Dear Mom & Dad

October 15, 2007
By
July 1, 2006
Sydney, Australia
Dear Mom and Dad,

G’day mates! I realize I haven’t sent anything to you in a while, but I’m having the best time here. I know you’re wondering about how life is down under so here it goes.
Fiji was so beautiful; I wish I could go back. I tried so many new things. We went to a Fijian secondary school and watched and learned about what school is like for these students compared to us in Illinois. All the kids were so happy to see us; they made all of us feel welcome. We invited them to come along with us to the mystery beach. They came along and we got to know a little bit more about their lives, what they do on weekends, what their house and families were like, and what sort of things do they enjoy doing. This experience made me feel so grateful for what I have there at home. Most of these kids live in crowded shacks down by the beach with nothing more than a tin room. I appreciate what you guys provide for me, a good home, food, clothing, and education. I’m thankful to be able to participate in an experience like that, where I get to see how other people live. There’s not much more to say about Fiji because the rest of my days were spent on the beach, relaxing.
Then it was off to the land of kiwis and grassy hills, New Zealand. I was a little nervous about meeting my home stay family, but I had my new friend Denni along with me. There was a husband and wife and their two children. They were incredibly kind to us and made us feel at home. They wanted to learn so much about us and we wanted to learn about them as well. I was a little shy at first but they made me comfortable. Again this was a great experience for me to reach out to people, especially strangers, and strike up a conversation. I feel more outgoing, like I can begin a conversation with someone and not feel so shy.
Now I’m in the best place in the world, Sydney, Australia. We have done so many activities lately. We went to a camp a couple days ago and I learned how to repel down a cliff and I did a high ropes course. I have never repelled down anything before, not even the rock climbing walls at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was so anxious to do it. The first step was the scariest and then everything else from there was all down hill. I loved it, I feel like I can do anything now. We are trying some other new things tomorrow, surfing and kayaking. I can’t wait. Yesterday, we climbed up a mountain and we had a picnic up at the top. The view was just gorgeous and it made me think about all I did over the past two weeks. How appreciative I am for all the things you do for me, sending me to a good school, keeping me well fed and clothed, and keeping a roof over my head. How I feel more confident about meeting new people and talking to them and how not to be afraid to try new things no matter what.
I do have to wake up early tomorrow to catch some good waves so I think that’s all. I miss you guys a lot and I’m happy to see you guys soon. Love you a lot!




Love,



Sally





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