We had the pleasure of listening to 2 "rebounds" (Canadian  returning exchange students), Twyla Odd and Laura Dusmet. They both expressed the thrill of their year on exchange. They loved their host families, their new friends and the wonderful trips they did. They were both in South America for the World Cup, so saw first hand the emotions of the supporters.  They both quickly became fluent in the languages of their countries (Portuguese for Twyla and Spanish for Laura) and can't wait to return.


Twyla went to Brazil.Her first host family had a 2 year old boy, quite a difference from living with 2 sisters.  The highlight of Twyla's trip was her last 10 days. The city has a huge festival, lots of dancing and music and no-one sleeps. On the last night, President of Brazil went to this small city and Twyla was thrilled to see him there.

Music was a large part of Twyla's life in Brazil. She joined a percussion group and they played at the festival on the last night. The group presented her with an Abe which she demonstrated to us.

Twyla told us that Brazilians are very warm, open people and she misses that very much. She came off the plane a very different person. She said she hadn't really studied for a year, but is more organised than ever with her schoolwork now.

Laura went to Santiago, Chile. She had 2 host families during her year. Her first host family consisted of her mom, dad and a sister. There was also a host brother who was in the USA. At this family, Wenesday was French Fry day!  Laura's second host family consisted of a single mom with 2 daughters, one of whom lived in the USA.

Laura had 2 Rotary trips, one to the north of Chile and the other to Easter Island. She also went to Argentina with her class.. This was their graduation trip, although they would not graduate for another year.

The "highlight" of Laura's trip  was the earthquake. She told us of her bed shaking and that she thought it was  friends playing a trick by shaking her bed. She told us that the tsunami had a larger impact than the earthquake. Some exchange students went home, but Laura wanted to stay .

Two amazing, confident young ladies who are wonderful ambassadors for the  Rotary Youth  Exchange Program.