I have returned as a rebound now to Shussout where almost two years ago I learned that I would be spending a year of my life in Hungary. I can’t believe I am home and talking to the new outbound to Hungary already. I am envious of his enthusiasm and I would kill to do it all over again, it was a truly amazing time! I was a bit disappointed that there were no criers this year, I was simply a puddle of tears when I got Hungary, I was just so in shock and happy beyond belief. Everyone was jazzed for their countries (or at least they pretended to be, which is good at least). I have faith in this outbound and I hope he will love Hungary as much as I did and the girls before me (oddly enough for at least the past four years its always been girls from my district to Hungary, hopefully he will be a nice change from us girls)
Shussout which usually involves lots of skiing involved only curling this year and took place in Fairbanks. It was a lovely weekend, but *#$@ was it cold!
I see that programs differently this time, some of them seem pointless and overly dramatic while others I found dull hold a new importance to me. It is a bit frightening to think that these outbounds would look up to me for advice. I tried to give good advice, but it is difficult to know which side of the line to stand on. I decided the middle was comfortable. I talked about the night life and the importance of the Rotary D’s (no drinking, driving, drugs, dating, and the fifth one in Hungary…. NO downloading porn on your host parents computer) in other countries. My best advice is just to be smart, I suppose you don’t realize you are stupid at the time, but if you can see its stupid don’t do it.
I simply hope they will all use their heads. I was very naive when I left thinking how I was going to live up to this standard that was impossible and unrealistic. I figured out quick how to live the lifestyle of a Hungarian teen in the big city, and it didn’t always follow American Rotary’s guidelines. However I tried always to follow the rules of my host club and respect the Hungarian culture, by living it and seizing my opportunities.
I would NEVER encourage rule breaking, I just think that your host countries cultures and host clubs allowances are something that every exchange student has to consider for themselves.
I hope this sounds reflective as that is how I am feeling about everything at the moment, and not rude or haughty towards Rotary, which is an amazing program. As a rebound it just seems difficult to readjust to the structure and rules of Rotary here, in fact it is difficult for me to readjust to any structure that isn’t of my own making. I adore youth exchange and wholeheartedly encourage GREAT programs like Rotary and AFS!
I really enjoyed this weekend despite the over structuring of the programs, and I hope all the inbounds, outbounds, and rebounds got as much out of it as I did. Good luck to All the new outbounds, where ever you are coming from!