Monday, August 22, 2011

Pins! The highlight of my life...

It seems that the things that are not planned, but happen out of spontaneity are revealed to be the most entertaining and resonate more greatly with you. I experienced such a phenomenon today at the Welcoming Barbeque hosted by Rotary International. I was originally not planning on attending, but when I went to have high tea (aren’t I just so sophisticated?) with the Blois family, they invited me to join them. I took this opportunity to practice the “never say no” rule that seems to apply to exchange students, and in the preliminary run it seemed to go well.
Those that attended were all shapes and sizes and ethnicities. It was the quintessential example of how diverse and accepting the Rotary Organization truly is. There was not an ounce of prejudice or discrimination in the atmosphere, which doesn’t come by often. In the 21st century, not many people will vocalize their thoughts on another race, but their aura gives them away as narrow-minded. No such people were present at this occasion.
I added an extensive amount of pins to my collection – and betrayed a promise that I had made to myself at the beginning of the summer. I told myself (with a stern voice!) that I wouldn’t add any pins to my blazer until I returned to the United States, because it would make it much easier for me to travel with in on. The temptation was just too great to deny, so I had to put them on. Now I am stuck with a blazer that’s weight will most likely give me a backache, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had underestimated the effects of pins on an exchange student, and I can’t wait to get many more!
In two hours my host brother (Max) and my host father will be departing Germany to come to the good ol’ United States of America (that is intended to be said with a southern accent). I find it quite sad that my German family has seen more of America than I have… and I am the one that lives in America! They are touring the west coast, and our paths will merge on September 9. So while they have 18 days of pure fun, I have 18 days of stressing out about everything I can find to stress out about. But it also means that I only have 18 days until the greatest thing in my life happens, but also only 18 days to spend with my family. This trip has a lot of blame on its shoulders. It is the reason I am happy, sad, excited, and nervous. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Royal Gorge

The Royal Gorge was graced by my presence a few days ago. The mini-vacation was planned on the spur of the moment, as most of the activities of my summer have been compiled of. Since being accepted into the Rotary Youth Exchange Programme, but parents and I have set out to conquer more of the magnificent beauty that Colorado has to offer. It would be a tragedy if I were to go to Germany as an ambassador of Colorado, when I have yet to see many of the things it has to offer.
This was not my first trip to the Royal Gorge; I went about seven or eight years ago. The attractions that lie around this monumental bridge are ones that you cannot see every year, for it would be a bit of a waste of money. But since my memory had been fading of the instances that happened almost a decade ago, we set off to renew our view of the manmade wonder.
Most of my excitement revolved around my hopes that I would have a summer romance (even though there was barely enough time to meet anyone). My hopes dwindled, of course, when I realized that I was venturing to the resort totally out of season. Not only had most of the schools in Colorado already commenced, but it was in the middle of the week. So after my realization I wasn’t sure what I would do with myself for the three days.
I am a bit embarrassed to say that one of the highlights was the huge jump pillow that was in the resort I was staying at. This pillow resembled a trampoline but was much greater in size. I am sure that it was only intended for young children, but I made a point to spend most of my time on the pillow. I thought nothing of it at the time for the resort was practically deserted. I took this time to explore my ninja moves mid-air, and added some sound effects for dramatization. It was only after I retired from my practice that I realized that I was not alone. Not only were there people in close enough proximity to hear me, but they were boys around my age! Not surprisingly, I dashed back to my cabin and never resurfaced at the pillow.

