June 1, 2010 I published the last issue (at least for a while) of Girl Talk my teen girl magazine. Since this blog was originally designed for the purpose of publishing weekly devotions for the magazine and later the magazine itself I decided to create another blog that isn’t connected to Girl Talk.

I’ll probably still publish book reviews or other items here now and again but you’ll more often find me at Trusting Him with Today. I hope you’ll stop by

Sep 17, 2008

Spotlight on Chardonae Rose

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to leave your home, family, friends, everything you hold near and dear for one whole year? That sounds scary doesn’t it? What high school student does something like that? Well, this issue’s Spotlight Teen, eighteen year old, Miss Chardonae Rose did exactly that.

This former Jack Hayward High Head Girl after graduating in 2007 (with quite a few awards) spent a year in Ecuador as an exchange student, in essence doing twelfth grade a second time in a strange country.

Usted habla espaƱol? Well neither did Chadonae. In fact this daring young lady knew only basic Spanish going into this experience. But did she let a little thing like not being able to speak the language stop her? Not a chance. This former honor roll student was not going to let fear hold her back from the experience of a lifetime.

How were you selected for the exchange program? After going through the long application process, I had to wait to be called by Rotary for my interview which ended in "Chardonae you are a very impressive young lady."

How did your parents feel about you leaving home? At first they didn't want me to go until Mrs. Ward (my prefect advisor) convinced my mom to let me go since her daughter was recently on the same exchange program.

Were you studying Spanish before you went to Ecuador? I studied Spanish in Junior High but I only knew basic Spanish.

How long did it take you to become fluent in Spanish? It took about four months. (Only four months to become fluent in Spanish? WOW! You really are impressive)

What was your biggest fear going into this experience? Well, I didn't really fear anything I was just excited to get there and learn Spanish.

What was your most memorable moment? This question is so hard because my whole year was very memorable. I had many experiences with my Ecuadorian friends and family that it's so hard to say which one was my most memorable.

Was there a moment when you wanted to quit and return home? Well, in late November I got really homesick but I didn’t want to quit, I just wanted to go home for Christmas and return (even though I knew that wasn't allowed). After speaking to my Ecuadorian friends who kept encouraging me that I would be home in no time I felt better. Then on Christmas morning, I had a long talk with my mom and she made me feel better and I didn't feel home sick after that day.

How was the school environment different from that in the Bahamas? I went to a different type of school. In the Bahamas I went to a public school but in Ecuador, I went to a private military school. Every morning we had assembly and they revised our uniform. I loved my school a lot!!

How have you benefited from this experience? Well, I was given the opportunity to learn Spanish along with the opportunity to learn about Ecuador, its culture and its people. Now I have many homes that will welcome me whenever I decide to return. In fact, I would love to return in December. Also, I was given the opportunity to build close relationships with my exchange friends from all over the world.

What are some of your dreams/goals for the future now that you’re back home? I would like to study Environmental Science so that I can become an environmental specialist/research scientist. I am planning to go off to study in the USA or start here and go off later in January.

What advice do you have for young ladies who may be afraid to try new experiences? I would tell them that we only have 1 life to live so have fun and try it. Well, it all depends on what exactly it is. But, I do encourage young ladies as well as young guys to go out and get that international experience. I spoke to many people upon my return home and lots of people were like "Wow! I can't believe that you actually stayed in another country and lived with people that you don't know for a whole year." My whole experience was wonderful! I regret nothing about my exchange year thanks to the Rotary Club.

Girl Talk Magazine
Sept/Nov '08

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