2017 Out-bounds
Well, where has the time gone I hear you all say!!. We are now pushing well into July and from reading your reports and seeing some of your Facebook postings many of you are all making the most of your opportunities and I suspect enjoying a far warmer climate than all us back here. July is a good time to take stock and revisit that bucket list so as to make time to try and do everything that you would like to do. You are now “oldies” so make the best of this new status and help out the newbies arriving. Remember to keep those smiley faces on and those ever important thanks you’s.  Keep safe and enjoy the experiences that come your way. 
Best wishes, Jerry and Karen and all the committee. 

Hannah Orr ~ Netherlands

In the last couple of months I have done so much. I've travelled to two islands, Ameland and Texel. I’ve been to so many museums but the most memorable was the Van Gogh museum. My friends and I have done so much together; we have done an escape room, celebrated birthdays, been to the movies, travelled to Texel and done so much more!
My host family is amazing, so is my host club (apparently I say “amazing” and “awesome” a lot) because everyone quotes me on that but that just makes my host club great as they’re really friendly and love getting to know me better.
I went to Texel (a small island that the Netherlands owns) with two friends, Pia and Myrte. We had a lot of fun there, we went to the beach, swimming, biking all over the island and we saw a couple of tulip fields which were beautiful. 
I went to Ameland (which is another island near the Netherlands) with my host family. My host family are a lot of fun, my two host sisters Puk(14) and Jip(18) took me swimming and we played volleyball with them. My host Parent Joreon and Richtje are awesome and love to joke around and showed me a lot of new things in Ameland. ~ Hannah

 Tessa Waldon ~ France Bonjour 

These last couple of months I’ve done a lot of things for which I’m really lucky. 
I believe I was about to go to La Rochelle with all of the other exchange students in France when I sent in my last report. We spent four days together in La Rochelle and I got to meet plenty of other exchange students from completely different places, and also got to spend heaps of time with the people in my district. 
There were around 500 of us there and we had a night altogether where we ate and each district performed something. During this weekend we also had the President of Rotary International speak to us and we also heard from some past exchange students at a conference. 
After that I went on holiday to Dordogne for two weeks with my second host family. They took me to visit heaps of castles and try different foods and local things which I loved. I’ve now been with this family for nearly two and a half months and I change back to my first family for the summer tomorrow.  
I’ve also been to London with my Rotary district and we’re the only one in France that offers this trip. I had one of the best four days of my life with all of my best friends. We went up the London Eye, did a boat tour, bus tours, explored the city and plenty of other things! It was interesting to speak English and order food or ask for directions without any hassles at all.  
I recently had my birthday and it was during the long weekend so I went to Amsterdam with my first two host families. I loved exploring the city and seeing heaps of museums and tasting different foods from the country. And once again I loved that the Dutch speak perfect English and I could be of use to my families in a big way.  
I had my last day of school for the 2016/2017 year on Thursday. It was sad to say goodbye to my friends that I’ve made here in my class but I’ll see them after the holidays. I’ll be travelling basically the entire time of the school holidays so I’m really lucky!  
In the upcoming week I’ll be going to Paris with my district and we’ll go to Disneyland and do some other things, then on Saturday I’ll begin my 12 day Euro Tour. I’m really looking forward to it but I know that Friday will be the last day that I see my oldies. 
I always expected that exchange would be hard and I prepared myself for most of the challenges I thought I’d encounter, but I never expected that these friendships that I’ve made with my
oldies could have meant so much to me and that them leaving would be so challenging. It’s just a part of exchange life I guess, but it’s definitely one of the most testing things that I’ve encountered so far.
~  Tessa

