Rotary Club of Burgess Hill & District
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ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMME
14th July 2009
What a Rotary evening to remember, being inspired by two young people taking part in the Rotary Youth Exchange Programme.
For Angelica Harris it was her first ever visit away from Texas and for local girl Harriet Allen she was looking forward to her visit to Angelica's family in three weeks time.
It was a pleasure to listen to the aspirations and positive thinking of a young person living a normal life in Texas who had such high hopes in wanting to build a future caring society world wide.
The presentation was professional and exceptional for someone so young. Angelica's capability to take the right photos and include them in a fascinating but short presentation left members wanting more and asking numerous questions. Good luck and best wishes with your career, Angelica.
When Harriet comes back from Texas we look forward to hearing her talk.
29th September 2009
Harriet Allen and her parents came along to our meeting to give us an update on Harriet's exchange trip to Texas.
What a difference from her first visit to us.
Harriet had obviously gained confidence from her exchange. Her presentation was excellent. It showed the vast spaces and differences in culture between America and Britain. She openly admitted that in Britain we were more relaxed and gave our children more 'space'. One of the things she found strange was that the Americans drove everywhere, even short distances.
As a vegetarian, Harriet had some difficulty with finding suitable food!!! as you can imagine, in Texas, but she managed to find enough to eat - apparently they make good ice cream. However, she had problems with the language when she ordered chips and a large plate of crisps arrived.
Harriet enjoyed going to Texas but would not like to live there - she enjoyed coming home.
She met another young lady from Germany on exchange in Texas and they have kept in touch since returning home and may do further exchanges between Germany and Britain.
Angelica's family had made her very welcome and it seems they may come over to Britain and visit.
Rotary Youth Exchange - Montgomery, Texas
|I recently spent six weeks of my summer
completing a Rotary Youth Exchange with Angelica, my exchange partner. Three
weeks were spent in England where I showed her around the local area, took her
up to London and introduced her to my friends; three weeks was spent back in
Texas with Angelica and her family. The exchange not only provided me with the
chance to meet new people, but also offered me the opportunity to experience a
different cultural background which proved to be very different to my own.
In England I showed Angelica around the local attractions while providing her with what I hope proved to be a realistic outlook on our way of life in England; taking her to London, Brighton and other such places.
Angelica's family were incredibly accommodating and made me feel very welcome, incorporating me into their family life for three weeks. They introduced me to many aspects of American culture and history; much of which I had only limited knowledge of before, in particular the Alamo where Texas gained its independence from Mexico. Whilst in Texas they introduced me to the surrounding area of Montgomery taking me to visit Houston, NASA and Austin to name but a few. All of these places proved to be important components in the make-up of Texas, providing me with the opportunity to experience the rich history and culture that Texas possesses.
Texas, I found, although incredibly different to somewhere such as England, boasted some spectacular scenery, people and culture. The experience as a whole allowed me to meet new people, experience a different lifestyle and perhaps most importantly allowed for me to participate in an unforgettable trip of which I have many fond memories.
Most poignantly, however, it is fair to say that the trip afforded me the possibility to experience an American culture first hand, something which I had not had the opportunity to do before. Being able to live in the Country, as opposed to simply visiting, further allowed me to appreciate a new way of life which would have escaped me had I only had a holiday in Texas; particularly the political climate in which I visited with Obama's recent election.
For more information on the Rotary Youth Exchange Programme, please follow this link.