Monday, July 30, 2012


    The past couple days have been ridiculously busy for the past couple days. We had guests from Canada staying at our house, which resulted in beach trips, mall trips, and staying up until 3 am and then having to get up at 8. Oh the joys of busy summers! Yesterday was the busiest day of all though.
Alex in blue, me in purple, Betty in green
    I was up early to help out with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast at the Old Fashioned Festival in Newberg. I had no idea so many people loved blueberry pancakes! At the Pancake Breakfast, I saw a few people I knew, however, many of my friends probably didn't want to get up early for pancakes. But then I had to leave early for our very last conference call with Skye, Luljeta, and Sarah about packing lists, our tickets, what's going to happen the first few weeks in Bosnia, and then she brought up... HOST FAMILIES. Anna was the fortunate one, who got her host family last week. Ever since then Savannah, Helena, Emma and myself have been twiddling our thumbs waiting for our families. I then logged on to Facebook and noticed a friend request from a woman named Medina living in Sarajevo. I asked Luljeta if she was in my family. She was =D. Skye then told us that she would be creating a profile for each of our families that day and hopefully send them to us today (Sunday). More waiting! But I accepted Medina's friend request and instantly went searching for my soon to be home. Sadly, there were only a few pictures to work with at that time. But it gave me an idea of who she was and just by a few pictures, I could tell this will be great.
    After the final conference call, I returned to the Old Fashioned Festival to be in the parade. I jumped in a little late because of the conference call, but soon found the Rotary float and held the banner with my fellow exchange students - Betty, Alex, and Paolita - who are going to France and Thailand, and Paolita is heading home to Ecuador. The parade was where I saw many of my friends, and even people from my work. The sun was a hot though and it made me regret wearing jeans. At one point, I scratched my arm on a wooden car that you were able to wear. It didn't feel like much, just a small scrape. WELL. The parade is finished and I'm calling my mom to come pick me up. When I lifted the phone, Betty gapes at my arm and exclaims, "KATIE. WHAT DID YOU DO!?" I look at my arm and this is what I see:
Now you are probably thinking, "That is big enough for stitches. It looks like she's crying! How on earth did it make that big of a gash?" Well, to calm any worries you have, the blood is just what dripped. My cut is no wider than a pinkie nail, it just looks gory in this picture with all the dried blood. It didn't and doesn't hurt, and it really is not as bad as it looks. But the effect of this picture was priceless on Facebook.

    When the parade was over, I headed home to go to work which turned out to be a long, hot slot, because people came late who we had to serve and it was just a mess.
    As soon as my work uniform was off, I headed to go paint for our churches VBS (Vacation Bible School) and cut out things with my sister, Anna, and my friends Ashley, Grace and Sophie. By this point, I was dead exhausted and in need of a nap. But that wasn't going to happen because when we were done, we headed to my place to get cleaned up and nice for the fair. Funny thing about going to the fair, we didn't go on one ride. We managed to look around the entire fair grounds looking for two other girls who were supposed to meet up with us while running into many school friends who though I had already left. I'm guessing they never look at my Facebook when it says that I don't leave for two more weeks.
     Then dark came and the fireworks started! Now, despite everyone loving Fourth of July fireworks, so far all the ones I've been to haven't been the best. Old Fashioned Days fireworks are amazing! They set them off rapid fire and make a shower of shimmer, light, and loud booms fill the night sky. I could watch fireworks all night if it was possible. Once they were over, we packed up and headed home. Finally, after a long day and night. It was time for a much needed sleep.

l-r Medina, Mugdim, Irfan, Esad, Nizama
    Then today, at around noon, I opened my e-mail to find an unread message labled: Placement Info. I opened it eagerly to find my host family information. I have a father named Esad, a mother named Nizama, two older brothers (Mugdim and Irfan), and Mugdim is married to Medina. They all live in one house, which I'm guessing is large because they all live together and now, they are welcoming me into my home. I am just excited and I feel so blessed that this is happening. Two more weeks (well. and two days) until I meet these people. GAH, words can't describe my excitement.

    Anyway, I am now burdened with last minute shopping, packing, apostilles and notaries, criminal records, goodbyes, and gutting my room because my mom is turning it into a bedroom for a college student.

    Until my host family e-mails me back,


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