 John Owen ~ Brazil

The second quarter is nearly up, wow that has gone fast. Over the last months I have been seeing and relaxing with the other exchange students,  
I also spent 20 days travelling the north-east and Amazon. In the northeast we went to the Christ the redeemer statue and also went to Sugarloaf Mountain. We then went through the northeast which included us visiting places like Salvador and Joao Pessoa. 
Then we visited the Amazon and met with many more exchange students from over Brazil who were all amazing in more ways that I can imagine. 
We all spent 10 days together, seven of them on the boats. We visited tribes and local towns and went to see the biggest tree in the Amazon. We were always on the lookout for alligators, and sloths and then went on to see an anaconda. We also had a relaxing time on the boat where we could relax or swim, listen to music or just enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Amazon. 
We slept in hammocks and ate on a separate boat. There were four big boats in our mini fleet and smaller boats for travelling through the more enclosed areas. We were split into three boats the Jacere the Bisha Preguica and the Anaconda, and one boat for lunch.  John

Megan Buchanan ~  Brazil

I am not going to lie, the past few months have been difficult with me wanting to go home and having meetings with my inbound coordinator and a few others about my problems. This took time and a lot of tears but I finally came to an agreement with my  inbound coordinator that I’d give myself two months and if I’m still as miserable  as I was then I would go home but I changed families and schools and I’m having fun! 
My new family are absolutely amazing and my new school in an ‘international’ school so half the classes are in English!! So I have so many friends there and all the teacher can ask me questions about New Zealand and vice versa, 
For the past Friday, Saturday and Sunday I’ve had a different event each day all about rotary which was nice yet very tiring. At each event I’ve made at least one friend and most of those conversations started about how they liked my hair (its blue by the way!) So that was very nice! 
Next weekend I have district conference for the whole weekend, I’m looking forward to that! ~ Megan 

Crispina Menezes ~ Chile

Hello everyone! I can’t believe that it has already been so much time and I still have so much more. So much has happened.   
I changed families and my new family is really great. I went to the North with my old Host Family twice. The first time just with them, and the second time with four other exchange students. It was a great trip and was super fun to spend time with them and say our final goodbyes.   
I haven’t had any more time to go on any more trips because it’s the middle of the school year. But with that, I’ve been a lot more involved in my school and my class and have made a lot more friends. Along with that my Spanish is a lot better but I’m still learning and working on it.  Nothing much has really happened in the last few months but still the experience has been great and I’m still enjoying it tremendously. ~ Crispina

Elise Cacace  ~   Austria

Woooah now where to begin! These last few months have been absolutely epic with an even more epic turn around with the weather!   
It’s gone from snow boots, five layers of clothing and the heating on full blast in every room - to thirty degrees, sunburn and swimming in the lake every day to keep cool. Although I loved the snow I am glad summer is almost here!   
At the start of May I headed out on Euro tour with all the exchange students from Austria, Croatia and Bosnia. This was probably the highlight of my exchange so far (apart from Skii camp which was also the best time of my life).  
Euro tour showed us around France, Italy, Vatican, Monaco, Croatia and also parts of Germany and Slovenia. Every day we did something new and exciting and I ticked many MANY things off of my bucket list - such as taking a gondola boat through Venice and taking the typical tourist photo with the leaning tower of Pisa.   
I learnt so much about the world and different cultures on tour and also discovered a bit about myself along the way. Words can’t explain what a phenomenal two weeks it was and is certainly something that will stick with me forever. 
Besides Euro tour, I have also been hiking up the mountains in the Salzburg region starting from a town called Saalfelden. These mountains were the exact same ones that the real Von Trapp family hiked over during the war (Sound of Music).   
My average day usually consists of school which never ends later than 1.30 and then swimming in the lake or hanging with friends. I am super lucky with the location I live in and every day I am still blown away by the view of the mountains and the lake on my way to school. Overall I am loving the Austrian life and will soon be converting to one of the locals.  ~ Elise

