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Trip to Coastside was unforgettable challenge

Trip to Coastside was unforgettable challenge - Publishedin Half Moon Bay Review

Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 - 09:30:45 am PDT

My experience in Half Moon Bay as an exchange student of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program is unforgettable. I had the opportunity to meet new cultures, challenges, food and traditions (Pumpkin Festival, Night of Lights, and Chamarita), also new friends, families, exchange students from all over the world, Rotary members and Rotary Clubs. It helped to become more independent, to be secure with myself and to see the world in a different way. And more important you gain language skills that are impossible to obtain in a classroom setting.

During my exchange year I participated on several activities like the San Francisco parade, Rotary at the Ritz, and many other things with the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay. Each Rotary member made my stay enjoyable.

I also felt really lucky to have three wonderful and loving host families, because each family made me feel like I was home. John and Larkin Evans, my first host parents were caring. I went through several emotional feelings during the time I stayed in their house, but being with them I wasn’t homesick. David and Marla, my second host parents were kind and understanding. They helped me during the time I was in the high school musical. My third and last host family Johnny, Jennifer, John and Aundrea were generous and loving. I must say that my last host family was bigger compared to the others but I loved each moment I shared with them. I will never forget all the love and affection the three families gave me.

Attending Half Moon Bay High School was a challenging experience. At the beginning, it was hard to make new friends and to get used to their school program because I came from a private school. But by the end, I ended up making so many friends with whom I shared so many memories. Although, I must say that being part of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, Senior Picnic, Grad Night and others were unique.

I went on a Western Safari Tour with 54 Rotary exchange students from different countries. We went to Los Angeles, San Diego, the Grand Canyon where we hiked to the Bottom of the Colorado River, Las Vegas, Yosemite and San Francisco. I had the best time of my life. Our relationship was so close that we became a family.

Now that I came back home to Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador, I miss everyone and everything from Half Moon Bay. This year was one of the best years of my life. I will never forget all those wonderful moments that changed my life in some way. It’s hard to believe that it went by so fast, but if I had the opportunity to talk about it with other teenagers I will recommend they do it too. You’ll never know how wonderful and exciting it is. As my host sister, Drusia Dickson, once said, “What could be harder than going to a foreign country where you don't know anyone or speak the language? If you can do this, then you can do anything.” As an exchange student, you gain confidence and a sense of belief in yourself that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Thank you once more to the Rotary Clubs of Bahía de Caráquez and Half Moon Bay for giving me the opportunity to participate as a Rotary exchange student. Thank you to all of my host families and friends for their love and affection.

Thank you Stacy Trevenon and Half Moon Bay Review for have giving me the opportunity to share all of my feelings and unforgettable experiences.

A special thank you to my parents Jorge & Terezinie and to my brother Jonathan, who filled me with blessings and advice guiding me to a better future.

-- Andrea Ordonez Andrade

Permalink 08/31/09 05:47:30 pm, by Elizabeth Email , 657 words, Categories: Reconocimientos, Articulos, Saludos , Leave a comment »

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