I just recently got back from the District Conference of 5230 in Seaside, right near me. I went to help out as a Rotex member (former Youth Exchanger). The inbounds (kids from other countries here) and the outbounds (ones getting ready to go abroad) were all there as well and they were getting training and information and really just getting time to spend together and get to know eachother. The other positive is the other Rotarians are able to see the energy and excitement of the students and hopefully get interested in supporting youth exchange and hosting a student. It was really great to see all the people and to see those from youth exchange that have been a part of my experience and super awesome and helpful. Also to see the exchange students is always the best part because as I will swear by, there is just something about exchange students that make them awesome. You cant spend more than 5 min with them and not instantly become great friends. Its really just the personality and the type of person it takes to go on exchange that makes them all so cool. I really love being in that environment and anytime I can help out too is also way fun. It was also funny, because although I was helping I am in the same situation and am feeling the same nervousness. It made it that much better.
The other part of it that was awesome was that made sister was there too. Shes the president of her highschools interact club (high school service club sponsored by Rotary) and they were being given a charter and were giving a presentation on a fundraiser they had done. Scarlett got up to give a speech and it was so much fun to see her up there, I felt like the crazy parent who is too proud. She did great and got some many compliments by people and those that know me where telling me how amazing she was and how good the speech. It was really fun.
I also met a really nice Iraqi man who has his brother and two nephews living in Amman. His was great and helpful and was super genuine. He’s going to hook me up with contacts and everything. Plus he looked like he could be my uncle.
Now the realization of me leaving is sinking in…stoked and nervous at the same time.