To put it simply: my first days here have been AMAZING. I flew into Vienna Airport from Chicago O’Hare at 8 o’clock on August 24th after about 15 hours of travel, only 2 hours of which I was able to sleep. My host dad and my 3 siblings greeted me at the international terminal exit and from there we piled into their car and drove to my new home in Šaľa, Slovakia.

It is a small town 25 km outside of Nitra, Slovakia. Nitra is where the school I will go to is and it is also where my hosting Rotary club, Nitra Harmony, is located. My host parents know almost no English. That did not stop my host father and I from attempting to keep conversation on the 2 hour drive home in a mix of broken Slovak and English. My oldest host brother is fluent in English so when we were unable to convey messages due to language barriers he was able to act as a translator for us.  My host mom was home when we arrived busy preparing lunch. By then I could feel the lack of sleep begin to creep up on me but after a meal of rice and chicken covered in a kind of cheese sauce I was able to stay up a couple more hours during which I gave them gifts from the USA and went over my first night questions. After, I crashed for about a 4 hour nap.

My jetlag has already been getting better but I still wake up very early and am very tired in the afternoons. In my time here I have seen Nitra (from inside a car) to visit my school. My school will start September 4th and my oldest host brother and I will ride the public buses everyday to Nitra in order to attend. The public transportation in Slovakia is very good and can get you almost anywhere. The city and countryside’s are very beautiful and seem to seamlessly fade in and out of each other. They grow a lot of corn here along with fields of sunflowers.


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