It's 9,110km from Cambodia to Aotearoa.
It's 331 days of studying, travelling and living in New Zealand...
From simple communication of YES or NO to school academic awards
From an orphanage to kiwi homestay (mum, dad, kids and pets)
From rice noodles to kiwi kai
From misunderstanding to weekly presentation in English
From community meetings to beach cleaning
From sausage fundraising to completion of 52-week wish list
From Cape Reinga, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson to Queenstown
From an alone teenager to two dozens of international friends
From shy-away tears to loudly laughter
From cultural shock to cultural enriching
Returning home with dreams for the future
...going to university
...getting a job in tourism
...coming back to New Zealand one day
This is Lily Lay, a 16-year-old Cambodian student's journey with Rotary International Youth Exchange Programme. This is what I've witnessed as her second counselor.
It takes a village to raise a child.
It takes two Rotary clubs to raise an adolescent. (Well done, East Coast Bay and Takapuna Rotarian!)
Best wishes for Lily's future journey - your Boarding Pass to Mars in May 2018 is ready. :)