NEW LONDON — Ivana Lajznerova is effortless to spot on the cross state training course. Her effervescent smile, extended blonde ponytailed hair and lengthy strides established her aside from the crowd.
Lajznerova can’t assistance but smile. At a time when the United States appears to be to be ripping aside at the seams with political strife, which has divided the nation, and the on-heading COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned modern society into a faceless mass of men and women hidden driving masks, there is no other place in the world Lajznerova would rather be than The united states.
Lajznerova, a senior overseas trade pupil at New London Superior School, is making the most of her time in the U.S. She has witnessed lots of hardships in her time in her homeland of the Czech Republic, the place she life in Liberec, a city of 104,000 individuals. She is the 2nd-oldest in a loved ones of 9. Her mom, Petra Lajznerova, has been divorced two times. And the COVID-19 limitations in her homeland are rigorous, to say the the very least.
Lajznerova dreamed of coming to America, going through the land of the cost-free and the dwelling of the courageous. It was a excursion that was nearly canceled by the pandemic, but which landed her in the house of Mark and Gina McSorley in New London, a town barely more substantial than Lajznerova’s community back home.
Lajznerova is loving just about every moment of her time in America, and she is supporting with the Danville-New London women cross nation team, where by she has produced some near mates and is finding out to in shape ideal in with the crowd.
But that smile, it separates her from all people.
“My mom determined I really should try cross state, but I am really commencing to like it,” Lajznerova explained. “I discuss to a whole lot of individuals. But at the college, there is not significantly time to converse to men and women since we have to do research and the breaks amongst courses are seriously short. We have like 10-moment breaks, often 50 % an hour. I really do not get to talk to lots of individuals in university, but at cross nation, I will discuss a little far more. And at the weekend we cling out with friends. It is much better.”
“She’s completed truly nicely. She’s taken some time to get utilised to some matters. A small time with jet lag to get about being fatigued. She’s beginning to get a very little little bit improved. She’s undertaking excellent,” Danville-New London cross country mentor Lucas Gourley explained of Lajznerova, who constantly appears to set a smile on her coach’s confront. “She’s enjoyment because she goes all over and she’ll appear by me and she’ll have a massive smile on her deal with. Some of the other kids arrive by me and they do not have a incredibly large smile on their face, but she’s obtained that massive smile. She loves to smile. She’s enjoyable to have on the staff.”
Lajznerova’s very first encounter in America is one that can make her chortle. Soon after having her vacation postponed due to the fact of the pandemic — she initially was to spend the 12 months with a loved ones in Illinois — the McSorleys stepped up at the 11th hour and put in for a international exchange scholar. The McSorleys have a few small children — Carson and Isaac are both equally in school, and Ashlyn is a junior at New London — and now have Lajznerova.
It has been a blessing for Lajznerova and the McSorley family.
“It is been fascinating,” Gina McSorley stated. “We just determined to do it at the very last minute, It can be been something new for all of us. We have already uncovered a good deal alongside the way. We are making an attempt to introduce her to as quite a few new points as we can. Her English is incredibly superior, so there is no language barrier and she is quite uncomplicated to get alongside with.”
“She’s just one more lady in the house,” Mark McSorley reported with a snicker. “It is really been fun. It truly is entertaining to find out about her and listen to all the tales she tells. She is really effortless-heading and gets alongside very well at school. All the young ones have actually acknowledged her at faculty. She was only below two months and they voted her on to the homecoming courtroom. She is really simple to like. She is a really polite, comfortable-spoken lady.”
Lajznerova won’t ignore the very first time she fulfilled the McSorleys at the Quad Towns International Airport in Moline, Illinois.
“It was really humorous for the reason that I arrived there much previously than I experienced believed,” Lajznerova said. “I was walking out of the airplane in the area in which they had been waiting for me. They explained to me they would be keeping a sign with my name so I could recognize them. When I received there, they were sitting there on a bench hunting truly weary. I was seeking at them like, ‘Is that Mark and Gina? I do not know what to do.’ I went about and questioned them, ‘Are you Mark and Gina?’ And they there like, ‘Yes, you are Ivana’ and they showed me the sign. It was funny.”
Lajznerova has suit ideal in with the Danville-New London cross place crew. She has worked her way up to a varsity place for the Bears, one of the prime Course 2A teams in the point out, led by senior Addison Parrott.
