Karly departed for Brazil today – 32 days since her return from Japan. We (Mom and Dad) dropped her at the Grande Prairie airport just after lunch. Karly will be in Brazil for 122 days, flying home late August.
In a true display of Rotarians working together – Karly is only able to complete her Youth Exchange year after Rotary members in Brazil offered to accept any exchange student that had to depart Japan early due to the earthquake. We accepted and the rest is history. To complete the story, the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie offered to take any Brazilian youth exchange students that had to leave Japan – Luiza will be here in early May! Luiza will be here for around 90 days. The Grande Prairie Clubs (there are 3) offered to take more than one student. There were just a couple in Japan at the time, one accepted to come to Grande Prairie. There was a newspaper story done about the Brazil connection that explains it well.
I asked Karly if she was a little scared to go to Brazil. “Nope”. Anxious? “Nope”. Worried? “Nope”. Sorry to miss the graduation ceremony of her class she left behind? (It is next week!) “Nope”. She was really ready to go.
Karly’s home will be Belo Horizonte, the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third-largest metropolitan area in the country and has a population of over 2.4 million, or almost 5.4 million in the official Metropolitan Area.
I asked Karly what was she hoping to get out of this journey – and she thought “language”. She wants to put effort into the Portuguese language. She will have one host family in Brazil, a family that currently has a boy on youth exchange in Kamloops.
So from Grande Prairie to Japan, to Grande Prairie and now Brazil. When she returns she will do her grade 12 (one year behind but oh, so wiser) at PWA High School Grande Prairie.
Who knows what Karly will come across in Brazil. Who knows what adventures she will discover or what she will learn about her new country, her new home and about herself. I know it will again be a steep learning curve, one she will be forever grateful for.
Someone said “From bad luck comes good luck”. What ever you want to call it – Karly is very fortunate thanks to the work of Rotary members from several parts of the world, and yes – some good luck, too.