A year in the life of Sean Wood

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DHS student Sean Wood spoke to students last week on an eye-opening year spent in Brazil on a Rotary Youth Exchange. Photo by Sarah McCarthy

By Sarah McCarthy

The Dryden High School Library was packed last Friday during lunchtime for DARRN’s presentation of “Living Library” showcasing student Sean Wood. Students, staff and community members dedicated an hour of their time to hear Wood’s story of his exchange last year in Brazil.

Wood talked about a variety of topics in regards to his year away, including about being away from everyday normal and the ups and downs of it, becoming a stranger but most importantly learning how to adapt and move forward. Cultural barriers were also another topic Wood talked about. Wood was often called “Gringo” which is a racial slur meaning stranger, since no one could pronounce his name right. Throughout his speech, Wood wanted the crowd to realize that Brazil has huge economic problems such as discrimination, violence and education just to name a few.

“We need to be more aware and have a better understanding of culture,” said Wood.

During his presentation the audience was captivated by Wood, he was easy to listen to and people enjoyed hearing what he took away from his exchange. A hot lunch and Brazilian treats were also served up for people to enjoy while Wood talked about his year of travel. Wood commented on the irony and how he didn’t realize we are so lucky to live where we do, until he stepped outside of Canada.

“Even though sometimes things can be scary that should never stop you from trying something new.”

Overall, Wood wanted the audience to take away good thoughts about exchange as one of the many opportunities we have to travel and how fortunate we are to be able to explore other cultures.

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