Hosting an exchange student

EmuI am naive sometimes. You see, some years back I was invited to join a Rotary Club. I met the President for coffee and I agreed to become a member. It is a big commitment, meeting once a week, every week.

No sooner had I become a member and there was a big split in the Club. Not over me – there were two factions vying for leadership at Change Over. Someone came up with a solution – “Lorraine is new, and neutral, why don’t we ask her to take the leadership?”  They did and I accepted! After all, it seemed like a good solution and it would save the Club from folding due to the factional fighting.

OK – I take on being President – it is an even bigger commitment now. Not only was I going to a meeting once a week, I was now Chairing the meetings and making decisions about Club matters such as finding a new venue etc. You would think I would have woken up by now but there is more to come.

Club Members agreed to commit to hosting an exchange student; they have done it many times before so there should be no cause for alarm. That was until no-one was available to host our young (16 years old), female Japanese student over the Christmas period.

As President I welcomed her into our home however I had a four bedroom home and my three teenage sons each had their own rooms. I felt quite inadequate to the task. I always envisioned Rotary Members to be the more affluent people in the community and I didn’t fit into that group at all. We all survived the experience and hopefully our exchange student learned something new about how the average person lives in Australia.

In early January I moved to a job in the country for twelve months so I put in my resignation to the Rotary Club. Our Exchange Student moved into more appropriate accommodation with another member. The decision wasn’t only based on the Rotary Club experience though.

Funnily enough, I still have recurring nightmares where I come home to find that I have 5 or 6 exchange students waiting to be fed and accommodated.



3 thoughts on “Hosting an exchange student

  1. I had an exchange student years ago and looking back it was a good experience but a year can be a long time. It turned out so much differently than i had envisioned. Enjoyed your post today and I think that IS a nightmare not a dream for certain.

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