Abbie Younger ~  Denmark

During this part of my exchange, I have become much more interactive with the people in my class. I have started to develop better friendships with most people and am starting to find school much more enjoyable.  
With it now being holidays, I have had the opportunity to finally go on Euro Tour along with 46 other exchange students. Our first stop was in Germany where we visited Berlin and Potsdam. We visited the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate.   
Next, was the Czech Republic where we visited the concentration camp in Terezin and stayed in Prague. Prague was one of my favourite stops on the tour. It had such an amazing atmosphere and interesting culture.   
After Czechia, we stayed in Vienna, Austria; where we were lucky enough to go to the Vienna Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra’s annual free concert during our first night there.   
That unforgettable experience was followed by a day exploring Vienna. Our next stop was in Italy. We spent three days there mainly in Lido de Jesolo. During our time there, we spent a day in Venice. Venice was an incredible city, and totally unlike anything I had ever seen before. The following day we spent at the beach and at Karaoke. This was one of my very favourite moments of the trip. We also spent a few hours in Verona where we saw Juliet’s Balcony and the famous alleyway where people write their names.   
We had originally planned to see Monaco but with the Formula 1 taking place there, all busses were forced to reroute. Lucky for our bus we could stop there for five minutes and take some pictures.   
In replace of Monaco, we went to Nice, France. The beach in Nice was amazing and made for some wonderful pictures. We then moved on to Avignon, stopping at the Pont du Gard on the way. Avignon was incredible to witness; however, the weather was terrible. We were however, able to go bowling and spend a lot of time with everyone together.   
The following day, we spent nearly 14 hours driving to Paris. Our first night there we took a boat tour along the River Seine, where we saw the Eiffel Tower. We were then able to go the top of the Tower and look out across France, an incredible memory I won’t forget. 
On Saturday, we went to Disneyland and spent the entire day there, right up until the night show. During our last day in Paris we were given free reign and me and a few others went to visit the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and Notre Dame.   
After Paris, we spent a day in Brussels. I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with Taryn Beasley who showed me around her great city, and we both shared stories of our exchanges so far. Belgian chocolate and waffles were had by all, that day.   
Our last stop on the tour was Amsterdam. A very interesting and lively city, which unfortunately was hindered by bad weather.   
But overall, the 18-day trip around Europe was one of the most incredible, awe-inspiring, and exhausting trips I have ever had the pleasure of being on and I can say without a doubt that it will be one of the biggest highlights of my year. ~ Abbie

Taryn Beasley ~ Belgium

Over the past three months of my exchange I have been extremely fortunate; I have had the opportunity to travel to many places with both my host families and rotary. These trips have not only been highlights of my exchange but also my life!   
Before the Easter holidays my host family took me on a trip to Venice in Italy, it was incredible! Whilst we were there we did the very typical gondola ride through the canals and also ate lots of pizza and pasta.   
Two weeks later for the first week of the Easter holidays I went to Greece on a Rotary trip along with 55 other exchange students, the best week of my life so far.   
The first night we spent in Olympia, we visited the Olympic stadium where the first ever Olympics were held. The next four days we spent in Porto Heli, right across the road from the beach. We visited two small islands called Hydra and Spetses which we rode around on bicycles. Then for the last two days we went to Athens and visited the Acropolis and a few museums in the city.   
From Greece I flew back to Brussels before getting on another flight with an exchange student who shares host families with me and flew to Barcelona Spain to meet my host family who have a holiday house in the south of France.   
We visited Barcelona city the first day then the rest of the week we went to castles, beaches  and cute little towns in the south of France.   
After the Easter holidays my host family took me to Keukenhof in Holland, the largest tulip garden in the world for the weekend. Then on another weekend I spent the day in Amsterdam with my three host families and the two other exchange students who are also hosted by them. 
Amongst all these amazing international trips I also did a daytrip with the Australian embassy on ANZAC day. We attended three Anzac services in different parts of Belgium throughout the day and also visited cemeteries where hundreds of New Zealand and Australian soldiers are buried. It was an amazing day; there were so many New Zealanders who came from around Europe to participate and even a few groups who came all the way from New Zealand. To be completely honest I felt like I was home again with all the familiar accents around me.  The summer Holidays have just begun here in Belgium and I’m looking forward to all the things and trips I have planned over the next two and a half months! ~ Taryn

