I cannot believe how much time has passed since receiving the news that I was to become a Young Ambassador 2018 till now, where I am almost ready to board the flight to France! I have loved every moment of preparation for this trip and cannot wait to finally go. From our first meet up in Wellington, to meeting veterans and to meeting the Young French Ambassadors, it has been so humbling and honouring to be in the position that I am.
I have still been continuing with my research surrounding my ancestors at Tyne Cot Memorial and Caterpillar Valley Memorial as well as at Passchendaele and the Somme. I have also been attempting to write some of this in French for when we are given opportunities to share our projects and research.
Our itinerary is packed full of people to meet and places to go, all of which j’attends avec impatience! To ensure that I am able to have written and visual recollections of it all, I have set some personal challenges. A personal challenge I have for myself is to keep up with daily diary entries so that I can look back at the experiences I will gain from this fantastic voyage. I will also aim to take as MANY photos as possible and to try and do some ‘vlogging’ in order to capture specific moments and people with whom I may not meet again.
When I return, as I said in my first blog, if possible I would like to be able to share my experience with local schools, retirement villages, the Christchurch RSA, Rotary groups, the Cashmere-Spredyon Community Board and local Newspapers. I have already made a start on this, for example the RSA will potentially ask me to speak at their AGM this year.
I would like to give a special mention to the Christchurch RSA for graciously giving me some koha to take to France and the opportunity to meet local veterans, to my family who have been so incredibly supportive in every which way and to my French teacher who has provided me with avenues in which I can return to school with the stories and history I will bring back with me from France.
Lastly, I would once again like to thank the Cashmere Rotary, Christchurch RSA and the Cashmere-Spreydon Community Board for financially aiding me and enabling me to be on this once in a life time journey. I cannot thank you nearly enough!