Farewell from our Rotary Exchange student

Chaska Rotary Exchange Student Isi

At the May 3 meeting, our exchange student, Isi, bid farewell to our club. She is returning to her home in Chile. Here is the text of her speech:

Good morning everyone, I wrote my speech because I want to make sure that I’m not going to forget something or if, for any reason, I start to cry or if I’m going to stop and someone will have to do it for me. I’m going to start by telling about my great experience here. I think I liked every exchange student, I had moments that were not very good and really good moments. Because it’s not easy to leave your country and come to one where you don’t speak the language and everything is new, thanks to that I learned a lot of things and I don’t mean just the language, because I feel like I’m different now (in a good way). I also grew up psychologically and emotionally. I matured and something that I think is really important is that I learned to be with myself, I never felt alone, I can talk with myself if I have a problem I try to solve it on my own even when I know that I have many people around me, so now I feel like I’m ready to go anywhere.

Thank you guys for giving me the opportunity as this exchange was for sure one of my best experiences so far and to be honest I remember at one point I said, “well, I like this, but I don’t feel how this will be the best year of my life” and then I realized when my time was almost over, it happened so fast I can’t believe it. So when I look back and said wait, I love this so much am I really ready to leave?” I learned to appreciate every moment that I had. Thank you to all the people who always told me “good job” after every one of my speeches, those simple two words changed my day, really, thank you to all the people who invited me to do something. Thank you for coming up to me and speaking Spanish and thank you for always saying something that makes Thursday mornings more fun.

Thank you Andy, for always being there, thank you, Ken, and to Barb, you’re some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Thank you, Gretchen, for always making me feel at home and for always helping me. Rachel and Leah being so happy you are here and I’m pretty sure you know how special you are to me, my first family and my first time being a big sister was really fun. I loved our times together, Leah, playing board games or watching movies. Thank you, Rachel, for always being so good with me and worrying about me. I appreciated it. To my second family, Greg and Cindy, thank you so much for hosting me for showing me your beautiful family and for all the fun moments together, and for all the advice and Greg for making me laugh. And my last family Kevin and Kris, you are amazing and it is very sad that I was only with you for a month and a few days, but thank you for our amazing trip, I couldn’t have asked for a better trip and company, thank you for always being there for me and for being such a great family.

Thank you to everyone here, you really have a place in my heart and I won’t forget you. Let me know if you decide to do a trip to Chile, I would be so happy to see you again and spend time together even if that is 10 years later, no worries. I think that is everything that I have to say, I will miss you and thank you and goodbye.