• zoebrygs

The final step.

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Soo... I think it may be time for a very large update.

The last time I wrote, I had just found out my country and had just finished my boot-camp. Since then, a lot has definitely happened. So let me tell you!

I went to RYLE in May, It was definitely the best camp I've ever been to. I made so many great friends from all over Canada! and my bonds with some of the "exchangies" became even stronger. We got to do super fun activities, even with the poopy weather. A lot of the focus was on Rotary's 6 pillars: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, Disease prevention and treatment, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health, Basic education and literacy, and Economic and community development. I went back to St. Albert inspired, and worked with the Leadership committee at Bellerose to try and improve some of those issues. Specifically creating a plan for a provided breakfast club, no not the movie ;) for those who may have forgotten food or are in an environment where breakfast cannot be provided in our neighborhood elementary school. It will improve issues in the Education/Literacy pillar.

So ya, that was pretty cool.

These are some pictures from my week:

At the end of May, I was biking home from pottery class with my best friend Emma and my phone blew up with messages from my dad. He kept saying have you checked your mail?! It was a super duper long email from my host family! It was all in french, I had to translate it all in chunks because of how long it was. I almost cried because I was so excited haha.

Alix, Francis, Sophie, Claudine

I found out I was living in a town called Beaufays just 15mins outside of the city I dreamed of being in, Liege. What luck!!! I have a host dad named Francis, a host mom named Claudine, and 2 host sisters. One of which I may never meet because she left for her exchange in Texas a few days ago. My other host sister, Alix is the same age as me! and we'll be going to the same school, Athenee Royal De Chenee. Sounds fancy eh?? I've talked to them almost every day since. I truly hit the jackpot with this family. We have so many things in common, and I will learn so much from them. I am so so so grateful and so excited.

After that point we applied for my visa, more paperwork :( I got my blazer, started collecting pins, said goodbye to Mady, and things really started rolling in.

Two weeks ago my dad and I went to Montreal to pick up my visa. We made a vacation out of it and I'm so happy I got to spend some time with my dad in such a beautiful place before I leave. I couldn't understand anything people were saying, but I want to come back after my year in Belgium, and hopefully be able to speak to everyone perfectly!

This week, we hosted my going away BBQ. It was really nice to have everyone there. Thank you to every Rotarian, Family member, and Friend that has supported me along the way :)

Aside from that, my summer just went amazingly. We went to Tofino and got some good surfing and hikes in. Went to the lake a few times, my sweet 16, parties with all my friends, Folk Fest, and so much more. It was such a good way to end my year at home.

My last meeting was Friday morning. I packed EVERYTHING yesterday. (yes you can do it) no, i'm not crazy. I leave at 5:30pm tonight. People keep asking, how do you feel? are you ready? And your probably wondering the same too. Well, I feel very very neutral. I am starting to stress out about not being stressed out if that makes sense. And how can you truly be ready for exchange??? I don't think you can. I know this year is going to throw a lot of things at me, I'm just ready to see how it goes when they hit me in the face. Next time I write I'll probably be in Belgium. AH! Talk soon ~Z

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