Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Month Complete

I can’t believe it’s been a full month since I have been here yet at the same time it feels so long but so short! I was thinking today how I haven’t grasped the whole Croatian culture yet and how if I did a short term exchange I wouldn’t have gotten as much out of it as I wanted to. And I think I am out of the funk that I have been in for awhile now and I am adjusting better.

School is soo boring. I don’t do anything so I have a lot of time to think about everything basically. So I have been writing notes to random people that I think of like my friend who is living in France right now and I even write notes to myself. It’s entertaining for about five minutes.

Two weekends ago I went to Pliticika Lakes with Rotary and is was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. And it was a lot of fun too! All of us rotary kids were saying how it was like a fairytale or something and we were just waiting for the mermaids to pop up and sing to us.

I have recently lost a lot of weight being here from walking and eating a lot healthier so I really need some better looking clothes. Plus I am totally American here and I desperately want to look Euro.

I don’t know what else to say about this month…that it was crazy? naww..that is was interesting? YES. Best word to describe it.

Monday, September 7, 2009


So today was the first day of school and it was amazing! I met so many nice people and all my classmates are awesome! They all are friends it seems and they are very accepting! I am so so happy because I really thought that I wouldn’t be talking to anyone on the first day much. School it self was boring…all the teachers speaking in Croatian…so I couldn’t understand much. And they had a lot of breaks between classes! And everyone smokes or at least 80% do and it’s kinda weird to get used to.

But after school was great to because we all hung out at a bar where I guess everybody from our school does also. So we had our own little group and some people mingled with others…it was different from what I am used to but I am so happy that they asked me to come! But now I have a name to live up to because they had a girl from FL as an exchange student and they loved her! And hopefully they will love me! So the school year has started off great and I can’t wait to see what the rest of school year is like.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I know it’s not the end of the month or anything or have much to say about Rujan (or september) but I wanted to blog about my experiences so far in Zagreb. As you know things didn’t go so well the first week that I was here. They started off well with good flights and a great stay in Seline but up until I got sick it was awesome. So being quarantined for about five days really sucked because it made my homesickness even worse and the culture shock was a little weird for me. Usually when I go on trips they are with friends and family and this one was…well…different because I am alone in the sense of living with a another family. But I know that there are about ten of us who are going through the same thing so I am very happy to know that we are all in the same boat.

After going out with Nora (Quebec), Victor (Brazil), and Paulo (Brazil as well), I have realized how lucky I am to be in the city that I am in and the place. I didn’t realize up until now that I am a very fornutate person to be living in a city such as Zagreb.

Today when I went out with the exchangers we just wandered around aimlessly and went to Old Town…and it was AMAZING! I love love love Zagreb and still can’t believe I am here…I mean it’s now actually hitting me that “yeah I am living in this place…and I actually like it”. I mean my experience could be so much harder than it is right now and I am truly blessed to be here. And school is about to start on Monday…and I am actually excited…for once! ahha. All my friends back at home commented on my pictures saying that they want to trade places with me because they hate school and such! And this makes me really happy because it just makes me feel like I should be here even more. Nora and I are going to the same school but she will be in a grade higher than me…I hope to see her around… and probably will since there are only 500 kids in high school! ah.

I am taking Italian and Spanish which I am psyched about because I know Spanish and Italian is really close to Spanish (or it’s one of the romantic languages) So by the end of the school year I will hopefully be fluent in Croatian (if I work really really hard at it) and know how to say a few phrases in Italian. I am telling you that the school system here has a much higher standard than America does…I mean we only have to learn one language…and it’s not even knowing the language anyway. I bet you anything that only one third of the people at school can speak a different language pretty well with being taught in the classroom. I mean I know a lot of people that love to learn Spanish and French but that is so rare in my school back in home. Here, everybody knows English and on top of that they are learning, Italian, French, German, and Spanish. It’s amazing. I mean I could be totally wrong about the students speaking other languages but if they all speak English I am just guessing they are pretty good at other languages.

SO exciting news…I rode the tram today all by myself…it was so so fulfilling! I felt so independent and one with the culture! ahhaah. And this old guy started to talk to me in Croatian and I felt like I fit in! HAha. I mean everybody looks pretty much the same here so it’s not like I stick out as American but it’s awesome to feel like your in with what’s going on in this city.

Anyway, this is a better start to a wonderful year! And I can’t wait to blog more about it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Maybe now that I have a clear head and I am in a better state of mind I can actually blog about what has been happening in my life in Zagreb. It’s going to sound boring right now because there is not much to say.

So I arrived on the 26th and my host parents were there to greet me with lots of gifts. I was so so surprised and happy that my host family is very nice and caring. So they took me to their home and I unloaded everything in my suitcases and made things feel a little like home. Then Ivan Sr. and Jr. took me to their friends houses to visit and naturally they all were speaking Croatian. So I had no idea what they were talking about. It was a good feeling not having to pay attention to what they were saying, so I could just relax. But I saw some interesting homes and enjoyed spending time with Ivan Sr. and Jr.

The next day my host parents took me to the seaside and it was beautiful! I was excited to see Seline and go to the shore. Their house was really different from what I am used to but I was ok with it. There was one small kitchen, one bathroom and two bedrooms with no living room area. But I figured out that they spent a lot of time out on the patio instead of being inside. I met my host sister’s friend Eva, who has a house in Seline and she was a lot of fun to hang out with. It was good to talk to somebody my own age and get the down low of what’s going on in Seline.

The second day of being in Seline, we went to Zadar with my host parent’s cousins. They were very nice and Matija showed me around Zadar. I liked Zadar very much and there were so many people out and about. On friday night, we all went to Starigrad, another seaside village like Seline (actually right next to each other), and explored some more.

I got very homesick during my stay in Seline and it was quite overwhelming! On sunday I ate some bad pizza and I threw up and started to have a fever. That was probably the worst of my lows! Homesickness+Culture Shock+Physical sickness do not mix very well! Before I got sick my host parents took me on a hike with their family and we went into the mountains that over look Seline. It was very beautiful.

Then after we got back from the hiking we went to Nin, the smallest town in the world I believe. They had a lot of small things there. Like the smallest cathedral in the world and the first roman temple or something like that. So I saw a lot of history. I also went to Pag on saturday night and I loved it! There were some buddist Croatians in Pag for some reason and I thought it was very funny. Jelena and I went to the salt museum and learned how salt is harvested and such. I am so glad Croatia has a lot of english speakers and english writing everywhere!!!

Monday we returned to Zagreb because Jelena was concerned with my fever and she wanted me to rest. It’s been since sunday that I have had a fever and today I went to the hospital to check on what going on with my body. They drew blood from me which was quite an experience because I have never had blood drawn from my arm. I cried like no other! Then the doctor examined me and said that I have a viral fever and it should go away by friday. If it doesn’t go away I have to go back to the hospital on friday….great. The doctor was a little concerned about my heart and hopefully it is nothing major but if I do have something wrong with my heart I want to go back to America so I can do the procedure there. Augh, I love being sick! I am getting used to being here in Zagreb and now I don’t want to go home for homesickness but if it comes down to heart problems it would be better to go home :( and that makes me even sadder! I am just getting out of my funk with culture shock so I want to keep going! I know that God has a plan in mind for me so if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.

keep me in your thoughts and prayers!