Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Rendezvous

This weekend I had my first orientation in Hackensack, Minnesota at Deep Portages 30th Annual Winter Rendezvous. We got there Friday night and even though I was a half an hour late, I was the second one there. It was a bit weird at first because all the inbounds had already met and were hugging and catching up on lost time. I had only met two of my fellow outbounds so far, but everyone met really fast. Right away there was some general downtime and fun. After a few hours of that we had our first outbound orientation meeting. We talked about our country placement and our reaction to that. Some kids got placed in their #7 choices! We have 9 outbounds going to Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Brazil, Philippines, Australia, Germany, and guess what! Two of us are going to Finland! That was so exciting to me as I will know someone there before I even arrive. She lives in Thunder Bay Ontario which has the biggest population of Finns outside of Finland. She even had some salmiakki to try. Salmiakki is a Finnish candy that is basically salty black licorice. It is surprisingly good though and I believe it will grow on me.
The next day was the actual rendezvous which was basically a family winter Olympics style thing. They split us into groups with one Rotarian per four kids. The one girl in my group got second runner up Women's. It was super fun. After that we went rock climbing on their indoor rock wall. I'm a little bit more chicken than I'd like to admit so I only went up once. One kid in my group went up several times, sometimes blindfolded and backwards! After that there was more hanging out and supper. Lastly we had our second and final orientation meeting of the evening. We took some pretty goofy intelligence tests, and learned a lot about culture shock from our rotex students. Apparently giving a potted plant in Finland is not an acceptable gift. Wonder why? After this there was more snacking and joking, and my friend from France taught us all how to make origami horses!
As you can see my friend from Chile was not very entertained!

Mine turned out pretty well. I am a master of paper folding.
Today we woke up, had breakfast and said a lot of goodbyes. We won't see each other again until the end of April, when we go to the rotary district conference in Grand Forks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This Weekend...

This weekend I am going to Hackensack, MN to the Deep Portage Learning Center for a "Mandatory" Orientation weekend. I'm not so sure how much learning and orientating it will be as much as super fun getting to know all of my fellow outbounds and our district's current inbounds. I'll hopefully post some pictures when I get home on Sunday. I say hopefully as I am rather awful at remembering that I should take pictures.
In other news 31 days until the 52nd Annual Academy Awards! I'm on a mission to see as many of the nominated movies as possible within these thirty one days. Though I sincerely doubt that will happen, my hope is to see all best picture nominees. So far I have seen three. Toy Story 3 on my seventeenth birthday. Yeah that's right, old enough to see R movies and would rather go to a G one. This one just got nominated because Pixar is classic. How many movies have a third movie that is actually as good as if not better than the first? I have also seen Black Swan. Though this was a very good movie showing Natalie Portman at her finest, I don't believe this will win either, seeing as it is so graphic I actually had to close my eyes at some points. I do believe that Natalie Portman might win best actress. Thirdly I have seen the Social Network as of last Sunday. I really liked this movie, but as my friend points out the GG winner hasn't won the Oscar in 8 years. I say this is the year to break that streak but I have yet to see The King's Speech, and The Fighter, other very strong contenders.
List of Movies left to see:
  1. The Fighter
  2. Inception
  3. The Kids Are All Right
  4. The King's Speech
  5. 127 Hours
  6. True Grit
  7. Winter's Bone

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

So on Monday when I got home from working at Do It Best Hardware (oh so many jokes are made about working at a do it best) I got a message to call the man who just a week ago called me to tell me that I was going to Finland. Instantly my mind went to, oh my god they are going to send me somewhere else. Oh no! Alas, my suspicions where half way correct. The reason he called was to ask if I was interested in changing to my number 1 country choice Denmark! It was such a conflicting feeling those two hours I had to decide. In the end though, I was too happy with receiving Finland to change. I knew if I did there would be a never ending feeling of "What if?"
In less related to exchange news, my senior directed play I am doing is going swell. So far drama is to a minimum and I haven't gone crazy on anyone yet! Trust me It will probably happen eventually seeing as how much I have to do every night besides sleep. Tonight we are working choreography...... We'll see how that goes. Also I have my first, several times postponed, International Club Night. Hopefully a few people show up...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Up until now.....

So this is the post where I get all my readers up to speed about this blog and everything that has happened to me in the last six months. It all started this summer when I went to Camp Ryla in Crookston, Minnesota. At camp they had some current rotary exchange students and some past exchangers speak to the whole camp about their experiences. I have always wanted to be a foreign exchange student, but I had never considered taking a year off in between high school and college. So I got home from camp and I looked up everything there was to know about Rotary Youth Exchange. The main place I got most of my information was It was a very helpful forum full of exchangers. So I said to myself, if this isn't just some whim you are going through and in a month you still want to do this, talk to your rotary club. So a month came and went, and I still really wanted to do it. That is how my whole process got started.
The next thing I had to go through was the intense application process. The application is about 20 pages long and you need six copies of almost everything. You have to set up several doctors appointments and everything has to be copied and signed in blue ink. It is intense! So once everything was signed I had my club interview. Funny thing about it was, the day that I had my interview I had to get my picture taken for the local paper in my play costume. Imagine the surprise of the local Rotarians when I show up to my interview in my full Titania costume. After my local club accepted my they sent me to District Interviews. The interviews took place in Duluth, Minnesota about four hours from where I live. Ironically enough, they took place on the same day as my play performance which had affected my first interview. Well this interview was a little more stressful than the first, but it actually turned out to be tons of fun! So two weeks later I got my email that I was officially accepted as an Outbounder 2011-2012. Then the waiting game began. I waited for about two months to hear where I would be going, until last Tuesday when I got the call. To once again get in my way, I missed the first call because I was holding tryouts for the spring play I am directing! In the end though I got back to the guy who called and he told me I was going to Finland. I screamed for about ten minutes I was so excited. It was my first choice, but I couldn't care less I am so excited to be going.
So, that should bring everyone up to speed on how my process is going. I will have more updates soon as I will be talking about my first winter orientation!