America,  exchange buddies,  host family,  school

Week eight

Homecoming week!!! My first and probably only Homecoming in my life took place this past week, and it was wondrous, starting at the weekend, which was wildly exciting. One of my closest exchange buddies is staying with a host family not so far away from mine, so she was able to come over and spend the night from Saturday to Sunday. We first went to say hi to our local coordinator, hung out with her family, including a Spanish and Russian exchange student, then walked their dog while I showed my guest around Doniphan. I got a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to Grand Island to shop for plants since I’d told her I’d like to do that sometime before. I told her I was with a girl she doesn’t know, speaking a language she doesn’t understand, but if she’s okay with that, I’m down. She didn’t care and told me she’ll only have to do one thing before picking us up – clean her car’s backseat. So the three of us went to get me a plant friend, walked through a few other stores, and then returned to my house. I was worried either of them might feel uncomfortable or left out since the only thing they had in common was a friendship with me, but they were both very much okay with us hanging out together. They got along well, and overall, the time we spent together was incredibly amusing – hopefully for all of us. We taught the only present American a Czech card game and tried to watch a Czech movie but soonly gave up and singly talked instead. We walked our dog in the dark, visited my host sister at work, then she came back with us and joined our gossip circle. However, the English-speaking part of the group went to bed eventually, and we could switch back to our native tongue and share all the joys and sorrows of our exchange. We spoke all night; we cried both sad and happy tears and talked it all out. We both realized how lucky we are to have someone to share it all with, someone who understands.Since I didn’t get much sleep (on the floor) the night before, Sunday was more of a rest day. I only left the house to get food and to introduce my host brother to his homecoming date.

All the Homecoming fun began on Monday, the first day of spirit week, meaning we got to dress up – or dress down – in pajamas. Even that made me struggle a bit. I discovered how few clothes I brought from home. However, I made it work by borrowing my friend’s Hello Kitty pajama pants. People came to school in various attires, from Christmas PJs to unicorn onesies. The school day was fun and pretty laid-back. Not one person cared enough to change into exercise clothes for the weight training class, and we all lifted in our PJs. 😀

For the twenty minutes of MAP class, in which we usually work on whatever we need to get done, we gathered in the gym and played games as a part of the Homecoming program. That was happening all week, but what had not changed for Homecoming week was volleyball practice every day. The one on Monday afternoon was a pre-game, so the coaches tried to let everyone participate and practice, and it was enjoyable even for us, who often don’t play.

Tuesday’s theme for dressing up was Adam Sandler, and though I didn’t wear any of my clothes, I joined others in coming to school wearing basketball shorts, oversized T-shirts, and baseball caps. Everyone looked the same. 😀 After school, we had a volleyball game, or, to be exact, three games, one on each level. So we all got to play, even us benchwarmers. I got my first kill, and even though we lost, there was a visible improvement from the last time. 🙂

Day three, senior citizen themed. People walked around the school with walkers or even rode in wheelchairs, dressed as their grandmothers. 🙂 We took a unit test in algebra which I finished in not even half the time the others needed. Americans make me feel smart. 😀 Otherwise, not much that would be worth mentioning happened on Wednesday.

Thursday was more fun again. We finally could take dressing up literally because it was red carpet day, and the usual dress code didn’t apply for the day. Not only girls came wearing their prom dresses and boys wearing suits; there even were a few guys in a dress, and they all looked beautiful. 🙂 There was a college fair for the juniors that day, so they were gone in Grand Island, and since our American History is a junior class, there ended up being three of us there – the exchange students. Naturally, we didn’t learn, but we took it as a chance to get to know each other more and talk about our cultures and American experiences. In the afternoon, I hung out with the Spanish gal to help her study for a test, and later in the day, we had a volleyball game. I’d call it a successful night for our team because we managed to get everyone in for at least a while, and we still won!

Friday came, and the time for the actual Homecoming with it. The day was slightly chaotic, thanks to the changed schedule to fit in the fall pep rally. The whole school assembled in the gym at the end of the day and did a couple of activities, crowd cheers, and things to show off the school spirit, which was enthralling. We did have volleyball practice afterward, but they’d shortened it so we’d have time to get ready for the night. My friend, another Czech exchange student whose host family lives relatively close, came to watch the football game and to accompany my host brother to Homecoming. We watched our team lose one more time while I introduced her to local people. She even met some from the school she attends at our football field, so I didn’t have to feel bad for her for having no one she’d know. When the game ended and the Homecoming Royalty got coronated, we all moved back to school for the dance. Of course, we had to change into all the fancy garments and get ready first, so there weren’t many people until about an hour after it officially started. 😀

It gets called a Homecoming dance, but it is more about solely dressing up and taking pictures with all your friends than actual dancing. However, it was an unforgettable American high school experience, as it should be, and I’m more than grateful that I could undergo it around such wonderful people. It might be the only Homecoming I’ll ever go to in my life, though I couldn’t ask for a better one.

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