The Rotary Club of Algoa Bay

Helping the community of the Nelson Mandela Metropole

Category: Morgan Lehy

News From Morgan

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since my last update but don’t worry, I am alive.

I have moved onto my second host family now in kyogle, the Kenmans. I live on a dairy farm with over 300 cows, my family has always farmed and specifically dairy cows; I am an honorary boer. our farm is incredibly gorgeous and huge, but filled with all sorts of creepy crawly things that I have never had to deal with in south Africa (as well as not having my mommy to squish them for me, and no one in my family kills anything), my mortal enemy is the Huntsman spider and I sleep with a bulk can of Mortein next to my bed.

I have 6 siblings; I have not met my oldest sister as she had moved out ages before I came to the house. My siblings include Lara (the girl I have not met, 18), Nikkoli and Sean (twins, both 16 but in year 11), Dion and Robert (twins, 13), and Bryn (10). when I first arrived at Kyogle I met Nikkoli, she is in my year and my friendship group, and we soon became very close (little did we know we were going to become sisters); we made it a ritual that every Thursday (we both had triple frees on Thursday) that we’d both go to her house and just relax and play around. I soon moved in. I know many people would be thinking, “oh you shouldn’t move in with a friend”, her and I are getting on wonderfully.

We share a room, have similar interests, have a few disagreements and get over it.

My new home doesn’t have phone reception, and our internet is often too slow to even log onto; it is very different.

I have milked in the dairy, it wasn’t horrifying at all, I honestly was getting into it and even doing quite well, but unfortunately, during the last row of cows, one cow decided to “relieve” its bowels all over me.

I have not entered the dairy since.

My year is currently in the process of having their yearly exams, I decided to attempt my Advanced English and Maths examinations; I forgot I had missed over half of the years curriculum (the things that were taught in Tweed Heads are completely different to what is taught here); I have never felt more useless. A lot of the questions involved farming references, which I know nothing about, and one question involved sketching a paddock by using the numbers 300, 400, 150, 360, 800, 900 and many more… I am not completely sure of what a paddock is.

Last weekend I worked for my rotary club at a school fete, and there was a big fund-raiser that managed to raise well over $1000, the fund-raiser was “Kiss the Pig”; a Kyogle traditional fund-raiser, where 4 people volunteer to kiss the pig, the public pays as much as they would like towards the fund under the name of whichever volunteer they would like to kiss the pig, which ever volunteer has the most money under their name has to kiss a pig.

Just a fun fact from the farm country.

Morgan’s Update

it is time for another update I thought I should start off with the basics –

  • My older host Rotary Club, The Rotary Club of Tweed Heads South, has dropped down to about 19 or less members.  About 5 of my club’s members have retired, the average age of my club is quite an old one, and although this is low I have been told my club once had as few as 14 members.
  • I  had a school camp/tour, it was actually for the year 10s but I joined as it was such an incredible opportunity, through Sydney and the capital city of Aus, Canberra. It was a lovely tour and I was fully funded by the school, there is no way I could thank Lindisfarne for all they have done for me, it has been absolutely brilliant.
  • I will be attending Kyogle High, it is the only high school in Kyogle, and has the subject “Agriculture” in which students learn to drive tractors, plough, raise cattle, working with chickens and other farm skills, behind the school where there is a large plot of farming land for this subject. I met my future host father, Bowd Jansen, who lives on a farm 14km out of Kyogle, with his family, few cows and I think chickens. Bowd is Dutch and I will be unable to talk in my broken version of Afrikaans when I Skype with people back home. Kyogle does not even have a bus system, McDonalds, or a movie theatre. Kyogle is fast becoming a retirement town as young people out of school will leave there in search of jobs or Uni, neither of which Kyogle has, and older people will sell their houses in the big cities and move to the quieter, closer communities like Kyogle. I will also be Kyogle’s first exchange student for about +20 years (the pressure is on mates).
  • I have also moved to the small village of Wiangaree, it is 14 km outside of Kyogle. Kyogle is my new home, it is a VERY small town filled with a population of 3000. It has a single public high school, Kyogle High, which I will be attending from the 19th of July. I currently live on a farm, with 5 cows, my host family, our two cats and one dog.
  • I received 46% for a Japanese semi-exam/test (better than my Afrikaans marks in some cases).
  • Before I left Coolangatta held the Cooly Rocks Festival, which I attended and was stunned by. The festival is centred around vintage cars and their restoration, it is filled with 50’s themed dancing, bands, the original Rock’n Roll and everyone dressing as if they were on the set of the movie “Grease”. I am fanatic about vintage cars, as you can ask my mother and I spent from  10:30  – 20:15 on Saturday admiring and having photos taken with the cars while singing along with the reborn Elvis who is on stage.

I ended school on the 1st of July, and as it was my last day many tears were shed. It was hard for me to leave my school, because I knew that I would never come back, it was a different experience from leaving South Africa; because I know I will always come home, but I know I will not return to Lindisfarne.

