Posted by Carl Gerhardt on May 29, 2018
On 5/29/2018, Julie Martineau from the Woodlands Rotary Club brought their 2017-2018 Rotary Exchange Student, Zita Katharina Hrala from Salzburg, Austria to talk to the Magnolia Rotary Club about her experiences over the last year while in Texas. Pictured above from left to right are Zita Hrala and Magnolia Rotary Club President, Kelly McDonald.
Zita told the group that she is 16 years old, in the 10th grade and from Salzburg, Austria. Her favorite hobbies are Skiing, Freeriding and hiking. She attends a private boarding school near Salzburg. She told us a little about her family in Salzburg where she has 3 sisters. She then showed a map of her home town which can be seen below as well as photo of a famous castle in the area:
Zita then told everyone that Austria is famous as the home of Mozart. Zita then talked about her time in Texas and showed a photo of her two host families before talking about the things she had done while here in Texas. She showed photos of each event and spoke a little about what she like about that event. The events were as follows:
  • 1st Rotary Weekend on a Texas beach
  • A Hurricane Harvey Volunteer (a first for her)
  • 1st time on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas
  • Her 1st Pep Rally (they don't have pep rallies at her school in Austria)
  • Her 1st Football Game (they have Soccer in Austria)
  • Experiencing Halloween in Texas
  • 2nd Rotary Weekend in Palestine (her team won a boat race)
  • Her 1st Homecoming Event and Dance
  • The German Festival in Tomball, Texas
  • Her 1st Choir Concert in Texas
  • Christmas in Texas (1st time without snow)
  • A trip to Austin (she does not travel far from home in Austria) (also her first American breakfast experience)
  • A weekend at RYLA (loved it and exchanged pins with other students from all over the world)
  • SCRYE (South Central Rotary Youth Exchange in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she visited a Planetarium) (her favorite event)
  • Her first Houston Rodeo (it was way better than she expected)
  • 5th Rotary Weekend (in San Antonio on a ranch)
  • Last Rotary Weekend (talked to many student from around the world)
Zita then thanked all Rotarians and especially her host families for the awesome time she has had while here (she had only 6 days left). When asked what event she liked the best she said that the trip to Oklahoma (SCRYE) stood out in her mind because of all the friends she made from all over the world that she will remain in touch with for years to come. Zita also told everyone that when she learned about our Interact Clubs, she decided when she got back to create an Interact Club at her school. However, when she emailed them about the possibility, she found out that they already had a club. However, they really wanted her to join when she got back and possibly consider being the Club's next president because of her experience.