2013 really has been an extraordinary year. I have been privileged to have so many amazing opportunities presented to me. It has been one of the busiest and most stressful years of my life, but also the most rewarding. The tough times have been outweighed by the most glorious of moments. It has been a year of travelling, a year of growing, a year of friendship. But above all, a year of learning.
I began the year full of ambition and excitement. I kicked off 2013 with long summer days in January. I filled my days with sewing many articles of clothing, which I then described on my newly created blog. In February school began for the year, and I was back into the daily school routine. My recycled basmati rice bag dress was entered into the 2013 Royal Canberra Show, and I was surprised to be awarded champion of the sewing section.
In April I celebrated my Grandmother’s 75th birthday by traversing the Sydney Harbour Bridge along with members of my extended family. Climbing the icon was an unforgettable experience, and was the perfect way to celebrate with my Grandmother. April was also the month when I began sewing my own Year 10 formal dress, and began to get excited about my upcoming adventures to New Zealand and India.
The next few months were spent rehearsing with my school band, in preparation for the upcoming New Zealand music tour in July. As soon as July arrived, I set out on my first overseas adventure for 2013. Having not ventured to New Zealand since I was nine months old, it was a totally new experience for me. I enjoyed having a small taste the land of our neighbours in the Southern Hemisphere and to have a glimpse into the indigenous culture of the Maori people. It was amazing to witness the breathtaking musical talent of students in Australia and New Zealand, which reminded me that I still have much to learn and encouraged me to continue in my own musical studies. Although I may not quite recall my first visit to this scenic country, I will certainly never forget my second.
July was a huge month, not only did I travel across the Tasman Sea, I was lucky enough to receive my first DSLR camera. I have certainly utilised my camera over the past 6 months, and have begun to learn the basics of the art of photography.
The obvious highlight in July was finally being notified of my successful application to become a Rotary Youth Exchange student in 2014! I was ecstatic to receive this news, as I had spent months preparing for the district interviews in July. Embarking on a student exchange has been a goal of mine for a very long time, and I am overjoyed to be continuing my RYE journey and to have the opportunity to live my dream!
Life didn’t slow down in August, which turned out to be one big month. I attended my first Rotary Youth Exchange briefing weekend and began to take an extra German language class every Saturday.
September brought many new an exciting adventures, the highlight of which was my incredible journey to India. I also completed my Year 10 formal dress and attended my first high school formal.
India was both an amazing and humbling journey. I took hundreds of photos, including some I am very proud of. I still miss the children I taught in Standard 3 and everyone else who I was privileged to meet along the way. This was a life-changing experience which I will certainly never forget.
October was an important month in my Rotary journey, as I was notified that I would be living in Flensburg, Germany for 12 months! This city is located on the Danish-German border, and I’m very much looking forward to learning more about it’s people and culture.
In November I received my Guarantee Form, including details of my future host family and school in Germany! I attended the second Rotary Youth Exchange briefing weekend, where I was presented with my Rotary blazer, and accumulated a small collection of international pins, a collection which will be growing very soon.
December came around all too quickly, and soon enough I was finished school for the year. Since I have been on holidays, I have returned to crafting and sewing. I constructed handmade flower crowns with my sister, made my own 1920s costume, and sewed my new favourite blouse.
This year, in the midst of my busy timetable, I have managed to maintain my blog for 1 whole year! I have achieved my goal of posting at least once a month, and I am extremely thankful that I have such platform to document my life and to remember this year by.
2013 has been an absolute blast. I am extremely blessed to have had all the opportunities which have been given to me this year. Thank you to everyone for all your support, and a big shout out to my parents! I’ve had a truly amazing year which has come and gone so fast. I’m proud of all that I have achieved this past year, and have learnt so much. I’m definitely looking forward to another very exciting year in Germany in 2014!