I have been quite busy lately, since it was my last holiday on the Gold Coast I wanted to do as much as possible, and have visited Tropical Fruit World (a place where you tour around an enormous weird and wonderful fruit growing facility, almost like a fruit safari with tastings, play ground and petting zoo for the younger children; it was lovely. I’ve been going out with my friends a lot. I tried learning to surf, failed miserably, in fact all I’ve gotten from that experience was a sunburn and bruise that has lasted about a week now. I have learnt to rollerblade, not well but I can go and turn without falling. I have done so much that there is no way I can write it all down. My stay in Tweed Heads was absolutely superb, but now I move  on to a much more foreign atmosphere.

New News from Morgan

Hello everyone

It is time for an update – I have officially been in aus for three months!

I have just gotten back from an 11 day our around Queensland, Bush and Beach, it was indescribable. I had an amazing time. We went from gold coast to roma (which flooded so we had to evacuate), roma to Carnarvon (which flooded too, so we evacuated), spent two nights in Charleville, charleville to longreach, longreach to emerald, emerald to 1770/Fraser Island (emerald was the beginning of our beach stay although it was in the bush and about an hour or so drive to the beach), Lady Musgrave for the day (this is where we went snorkelling and diving in the Great Barrier Reef), Agnes Waters to 1770/Fraser, 1770 – Hervey Bay, Hervey Bay, and from Hervey Bay to home. It was spectacular, with breath taking sites and joy filled moments.

I met so many extraordinary and wonderful people, ranging from Japan, Austria, Brazil and a lovely girl from Minnesota, USA.  I cant explain the connection I made with my fellow exchangers. In such a short time I had gained so many friendships, and each one with a person who I want to stay in touch with for as long as possible.

Australia is a gorgeous country/continent filled with interesting scenes and heritage. The life is so different to home that I have stopped comparing South Africa against Australia. A few were; back home we have stunning wildlife where as here has beautiful flora that is completely indigenous. I saw a giant fern that has 95% of its population in Aus, it has not changed its form since the pre-historic times, and it looks like a prop out of the Jurassic Park film.

I have felt homesick but it is manageable and I have so much support here and back home that I have overcome it.

I have enjoyed my first few months so much and I still have a lot more to learn about this unique place. Next month I travel to Sydney for a weekend of tourist fun, then travel around Canberra for a week with my schools year tens, my year doesn’t go on any camps.

I leave for Kyogle in July and, although I am moving to the bush and leaving my friends here, I am relatively excited. I am so thankful for this opportunity and if there is one thing I can say to anyone who has the chance to do an exchange is to do it. The people I have had the luck to meet and know have made my exchange a pleasure. The friends I have made I know I will keep in my heart for ever; my friends have already started planning for me to come down for their year 12 formal and whose limo I will be in. My Priciple has even given me an invitation to our formal, which is an honour especially since they never give them to people who arent students at Lindisfarne at that time.

Thank you for letting me have this year.

PS I am also a footy (rugby league) fan, with posters of my team, the Gold Coast Titans, all over my walls in my bedroom. I even have my enemy team, the Brisbane Broncos, who cheated and won a match against the Titans (the first live match I watched).

Heaps of love,




First Report From Morgan!

When I arrived in Aus I was greeted by the Sydney humidity with a young woman called Jismene, she was from East London and getting ready for her two year stay in Brisbane for her new job. Her and I sat together from JHB to Sydney and were on the same flight from Sydney to Brisbane. Once in Brisbane her and I went our separate ways but are still keeping in contact; about twenty three hours after saying goodbye to Port Elizabeth I met Valerie Haywood (my counsellor), I was sweaty, uncomfortable, nut I was still keen to see my new home.

During the hour drive to Tweed Heads, Valerie attempted to tell me about my new city and Australia, I was struggling to remain conscious. My new Rotary club, The Rotary Club of Tweed Heads South, has only twenty three members on a good day, and may just launch their website very soon. I am their first exchange student in five years (I will be Kyogle’s first exchange student ever), and I have been mistaken for being a German, Swedish and even Egyptian person.

I absolutely adore my exchange so far and I have met some amazing people, I have learnt that the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, is not beloved by the Australian people, I have learnt that saying “avo” means “this afternoon”. I am currently living with the Fosters, Jenny, my host mother and a vice principle, Wayne, my host father and an electrician, Daniel, my older host brother, an ex-exchange student and he has just gotten a job at a human resources firm in Brisbane, and Joshua, my other host brother who is in varsity and working as a cook.

I have so far met four other exchange students, Nick, Solveig, Boia and Johan; Boia and I are the only ones that I know of, so far, that have just arrived and everyone else has been here for several months.

My school is lovely and my new subjects are Hospitality, Japanese, I.T, Advanced English, Maths, and Art. I have so far volunteered for a model U.N, an environmental cleanup, a RYPEN camp, Aqua Aerobics, and I am grabbing as many opportunities that come my way as I can.

Morgan Lehy January 2011

Morgan Lehy



Morgan, daughter of Rotarian Michéle Lehy, is down under. In Australia that is!

Morgan who is 16 years old decided to go for the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program and move to Australia for 2011. She will initially be studying at Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School in Tweed Heads, NSW and thereafter move to Kyogle.

She flew out on the 26th of January and

is already looking like she is having a fabulous time!

Many Rotarians attended her airport farewell party, including Pam Ellis from the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.

Watch this space for more news!

Wishing you all the very best on your exciting adventure Morgan!!