On an adventure of a lifetime | PostIndependent.com

On an adventure of a lifetime

Alida Eide
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Alida Eide

I have lived all my life in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. Or a simpler way to say it is: I have lived in United States of America all my life. But that is about to change on July 31, 2010. I will be living the “Happiest Country in the World,” also known as Denmark. I get eleven months to see it all and embark on the most amazing adventures possible.

I was given this opportunity by Glenwood Springs Rotary Clubs. Rotary is an organization that gives back to the community in many ways, such as scholarships or by volunteering time to various organizations. It’s hard to believe that I started this process about one year ago. I have been through multiple interviews with countless Rotarians from all over western Colorado. There has been endless paperwork and emails to fill out and reply to. But I can tell you, it was worth every second and I haven’t even begun the best part.

Some basic facts about me: My name is Alida Eide. I attended Glenwood Springs High School for my freshman and sophomore years and when I come back I’ll be in the graduating class of 2012. This means that I will be in Denmark for my junior year. I will be 16 when I leave and 17 when I come home. My mom works at Valley View Hospital and my dad has his own business. I am also an only child.

My life will be turned upside-down when I am there, it will be a lot different from Glenwood Springs to say the least. The town I will live in is called Horsens. It is the eighth largest town in Denmark with the population of about 53,000, sitting on Jutland Peninsula. The town is right on the Kattegat Sea. I will have three different Rotary host families while in Denmark – staying with each family for about 3 months. With the first host family, I will have one brother that I will be living with and also attending school with. He is 19 years old and went to Brazil on Rotary Youth Exchange two years ago. My first host parents are very involved with Rotary, considering that my host dad is the president of my hosting club. The second host family is about 5 minutes away from my first host family. I won’t be living with any brothers and sisters at this home, although I will have one brother who is mentally disabled and is one in 120 cases in the world. I will also have a sister, but she is at university in Odense. Finally, my last family lives on an island called Endelave, which is about 30 minutes by ferry from my school. There will be no siblings when I live there, because my host sister will be in Argentina on her exchange at the same time.

There are about 200 hundred other teenagers from around the world that will be on their exchange in Denmark this year. It is amazing to see how we have all connected through the Internet. I never thought I would be saying that I have friends from Brazil, Taiwan, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Canada, Chile and places all over America. The list keeps growing as the day comes closer to leaving. One very interesting thing is that I have already met my Brazilian friend, via Skype, who will be with me in the same school. It is really neat to talk to someone so far away and that has such a different lifestyle as me.

Here I go, on an adventure of a lifetime.

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