Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nearing the End

   I end school in three weeks. June 15 and I am out of there for the rest of my life. Only thirteen and a half school days. It's ridiculous to think about it sometimes. At times, I'm really excited and I think, "Oh, my school was never that great." But when closing night for Tournament came and we had our Thespian ceremony and teachers come up to me and congratulate my acceptance to this program because my principal sent out a mass e-mail and I walk from class to class with friends, friends who I have known and loved for the past five years or so (I moved from Canada, remember), it's strange to think I will likely never see them again. I'm almost certain of that. See, the travel bug hit me when I first read about people going to school far away from home. I hadn't even had my own adventures! But then when I did start going places on my own, it was infectious and "there's no place like home" turned to "there's no place like another country where I'll make another home." My plans for my future after Bosnia are still uncertain, but all I know is that this exchange is going to be life-changing. And I am thoroughly excited for that. Sometimes when walking through the halls I remember that after June 15th, I never will go there again. Perhaps for another high school play or such, but still. It's unlikely.
    But perhaps now is the best time to say to all my teachers and all my friends and definitely all my family how insanely grateful I am for their support and encouragement. While we may be planning good byes and dreading the day to do so, we plan our parties before that and stuff we're going to do when I return. And that also excites me.

    But enough of all this tear jerking stuff. I need to start talking about the things future exchange students will want to know. Things other people will want to hear. What will I say to them? As of right now, I'm not sure. All I can say is that, be prepared for your life to change. My life has already changed from a short-term exchange to France and now it will be even more life altering. Even just by reading news articles about Bosnia and watching videos and learning the language (maybe I shouldn't be saying "learning the language" when I've only learned three sentences) I feel my mind expanding. And I get it, whenever I tell people, "Dude I'm in Bosnia next year." they usually come out with, "Oh cool! Wait, is that in Africa?" And I'm not being judgemental because, honestly, I hadn't the slightest clue where Bosnia was eight months ago. But just so you know, it's in Eastern Europe. See? Mind expansion! :P

    Anyway, time for some much needed language practice.

    Until after SAT's and our next conference call (June 3, whoop whoop!),


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


   On a first note before I get to the main news, I got my final book! Which would have been a lot more helpful if I received it first. It thankfully includes how to pronounce the alphabet which has a few new letters like a 'c' with a 'v' on top of it. It makes a 'ch' sound. Extremely proud of myself for knowing that :)

   As for the real news which are my realizations. Good byes, for example. This last weekend my family and my church said good bye to our youth pastor and someone I've known as a brother for the past five years as well as saying good bye to a life-long friend who is moving back up to Canada. Yes, I know I will see them again, but saying good bye to two practically brothers right then sent me into a flurry of tears. And then the realization hit me that I would be saying good bye to everyone in three months. I will see them all again, but I would be lying if I didn't say leaving for a year somewhat frightens me. I am still excited beyond words and ready for this incredible opportunity. Everyday I count down to the Pre-Departure Orientation (six weeks from today, if you were wondering) and then I count down again to my next conference call with SHAKE (Savannah, Helena, Anna, myself, and Emma), and then I get so anxious to leave I can't handle it. But the allotted time I have for my goodbyes and learning Bosnian (it's coming... Zdravo, kako si ti? Zovem se Katie. BAM) and studying. No, this is just enough time for everything.

  Another realization is what I'm might be missing next year. And trust me when I say that I had to think about this a lot. Plays for example, next year. The theater program here is going to Scotland the summer I return. Because I won't be here to audition for the programs they will be performing, I will not be a part of that. My choir is going to Disneyland next year. I will also not be a part of that. Of course there are other things I will be missing, but I am not worried about those things. There's also the possibility that I might miss graduation. It's strange to think I am actually graduating. It doesn't feel like school is almost over for me. Then again it's not over. I still have college. Woo hoo! Really, I am thoroughly excited for college.

  The last realization is this: I am going to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Everyday it gets more real and I'm not left thinking, "No, this isn't happening. I am not going there." But then I get an e-mail from our coordinator saying that she has the papers for us to fill out about school and I momentarily feel my heart stop because I know that this is really happening. And I am so grateful to everyone who has got me to this point.

  I also realize this post is about more on a serious note. But this blog is all about my exchange. Realizing certain things is definitely part of the exchange experience. I'll have happier-crazier-slightly mental posts when I receive more news.

  Anyway, I will write when I have more information on Bosnia which will hopefully be soon. I leave you with a picture of Bosnia:

  Until after our next conference call... maybe,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Zdravo! I have my books!

I finally received my books! Well, one of them plus my CD. My dictionary and workbook will be arriving shortly, however, and I am extremely excited. Last night when my mom handed them to me (I was gone all day at State Championships for Choir) I immediately opened the book and looked at the first page to find tons of words I didn't know! Big surprise! 
My book includes all three languages that I will need to know which will be a painful process to learn all three as well as I can, but my goal is to be able to introduce myself and talk about the weather and such before I leave. Crossing fingers for basic skills by August! I then tried out my CD which instead of doing very slow "Hello. *long pause* Zdravo *long pause* Zdravo *long pause*" it went like this, "Zdravo. Zdravo! Ko si ti? Ja sam student i zovem se..." in a very fast, fluent motion sounding all like gibberish to my Bosnian-ignorant ears. With a little luck though I will get used to the CD fast and be prepared for the crazy amount of Bosnian I will be hearing in three months. THREE MONTHS. Sorry, it just dawned on me that I am leaving so soon.

Anyway, I need to begin my lessons and hopefully get my head around the language.

Until the rest of the books arrive,

- Katie