The year I spent there, in Iowa made a bigger impact than I thought. I enjoyed living in Traer and learning new things every day. Nice people that I've met, smiles that you see every day - they make you feel comfortable in the new atmosphere. I though it would be very difficult to adjust living in such a small town. But after the first week I realized it won't be that tough. I'm from the 90000 city and coming to 1700 was a little strange to me. The American culture itself, it surprised me. I was very curious to see how people live in the US.
And, of course, the volunteering jobs I have done - it was amazing. I would never volunteer in my city because volunteering is not something that teenager here would do. Also, we don't have that many opportunities because of the cultural differences. I enjoyed volunteering a lot. You feel that you are the part of the community and people around you are thankful to you. This is the greatest feeling...
I was extremely lucky when the Dahms family agreed to let me stay with them for year. They are more than just good people. You won't be bored in this family (but they think so, ha!). This family made me feel even more confortable in this warm community. All the fun times we had, tons of good memories. Camping outside, going to Wisconsin for a vaction, a trip to Chicago, Christmas morning and more. I'm very grateful to them and for everything they have done to me (except scooping snow in 7 o'clock, ha!). I think hostng a foreign exchange student is a great thing... Not only for the family but for the people of the whole community. It brings a lot of new experience to everyone and leaves only positive memories and impressions.
I would also like to mention Marilyn Bauch - my local coordinator. Because of the job she does I had a chance to join this community and live here. Some of you were on the Russian Dinner in March 2009. Marilyn spent a lot of time talking about the problems I had and solving them.
All the people in Traer and people who helped me will always be in my heart.
I wish everyone the best!