Friday, March 25, 2011

Hello Again! (Zane Elston)

Hello Again!

The past month has been absolutely wonderful. I was able to spend three weeks in Bangkok with my host family, and had a great time. We spent time visiting the Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples, and they were simply gorgeous. My family took me on a luxurious dinner cruise on Chao Phraya River. We did a tour of the Vimanmek Mansion that was built for King Rama V in 1868. It is The largest building in the world made of Gold Teak. We also visited the Jim Thompson house; Jim Thompson was an ex-CIA spy who popularized Thai Silk. Bangkok is an amazing city soaked in rich culture and history.

Throughout my time in Thailand, i have learned a great deal about myself, and my perspective on just about everything has changed. It has broadened my views on everything from spicy food to world politics. It has been a humbling experience that has made me open myself up to other ways of life and I am extremely grateful to the Steamboat Springs Rotary Clubs, Cowboy Country Rotary District, and Rotary International.

Zane Elston

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cornelia Pade - Visit from home

Hello to all of you!

About a month ago i flew to Chicago, to meet up with my parents and sisters. They had flown all the way from Denmark, to come visit me for two weeks.  It was wonderful to see them again, after having spend 7 months apart.  We spent 4 days together in Chicago, which was very interesting to all of us (we don't have skyscrapers in Denmark, and really almost none in all of Europe).

We spent a day at the Chicago Art Institute, the impressionistic collection alone occupied a hole day. It was time extremely well spent, and I got to see some of my favorite pieces of all times.  The three other days were spent exploring Chicago, with such tourist activities as the Hancock tower and an architectural bus-tour around the city. Plus of course shopping, and a great deal of time spend in the airport (which I personally came to know quite well, trying to get from one end of the airport to the international terminal, proved to be no easy task).  Seeing a city of such proportion, was kind of mind-blowing to us, and I don't think we really understood how big a city it was before we arrived.  Chicago has almost 3 million people living in the city alone, and 9.5 million with its suburbs...Denmark (yes, the hole country) has 5.4 million people all in all.

After 4 days in Chicago we flew to Denver. We spent a day there seeing the dinosaurs at the natural history museum.  The next day we drove up to Steamboat, in our huge "american style" rental car. We spent 9 wonderful days together in Steamboat, before it was time for my parents and my two younger sisters to head back North.  It was great to see them again, cause even though I am having a really good time here in Steamboat, I can not help but miss them now and then.  Everyone here was so nice to them, and they truly did enjoy their stay.

Thank you to everyone here who helped out with their stay, and a special thank you to Rex and Bettina Brice.

thats all for now. Cornelia.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Anna Poirot - Preparations...

So, although I am not yet on exchange, I am beginning my postings early, by telling you all my preparations. In case you didn't read my last blog, my name is Anna Poirot, I am currently 17 and go to Steamboat Springs High School. I will be spending my next year in Norway, although I don't know which part of the country yet. So far, my preparations include many books on the history of Norway, a current issues class at the high school in which I'm hoping to study Norwegian and United States history and relations together, and a million different "learn Norwegian" audio tapes that I've downloaded on my ipod and listen to daily. Unfortunately, I've only learned how to ask for a cup of coffee, so I guess that's all I'll be able to drink in Norway...just kidding. Anyway, I get more and more excited about my exchange every day, and it's always in my thoughts when I go to work to earn money (mainly saved for the exchange), and when everyone is asked about which college they are going to next year, I get to reply,
"Well actually, I'm going to be in Norway all of next year." It's awesome and I cannot wait for my exchange. In reading everyone's blog, I've really gotten excited about how my exchange will be. Before I even leave I definitely want to thank all of you Rotarians, if it weren't for you, my next year would be completely different, and I am so PSYCHED!!!!!

Thanks guys!

Anna Poirot

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alli Major - Nine days and counting..

I have great news from the land down under!

