Posted on Feb 09, 2019
Jane was the first RYE Student to go to Argentina in 1975. She was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Havelock North and was mentored by Rotarian George Pacey.
What an experience she had, quite different from today.
She was hosted by a family in Rafaela with a family who lived behind their stationery store in a one bedroom flat.
Aged 17 she flew unaccompanied to Argentina and attended a private Catholic girls school.
Her host sister Liliana exchanged with her to Havelock North.
Times were very difficult for Jane, not knowing the language and living with a family who did not speak English.
She slept on a bed while her hosts sisters slept on the floor. 

Just after she arrived, Argentina suffered an economic collapse and costs sky-rocketed. She had traveller’s cheques and these were cashed on the black market. The country was divided into five military zones.

She had no contact with Rotary while with her first host family and rather than move families she had to move towns.

She moved to San Justo and there was no one there to meet her.

She was well looked after by Rotary there and she went to Paysandu Uruguay for the District Conference.

Again she moved, this time to Montevideo and then to Salto where she did not attend school and was left to her own devices.

Nothing was discussed with her about any of these moves. Later it was onto Santa Fe then back to her family in Rafaela before returning to New Zealand.

Once home she was given a debrief by George Pacey.

She has been ever grateful to Rotary for this life-changing experience and she returned to Argentina with husband Eddie and met up with her host family once again in 1991.