RYE student Caitlin - Having the time of her life

April has been a very eventful month. I have moved families, celebrated my birthday,  travelled, attended a baptism and rotary events and met many new people.  
 
Moving families has been so easy. My new host family is amazing and so Kind hearted. I have two host brothers (both in their late twenties) and my host mother is a gem. The house I live in currently is massive. I have to climb four sets of stairs just to get to my room. The house is situated in the middle of the city which makes it so much easier to get to school (it used to take me an hour on the bus, now it takes 15 minutes to walk) and I have the opportunity to see friends on the weekends because I don’t have to rely on buses
(which don’t run in the weekends). My host family have also organised for me to start rowing (my home is also right next to the river) and possibly swimming. I can’t wait to see what’s to come and to get even closer with my current host family. 


 
 
I have travelled a bit during this month. I have visited Salzburg again to see my friends, I have travelled to Wien (Vienna) with my class and I have travelled to Innsbruck with my host family which was breath taking. I also visited Hallstatt and did some hiking.
 
 
 
 
I visited Wien for three days with my class and it was so much fun. During the trip we visited the theatre, the prater (a theme park) a centre for the blind where we got to experience what it was like to be blind, The Jewish museum and exploring the Devine city. As a bonus I also managed to meet up with Polly (one of my best exchange friends who is from my district in New Zealand) while she was on her euro tour. During the time in Wien I learnt how to take the underground trains by myself and how to understand how all the trams, buses and trains all work. It was also a great bonding experience for myself and my class. I have gotten even closer to the people from my class.


 

Innsbruck is located three hours away from where I currently live (if you close your hand but leave your thumb out pointing left then it kind of makes the shape of Austria. I am currently living where your middle fingers knuckle is and Innsbruck is where the start of your thumb is. Maybe that helps you picture my where about). Innsbruck is a lovely city situated in the mountains and is home to the golden roof (a roof made of gold gilded copper) the city is quaint and is surrounded by snow crested mountains. We took a tour through the old city and had lunch up in the mountains looking over it. To get there we had to pass through Germany. This blows my mind because it’s so easy to get to another country where as in New Zealand you have to take a plane or occasionally a boat to get to another country. On
our way home, we also visited the red bull hanger which is the home to many of their sponsored creations such as planes, racing cars, helicopters, motorbikes etc.


I attended my very first baptism whilst living with my first host family. It was very interesting and an eye opener that broadened my knowledge of the Christian religion. it was just family and I was lucky enough to read out a poem in German during the ceremony. 

I have attended two rotary fundraisers while being on exchange and I was lucky enough to be able to wear my dirndl (traditional Austrian/ German clothing) to one which was an auction accompanied by a seven-course meal which sadly consisted of four of the meals being fish (I hate fish but I ate it anyways. Being on exchange has taught me how to eat without tasting anything which I think is a very valuable skill to have) this was a great experience and I met many interesting Rotarians who had many interesting stories to tell. The second fundraiser was a wine tasting event hosted by rotary. It was a very interesting function and the wine gives New Zealand’s a run for their money. 
 
 
             
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