Counterpane hosts Rotary Youth Exchange student

Thu, 02/15/2007 - 10:59am
By: The Citizen

Counterpane hosts Rotary exchange student

Bronwyn Johnson, a Rotary Youth Exchange student, spent a day at Counterpane School during a stopover in Atlanta recently. Johnson was ending her yearlong stay in Houston, Texas, and was in town for one night before returning to her home in Durban, South Africa. Counterpane students were eager to meet a teen from the other side of the world and find out what she was like.

From the moment she arrived, Johnson captured the hearts and imaginations of those who encountered her. With poise and graciousness, she responded to the students' questions. With her great conversation skills, she clearly articulated the many benefits of a year away from her home country and encouraged all students to spend time in another country in order to break down the barriers imagined. When asked, she explained Rotary and the Youth Exchange program, then detailed the application and interview process. With the students, she compared life in South Africa with life in the United States. Many of the essentials of teen life were considered including music, movies, pets, and school. Other topics included politics of both countries, racism, and other positive and negative aspects of the respective cultures.

After meeting at Counterpane, a small group dined at Village Café in Fayetteville, owned by Rotarian Tom Shaver. Afterwards, one of our students described her as "full of wisdom," and another declared, "She was just like us!"

It was a very short yet successful meeting in which the students had the pleasure of meeting this young woman from South Africa and learning that the world is a small place, indeed.

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