Saturday, August 17, 2013

And So It Begins...

9 months ago I filled out a form, wrote an introduction essay, and sent in my completed application for a Rotary Youth Exchange to the Rotary club of Okotoks and hoped with all my hoping powers that I would be the lucky "chosen one" who ventured off to a foreign country all by my independent self for a year.

8 months ago I found out, after I was interviewed, that I was chosen to go on the exchange for the year of 2013/2014. To say I was excited would be the understatement of the year.  I got the call from my Rotary counsellor while standing by myself in the middle of the common area of my school, and I think I frightened a few unsuspecting fellow high school-ers with my jumping-up-and-down-while-giggling-and-emitting-squeals-like-a-little-girl reaction.

7 months ago I was assigned the country of France for my exchange.

5 months ago I met the Inbound Rotary students of 2012/2013 who were from all over the world, and who were on exchange in my district in Alberta.  I also met the Outbound Canadian students from the 2011/2012 exchange and was able to get a glimpse into what my upcoming year would be like.  Every single person that I met was interesting and cool and mature and and awesome and they made me want to be on exchange already.

3 months ago I received an email from my first host family, and learned my new home would be Roubaix, which is a small city just outside of the larger city Lille, in northern France.

2 months ago I graduated from high school.

1 month ago panic set in as I realized how little time I had left in Canada, and how fast it was probably going to pass.

I was right.

IN 5 DAYS I LEAVE FOR FRANCE FOR A YEAR.  There are too many goodbyes, too many things to pack, too many tasks to be done, too many people I still haven't seen, and nowhere near enough hours in a day. I have no idea when 5 months became 5 days, but the moment I've been waiting for for over half a year is finally almost here and I have more emotions running through me than I ever thought a person could feel all at one time. I'm gonna miss you Canada!

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