The thing about leaving...

Part of our living room
 The thing about leaving is that it's never easy. It seems that even at when your in a terrible situation sometimes leaving can be the hardest thing to do. So imagine yourself completely comfortable and in love with where you are at this moment then imagine leaving. It doesn't feel good. Some people have never experienced this. I have so far experienced this twice since the beginning of my exchange. The first time was leaving home and the second time was going to my new host family.  So as you should know (if you don't scroll down and read the other blog, it's interesting) I had a wonderful
Our little kitchen
Christmas. I spent it with people I truly care about and I enjoyed partaking in new traditions. After partaking in such an intimate and important custom I naturally felt even more close with my first host family. I didn't want to leave. Mentally I knew I would be okay and things could be great! But I also knew that I didn't want a change. At least when I was leaving the US I wanted a change; this time was a bit different. I had a place where I could walk around looking awful and no one cared; where I could always go upstairs to chat with my host sister; where doing the chores was normal, where my host parents cared about me and I had my daily routine. Basically, I was content.
The other part of our living room


A few months before coming to the Czech Republic I knew I was going but somehow it didn't seem real; it didn't really seem real until I landed in Prague. Well this was exactly the same feeling I had before moving. A month before it wasn't real, a day before it wasn't real and even the day of wasn't completely real. It wasn't real until I got picked up early from dance class to go get my stuff together and when I heard the door bell ring and saw them standing there waiting to "take me away." That's how I thought of it at the time - "taking me away." I knew they were kind for offering to host me and they were obviously great people. I had previously spent time with them and my host mom is my piano teacher. However, I couldn't help but dread leaving. Luckily it wasn't like a get your things and go situation. We also sat down together and chatted and then it was time to leave. I had cried many nights before but this day I couldn't. This day I knew I had to be strong. It was an "you have to do this, you need to do this, there is no way out so why cry about it" sort of thing. Also, I really didn't want to upset my new host family. No matter how much it doesn't seem like it with these feelings I was grateful for them.

So upon arrival everything was strange and I just wanted to be alone. However, many people were there. My host sister, my host nephew and my host brother in law. At the time I was just like "ok, I don't want to talk," but now I am grateful they were there to welcome me and not let me just go to my room. They forced me to begin the stages of being apart of the family. It was like I just pushed right in.
The upstairs room where I usually sleep
It didn't feel like home and it didn't feel like it would be home. I was lonely and I just wanted to talk to Domca (my first host sister) but I had no one I could really talk too. However, with time (like always) things got better. The next my my host sister took me on a walk to tour my new village and my host cousin (who lives in the flat downstairs) also took me on a walk and immediately I felt relieved and like things would improve.

Since living here for a month I absolutely love it! I have become apart of a truly beautiful and wonderful family. I am comfortable. I can walk around looking terrible I can eat comfortably and not feel self-conscience and I talk with them often and tell them basically everything.
The other part of the upstairs room - the awesome bed
So now about my house. I live in a huge four story house that contains three different flats. My host grandma lives on the first floor. I would tell you her name but I have forgotten since I just call her grandma along with everyone else. My host grandma is really amazing. She is seventy-something years old and every morning she wakes up and exercises, she is currently going to college and guess what? This is her third degree she is working on! I think of her as the foundation of this household. She makes sure everything runs in order and that everyone is ship shape. She gives us tea when we come home from work or school and if one of the parents isn't home she is the one who will make the meal. Also she is the only one in the family who smokes which is kinda funny. You would understand if you met her. Her father is the one who built this house. He built in the 1900's and it was the biggest house in Mikulovice (my village). He was the town dentist and doctor. Also he was an artists. Many years ago in Czech Republic people learned Russian rather than English. He wrote and illustrated a children's book that taught them the Russian alphabet. It is very beautiful and shows how talented he was. Since the time it was built renovations and additions have been made of course.

The downstairs room where I sometimes sleep
On the second floor lives my host cousin, my host uncle and my host aunt. My host uncle is the brother of my host mom. I am very grateful for them. They are incredibly kind to me. Going to their house is also like going home. Also, Sarka (pronounced Shark-a), my host cousin is one of my new best friends. We are together almost everyday. She has basically taken me and made me apart of her life without hesitation and I gladly walked in.
Sarka and I
And on the third floor lives my family. Our flat has an upstairs and a downstairs. I usually sleep upstairs unless my host sister (Klara) and her family come to visit. In which case I sleep downstairs in Maja's room (Maja is also there daughter who is currently on exchange in Pennsylvania). This house is so nice with a lot of room a great layout. However, what I like even more than the house are the people who live in it. My host mom, Lada, is an angel and so funny. She goes so far out of her way to make sure I am comfortable. So at first it made me feel more like a guest than a family member but then I realized she does this for everyone, not just me. She is my piano teacher and she has comforted me numerous times when I sad and she has even seen me cry. Honza, is my host dad, he is very quiet and at first seems reserved but don't let that full you. He has a very boisterous laugh and can talk quite a bit when he wants to. He is very funny and I know that because he makes everyone laugh and I laugh too even if I don't really understand the joke. His laugh can make me laugh. We have a dog named Barone. He is also great and very obedient. With all families included we have four dogs at our house. Right next to my house is an elementary school and the bus station. The bus station or with Lada is how I get to and from school.
I love living here because I feel comfortable here and at home here but also I feel like we are a really good fit. My friend Juli (another exchange student) and I were visiting together and my host mom mentioned that the choice of her exchange student was between Juli and I. Naturally, Juli seemed a little offended at the beginning but later we talked about it and realized that it was for the best. Juli really loves her host family and I really love mine. It was kind of like it was meant to be. I am with people who are interested and appreciate the same things I do: art and music. This makes me all the more happier. So basically I am so grateful and happy to be where I am now. I know I haven't written in awhile but all is well here in my world

Living room
Host cousin and I

Lada, Juli and I

Honza and Baru (his grandaughter)
Sarka and I









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