Wry Exchange

Another Early Return
02-03-09, 12:36 am
Filed under: Exchange Program, Outbounds Outbounds

 Everytime I think this is the worst year ever for our program, we find another new low.   The year is half over, and five →5← students have returned to Appalachia from abroad.  Why would anyone prefer a snowy Winter here than Europe, Asia, or South America?  Students have returned from all three of those continents.

Typically, one will return within a month, just totally freaked out being so far from the familiar.  Another one will return in late Winter because of family problems.  These kids returned because they were all unhappy.  Unhappy is our problem. 

These students were not properly trained.  They didn’t know what to expect, or how to cope.  The kids needed more support from here before they left the states, and right after they arrived.  Fearful Leader has left positions vacant all year.   For example, I don’t speak Danish.  I have no contacts in Denmark.  The volunteer who handled Denmark got disgusted and quit, and wasn’t replaced.  Fearful leader hasn’t been in contact with anyone in the Danish program.   If you were a student with our program in Denmark this year, you were treated no better than one of those programs I bitch about.

Different volunteers are in charge of training this year, and we are more experienced than last year’s.   Training is much more rigorous.  We want these students to know they will be bored-just like they get here at home.  They will go to school with teachers or students who don’t care they don’t understand the language.   They need to be in good physical shape.  They must learn to take responsibility for themselves.   We may overcompensate this year with warnings.  These poor kids will be scared, and wonder why they signed up. 

I can’t wait until this year is over, and we have new leaders.  We’re returning to the old ‘new’ ways.


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