Our outbound exchange student, Brent, updates us on how his exchange is going in Venezuela.
Todo es Possible

It looks like that time of the year, my first Beaver Tale. I’m not really sure how to express my feelings about my first two months of my exchange in three pages. I have barely completed a quarter of my exchange and I know I don’t want to leave. So many new Friends and Family. If you’re not meeting someone new you’re hanging out with the person you met yesterday!
Being one of the last to leave meant I had three more weeks of summer vacation while my friends were in school, but during that time I barely thought of the exchange and the overwhelming feelings had not hit me until the night I had to leave.
When I did arrive I was the last inbound along with the other Canadian (the joke was that we held the door open for everyone else). Arriving on September 21 I only had three days before  I started school, which was a blessing and a curse at the same time because I didn’t have to wait long without any friends but I also had less time to see the country.
On the first day of school I was overwhelmed with people asking me questions in Spanish. Luckily I have four people in my class who are fluent in English so I think I lucked out with my class.
School here is different than Canada; here you have four classes a day with two recesses. We take math, chemistry, physics, biology, earth science, English, Economics of Venezuela, pre-military education,
gym class and literature. The thing I like most about the school here is how laid back the teachers are. Sometimes if they don’t feel like teaching they will just relax and talk to the students. Here the teachers are more like your friends. Being able to play the ukulele has been a very good tool in making new friends, they’re saying that I’m going to play in a festival in front of people! I came here being scared to play in front of anyone and now I’m going to be playing in a festival, que loco! Since my class is in the last year of school we have spent a lot of time arguing over what the prom shirts will look like, but we also get to take trips as a class on the weekend. We will have three trips this year and we have already had one. We went into the mountains to this beautiful villa that overlooked the beaches of Sucre (the most beautiful beaches in Venezuela).We spent a lot of time by the pool and I got a pretty nasty sunburn.
The majority of my time outside of school has been spent with the other exchange students. The first thing we did was when the whole district got together for a day at the pool and beach in Lecheria. We also had a weekend up in the mountains with the Venezuelan outbounds. The weekend consisted of a lot of lectures in Spanish that none of us understood and a small Discoteca, but it wasn’t an ordinary Discoteca because the nun who was running the weekend decided to join in and start dancing with us, it was crazy. The dancing here is very important, everyone does it and everyone expects you to do it, but I will admit that it gets pretty fun when you have a salsa party. The last weekend I had was only with the intercambistas of my club and we took a boat and went and saw a lot of the beaches of Mochima, which is a national park here and has all these beautiful little islands with secluded beaches that we nearly had to ourselves.

I would have to say that this is the best experience of my life and I can’t believe I had doubts about it. I have seen myself change in so many ways, I still cant believe this is real. Since being here I have lost a lot of weight and started a lot of healthy habits. I feel like I have done the opposite of what I was told would happen. I have lost weight and I don’t eat nutella every day. I’m extremely happy to say I look nothing like the photo you see above! I don’t think I could have been this happy with out rotary, and I owe everything to them for all they have done for me.