Okay so before before we get this show on the roll let me just say is writing is not my forte, at least not like this, so just bear with me.And yes my gramer and spelling is horrible, fell free to start a counter and correct, though please only make it constructive critiscm.
To start this off let me just say when your in an exchange program or atleast this exchange program they don't just ship you off to your country and say "Hope you have a great time". They prepare, alot, and help alot to. So first of all thank you to any Rotarian, Rortex or any one who helps Rotary Youth Exchange in general. Without your time and effort I wouldn't have this amazingoppurtunity.
Excluding all the time I spent with inbounders (People on thier exchanges from another country)my first outbound session was Outbound camp in Edmond Oklahoma. Living in Midland it was an eight hour drive to the University of Central Oklahoma campus, thankfully it was early so their was sleeping and finishing of camp homework.
The week itself is to much to write really, I would have you guys on here for hours tryin to tell you everything in detail. So let me just gloss over some of the greater parts. We had hour long lectures, Rotex (ex-exchagne students) Time, group activities, and games. Thier were speeches, hot walks, Short Italian lessons by Serena, discoveries of huge characters flaws and a costume dance. But most of all thier were tears, smiles, and laughs and by the end of the weeks I had a new family of 60 plus people who knew exactly how I felt, and who I will always cherish. If i didn't know thier name by the end of the week, I shared some crazzy memory.
Those five days felt like five years for the simple fact it was the first time I could say to someone "You know sometimes out of nowhere I get nervouse, then excited, then scared because of all the 'what ifs', then back to excited again with a little bit of anxiouse." (We now refer to this as the "Jack in the Box moments") Instead of them giving you a worried look and asking, "Are you sure you want to do this?". They reply. "I know! Me too! Glad to know i'm not the only one." or "But even though I fell like that i know i'm going. Nothings going to stop me." So it was nice to know I always have that support group taking this journey with me even if we are spread across the world.
Following outbound camp I came home ,did laundry ,crashed, woke up the next morning, and started re-packing. In order to get my student visa for Italy, I had to make a personal apperance with a guardian in Houston. Now let me say one thing, I grew up in a small town forty-five minutes west of Dallas-Fort Worth so trips to the metroplex weren't uncommon and with those trips came the familiraity of traffic. But Houston!, my goodness! I was gripping my seat and closing my eyes the whole time. It was like bumper cars on the highway! So after we got to the hotel I think my mom secretly kissed the ground, I would have to but I was prying my fingernails from the passenger seat and dashboard. May God Bless you if you live in Houston Texas and have to drive that, and if you ever loose your day job, join Nascar...
The next morning we drive all over town to get an package to mail my visa back to me, and then have to navigate traffic again to find the Consulate. We get in and I have a "Jack in the Box Moment". My heart thumps and my hand shake, I was sure I was sure I was going to be six, and I kept thinking "What am i doing?". Of course natural response is that moment is to post it on FaceBook. And my Outbound family come through for me, okay so most laughed, and some soothed, my YEO(youth exchange officer) told me to breath. So I did, and after getting called into a very impersonal cubicle with a glass window between a man with an off sense of humor(but still funny) sorts all my paper work, which had to have been three trees worth, I have my paperwork okay'ed and told I'll have it within ten days to 3 weeks.
Finally after two weeks from home I return to Midland look at the "Days to go" app on my Iphone and it says 62 days. After telling my dad this all countdowns to my leave day became private. Yes I may be daddy's little girl, so give the man a break,he has the right to fret, cry, and become slightly clingy.
These events are the major starts of my exchange. My next big tackle is writing e-mails, in Italian, to my host family, and making about a thousand safety pin american flags things. Wish me luck...