We Czech exchange students finished May (which was already half a month ago, whoops) by all meeting outside of the small Bohemian town of Krizanov. This meeting was designed for the current (foreign, inbound) students living in the Czech republic to meet the Czech (future, outbound) students planning to go abroad. It’s a pity we didn’t meet them more often during the year, because it was fun and exciting for everyone for the inbounds to meet the outbounds who were going to their home countries. District 2240 is sending 3 Czech students to Ohio next year, and I wish them all the best!

These pictures are from our games on Saturday. In groups made up of inbounds from a given country and the outbounds going there (so, our group was American inbounds plus a Canadian and the outbounds going to the US) we were handed a map and sent from station to station completing tasks ranging from building a bridge to cracking eggs over our heads to carrying water in our mouths while a partner carried us like a wheelbarrow. We had the best weather imaginable, and I loved wandering through the fields with my teammates.

If I put a photograph of South Bohemia and southern Ohio side by side, they might not look so different. But actually standing in those fields, it felt like very different scenery, and acutely Czech. Perhaps just the fact that we could stand in it- that it wasn’t fenced off or separated from the world by enormous highways- or the stands of old, healthy trees dotting the distance, or the wildflowers and other natural plants lining the fields instead of dead grass, or the birdsong. Whatever it was, it was beautiful, and I wished I could bottle up the feeling of walking in a line through the young wheat plants with these people, half of them friends I’d grown very close to over the year and half of them strangers who reminded me so much of myself a year ago. I wish I could take that feeling home with me and open up the bottle whenever I feel like the world is closing in on me- because out in those fields, the world felt wonderfully vast.

We had a bonfire at the end of this meeting, which felt very strange because it reminded me of my last (which was the first of the next year) outbound meeting at Camp Mary Orton back in August. There is nothing like a bonfire, a group of near strangers/old friends, and a starry sky to make one feel nostalgic for the past, present, and future all at once.


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