this "lovely links" is a bit different because I'm going to post my favorite pre-exchange links from this blog. in case you're just beginning to read my blog and you don't want to read through everything, I'll also explain some of it throughout this post.
also, Sound of Music isn't from Switzerland, it's from Austria. But I couldn't resist using some of the lyrics anyway.
let's start at the very beginning:
I first applied for the Rotary Long Term exchange program in the fall of 2012, and I was accepted as an alternate (a replacement, if you will, for the primary candidate). I went to the first Rotary week in January, and they still didn't know whether I would be able to go. about a week before the Rotary Youth Exchange weekend in February, I received an email saying that they found a slot for me and that I was accepted into the program. I screamed my head off.
That week was crazy. We talked to people and learned about countries and went through culture training and finally received our country selections on Saturday. I started my blog back in May, after the district conference. This post describes the process a little more clearly, and the following one is what happened between the February weekend and the May conference. :)
a very good place to start:
My feelings were basically all over the place. the exchange seemed surreal and the preparation was rather overwhelming. in addition, I knew I'd miss everything at home --- exchange wasn't an escape for me. but I knew that this was something I really, really wanted. and so the months went by.
when you read you begin with:
German is a difficult language. if you have an extra half hour, you should look up "the awful German language" by Mark Twain... the language isn't actually that bad, but the essay is funny.
Also during the summer, I answered a lot of questions. a lot.
when you exchange you begin with:
as the day came closer, it began to sink in that I actually was going. I had the whole summer to think through why I wanted to do this seemingly crazy and potentially overwhelming thing, which helped. I also realized that I'd be saying goodbye to a lot of things (that seems really obvious, now that I think about it.)
favorite post so far, though, goes to stamps. it's a short description/story I wrote on the fly, and I'm surprised that I ended up liking it so much. hopefully you will too?