Friday, July 1, 2011

My Last Day

Today was my last day in Piestany.

It rained almost all day, which sucked. I couldn't go out and just walk around, like I wanted to. Instead, I stayed in and obsessed about my packing. It stopped raining in the afternoon ish. I said good-bye to my host family, as they are going to the Czech Republic for the weekend. (I live with my host grandparents, remember.) I met up with my friends tonight, and just talked and had fun with them all night. They got me presents, even though I totally wasn't expecting it. As the night wore on, I said goodbye one by one as people had to make curfew. I finally got home at around 12.30, which is an early night for me. I finished packing, and I'm all set to go now. Not ready, but I don't think I'll ever be ready to leave. I'll be leaving in a few hours.

Budem mi chybas vsetkych!!!!!!!!!
Dakujem pre vsetko, Slovensko, si vyborne.


Monday, June 27, 2011

My Last Week

This is my last week.

My final Saturday, I went out with friends that night, like always. We just hung out at an apartment, and it was fun. My final Sunday, I went with the entire family to Bratislava, for birthday celebrations. Both of my host parents, my host cousin, and his other grandmother all had birthdays last week, so we went to my host cousin's house to celebrate. Basically just lunch, cake, and hanging out. It was pretty fun.

Today is my final Monday. I had school, yuck. We aren't doing anything in school, exams were two weeks ago, so I don't really know why we have to go, but whatever. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tonight. Tomorrow, after school I have dance class, but we are just going out for pizza I think. Then I have my last Rotary meeting. Wednesday I don't have plans yet. Thursday is the last day of school, and I might be going to a concert or something with friends that night. Friday I have no clue what I'm going to do. Say goodbye and cry, most likely. Saturday, I leave. My flight leaves Vienna at 7.55 am. Meaning I'll have to leave Piestany at about 3 or 4 in the morning. Ugh. So, that will be fun...not. I don't know if I'll post again from Slovakia. But I will for sure post once I get "home", to tell how different I find things now. Love you all (:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Final Weeks

Walking in the woods. Finding sticks and stuff, and starting a fire. Pulling out the things you brought with you to cook over the fire, and comparing them with what everyone else brought. Cooking them, and laughing at the one person that always drops food in the fire on accident, and the other that accidentally burns theirs. Sitting, talking with friends. After eating, going to the river and skipping stones, and laughing at the people that can't.

This would be a typical bonfire in America. Or, at least in Holton. This is also what my class here did instead of school Tuesday. Don't worry, we weren't skipping. We actually had a teacher with us. I learned how to skip stones, finally! And I was the one that was laughed at for burning my food (It was delicious, back off!). But it was great fun.

Tap Costume
Today (Wednesday) I didn't have to go to school because of dance. At 11, I went to practice with my class, then came home and showered (It was soooo hot there, and walking outside. Ugh). Then at 6.30 I was back. We got changed, and watched the first 3 dances...then the 4th dance was my tap solo! It actually went really good. I didn't mess up at all, which was a first. But the music was really loud and they didn't turn on the microphone for my feet like they said they would, so the audience couldn't really hear me. I know how it went though. :D

After I was done, I sat and watched with my class for a while. Then we changed into our other costumes, and went back out. We did our dance to "Magic". It's a jive/modern dance, and it's super fun. It also went good, but I did mess up one time. Not super bad, I just kicked with the wrong leg. Ah well. We have 2 "lifts" in that dance. One, we lift a girl like superman, kinda. The other, I taught my class. It's a "half", a cheer lift. The easiest one, but still. They have a lot of fun, and we are the only class that does that lift, while other classes do all the same lifts, and it gets repetitive. So I like our lifts(:
Picture, from left: Betka, Katka, Patra, Kathleen, Barca, Olivia

All in all, I'm having a pretty good week. Tomorrow my host grandma said I can help cook after school! No idea what we are making, but still.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slovakia, Home again

So, I realized that my blog is called A Year in Slovakia, and my past many posts have been about other countries I've visited. So, what's new in Slovakia?