My pre-exchange diet faltered while on vacation, as I had expected. What was the surprise was how far of the tracks it would stumble. I gouged myself on theme park delicacies such as Funnel Cake and Ice Cream. Just thinking about it makes me feel as if I gained ten pounds! I must say though, it was totally worth it. I am rather glad that Funnel Cakes are only sold at select places, and only during the summer, for if it was a different fate I would be enormous.
Even though I try to cover-up my quintessentially boy crazy mind, it shows through more than I would like. At this moment I would like to say that I was in the presence of some be (dare I say it?) hot guys. It had to come at the most awkward time, of course, because that is just the luck of Shandre. During the latter part of the day I was quite fatigued and it was obvious that I was extremely hot (temperature wise – even though we know both definitions are applicable to me!)  I was shying away from the massive crowds of giddy tourists in a feeble attempt to avoid utter embarrassment. This plan was a total failure as I was forced into propinquity with two attractive people while on the incline coaster. It is quite difficult to enjoy the beauty of the gorge, when the beauty of the men was just slapping me in the face!
It wasn’t until the late evening of the last night that we decided to take our leave from The Royal Gorge. The car ride home was off – probably because I am not used to driving extensive distances in the late evening. I quite enjoyed the trip (more than I had expected with the desertedness of the resort) and I liked spending with my parents before my departure (18 days!!).

Friday, August 19, 2011

To a Genius

Three weeks from today I will be entering the void of exchange students. Not that I am using void in a negative fashion, because that would be beyond preposterous! Not much excitement has occurred over the last couple of weeks, and it troubles me that I have no new data to inscribe on the face of the World Wide Web. It is as if I am frightened that if I neglect to explore my writing expertise, all that I have so far conquered will be annulled. I cannot yet say that this fear is unreasonable, because at the moment it seems quite plausible to me.
Tonight I would like to pay gratitude to the genius that has inspired my continuing of my passion. Sir William Shakespeare. I was once again reminded of his brilliance while investigating a few more documentaries and such. He was truly a man that knew how to plaster words together to make men weep, or cry tears of joy. I can only hope that one day his spirit will have some influence on me so that I may create such beauties.
The purpose of this post was not praise Shakespeare, nor to seemingly boast my own writing skill. In fact, I wished to share all my preparations that have taken place to far into my journey. As stated in my previous announcement, there isn’t much to do now that all my Rotary engagements are finished. This seems to have been and accurate assumption, because I have yet to do anything great in regards to my trip abroad. The closest thing that has happened was my preliminary packing, but I have already shared that with everyone. Now that I think back onto the purpose of this post, I did not have an idea going into this. Maybe it’s best that I just move on and commence with the rest of my summer – that has mostly consisted of watching Doctor Who or Big Brother (I am greatly ashamed to say that those are my guilty pleasures).
I feel that and epiphany has just come my way, and I think that I am going to pursue it. But its matters are of no relation to the one I am currently noting, thus I will be dedicating a whole post towards it (if it ever materializes to the standard of which I would not be ashamed to share it with my loyal companions). As it appears, I don’t like to deviate to far from the main focus of my postings, which may result in multiple per day. I infer that this will occur often in Germany for I will have so much to relay to those still in the United States. I sense that a great deal of my excitement for Germany directly correlates with the hordes of ideas that will be flowing through my mind that I can scribble down and quench my desires for writing.
And on that note:  Au Revoir!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Traveler's Choice

It pains me to say that I have no Rotary engagements until I leave for Germany, nor do am I awaiting any further information about my exchange. For the past week or so I was a ship being propelled forward by the strong forces of a current, but now I sit in a windless sea, unable to move forward. Thus there will be a lack of posting for the next month or so. But today I finally came to the realization that I will have to fit a year of my life into two suitcases and a carry-on.  It’s quite a daunting task, but with my knowledge and perseverance (in actuality my mother’s) I am confident that I will be able to do so without my worry.
The Du Toit family went on an impulse shopping spree today to buy me some new luggage. It wasn’t an easy task to find the correct combination of style and practicality, but after an hour of scanning the same luggage we finally completed our task. I am happy with my choice in luggage for it encompasses a perfect balance of femininity and professionalism.

There are so many things to take into consideration when packing for exchange – and most of my ideas stem from the internet. I think that I have a bad case of searching things on the internet that end up making me more stressed out. Thus my solution is to turn off my internet until I go to Germany (that was a funny joke, wasn’t it?) I am tempted just to follow my own instincts when packing, and if I make a mistake then at least I know that it was my mistake.