Wednesday, 17 February 2010

...And it's just the beginning...

"Exchange is about figuring out all the parts of yourself that you may or may not have known were there, and figuring out what you want to bring back with you, and what you want to throw out of the plane on the way back."

Wow, I can’t believe I am actually starting my exchange blog. Going on an exchange is something that I have dreamed of doing since...well, since ever. Before I start talking too much about my exchange though, I’ll tell you a little bit about my self, in case you don’t know me. My name is Andrea, and I am (almost) 16 years old. I live in Calgary, Canada, and am in grade 10. I will be going abroad to Denmark for my grade 11 year through Rotary Youth Exchange. I am being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Calgary West, and I am so beyond excited. While I’m gone I will attend a Danish high school and I will most likely live with 2-4 different host families. I hope to totally immerse myself in the culture, and one of my goals is to come back speaking as much Danish as possible.

But anyways, back to my exchange; I decided around last May that going on an exchange was something I was serious about, and contacted my local Rotary club. The actual application process didn’t start until mid October, and then after that everything started moving really fast. I first attended an information session with my parents, and then filled out a preliminary application form. Then, in early November my parents and I were both interviewed, and the next day I found out I was accepted!! My dream, something that had always been a ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if...’ was actually happening. Now, I don’t think that there are really any words to describe how excited I was, but just imagine me screaming. Well, actually, I read the email at school, so I couldn’t actually scream, but trust me, inside my head there was lots of excitement. So anyways, next came the 25 page long-term application, and then, after that, came waiting. And lots of it. On January 30th I attended my first orientation session where I got to meet all of the other outbounds from my district (District 5360, which, I think, is Calgary and Area).

After the 30th the waiting game started again, but this time I was waiting for probably the most important phone call I will ever get, (over dramatic? I think not) which is the phone call telling me where I will be going. And finally, earlier this week, that much anticipated phone call arrived, and I was told that I will be going to Denmark!! Denmark was my top choice, so when I was told this I actually screamed. Like, you have no idea how excited I was. I was trying to tell one of my friends, but all that came out was ‘adfghiuegyrblvrb!’ Some people might notice that when I’m excited Italkreallyfastandyoudon’tknowwhatI’m saying, and the same thing goes for when I’m typing. So yeah, I’m verrryyyy happy and super excited.

And for those of you who are thinking, “Denmark? Why Denmark?” I have one word for you. Oprah. Before I went for my interview I had to start thinking about where I might want to go, so I started looking into a whole bunch of countries. My mom is an Oprah fan, and on one of her shows she talked about the happiest places in the world, and Denmark was ranked as one of the tops. I guess I was curious why Denmark was such a happy country, and once I started reading about the country, I just sort of knew this was where I wanted to be. I still don’t fully understand why Denmark is such a happy place, but that is just one of the many things I can’t wait to learn during my year there. I guess I don’t have too much more to say. I’m not sure what city I’ll be in, and I probably won’t get my host family until close to the summer, but I just wanted to let everyone know what I was doing and where I was going. I also just wanted to let everyone involved in Rotary know how thankful I am to be given this opportunity, and I am so excited to be apart of such an amazing organization. If anyone wants more information on Rotary, here is their link:

Sorry this is so long, but I guess I had a lot I wanted to say! I most likely won’t post again until the Spring when I find out what city I will be going to, and hopefully hear from my first host family.

For those of you who don’t know me, and for those of you who do know me but don’t know this, I love quotes. I am a quote junkie. It’s a sickness I’ve decided that every time I update my blog (which once I arrive with be often (I hope)) I will start off with a quote. So to finish off this blog post...

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself."  ~Alan Alda