Monday, February 22, 2010

I will be going to...

February 21st was a life-changing day for sure.

I drove to Brampton with my family to meet with all of the inbounds, outbounds, rebounds, and everyone's family to find out where everyone was going on exchange this coming July/August. As I entered the Rotary Club I was the second outbound to arrive, and I was almost immediately fitted for my red Rotary blazer which I'll receive in May. It was so good to see all of the exchange students again since most of us haven't seen each other since Wanakita! After some catching-up the Rotarian's got us all settled down and Announcement Day had finally begun!

First the Rotarians were all introduced and they were very skillful at keeping up the anxiety and suspense. After finding out that no one was going to Ecuador this year I was a little worried because I was hoping for a South American country, but I was ready for anything! Finally the Rotarians called up the first girl for her envelope but before she could open it they read the full letter out for everyone to hear. With my last name starting with a "W" I was expecting to be the last person to open their envelope, but NOPE... I was the second one! I was so nervous but also strangely calm as I walked up to the podium to open up my envelope in front of everyone. As I opened up my envelope I had the great please to announce...

"I'm going to... CHILE!"

Just after opening my envelope

That's right! This blond hair, blue-eyed Canadian girl will be living in Chile for the next year of her life! I'm so happy that I'm going to Chile, it was my first choice to go to and I cannot wait! As every outbound opened up their envelope the inbound/rebound from that country would run up and hug the inbound, it was so awesome! After everyone's country was announced we spilt up into three groups, South America (Chile and Brazil), Europe (Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France), and Asia/Oceania (Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Australia). We were able to talk to the inbounds and rebounds along with our Rotarian coordinator to learn more about our countries and re-assure our parents. After that we were able to just hang out again, take pictures, and just enjoy the fact that we are all going to amazing countries! Finally to my parents relief, we finally left and I was surprised with a little present at home from my mom and step-dad. My mom being confident in me going to Chile bought me a map of the country a week ago and I also received a lovely little "rough guide" to Chile along with some Canadian flag badges.

Book (from Thailand), Sampo (from Finland), Me (Canada/Chile), and Cristobal (from Chile)

I am so thrilled, ecstatic, joyous, grateful, blessed, appreciative, excited to go to Chile and to have this amazing cultural experience!

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