Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break 2011: Eesti

It´s Spring Break from school. This is a bit shorter than the Fall break and Winter Break.. Wow. It is so weird to think I´ve been away from home for so long, over 7months. What is actually odd is that Estonia is home for me. It´s in my comfort zone. The total opposite of the beginning of my year here.
I haven´t really had continuous access to a computer, hence the lack of updates. But to keep everyone up to speed, in January I changed families, in February I celebrated my birthday, met the Estonian students who will leave to go on exchange this Summer, and March is still bringing me new experiences.

Yes, in mid January, the Rotary students were taken to Otep√§√§ for a ski camp. Unfortunately, though, we didn´t have a chance to ski, though we did get to go tubing. :)
The next day after I returned from the weekend with Rotary, my club president came to my home and took me to the next. The first night with them we went to a birthday party, believe me I was completely exhausted afterwards.. not sleeping much during the weekend, being with a new setting, then going to a party until later in the night with school the next morning. Rough. :) hahaha
It´s a different setting with my new family. My last one lived in the countryside, this one lives not in the center of town, more on the edge, but the city bus reaches me.
Now I didn´t get another family because of any troubles, it´s that it is customary with Rotary to have multiple families throughout your year. I will have just 2.

In February my family and I went to the Himos Mountains in Finland for a few days of skiing. It was my first time mountain skiing, I mean I´m from the midwest, we just have fake hills to ski down. It was pretty cool to see Finland and to go skiing again
All the exchange students got together before Independence Day (February 9) yes, all 6 plus the 7 or 8 Estonians preparing to leave for their exchanges this Summer. We spent a day touring parliament and other government buildings. We almost got to meet the president, but sadly he was in a meeting. We did, get to meet the Prime Minister. The first question he asked us when we stepped into his office was ``Where are the Americans?´´ He then showed Halie and I the hand written note from George W. Bush that was written during his visit to Estonia in 2004. It was IMPOSSIBLE to read! :D There was a typed version to read, but I thought it was sweet that there was a handwritten one.
For my 18th birthday here I had two exchange friends over to help make a big meal for my family. It was a fun weekend with a lot of laughs :)
Also in February was the Heliosphere Fest. which is a music festival for more of psychodelic-experimental sounds.. I went with an exchange friend and some friends from Haapsalu. The other American student didn´t quite enjoy the night when we went there, so it was a slight bust, but we did have a fun weekend nonetheless.

Now it´s March. My 7th month mark. Crazy. Like I´ve been commenting before. I can´t believe that I´ve been away for so long, yet I can´t believe I´ll be leaving my [new] home in just a couple!
It´s a definite I will come back to Estonia in 2013, either for just a Summer or for another year abroad. Well, I shouldn´t say definite, but it´s a definite plan.. Even though this year has been a hard one, it´s been very eye-opening, memorable, loving, quiet, fun.. Estonia has become my second home.