Dryden’s Rotary Exchange Student for 2015-2016 is Sandra Hrášková. She arrived in Dryden on August 23rd, after flights from Vienna to Toronto and Toronto-Winnipeg. I interviewed her before the meeting on September 2nd.
Sandra hales from Bernolakovo, a small community of about 5000 about as far from Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, as those Rotarians who live out on Harris Crescent are from Dryden. She does, however still go in to school in Bratislava, near where her mother works. She used to live in the city and only recently moved to the “country”.
When asked about her first impression of Dryden, Sandra said, “It was bigger than I thought it would be!” She also mentioned she liked “the nature of trees, lakes and rivers”.
School in Dryden is quite different than in Bratislava.  There she would have 6 or 7 classes per day; each of 45 minutes in length. Classes would also not be the same each day. They would rotate through a schedule over a week.
At Dryden High she gets four much longer classes and they are the same each day. This semester she is taking English, Biology, Cooking and Heath and Personal Care. Sandra also said that English here is very different. In Slovakia it is about grammar, here it is about literature. She added, “What we take in English here is what we take in Slovakian at home.”
“Young people,” Sandra said are “similar, but after school life is kinda different!” Although sports are similar they are not part of school life the way they are here.




"I am 4 ft 11" she told me.

"Why not metric?" I asked.

"That's the way you talk, 143 cm." she replied.

I asked her, since I knew she had been very involved in gymnastics, if she was going to try to get involved with the gym club here. She said “Yes, Cindy Palermo, with whom she is staying, is going to put here in touch with the club.” She told me, she “wants to stay in shape” and would like to continue doing instruction as in Slovakia. I wondered what kind of gymnastics she specialized in. Her answer, “floor exercise”.
Sandra’s District 5550 orientation weekend has not occurred yet. It is scheduled for September 25-27, 2015. I asked her where she had gotten all the pins on her Youth Exchange jacket. She replied, “At the “Inbound student’s orientation in Slovakia.” She answered.
I inquired how she found out about the Rotary Exchange Program. She said that the “Rotary Club of Bratislava came and made a presentation at her school” and she thought it would be neat to apply. She also told me that the club sponsored her and four other students. They are in “Brazil, India, 2 in the USA, and Canada”.
While in Canada Sandra hopes to “travel with Rotary, meet new people, and try out new sports at school”.