Isla Evans ~  Brazil


Hey everyone! I feel like I’ve been so busy lately, but I will try to summarise.  
I had my 18th birthday in May, which my host mum helped make amazing and very Brazilian with  personalised balloons and cups, as well as having a bunch of my friends over.   
I’ve also been spending some of my time after school helping out at an English school in my city.   
As well as this, I’ve just come back from my districts annual conference. One of the days was a "fair of nations," where every nationality was given a table on which the exchange students had to display our home culture. I made ANZAC biscuits, wrote out some Maori words, and displayed some souvenirs. I’m the only Kiwi in my district so while it was a little over whelming, I got to talk to, and network with, so many people.  Another thing about the conference was that it would be the last time all of the exchange students in our district would be together, some leaving as little as three days after the conference.   
It was an emotional time when we all had to split, and tears were shed. With some of my closest friends leaving, it has made me think more about my exchange and the type of exchange student that I want to be. I have been able to hear what they have regretted not doing, and also the amazing things they have done and places they have been, that I still have time to work towards.   
Straight after the conference a small group of exchange students, about 15 of us, went on the last Rotary trip of the year to Foz do Iguaçu (Iguaçu waterfalls). These waterfalls are one of the great wonders of the world. So many waterfalls at one location which are all special because of being located at the meeting point of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.   
For one of the days we were there, we  walked over the border into Paraguay to shop in the street markets. We also spent a day in  Argentina at the Foz do Iguaçu park, seeing all the waterfalls. We also saw the falls from the  Brazilian side of the border, which, while was more spectacular, we were unlucky enough to go on a day when it rained. ~ Isla

 Jessica Smalberger ~  Belgium

Six months through is crazy. My time here just seems to move faster and faster. I'm having an amazing time here in Belgium. I’ve had some super cool experiences here in the first 6 months of my exchange. I’ve gone to France, England, Greece, Holland, my first host family took me to watch The Voice Belgium live. I was honoured to be able to go to all the ANZAC commemorations with the Australian embassy and other New Zealand and Australian Rotary exchange students. This was really special for me. We each got to lay wreaths as a part of the official party at different battle sites. We were lucky enough to meet New Zealand representatives such as the New Zealand ambassador, and the New Zealand Chief of
Military. It was like being back home for a day, a day that I’ll never forget.   The hardest thing I’ve had to do so far on my exchange was change host families. I got very close with my first family, which I didn’t expect. Readjusting to a completely new way of life and family environment is very difficult, especially as I felt so comfortable with my first family. I think this is normal with all exchange students though. It’s summer holidays! I have just under three months of the holiday which I am definitely not complaining about! Almost all of June has been over 28 degrees, the last two weeks its been 30 degrees everyday.
I’m about to start a lot of travelling which I’m really excited about. Over the next two months I have the opportunity to go to Prague, Turkey, France, possibly Scandinavia with my host family, Bresa and my real family who are coming to visit! The Bresa trips are something that no Rotary exchange student in Belgium should say no to. The Greece trip has been by far the highlight of my exchange. It will probably be the highlight of my life, I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever have another holiday that fun, surrounded by about 60 of the best people ever in the one of the coolest countries ever. That week was everything good about exchange concentrated into seven days. ~ Jessica

