An Update to a Newsflash

Remember way back in April we found out that my daughter will spend all of 2008 in France? Today we found out exactly where she will be. In a tiny village called Pithon, which is just outside the town of Ham. (Is it just me or did this make you think ‘python’ and ‘spam’?)

We google-earthed it. (that’s a verb, isn’t it?) She will be 150km out of Paris, 2 hours from England, half an hour from Belgium and Luxemburg and the Netherlands. The area looks quite rural. Ham has only five and half thousand people and Pithon is much smaller.

Tomorrow she has to meet with her sponsoring rotary club. There should have been a clue for me in the name of the club. It is called ‘daybreak’. Guess what time they meet? We need to be dressed and happy at a meeting that begins at 6:30am. That is in the morning…in the school holidays…!!

This weekend she will attend a camp to meet lots of incoming and outgoing students. One of the girls living in  Townsville at the moment is on exchange from Pithon. My daughter is looking forward to meeting her and has lots of questions. There are other students going to France who have been in email contact with her, so she is looking forward to meeting them in person too.

Next year my parents were hoping to go to Villers-Bretonneux; a site of military significance to Australian soldiers in World War One. My father is a returned soldier (from a different conflict), so he wanted to go there and pay his respects. Unbelievably Villers-Bretonneux is 52km from Pithon. So they will visit my daughter and Villers-Bretonneux at the same time.

It is starting to feel like a reality. Soon she will be gone, living a fabulous life and having a ball!

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “An Update to a Newsflash

  1. precious pink pumps

    How exciting!!!! No doubt the Rotarians will give you stacks of information but also be prepared for the waves of homesickness she will more than likely experience. I know my Dad said it was hard being so far away and having me sound ‘down’ on the phone. Of course, being a fickle teenager, I’d dump on my parents, then get off the phone and feel great and go and have fun (aka skip school, drive in to downtown LA in my case…..not to frighten you….but) and my parents would be left back in Australia worrying that I was really depressed or something. The distance is hard sometimes to adequately describe relationships with people she will meet and feelings she will experience. In saying all of this, she will have the time of her life. I just know that a year is a long time and there are different cycles in the experience. Let Ashleigh know that as a ‘returned’ exchange student, if she ever needs an impartial, ‘been there’ ear, i’d be more than obliging…. so are you planning a trip over? How great that it is so close to where your parents are going!!!

  2. There are people who deliberately meet at that time of night? (sorry I refuse to consider 6.30am part of the day).

    Must be so exciting finding out more about the trip. Sounds like she’s going to have a great time!

  3. God, how will you manage to be friendly to anyone at that time of day? I’d be pale and snarling.

    Good news that your parents and Ashleigh will see each other; maybe you and Pete and Phillip need to plan le rendezvous Francaise aussi.

  4. I see lots of coffee in your immediate future.

    Sounds like a great excuse for a family trip to France to me!! So exciting for her to spend a year immersed in another culture… and at such a wonderful age of being inquisitive and open to new things…. Wonderful

  5. 6:30? Who has meetings at 6:30? What a great opportunity for your daughter!

  6. Very odd meeting hour!
    It is all very exciting for her though, & I am sure the adrenalin will make her wide awake.
    It all seems to be falling neatly into place.

  7. It sounds very exciting but I bet you are relieved that she’s heading to a quiet, remote location! She’ll learn so much! An excellent experience!

  8. Wow, it is all so exciting.

  9. I don’t have many regrets in life but one of them is that I didn’t try for a rotary exchange. I just don’t think I was aware enough of them.

    But I have already started telling my kids about them – not that they have to do them but just so they are aware.

    So I would be very very proud as I am sure you are of your clever girl.

  10. Oh my goodness. What an exciting time for you and your daughter. Fabulous, fabulous. She will certainly learn so much from this experience and come back all wise and knowledgeable.

    I so wish I did that when I was her age. I did travel when I was 23 and loved it. It’s great that your folks will visit her when she’s there… Imagine all the travelling and the wonderful things she will see. Yep, I would *love* to be going with her. I’m sure you are too.

    Like Mary (above) said, she wishes she tried for a rotary exchange. I want to make Monet aware of them, that is for sure.

  11. How fabulous! She will have such a great time!!! I hope you are able to visit her too.

  12. I’m so excited for her. Sounds like a perfect location. I bet this will be one of the best years of her life!

  13. Happy birthday to your lovely daughter! I’ve been wondering when her Great Adventure will start, and also if you or any of your family would be able to visit her in France…Oh to be young again and have the world at your feet!

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