Exchange student gives update from Poland

To the Editor:

I don't know if you remember me, but I am the exchange student from Poland. You told me to keep in touch and I wrote earlier to the press but I don't know if anyone got that email.

Sorry it took so long to answer back but it has just been one crazy fast experience for me the first 6 months. I decided to write when I hit my half-year mark. Well I have been in Poland for six months and two weeks.

I am really excited with my year so far. I have made a lot of friends, met a lot of really interesting people, got to see a little bit of the European world and most importantly I have been studying in school which is going very good for me and I am perfecting my language each day.

I now know how to read and write also in Polish. It's going along good, fast but good. I have had two very good families so far who have treated me amazingly!

In my first host family, I got to see the culture side of Poland, since my host mom was the director of the theater here. Every concert, every play, recital, art gallery, I was basically there!

I got to travel all over Poland to see different museums and plays. Now in the family I am currently staying at I am seeing more of Europe. I have visited so far, Croatia, France (I spent my New Years in Paris), Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Italy, but of all the countries I have visited so far, I really enjoy Croatia the most.

When I first got here I got to go to Croatia on a sailing trip with my host family that I am living at now. Before, Croatia was just a place on the map for me. I probably didn't even know what the capital of it was and where exactly it lay. But now that has changed. I have really become interested in geography.

When I drove through Croatia it was shocking to see marks left through all over the country after war, but it's such a beautiful country!

Mountains, forests, rivers and the ocean! It has everything. While we went sailing we made different stops in towns all over Croatia but the best spot was Kocula -- the land where Marco Polo was born. We got to visit his house and the area around it. Sitting in a history class, you can just hear information and it won't stick in your mind but when you ACTUALLY see it, it's unbelievable to think that the history is around you. One of the best parts is I got to see Croatia from the ocean view and I also got to see the sun rise and sun set on the ocean every day and night when I was on duty to steer the sailboat! Well my next trip is this Wednesday. I will be leaving to Italy to visit Venice, and while we return we get to stop in Austria for a week and ski on the alps in Austria. I am excited and I'm glad that I am really learning something from my stay here in Poland.

Sometimes I still can't believe I have been away from home almost seven months, but it's a good experience. I am really excited that I get to live in the place where my whole family was born in. I know it was different when they lived here but I am getting a better idea how they lived and I feel I understand my parents more, and that was one detail that I hope I could accomplish during my stay in Poland. Well that is it for now! I'm sending my best wishes to my friends and family in Craig!

If you have any question, I will be more then happy to write back or answer then. I hope we can keep in touch!

Samantha Janiga,

From Poland

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