Posted by John Borst on Aug 30, 2017
Dryden High School student, Sarah Wood, during 2016-17 did a year long Rotary sponsored student exchange in João Pessoa, the capital of the state of Paraíba in Brazil. 
Her trip to João Pessoa due to a number of circumstances took almost 4 days from leaving Dryden until she arrived in her host city.
Sarah stayed with three families during the year, however, her first host family was a Mom only whose daughter was also on a Rotary youth exchange.
The exchange began with an orientation trip to NE Brazil where she and 60 other exchange students stayed in huts with monkeys running across the roof
The average high temp about 29C outside, but inside the school, the temperature was often down to 18C. This variation from outside to inside caused Sarah to experience many sore throats.
Wood also took a trip to the Amazon River. Normally they slept on the boat but one night they slept in the forest where snakes and alligators abound.
It has become a tradition for all exchange students who visit the area to plant a tree in the forest which Sarah did before leaving.
Watch this video and view Sarah’s story in her own words.