I only have fifty days left on my exchange! Since Eurotour, time has really been flying. Right when I returned from my Eurotour, I’ve been extremely busy with school, school activities, and Rotary. The day after I returned from Eurotour, Nick and I went to Beroun to do another presentation about Rotary Youth Exchange to Gymnazium students. We did two before we left for a different school. Our YEO started the presentation, then Nick and I talked about our experiences (in Czech) then took questions.

After speaking English for fifteen days, my Czech was a bit shaky at the beginning, but then it all came back. I’m very proud of myself and of Nick for being able to do an entire presentation in Czech without anything written down. We’ve definitely improved A LOT. The next activity we had was a trip to Brno with our counsellor. Our counsellor has family by Brno, and she planned to bring Nick and I to come and meet her family and see some nature. We left on Friday night and drove about two or three hours to Brno. We spent the night in a hotel.

The next day, we went to visit our counsellor’s grandmother. She lived in a very small house that was built in World War One! It was in a very remote area and had a small stream running in the front as well as great biking/walking trails around. Our counsellor’s other family arrived, and we all went on a walk. We arrived to some rocks and a small cave. We then returned and ate lunch. Afterwards, we went into Brno. Here, we had some time with the other exchange students in Brno. We walked around the city center and went to some markets. It was a very fun day with beautiful weather.

Sunday, we went to the coolest cave I’ve ever been to. Inside this cave, it was only about eight degrees. We got to see a lot of interesting rock structures, but the best part was definitely a boat ride inside the cave! Once we finished the tour, we took a gondola up to the top of a mountain and saw a beautiful view of an entrance of the cave. It was really nice seeing the nature in the Brno (Moravia) area! After returning from Brno, we went to school like normal. Tuesday, we had a Rotary meeting, and planned the rest of the year…including our last meeting.

Then, we departed Thursday morning to our District Conference in Brezno, Slovakia. It was about ten and a half hours in total of travelling. The purpose of this meeting was mainly to practice our performances for the conference which would take place on Saturday. We had prepared two English songs, one Czech song (only for the Czech inbounds to sing), and one Slovak song (for the Slovak inbounds). There would also be individual performances as well as country performances. We rehearsed every night and during the day.

The Canadian group decided that we would sing “I Believe” which was the Vancouver 2010 Olympics official song. We had never practiced it before this meeting, so it took a lot of work. Other country groups were doing traditional dances. Some individual performances were playing instruments, singing, and reading poetry. Everyone is so talented, and it was a pleasure to watch every time!

We stayed up very late each night practicing, and were all very tired by the end. One of the activities on the program was a hike up Dumbier mountain on Friday. It was a very steep hike and it was raining and windy. The nature was absolutely beautiful though. It was so green and lush, and the views were absolutely stunning! We made it up to the top and had a very small lunch. On the way down, I fell so many times because it was extremely muddy. After this, we got to go to the hotel where we would actually perform the performance. We only rehearsed the group songs, then went back to our hotel to practice again.

Saturday would be the actual performance. Everyone did so well, and it was a very emotional day. Afterwards, we had lunch, then went back to our hotel to prepare for the Gala night. We got to dress up in formal wear. We got put at separate tables with Rotarians. We got the opportunity to talk to them all night! We spoke Czech with our Rotarians and they were all very friendly. The night was very long, but it was still a very fun experience. We then left, and departed Sunday morning.

During my entire exchange, I had never really been close with any of the other inbounds. This was because the Czech and Slovak meetings were separate. At our inbound meetings, we wouldn’t have much time to spend with each other, and we would always be writing a test or listening to presentations. Therefore, I never got the opportunity to talk to many of the other inbounds.

Then, I didn’t go to ski week, so once again, I didn’t see any of them. Then, on Eurotour, I got to know everyone a lot better. I have to say, that saying goodbye to everyone will be extremely hard. Especially knowing that I will probably never see any of them again. This weekend, we had to say goodbye to some of the Slovak inbounds that we’ll never see again because some aren’t going to Farewell weekend.

These types of goodbyes are always very difficult. I know for sure that I will see my Czech friends again, because I know that I will return. But saying goodbye to other exchange students is significantly tough. I have a lot more activities planned for the remaining days of my exchange. I will be returning home July 9th! In the next week, I will have a little bit more free time to recover from the Eurotour and everything. Tomorrow, my grandparents are going to be in Prague. I will meet with them and I am very excited! Then, another exchange student is coming to visit Nick and I on Thursday until Monday.

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