The two Rotary clubs from Castlegar sponsored the West Kootenay escape Nov. 18-20. Rotary Youth Exchange students from the East and West Kootenay and Colville, Washington, met together in Castlegar for a weekend of fun which included curling, bowling, shopping in Nelson and using the climbing wall and gym at Selkirk College.
The ten students hail from nine different countries throughout the world. Thales Gagliardi (Brazil/Invermere), Melis Deniz (Turkey/Castlegar), Alberto Brandao (Italy/Rossland), Kazuya Miwa (Japan/Rossland), Denise Brandao (Brazil/Cranbrook), Milena Gramann (Germany/Castlegar), Emily Huang (Taiwan/Cranbrook), Min Kang (South Korea/Castlegar), Markus Ganz (Germany/Colville), and Luis Enriquez (Mexico/Nakusp).
“Castlegar is pretty beautiful except cold,” said Kang. “It’s smaller than my town. I love the nature.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” said Deniz. “It’s a little small. But a small country is better for an exchange. I love my school and I love my family.”
The trio staying in Castlegar is enjoying the surrounding nature and even got to see some wildlife.
“There’s not as many people,” said Deniz. “There’s lots more animals like bears. There aren’t bears in Turkey.”
“It’s smaller than my town in Germany,” said Gramann. “The nature is much nicer. There is more snow. The people are very friendly – I love it.”
The Rotary Youth Exchange sends out local students for a year long exchange and in turn hosts students from around the world.