So Friday I didn't go to school. I got up at 8 instead of 7, which was pretty nice :)
But before you think, I'm a bad person: my absence from school is totally excused. Because I attended at the big Rotary Conference I was told about since August.
Kelley drove me to old town pottery, where I met up with Rick Mitchell and his wife, Seba arrived too after a few minutes. We for drove up to Atlantic Beach (see Map, it's the same place as where I went for RYLA). Seba and I checked in in the Hampton Inns and then we all drove to the double three hotel, were we got a welcome cookie and had burgers and fries (American) for lunch. Oh, we had that on the pier, so basically between the beach and sea. Pretty cool.
Inside, we got our programs for the next few days and had to decide which presentations to attend. We (Seba and I) went for "how to win new rotary club members", "young generations" (about Rotaract, Interact, youth exchange and RYLA), and finally "The Brain Game", which was a pretty interesting presentation about infants development and how brains are the most sensitive during the first three years of a humans life.
After that, there only was a business meeting, where We teenagers didn't have to attend and so Seba and I hang out at the beach for about an hour and a half, talking, tanning, moving sand around.
We looked at the silent auction, which had pretty cool things, but of course, they were all quite pricy. Seba almost bought a vintage popcorn machine though, until someone got a higher bet :P
Us, looking around in the room with the silent auction things... Notice our cool youth exchange jackets with the pins.
I think afterwards we had dinner and it was pretty amazing, including one of the better cakes I ate here.
While still enjoying the dinner and talking with Rotarians about our experiences, the time moved closer and closer towards 9:15, when the fireworks started. They were pretty good. I like the ones that don't make the big bams, but the one that just sizzle off if that makes sense :) (also they made up for New Years, when there was no fireworks because they are not legalized without permission in North Carolina - New Years was still great)
Even though there was "Dj Lynch - Dancing, Fellowship" afterwards, we decided it was late enough to head back to the hotel rooms, where I just started to put all my stuff aside, when Seba knocked at my door. We chatted a bit more, noticed that there is nothing good on public TV (Netflix spoiled me) and so we watched a good episode of tabletop on YouTube. I kicked the young man out of my room after a while though as I need my sleep.
We didn't go to the morning yoga (:P) but attended the "Young Professionals Summit" in the OC Spa, which was very nice and a lot of fun as we gathered all the younger people, including rotaractor, there and talked about the problem of rotary's image (club of old white guys) and how we could change that. Again good food and great location. I was able to form some pretty staunch thoughts that the exchange via rotary should be advertised more as the kind of person who does exchanges is often the kind of person who also meets rotary's standards of being open to new and seeking the truth. Also Pam Wall was our advisor, and she is great, I experienced her before.
Back at double three, we had the awards luncheon, which was not as tasty as the other meals... Anyways, first, Seba held his little speech about his experience here and then left to go prom in Wilmington, then I came up front. About two hundred people, and I wasn't even nervous. It was one of those moments when you truely feel, how much an year abroad can improve one. They told me I did great and I think that's pretty good without preparation.
We then went to a different part of the hotel, where we put together 10,000 meals, that are send now to a developing country.
I was exhausted after all those activities and Steve drove me back to my hotel, where I was thinking about sleep, but then skyped with my family.
At 5:30, steve picked me up again, we drove to the aquarium, where we had amazing food next to the Sharks, a big turtle and fishes.
Also, they had a magic show after dinner and this guy - Joshua Lozoff, was pretty amazing. He already was there before the dinner and did some basic tricks, of which I knew at least one, but the show was really good and baffling. I like tricks of illusion like this and I had the honor to be one assistant of one and got the picture I hold in the photo above as momentum.
Sunday was a memorial service for the Rotarians that past, but I didn't attend as I knew nobody of them and got an extra hour of sleep this way.
The drive back took about two hours and I was back around 12:30.