“Actually we have a person lady who is not emotion genuine properly appropriate now, so Ivana ran varsity (Monday) night time and I feel she will operate on Thursday. She’s completed actually perfectly,” Gourley said. “She’s been great. It is been enjoyable to have a foreign trade university student. It provides a different dimension to the staff. She delivers a unique viewpoint.”
Lajznerova is studying and increasing in cross place, a far cry from the floorball game titles she performed in the Czech Republic.
“I played floorball for the longest time. That was for five decades. We gained the nationwide championship. We were a great crew,” Lajznerova claimed.
It has taken Lajznerova some time to get acclimated to life in The usa, which is a far cry from the daily life she was accustomed to again house.
“It’s rather a lifestyle shock,” Lajznerova explained. “Initially of all, it’s seriously scorching below. Again at house, it is like 50 levels and raining all day and cloudy. Today, the temperature is our most popular day in summer. It’s genuinely very hot more than listed here. In our nation, every thing shut down. Faculties are shut down. All people is in quarantine. In stores you have to use a mask and only just one human being of the loved ones can go buying. They are proscribing almost everything.”
It also has taken Lajznerova a though to get altered to the meals in The us, which is significantly various than in the Czech Republic. There are extra choices and a lot even larger portions in The usa. But it didn’t choose extensive for her to find a new favorite meals.
“Here the meals is very diverse. We really do not take in as considerably cheese. There is cheese in everything, like quite thick slices of cheese. And tons of mayonnaise. Not as much mayonnaise back at household. I try to eat corndogs listed here. We do not have corndogs again house,” Lajznerova reported. “I like peanut butter. We never have peanut butter at property. Only Nutella. I really like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They are genuinely excellent. There is heaps of rapid food stuff in this article. We have some, but not as several decisions of speedy foods. There are also numerous decisions for food stuff. Far too quite a few. And substantially much larger portions of foodstuff here.”
The McSorleys are including to Lajznerova’s finding out expertise. Though she is pulling down good grades in school, the McSorleys are creating confident she will get a effectively-rounded instruction, like trips to see the place and the countryside beyond New London.
“We are likely to the Grand Canyon at the finish of the month. I am truly hunting ahead to it. This weekend we will go on a excursion to Chicago due to the fact Ashlyn has a softball match,” Lajznerova reported.
“My wife took her up to Pella previous weekend,” Mark McSorley mentioned. “She basically met a lady up there from the Czech Republic, so they liked conversing in their native language. She intends to be concerned in athletics. She went to a few open fitness centers for basketball and I think she plans on functioning keep track of in the spring.”
“We are seeking to make confident her vacation is well balanced. We want her to see as a great deal of the region as she can,” Gina McSorley said. “We are attempting to get her much more locations than just Iowa. She was really astonished at all the corn right here in Iowa.”
Lajznerova already has some memorable moments to tell of her short stay therefore much with the McSorleys.
“The McSorleys are genuinely good. They allow for me to do something due to the fact I have great grades,” she reported. “They are actually pleasant. And they are really lively. Like Mark. We went on a bicycle and we ended up driving at Geode. He was riding so quick above all people rocks and ruts I was definitely fearful since I imagined he was going to crash. He is a really rough man. I went with Gina to the health and fitness center. She is incredibly lively, far too. They are a quite energetic loved ones.
“I bought to fulfill Carson. Carson is truly wonderful. I seriously like her. We went collectively on a bicycle ride, but it was definitely windy so we just turned the bicycles about and went back again dwelling. We converse to every other. She appears to be extremely good.”
Lajznerova isn’t really guaranteed what she wants to do in the long term, though she hinted at finding out drugs and potentially starting to be a health practitioner. For now, she is broadening her horizons, conference new pals and studying a new culture. And she is loving her time with her cross region teammates.
“It’s been a great deal of exciting. She’s quite shy, but I feel most international trade students have to have to get applied to some things around right here,” Gourley claimed. “I think she has warmed up really, seriously properly to the relaxation of the crew, and the team has performed a really good career of creating her sense at home. Cross region is absolutely a loved ones sense among all the teammates. They’ve finished a truly very good occupation to get her acclimated. I consider she feels definitely cozy now.”
Lajznerova talks to her family back again home when she can, usually on lunch break at faculty. She misses her loved ones, but is obtaining lifestyle in The us to her liking.
“I’m below until the conclude of the university yr. At the conclusion of Could, I will depart. I’m missing property, but I’m positive when I am leaving I will be crying because I will overlook it listed here,” Lajznerova explained. “Be happy that you live in America. It’s not as pleasant in all nations around the world.”