First of all, i just wanted to thank Rotary SO SOOO SOOOOO much! I couldn't ask for a better exchange, and yet it keeps getting better and better.

I'm not sure if you all know about it or not, but earlier this year, Queensland got hit with major flooding and a cyclone (which is what we call a hurricane, in America). The affect that had on Queensland was massive and heartbreaking. Due to there rainfall up north, though, it ended up heading down towards, Victoria, where I am. Now we had flooding in my town, Charlton, back in September which was minor to that of January.

The town was 2/3 underwater! Imagine walking through Lincoln Avenue hip high in water! That's what it was like here! It was the most affected town in Victoria due to floods. The community is so strong in Charlton though, everyone ended up putting on their gum boats and going to work. I, personally, was apart of the 1/3 that was not affected by the flood so it gave me a great opportunity to lend a hand where i could.

I thought i would share that to just give a little preview of how great my rotary club and district here is. Even through all this flooding and disaster, they are willing to sponsor me to go on the big Safari!!! This is a chance of a lifetime and i will see more of Australia than many of my friends, here, have even seen. I was under the impression that i was not going due to finances because it is quite costly, but through a series of events, they have told me that they are willing to sponsor me which is more than i can ask!

So basically, Rotary is the coolest thing ever and i am so so soooooo EXCITED!

This trip is 20 days long and i leave March 26th. I'll get back to Charlton on April 14. During these three weeks, i will travel all up though the outback seeing many sight. I'll see Uluru (one MASSIVE rock in the middle of nowhere), stay under ground in Coober Pedy, fly to Cairns, go along the Gold Coast and go to Sea World! This is just a few of the many things i'll do and see and i am so excited!
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Nine days and counting...

On other news, we have moved into Autumn now and it's starting to cool down (like to the 60s, late 60s, which isn't cold in your terms). But i am getting so acclimitised here, im so scared to go back to coooolddd winters!

Thanks all for reading! And a HUGE thanks to Rotary. You guys have definitely made my trip worth while! :)

Alli Major

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kelly Ernst - 6 Months down and… whoaoooaaa

Whoaooooooaaaaa. Is the only word I can POSSIBLY think of at this moment. Trying to decided what to write about for this blog, I have to look back at this whole year and pick something cool to write about, and there are just so many wonderful thoughts and experiences and good memories, the only thing I can extract from the chaos inside my head is Whoaow.

I guess I'll tell you about our Rotary weekend. This last weekend was the official Rotex Winter Weekend. It was located in Enlgeberg Switzerland and was putting on by the Rotex, which is not Rotary directly, but a group of students who have done a year of exchange in the past, and now plan fun events for us.

So, about ten of the exchange students in my area met up where we took the train to the base of the alps and were joined by 70 exchangies! There we PILED (literally) into a train and headed off to our own private chalet where we ice skated and just chilled the whole night. In the morning, it was a 7:30 wake up, and of to the ski slopes at 9. But wait. Theres a catch. On the ski slopes, we never actually used any skis. Pourquoi you ask? (pourquoi is why in french) Because we took the days to go Bob sledding!!!

We had this tiny sleighs and we would take the gondola up, a ride that took approximatly 8 minutes, then slide down a run the resembled Why-Not (The green run that you face right after you get off the gondola that crosses paths with Vagabond somtimes) and it took us 30-40 minutes to get down! The run went on forever and ever and ever! We even got competitve and started having these giant races, which… unfortunately to say, I lost…. every single one. Though it was becuase my Swedish partner Bjorn has a philosphy, that goes something like "Slow and steady wins the race"  but in reality, is should be like "Slow and steady makes you fall down often, and lose."

But I didn't complain :D

It was a great weekend!

But now its back to Fribourg (the city where I live) and seriouse life of school and vacation planning continues. Right now, I am working on finalizing the details for a trip to Hungry to visit a friend over the  Easter break, and then perhaps a quick trip to France for the blues break!

But I must get back to my history of Switzerland homework,


Au revoir!