolenie, musim ist’ do školy, nemôžem šoferat, a vel’a viac veci, ale stale, citim viac volno tu. Možno pretože nemam moja prava mama tu pre ma kričat’, a možno niečo iny, ale už mam strach odist’. Určite, cítim ako nejšt’astnejší vymeny študent na celom svete. Môj Rotary Klub, mesto, a rodiny su najlepši. Cestoval som viac tu než v mojim celom život. Stretol som sa s vel’a l’udmi (Slovaci a vymeny študenti) a urobil som vel’a veci. Vymena je sen. Nechcem, tento sen skončit’. Slovensko, milujem t’a. 

Week 21 – January 7 (2019!) – After a 2 week holiday, we are finally back to school. I’ve missed my classmates, but also definitely NOT missed waking up early. After school I went to my host moms private medical practice (which they call “ambulance” in Slovak and confuses me so much), where I had some medical test done. Afterwards, they brought me to Billa and told me to chose whatever food I want to buy and keep at home. I mentioned Horalky, and my host mom took like 20 to buy for me, it was so nice! Afterwards we went to a fancy Italian restaurant and ate such good food! Our waitress also spoke Italian which was a nice break in Slovak for me haha! By Tuesday, I finally had experienced going to and from school independently from my new host family, and was feeling great. When I got home, I tried the keys that my host family gave me and it just didn’t work! I should mention that there are no door knobs on the doors, it’s just keys that you push extra to the left/right and it opens the door. I ended up getting trapped outside in the snowing cold for about an hour until my host mom could come rescue me. It turns out that the keys worked the whole time, I just thought they wouldn’t push any further, and I didn’t want to break the key like my other exchange friend did in Germany (hahah hi Katherine).

Anyways, that night and the following day, we had a huge snow storm, and Trencin was completely under snow. I woke up expecting a snow day or delay from school, but that’s not really a thing here in Slovakia. I waited at my bus stop for around 30 minutes and not one bus came. Every car was still covered in snow (cause most people don’t have garages here) and not even the main roads had been snow plowed… I ended up walking to school since I live close now, and I didn’t see any other way to get there. Overall I was shocked about how little preparation or cleanup there had been on behalf of the government, yet society seemed to still function as best as it could, and everyone still found their way to work/school. I walked through the town center and it was beautiful to see the castle with snow. I came really late to school and all my classmates just laughed at me knowing I’d seen my first Slovak snowstorm. The next few days went on as usual as possible. I went to go visit my first host family again, which was nice! I went out with my friends from my old class on Friday. I’ve missed them so much!

On Saturday I went to Bratislava, and randomly saw a Canadian girl (living in Czech Republic) walking around old town. It really proves how small Slovakia is! Anyways, my host brother and I bought some candy at the American store, then met up with more exchange students and some Slovaks we knew there. We all hang out at a cafe for a few hours and then went home. I later went to the cinema with my host brother and American friend to see the movie “Zrodila sa Hviezda” (a Star is Born) and really loved this film! The next day, I went to go visit my host grandmother in Považska Bystrica, another Slovak city maybe 30 minutes away from Trenčín. My host grandmother made my favorite Slovak food, Rezen (it’s like schnitzel) and she was so welcoming to me! Afterwards we went to a really famous hotel that is about a 2 minute walk from her house. It’s called Hotel Gino, and it used to be a Noble/Aristocratic chateaux, but is now a big hotel. It was a nice week once again! 

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