Sports in ILA /by Boogi/

With several other programmes, of course, we had some sport opportunities in the camp. Some people wanted to go running together so with one of the Mexican teachers they went at 6 in the morning. Well, I wanted to try this opportunity but the truth is I wanted to sleep too. Respect for the runners!

During the two weeks we spent in Fort Worth we had 3 sport programmes at the Recreation Center of TCU. There we had the opportunity to swim in the pool where lifeguards took care of us or play volleyball together. In the basement  we were able to play games like billiard or watch television.

The sport programmes were really good beause we had time to talk with each other, play and have fun together!

In ILA we had a special team building programme – we went to Group Dynamix for a few hours. This programme gave us the opportunity to get to know each other in fun ways.
First, they asked us to jump over a jumping rope. If anybody missed it we started the whole game again.
The next part was a ball game. We were separated into 2 teams against each other. We had to threw out the members from the other team. It was special because we were playing in neon lights so it was another challange.
In the rest of the time we had the option to climb onto climbing walls. Of course who had highs sickness that could play on the ground.

Group Dynamix was one of the best programmes, I really enjoyed it! It helped us to bond and increase team spririt and problem solving.

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My team: the PPP /by Leah/

My group was number five. We had two facilitators (college students) one Mexican male, Gabo, and a Texan girl Rubi. We had seven members including me. Two Japanese girls: Yurika and Kirari, one American girl and one boy: Erica and Tai, one Italian girl: Camilla and one Swaziland boy: Msimisi.

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I really love each one of them and miss them a lot. They were all open-minded, funny, kind and friendly. 

We had many games called icebreakers which had the purpose of breaking the ice between us and open up. I liked all of them.

We had to come up with a name, a chant and make a poster for our team. We became the Peaceful Political Pandas (PPP). We did projects together which were all focusing on individual diplomacy and global issues. I really enjoyed it when we did the final presentation, our own game and when Gabo got ‘mad’ when I stole his comfy couch. (In the end, I always got the place but it was fun kind of fighting for it.)

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On our last session, Tai (who we always joked about because he kind of spoke weird) gave a beautiful speech to all of us individually. It was such a beautiful one, I don’t think I will hear anything like that again.

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For me, the Peaceful Political Pandas was the best team I could wish for in my life. I hope I will be able t see them again as well as my wonderful roommate and all of my international friends I made there.

 

My group #team2 /by Peti/

I guess everybody says the same “my group was very special”! We had a Mexican male and a Japanese female as the two facilitators (they’re university students). There were 8 high-school students from 5 countries: a girl from Italy, another girl from Swaziland, a girl and a boy from Japan, three girls from Fort Worth and me from Hungary. The name of our team was “the fantastic ninja warriors fighting for peace and lasagna” (in short the ninja warriors).

I think our team was a bit easy-going because we sometimes slept in our sessions, but it was understandable, because we could sleep only 6-7 hours and we had a lot of programs, so honestly, we were all very-very exhausted, especially on the second week. Almost every day, we played special games about diplomacy inside the group, which made me a bit nervous at first, but later I could completely enjoy them. Despite diplomacy, we also dealt with global issues, and I think it’s very important nowadays.

Actually, we had to create a game too, that was presented in a video and we played it with guests (e.g. host families and other Fort Worth people) at the closing ceremony. Its name was Shock, but it wasn’t linked to diplomacy.

We also had some teamwork when we were in two groups (4-4 students) and those were sometimes competitions between us (e.g. building higher edifice/preparing presentations).

Actually, the most important presentation was at the closing ceremony because we had to present about the host family weekend (e.g. what students did) as a TV program. So we had 2 newsreaders, 2 reporters and 4 of us were questioned by the reporters.

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My favorite session was when we had to do some teamwork in 6 different stations about diplomacy, global issues and everything which is very useful to make a better world. Why is #team2 a very special group? Because we were one of the best groups in some presentations/games with colors/ but we were one of the worst groups in singing songs.

I could make friends inside the group from all over the world and we could know each other a bit better because we spent about 6 hours together almost every day. I could feel that I was part of the team and the time together meant an unforgettable experience for all of us in the group.

#TEAM 6 /by hedgehog/

Our team name was Dream High. The group had 10 members with facilitators, 4 Texans (with a facilitator), 1 Italian, 2 Mexicans (with a facilitator), 1 Japanese, 1 Swazi and me.

When we first met I think all of us (at least I was for sure) were a bit shy, but after a couple of days everyone had opened up.
Our team’s name became Dream High, and our Swazi girl even wrote and sang a little song about it. One of my favourite activates were when we designed clothes and someone had to wear it! It was a ton of fun.

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I didn’t quite like the last days, I knew that we had to leave.
Now I miss them a lot because I enjoyed every single session and activity we’d done together in the two weeks.

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This picture became one of my favourite ones as it symbolises the overcome of different barriers, how we shared our cultures, and how good friends we became.

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SIO BANANAS /by Trumplika/

On the first day of ILA we were really excited because of the groups. I was chosen into team 1.
My groupmates were really cool though at first I felt uncomfortable because of the Italian girl (by the end we became friends, too).
My team was called Sio Bananas where I could make a lot of friends from America, Japan and Swaziland.
We were exploring diplomacy; it is important because we should accept each other and learn about to be openminded and patient with everybody.
The facilitators were really helpful and nice with us. We had 15 sessions during the 2 weeks so by the end we became really-really tired.

