Published November 30th, 2016
Czech Visiting Student Settling into Life at Miramonte High School
By Sora O'Doherty
Adam Kraus Photo provided
When students at Miramonte High School decided to protest the recent presidential election, visiting student Adam Kraus, 17, from Tabor in the Czech Republic joined them.
He knows something about student protests. The Velvet Revolution that led to the establishment of the Czech Republic was 10 years before Adam was born, but his parents were part of it. He felt it was his duty, even though the U.S. is not his country, to protest policies he disagrees with at this historic moment.
But when he isn't protesting, Adam is a pretty normal guy, albeit very talented. Through Jan. 25, Adam will be Orinda's 16th visiting student from sister city Tabor. He left his historic home in in the Czech Republic, where he lives with his parents, to stay in Orinda where he is being hosted by artist Eileen Fitz-Faulkner's family. His entry into Miramonte was eased by being introduced by his host's son.
He has enthusiastically joined campus activities, playing the trumpet in both the jazz and symphonic bands, and participating in sports, such as cross country and soccer. He thought playing his trumpet at Miramonte football games was great fun. He has many hobbies, but photography must rank high: he has an exhibition in the Miramonte library of 10 photographs of notable Tabor characters, including himself, which will remain on view through the end of the academic year.
He came to Orinda pretty well prepared, having read the online journals of former visiting students Michal Vasek and Karel Balogh. Adam is also journaling his experiences online. He is enjoying Miramonte social life, which he finds more school-oriented than his social life in Tabor.
Adam is surprised at how different the food here is from home. He was really surprised to find sweet and sour and salty tastes being mixed, such as serving fish with fruit salad. He is adapting well, but he confesses that he does miss the cooking of his mother and his grandmother, who lives in the next town over from Tabor. He spoke fondly of their weinerschnitzel, which he claims can't be replicated here for reasons that include the type of bread used on the thin slices of meat.
Adam, who speaks Czech, English, French and can understand most Slavic languages, is a junior at Miramonte. At home in Tabor he attends the public grammar school and has two more years of schooling at home before he takes his exams. Students study 14 subjects during their careers, then select five for the leaving examination. Adam will definitely continue on to higher education. Both of his parents at home are architects, which perhaps explains why they live in a 15th-century home built into the castle walls in Tabor.
When students at Miramonte discover that Adam is a visiting European student, they have so many questions for him. Adam highly recommends that everybody should host an exchange student. He is having a great time experiencing life in a different country, and hopes that his host family is enjoying having him.

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA