An exchange to remember

Local family returns from six month exchange Down Under

The Trovall family

Apart from living through three back-to-back winters, Pastor Erik Trovall from Sidney’s Peace Lutheran Church said his family’s exchange with an Australian family was the experience of a lifetime.

The Sidney family, Erik, his wife Jennifer and their son Nathanael, 13, returned to the Saanich Peninsula from a six month exchange in Australia at the end of October.

The Trovall’s made the exchange with pastor David Wear from the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Hamilton, Australia, his wife Kate, daughters Misha, 4, and Eve, 2, and son Henry, 1.

“We left B.C. in mid-April and I met David in Adelaide where we spent 10 days at a pastors conference. At the end of April we went to Hamilton and David and his family left for Sidney,” Erik explained.

“It was wonderful because we swapped homes and vehicles so it was a really easy way to do it.”

Erik, David and their families were matched for the exchange through Lutheran Church Canada and the Lutheran Church of Australia who have an intercommunion program.

“David had expressed interest in doing the exchange and so had I so they matched us up after a vetting process. We had originally planned it for 2012 but they ended up being blessed with a baby boy so we put it off for a year,” said Erik.

The exchange taught both families new things about living in a different country he said.

“Even though there aren’t huge differences in language or culture, going to a different a country like we did in the exchange taught us a lot about Australia. I mean, what better to learn about a country than to go live there? It was especially great for our son who is 13 because he was able to absorb so much.”

Hamilton, Australia is known for it’s mountainous green landscape and sheep farming, he added, which made for a different experience from living in Sidney by the Sea.

“Jennifer and Nathanael were able to get out so many excursions around the area but we were also able to do all the bigger destinations too like Canberra and Cairns which is one of Sidney’s sister cities,” Erik said, adding that the highlight of the trip was the people he and his family he met.

“The highlight was definitely the personal relationships we made,” he said, smiling.

“The congregation at the Church of the Good Shepherd was wonderful and their compassion and spirituality were amazing,” he added, noting that the only downside of the whole experience was the fact the family endured three winters.

“If I was to do it again I would do it so we got to be the ones who had three summers,” he laughed.

David said the experience was also one to remember for his family.

“I had great discussions with and learned a lot from Erik during my time spent with him in Australia. Above all, being with the wonderful people of Peace Lutheran Church was something that made a real impact on me. I think I really hit the jackpot going there. Not only are they are a wonderful group of friendly and caring people who embraced us, Peace Lutheran Church also happens to be in a picture postcard location. Looking back on our time living in Sidney for six months it’s a little bit hard to believe it really happened, it’s like a dream. We loved the town of Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula and a bonus was that we there for a great summer.”

During the exchange, David and his family made the most of their time here, taking trips to Vancouver where David dragged his wife (who teaches classical violin) to a Rush concert.

David also said the family visited Seattle, took several trips up island to visit Tofino, Mt. Washington, Cathedral Grove, the Kinsol Trestle and Chemainus among other places, as well as enjoyed a trip to New York City and time in Phoenix, Arizona at the end of their trip before returning home.

Now settled in back at his home and at Peace Lutheran with his congregation, Erik said he would do an exchange again in a heartbeat, not only because it enriches knowledge of other places in the world but also because it solidifies the love and appreciation for your own home.

“When I came back, the first time I stepped up to the front of Peace Lutheran do my sermon, I really felt that sense of home,” he said.

“It’s definitely good to be back.”

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

Police investigating alleged assault on Oak Bay Avenue

Staff at Oak Bay Home Hardware say one person was taken to hospital

Oak Bay neighbourhoods rocked by blasting activity

Oak Bay seeks new rock blasting bylaw regarding ‘continuous’ noise

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read