Well. The day after getting home from Euro Tour, I went to Trnava with my host family. We stayed overnight at this little hotel in the woods. I got to go on a tour of a cave, which was pretty sweet. We were actually there for some relative's 60th birthday/whole family get-together type thingy. It was fun, but there's no way I'll ever remember all those people, or how they are all related! (:

The school week after was mostly normal. That Thursday night I had a performance with my dance class. We did our dance to "All the Right Moves" and I also did my tap solo for the first time. It went pretty good, I only messed up in one part, and my class said they couldn't even tell. So I'm happy with that, even though only about 15 people showed up to watch. Then later that night, Anna (my travel buddy) came to visit. We had a total girls night, staying up till 3 am watching movies and eating junk food. I can't believe how much I've missed nights like that, and only having one again made me realize it. Friday we slept in, and then dyed sections of our hair purple. I have very dark purple in my bangs, and lighter purple just above my right ear (because I actually lightened that part of my hair first. Always a good thing to do with dark hair, I found out). Then we went out with my friends that night, then met up with Ernesto later. Saturday we went to Bratislava. We got lost in the city for about an hour and a half because Bratislava has stupid bus maps. But it was all ok in the end. We went out with my host cousin (you will recall him from the Easter fun...) and stayed with them (host aunt and uncle and family) Saturday night. Sunday we hung with the exchanges in Bratislava for a bit, then parted ways.

This week has been pretty normal for me, too. Nothing truly exciting. I had to redo my tap dance because one of the other teachers decided it was too long (2:40) so I shortened it to 1:30. It looks a lot better now though, because I could keep all of the really cool steps, and get rid of the ones I had been using for fillers. So, finished that up.

Tomorrow is my last Friday with Ernesto! He leaves for Mexico Tuesday, which is super sad. Then Saturday I'm headed to Kosice for the weekend, to hang with my girls there, and see the city.

For those of you who don't know, I leave July 2nd. Which is 16 days from now, which seems insane when I type that. But it's true. I can't imagine saying goodbye to my friends and, yes, family here. But I having people that I love very much and am excited to see waiting for me in America. So, once I get home (it's so strange to think of Michigan as "home" now) I probably won't blog much. I'll write a bit about getting used to things in the USA again, and I'll post about Rotary conferences. But, other than that...this blog is coming to a close.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Euro Tour - Venice

We arrived outside Venice in the evening, around 5 I think. We got on public transportation, aka a BUS-BOAT!!! Super cool. So we took that to St. Marco's square. (I think that was the name. It was some famous place.) Rotary basically just gave us free time then, which was awesome.

I went with 3 other girls. We got souvenirs real quick, then found this quaint little restaurant. It was awesome. We got salad, pasta, and a drink, all for 9 euros, which was about 10 times less than most places we could have gone. And it was really good. After that we just had enough time to walk back to Rotary. Then we all checked in, and had more free time. I went with a bunch of people that time. We walked to the bridge, and hung out there for a bit. Then split into smaller groups, and just wandered around. Then met up with Rotary again, and headed back to the bus-boat. There, we were rushing to all get on the boat, but 3 boys got left behind. We were all freaked, but they got on the next one and it was all good. So we all made it back to our bus, and drove all night to get back to Bratislava at 7:30 in the morning. Then said goodbye (forever!!!) to people. It was very sad. And then home.

Overall, Euro Tour was amazing. I definitely want to go back to Italy, hopefully after graduation next summer(:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Euro Tour - Florence

After departing Pompeii, we arrived in Florence in the evening.

We had to take a bus, then the metro (which was above ground), then walked to get to our hostel. We got our rooms all set (Very happy with my roommates, I had both dinosaurs in my room!) and had dinner in the restaurant-thingy in the basement of the hostel. After dinner we had free time, but most (if not all) of us just hung out in the hostel. I was with a bunch of people, exploring and after having an impromptu dance party on the balcony of the Brasilian boys' room. Very fun. (They got me addicted to the song "Ih Caraca", if you have time to waste, check it out:

The next day, we saw a church (What? A church? That's something completely new that we haven't done 20 times a day on this trip! Oh, joy!), and then the statue of David. And some other random art, but I wasn't really listening. We walked down across the river, and across the bridge with all the jewelry. Then free time(:

I went with Anna, my new travel buddy. First we just walked a bit, exploring. Then we went to buy souvenirs. We ended up spending about a half hour just trying on masks (And yes, I bought one. It is green and gold and amazing). Anna ended up getting 2, because she has a face that masks look really good on, and because she couldn't pick just one. (One of hers is blue with feathers, and the other I call her "Black Swan" mask.) Then I bought some random crap a lovely plate for my mother. We walked down the jewelry bridge then. Almost everything was gold, so super expensive. But we found one shop that was only gold-plated silver, so quite a bit less. I got this pair of GORGEOUS earrings. Then we stopped for ice cream, and The Great Cannoli Search was concluded! Yes, It was delicious. Then checked in with Rotary.

When we split again, I was still with Anna, but we acquired 3 Brasilians. Anna and I wanted to get portraits done (real ones, not charactatures), so we waited. We were debating two different street artists. One was a little bit better, but also 15 euros more expensive. So we went with the other one. I got mine done first. (The Brasilians didn't want to wait the whole time, so they left and came back when Anna was almost done.) I sat for like 20 minutes. It's a really weird experience. Total strangers come up, smile, give you a thumbs-up. (And then there are also the cute Italian boys that get ur attention, say in Italian that you are pretty [or a similar sentiment] and high-five each other, while walking away, after you smile at them.) But it's fun. The artist totally romanticized us. The portraits turned out good, but I don't think mine looks very much like me. Anna's turned out more like her, if you ask me, even though she says I'm wrong. Then the Brasilians came back, and we went about 50 feet. They ran into a Brasilian guy that lives in Italy, so we had to wait and talk for like 45 minutes. Anna and I were laughing at how totally obvious the boys were about checking out random girls. It was funny, it was so bad. Then we walked farther, stopping for us to look at shoes (The boys almost left us behind, but didn't). We got back to the hostel and changed into our swimsuits. The pool was like ice water! I was almost drowned twice, thank you so much Gustavo -.- Then a few of us went into the sauna. Somehow I ended up in there alone with 5 people I didn't know, and two Brasilian boys I did. It was an...interesting...experience. (If you know any teenage Brasilian boys, you will know what I mean.) Then back to my own room for curfew.

We left Florence the next morning, after Rotary getting us lost, not able to find the right bus, going to the wrong metro stop...It took us about 4 hours to get out of Florence. Then we got on our lovely bus, and off we went.

Note: I don't have many pictures from Florence, because I was too busy having fun. (And too lazy to fight with my camera.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Euro Tour - Pompeii

We left Sorrento in the morning, and drove like 2 or 3 hours (or 4, I don't know) to Pompeii. Now, I have always wanted to visit Pompeii. Like, I love learning about it, watching specials on the History channel, reading, studying in school...I just love Pompeii. So this was like a dream coming true. Needless to say, I was pumped. (Literally bouncing with excitement. I got some looks...but it's all good!)

Once we got there, we were split into two groups, each with our own tour guide. I was in the first group :D First we got to see the arena. Then we went into the actual city.

When reading about it and such, I never realized how big it is. Pompeii is not just 3 streets. No, the entire city is still there. It's very cool in a creepy-ghost-town kind of way.

She (tour guide) told about how the crosswalks were raised, because the streets were so filled with human waste and water and general nastiness.
There were shops, and they know exactly what was sold in each.

Some houses still have the paintings on the walls, even.

We didn't get to go into the infamous brothel, because the lines were too long, but I could see a little from out side it...

We only spent like 4 hours there, but Pompeii was one of the highlights of the trip for me(: