Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Introduction

Hello everyone!  みんなこんにちは!

My name is Sari, and I am a Japanese Canadian high school student who lives in a town called Canmore, nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada.

My pathway of life completely twisted in a different direction when I first heard about the Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Program just last September; a way that I never thought it would happen to me.  Surprisingly, I had this special feeling that maybe, just maybe, I can become an exchange student.  The inside of my mind was exploding with so much imagination and possibilities (… perhaps way too much of it) when I watched a brief program presentation.  To live in a foreign country felt like light-years beyond my knowledge... but there was something deep inside of me that shouted, 'APPLY!  APPLY!'  So in a heartbeat, I did, thinking: what in the world am I doing?!

The truth is... I got accepted and I am officially becoming an Outbound student of not just Canmore, but also of Alberta and Canada in August 2012!!!  GAAAHHHHH~!!!  (That is my version of half cheering, half freaking-out.  You see, I still can’t believe it.)  After talking to my parents about it, writing an essay in the preliminary application form and being interviewed by three Rotarians, it was absolutely worth it.

Anyways, I have decided to begin my story now, because I find that the process of becoming an exchange student is just as important as being in the foreign country and back in Canada.  But before I start to babble more happiness, I would like to give a HUGE thank you to the Rotary Club of Canmore for providing me the sponsorship and Rotary International for letting me become one of the 8000 international students for next year's exchange.  

I would like to also give big thanks to my high school career advisor.  Without him, I would never have known there is such a spectacular program!  Seriously!

Also tons of thank you and love to my supportive family for letting me venture out in this world independently.  It must be hard for you to see your family member going away for one whole year... but on the brighter side, the house might become less noisy!

Plus, thank you my teachers and wonderful friends at school, skating, band, work and many other inspirational people who I spent time during my other experiences like Musicamp Alberta and Encounters with Canada.   You all helped me gain the courage to become unafraid of facing the unfamiliar. 

Last but not least, I would like to thank you, the reader, who will hopefully follow me along this journey that will bring the world a little closer one step at a time.

Enjoy! エンジョイ!
Sari   咲里