Jack Cheshire (Spain)

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Antequera Youth Exchange 2017

So, this year I had the great fortune of participating in the Lions Youth Exchange for the second year. This year I chose to go to Spain for a few reasons, one was so that I could meet more amazing people like I did last year in the States, and secondly, so I could practice my Spanish that I have been learning for 7 years before I go to university and continue it there.

I departed from Bournemouth Airport on Monday 3rd July and flew to Malaga Airport located in the south of Spain in the region of Andalucía. I was greeted by my host family at the airport and went by car to their house in the town of Alora which was about a 1-hour drive from Malaga. My family consisted of a mother, father, and son who were all so kind in welcoming me into their home. The following day we all spent the day at the beach in Malaga. By this point in July, the temperature had soared to at least 35 degrees and on some occasions, 40 degrees! Throughout the following 10 days, we did so many different activities including shopping, swimming, castles etc. I can’t thank my host family enough for all they did for me. I have never experienced anything like it before in the past for the length of time I was there and was great to be speaking Spanish with them 24 hours a day!

So, on the 13th July, we drove to where the youth camp would be taking place. This was in a bigger city known as Antequera. We were staying at a school with swimming pool, football, and basketball courts so we were all entertained when not out on day trips. As soon as we arrived we met all the other students participating in the exchange. In total, there were 16 students from 11 different countries including Germany, Finland, and China. During my time at the camp, we visited almost every single major Spanish city in Andalucía but this time in an even hotter climate! Sometimes it would reach 45 degrees, and to make it even better, there was no air con in the room! Our day trips included city sightseeing, beaches, shopping trips and much more great activities. I had the most amazing time at the camp also and met so many great people who I will remain in contact with for a long time.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Ringwood and Fordingbridge Lions club for allowing me to participate in this exchange for the second year in a row. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself on both occasions and have many great memories that I will take forward with me into my future.

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