Hugh Marsh ~  Chile  

Hola New Zealand. This is my first full quarterly report of my exchange in Chile.   
I have now been in the county for three months and I think I’ve finally settled in. Despite the struggles of language and culture shock with the additional personal tragedies I have managed to make many new friends and find my own groove through which I am surviving the insurmountable challenge that is my life as a Rotary Exchange Student.  
My Exchange properly began in Auckland airport with my other fellow NZ students whom were
destined for South America. We boarded our flight and settled into an 11 hour stretch of low quality movies, cramped leg space and many inflight bathroom breaks. After our time of incarceration we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
Thus began our three day orientation of the continent most of us would be spending the next year in. Funnily only one of us would actually be living in the beautiful country that we were staying in. The orientation was fantastic in all meanings of the word and led us on a rollercoaster of culture. We visited the tombs of prominent socialists, supped wine while watching salsa dancing caberates and visited the mesa of life that is La Boca
Eventually however came the time to leave the streets of Buenos Aires in favour of the airport once more. This time I boarded a flight with Crispy and Lili for the country in which we would be living. We flew across The Alps that mark the border between the two most southern countries. And after only a small hiccup at the airport we finally met the Rotarians whom would be controlling us for the next 12 months.   
My time in Chile had begun. Unfortunately the first few days mainly consist of blurs and jetlag. My first family would be with Rosita and her son Mauro. I lived with them for my first two months at which time I began the arduous process that is being thrown in at the deep end of a brand new language.   
Because school wasn’t going to start for almost two months most of the days I spent lounging in the burning sun next to the pool. That or spending my time with the two Exchange students who happened to live in my town of San Antonio (Eve from Germany and Maaike from the Neatherlands). At this time my Spanish was still too poor for me to make any proper Chilean friends.  
After some thoroughly traumatic personal grievances came my first big trip - the Rotary trip down south to Patagonia. We went to the airport of Santiago where we met with the other exchangers. This was fantastic for me considering that until now I’d only had Eve and Maaike. Exchange students are tied in first place as my favourite types of people with only the dramatic theatre people of which I am one. They are potentially the most open minded, welcoming and fun people ever.   
We travelled south where we saw all manner of (pengwings??}, glaciers, caves and mountains..  
I have since started school. This mainly consists of me hanging about and having solid banter with all the friends I’ve made. It was kind of a culture shock just how little work people do!  
I take history, English, language, philosophy, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, PE. And am in a humanitarian elective which gives me doublé Spanish, English and history.  
So far I’m Friends with ALL THE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS.  
We also recently went on our second rotary trip. This took us to the Atacama desert which is supposed to be the driest desert in the world…except for that fact that it snowed….

Lea Tregoweth ~  Moscow, Idaho, USA

Hi all,      I am currently on a RYE in Moscow, Idaho in The United States of America. It has been so much fun, the people are very friendly and the food is so yummy. The snow is all gone and the sun is out, today it’s about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  I am so surprised that I haven’t gained a million pounds due to all the pizza I eat. 
Today is Memorial Day, honouring the deceased who have served this nation in the military. I have eight more days of school, four more days until finals week. I’m enjoying school so much, it’s very different, and it is an hour longer than NZ schools, with one 30 minute lunch break. I think my favourite class is either Chinese or Psychology.   
I’ve moved into my second host family, they’re so lovely and travel a lot. They have three dogs, five cats, 12 chickens and two fish. I also have about three weeks left until my US tour, which consists of travelling by bus to more than 20 states.       
My main highlight of this quarter has been prom! I had an American prom experience, it was the best thing ever. I was asked with ‘candy,’ flowers and a big sign by one of my best friends. He and I went with our other friends to Maialina, a pizza restaurant for dinner, the university arboretum for photos and then the hotel for prom.   
I also went to a rodeo one weekend and saw a lot of animals, but I ran to the sheep, I miss seeing sheep outside my window every day.  
I went to Camp Lutherhaven at the start of May with Rotary, which is 79.2 miles north of my city and 115 miles south of Canada. It was so great to see all the other inbounds, we all sang around the campfire with s’mores, went to Silverwood (a theme park) and talked about our experiences.   
I’ve also seen baby grizzly bears, scary but cute! I performed in a set of five one act plays for my school, which was so much fun, I really enjoyed it.   
     All the pizza, shopping and learning is all so enjoyable. This is truly the greatest year of my life and I cannot wait. ~ Lea