On this day on the 23rd December 2009 I began this blogging project with this post. I recall creating a single draft of the post and uploading it in a single sitting. I received a glowing online comment from a Facebook Friend and when my colleagues in my workplace cottoned onto it I was provided with some verbal positive feedback. If the truth be told, when it dawned on me that my colleagues had stumbled upon the blog, I sensed a real aversion within myself of their awareness of the existence of the site. This reflects a real contradiction between wanting to make it clear who I am on my site and anonymity on the internet. Nor do I wish to create a pseudonym of myself.
In addition to the above, and with eight posts to its name, this project has suffered from a lack of ‘Round Tuits’. That’s certainly not to say that I have given up on this whole exercise. I am consistently inspired by the many other blogs that I stumble upon in my regular walks around the blogosphere, not least my own daughter’s blog, where I initially supported her in developing her now very successful blog, becoming her photographer and editor.
I am also encouraged by those who suggest that it is about time I update my blog with another post. In a previous post I indicated that I didn’t want this to simply become an annual exercise, although a fellow blogger, commenting on a previous post, suggested it was about time I wrote my ‘annual’ blog post; that was at least 7 months ago now.
A few things have occurred since I began creating blog posts:
- I switched to a dedicated domain hosting service provider after experiencing major hosting issues through my previous ISP and switching to WordPress.org and I’ve since switched back to WordPress.com. I continue utilise the (previously free) Google Apps service (at the suggestion of my previous ISP) for the provision of my family’s email service (utilising Gmail’s excellent infrastructure). I’ve since switched my broadband service from a ‘fibre to the node’ provider to an ADSL2+ service provider, providing the best ISP experience I’ve had since connecting to broadband internet many years ago [This subject may not particularly interesting to many, although as I previously wrote a post about my previous switch here, I considered I ought to provide an update].
- I returned to Europe for the first time since my Rotary Youth Exchange (1989/90) in 2010, visiting my three host families and several friends around Finland as well as side journeys to the UK and France. I also visited an American friend in Hong Kong who had previously attended my school as an AFS Exchange Student in 1987 and subsequently became my inspiration to become an exchange student myself. My Rotary Youth Exchange experience remains a significant part of my life and this is now reflected in my daughter becoming a Rotary Youth Exchange Student this year [see below].
- Our family hosted a German exchange student on an eight week exchange in June and July 2012 [through Nacel] at our daughter’s suggestion via her school. Hosting was something that I thought I would undertake at some point in order to give back something of my Rotary Youth Exchange experience. We have now indicated that we would be happy to host a Rotary Youth Exchange student next year.
- I became fully immersed in Apple’s ecosystem when I replaced my Desktop PC with an Apple iMac in January 2013, which now complements my iPad and iPhone. This came about after attempting to upgrade my PC to Windows 8; after various attempts to complete the OS update via screen sharing the Microsoft rep gave up and advised me to seek a refund of the product. Subsequently, I made the switch to an iMac and I haven’t looked back.
- And, my eldest daughter applied to become a Rotary Youth Exchange student in February 2013 and was accepted into the program in July 2013. As one might imagine, this has developed into a significant event for our family as we become a part of our daughter’s Rotary Youth Exchange journey, learning as much as we could about the program through the parent’s eyes, supporting our daughter through the application process, attending the briefing weekends, encouraging her to continue to develop her language skills, including delivering her to additional language training classes each weekend to complement her language studies through her school. We are all extremely excited about our daughter’s Rotary Youth Exchange journey and how she will change and develop as a young person living away from home for 12 months immersed in another language and culture.
Therefore, if nothing else, perhaps I’ll locate my ‘Round Tuit’ and at least blog about my journey as a parent of a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. As, to coin an old phrase from my days as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, ‘It’s all part of the experience!‘
Looking forward to an explosion of creativity and inspiration during the coming year! Have a happy Christmas!
I appreciate your previous and ongoing support and encouragement. I’m hoping the coming year will bring some further inspiration and boldness to continue this project.
A very happy Christmas to you and your family!