Monday, April 2, 2012


Honore, exchange student, sister, on of the coolest people I have ever met, just sent me this letter she typed up and wrote for the rotary exchange outbounds for next year. This perfectly captures the life of an exchange student... enjoy!!!

"There is a lot of stuff that we learn growing up. We learn first words, relationships, social cues. The little things. But as we grow up, those words become speeches, the relationships become family and the little things become life. The exchange year is not, as many people think, a year in one's life. It's a whole life fit into one year. And I've spent my time in Peru making that new life as different from my own as possible. I've learned new first words in Spanish, Used that Spanish to build relationships with friends, Peruvian and international, as well as the four families that I've been a part of. And, these families have taught me the social cues of Peruvian life. These three things are interdependent and connected and because of these basic skills and the support of Rotary I've been able to have the experiences of a year-long lifetime. I've hiked four days to one of the seven wonders of the world. I've handed christmas gifts to children who otherwise would have nothing. I've become best friends with someone who speaks no English. I've been the youngest and the oldest sibling. I have gained six brothers and five sisters, four mothers, three fathers and more grandparents than I can count. I've lost a grandmother, been to a funeral and been homesick. All for the first time.
My exchange year has shown me, first hand, how short life is. When starting life over with no habits, little commitments and lots of ideas we are able to make life how we want it. It's never to late to begin meditating or running. It's never too soon to Skype with your grandmother or learn to cook. These are some of what I've learned. I got on the plane in Providence a young girl who thought she knew it all. But I know that an aware, conscious traveler with many different experiences is returning in my place. And now, to all of you outbounds, go without limits. Have no expectations and say yes to anything you can." 

-Honore Johnson (Rhode Island)




  1. This is SO GOOD Luke. It sheds light for the rest of us. It really has been an amazing journey for you and Honore has really captured the spirit of it here in this letter. Thanks for writing it Honore and Luke thanks for being so diligent to share with the rest of us! Enjoy what God has given you both this year. I doubt you will ever experience a year in your life like this again ;). WE applaud you both for your "being open" to this education your getting, and your acceptance of a life different than what your used to. Blessings today and always. Love you both. Mom

  2. Luke, I can't wait to see yoI and visit the new you!! I can tell by all your blogs how much God has done in your life to cause you to grow, rely on him even more, hearing your heart grow a deeper and deeper love for people, being open and willing to learn the things God wants to show and teach you. And the many many other things down to the blessings of your blogs to us that read them. Luke you have been a blessing to many there and here, Thanks for your special heart!!! Love ya