We visited a lot of places like Como Community Center where we could play with some nice kids.
Then we went to a charity school. It was in a church and the leader was crazy about Hungary so we talked a lot about Hungary :).

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Dance Cult /by Leah/

If someone asked me to tell them one thing I really want to learn more about if I go anywhere in the world is dance culture.
America was not an exception.

On our first dance night we – the countries – had to show our folk dance(s) to the other countries. We Hungarians presented one folk dance and two other dances. Our most known folk dance is called ‘csárdás’ and we danced it for the song ‘Hej, Dunáról…’ by NOX.

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I was really excited, mostly because of the solos I chose to perform and show to everyone. I dance at a ballet company and I picked two dances from our recent performances.

The first one was Colours of the wind from Pocahontas and the second one was Love is an open door from Frozen. I chose “Colours of the wind” because I thought (and still think) that its content is what ILA exists for. Everyone really loved it and the next day so many of my campmates were ‘praising’ me, I didn’t know what to think. It was like my dream came true at ILA with one single dance.

Love is an open door was just for fun. I thought that they would think “why from this Disney movie” (still don’t know why), but it actually turned out that they are not actually that bored of it (it was really hyped, and mainstream things are really loved or really hated depending on that people are bored of it or just can’t get enough).

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On the other night, they invited a famous Texan dancer who thought all of us some typical line dances such as “Waltz Across Texas” and “Footloose”. My favorite one was the first one because it surprised me.

We had a lot of fun that night, too.

Three group of drummers also visited us. I liked the Taiko drummers a lot. It is said that every workpiece they play tells a story. There was a piece named ‘Firework’ and while the played it I could almost see them.

In the end, we had a “Homecoming” party and we danced together, of course!

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I can’t thank everyone enough for the beautiful experience and for the opportunity my teachers gave me!

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Delegation Leaders /by tbujdi/

Involving with this program for the second time  is really life-changing since I have more friends, lasting relationships now and I could experience the Fort Worth hospitability again. I had superb time with wonderful teachers and people from Italy, Mexico, Japan, Swaziland, Germany and of course – Fort Worth.

The overall program for teachers provided a great opportunity to experience American history, culture and customs. We visited for example: the Log Cabin Village, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, or a cutting horse competition. 

We could also have a chance to collaborate with Texan educators and share diplomatic solutions on promoting peace within the classroom and  understanding each other.

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Apart from the official programs we were just having great time with each other!!!

I was proud of sharing Hungarian culture with educators from around the world but making lasting friendships was valued as the most important outcome of the whole program.

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The Galloways /by Trumplika/

I had the best host family in America!
I was at my American friend’s house, at the Galloways’ home. They were so nice and I really felt like being at home.
My host mum was the cutest host-mummy in the world and we had really good programmes with each other. We went to restaurants every night and tasted really good meals. My favourite one was Tex Mex.
We visited Dallas and the Stockyard. It was awesome and I bought a lot of things. I saw a real western train which was really fabolous. Dallas was like in the series and I saw the place where JFK was killed.
Then we went to Six Flags over Texas which was one of the best feeling in my life. I adore themeparks. I was really scared on the big rollercoasters but I was proud of myself because I could survive it. It was really cool!

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Unfortunately, on Monday I sadly said goodbye to my American family because I had to go back to TCU.

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My host-family /by Emi/

Nao (a Japanese girl) and I were hosted by a big family where there were three nice kids.

During the weekend we had a lot of fun together. On the first day we went to watch the Despicable Me 3. It was cool! Then we went shopping to a big mall. There was a skating ring, too. We went to a huge book store, too. I bought a lot of books there.

On Saturday we were invited for a pool party. We had lots of fun there, we laughed a lot. After the party we went home and we had a big cake. I’d tried this kind of cake for the first time and it was delicious!! It became one of my favorite cakes!!!

On the second day we went to the Water Gardens. The weather was pretty hot but it didn’t take our good mood. There were a lot of fountains and a big “mountain”. After that we went to Dallas to an anime shop. I bought a lot of stuff there, and finally we went to a restaurant, where the waiters were dressed from movies. Our waiter was Jack Sparrow. He was very funny and he told us a lot of jokes.

This weekend was very good. The family was very nice to me and Nao, and I enjoyed the time with them.

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My host family /by Leah/

My weekend with my host family was amazing.

My host sister Lauren (who is now a college student) was fun to hang out with. Her mom and her dad were really kind and friendly along with her brother who reminded me of my uncle a lot.

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They planned a food tour for me which mostly was eating tacos somewhere in the city than for dinner make delicious homemade Texan steak and hamburgers. It was exciting to eat the homemade thing. I also got to try microwaved oatmeal which I always thought was disgusting. (I mean the oatmeal). I even experienced the American type of packed lunch which included: chicken salad, some chips, cookies, fruit and a kind of drink. What I liked the most (if we put the homemade dishes aside) was this fast food restaurant similar to KFC called Chick-fil-A. I would go back just to eat again.

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Lauren also took me to an open-air car cinema which was on my list for a long time. My parents told me that there was one in Hungary too but it didn’t benefit well so they closed it eventually. We watched Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was funny and exciting. Sitting in chairs or in the car eating the snacks you bought there and hanging out with your friends. I loved it!

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My host family took to Dallas for shopping. It was the funniest day and also one of the strongest days filled with homesickness. They reminded me of my family so much that even though I enjoyed every moment I still missed my family at home. Now that I’m home, I miss my host family a lot.

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I’m thankful for them because they made me have lots of fun and I will never forget them.