Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Orientation

Our venue was the Pike's Lodge, whose vast lobby is home to Princess cruisers in the summer travel season and Alaskans - furry and bipedal - in the winter. Our evening dinner started with a speech from Lt. Gov. Campbell, who hosted students in the past and is very big supporter of the Rotary District 5010.
And after the speeches, the fun started. The students who had interviewed the day prior find out what language they would need to learn for their new host country. To increase the suspense, the organizers use a power point to showcase the student's name, and they stand. Clapping and cheering ensue. The flag of the student's new home fills the screen, and the shouting and excitement begins!
The students race to the front of the room where the country flags hang. Each student is joined by the Alaskans who recently returned from an exchange in that country and those foreign nationals currently on exchange in Alaskan towns. Their energy, excitement, and celebration was palpable. I loved the smiles, the shock, the awe.

Here is our current exchange student, Sagar, with the Alaskan who went to India last year and the adorable young woman about to embark on her own adventure!
I really love working with this program!

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