So it's been over a month....yeah....
There's just been a lot going on and I didn't really want to sit down and write a huge post. I probably will make this a more summarized version of the past month.
First Big Thing: BOLTON WEEKEND
I had the "first" outbound weekend back in January and everyone seemed really cool. I still had interviews and stuff, I think more so just to see how things are with me and if my views have changed at all. I stayed the night at a local Rotarian family's place. I was sent to a place by myself (as opposed to pairs like everyone else). They were all incredibly nice and we played Scrabble and watched part of a movie. Some of the inbounds were at the weekend as well so it was nice to see them again. I found myself trying to predict where all the outbounds would be sent. This year they're sending only one person to Thailand, and now TWO to Japan. The only other change is that they're also sending people to Australia, New Zealand, and (I think) South Africa.
Second Big Thing: WANAKITA
The four day winter camp from February 1st to 4th that all the exchange students go to. This was a fantastic time! Not a whole lot changed from last year in terms of activities. This time we had another sesssion of actual cross country skiing and our campfire was indoors (bah, not really a campfire then...). Wanakita is the time where you can get a better snapshot of everyone and it was much easier to predict where everyone will be going. In fact, that's what some of us did. We wrote down a list of where we thought people might be going and we're gonna see how close to the mark we'll end up being. Last year, the outbounds seemed to have a big group that socialized with each other and then a small group that more or less socialized with themselves. This year it's much more half and half in terms of "groups" if you can truly call them that. I had to sleep in a quinzee again. I hadn't ever planned on being in a quinzee twice in my life but they needed another guy to have enough body heat in the quinzee so I was that guy. The "dance" this year was a lot more dance-like compared to last year's. There was a constant strobe light going and people were dancing, not just standing and taking pictures. One other interesting thing to note is that when we did the "solo sit" (which is going out at night with lanterns and being sent off a few paces into the forest along a path so that you seem alone for 45 minutes) one inbound ended up staying out there a bit....longer than expected. We all had come back to a cabin for our indoor campfire and we all looked at each other and asked "Where's Juan Pablo?" Turns out he was still out there, he had gone a bit more than a few paces and was just sitting there waiting to be picked up by the Rotarians again. Crazy!
Third Big Thing: SCHOOL
I'm back in school now as of February 2nd (yeah I missed the first few days because of Wanakita). I needed something to keep me occupied so I might as well keep in the school mindset (for my exchange) and for extra credits. I'm not taking anything too strenuous and i'm only a part time student (only 2 courses in my case). I'm taking Film Studies and World Issues. Film Studies is really fun and I'm thouroughly enjoying it. World Issues is a "U" course so that's where all my homework and challenge comes from. I considered taking Travel and Tourism but that'd be too easy. I need something that stimulates my brain or at least keeps it moving.
Fourth Big Thing: IMPROV NIGHT
We finally had our improv night last Friday. It went fantastic. It was a night of improv, original skits (of which I wrote a lot of and helped write the others), and music (I got to perform one of my original songs which was cool). We finally saw it all come together (only about 5 or 6 people truly worked on this night from start to finish). A lot of people showed up - we ended up selling 70 or so tickets in advance! On the day of, we rehearsed from 10:45 all the way until 7:10ish when we had to start letting people in. I loved it when I heard compliments specifically mentioning the skit that I wrote entirely solo. It was also fantastic to hear the laughs when I performed my song (with help from my friend Kieron as the second singer). I couldn't help but smile hearing people laughing after delivering a verse's punchline and it was especially awesome when we got a HUGE cheer at the end of the song. We filmed the night so hopefully some footage pops up online soon. Although, apparently the cameras might have run out of film before my song (which majorly sucks). Meh, great night nonetheless.
Thanks for waiting over a MONTH for this post and be sure to look for my next post sometime after Rotary's Announcement Day on February 22nd.