Our current exchange student, Reysad who is from Indonesia, has been learning about a few local Christmas Traditions and enjoying many firsts.


Reysad was Santa's elf for the Rotary Christmas Caroling float. For this annual Port Hardy Rotary Club tradition, Rotarians toured Port Hardy on the evening of December 12 on a china-top trailer hauled gently by one of Rockpro's hefty tractors with Christmas carols tickling everyone's ears while jolly old Santa and his energetic helpers followed in tow and greeted excited children with a tasty candy cane.

On Saturday, it was a trip up Mount Cain with host dad Hank to check on the snow conditions. A few more inches and Reysad will be cutting up the slopes for the first time.

Then on Sunday, December 14 it was the family favourite event, Brunch with Santa. After a gigantic spread of deliciousness, the children, even the big ones, gathered round and sang a few songs, growing louder with each one until finally Santa had enough and magically appeared. He had gifts for all the children, Reysad included. It was the first time he has sat on Santa's knee. And maybe the last at his age!

After brunch, Reysad joined the Wigard and Dorward families as they set out in search of the perfect pine tree to decorate and scent their homes. After a long and bouncy ride to the middle of somewhere, the convoy stopped at some boggy scrub holding hundreds of pine trees. There were plenty of nice evergreens beside the road, but that would be far too easy, so the group traipsed through the sogginess and found a tree of suitable stature. In keeping with tradition, they made the exchange student do all the work. Reysad sawed though the tree and with the bellows of a lumberjack, hollered "timber!" before the fine shrubbery lay down. He then was forced at saw-point to haul the tree to the waiting truck. And as with all our fabulous exchange students, he did it with a smile.

The Wigards and Dorwards had great plans to include the weenie roast in the tree-chopping ceremonies, but alas everyone forgot to bring a fire-starting device, so it was to the backyard at Dorwards where his host family, the Olesens, joined in and Reysad had his first fire-roasted hot dogs. Dale passed on the finer points of dog-roasting, including how to melt the cheese and the secret of a few mashed potato chips for extra flavour and crunchiness.

If anyone has traditions, or new things to share with Reysad, please contact him. He'd  also love to join a Rotary family for dinner, trip down island, or other fun.