Iceland volcano: A 13-yr-old girl stranded in France
- April 21, 2010 9:13 AM |
- By Your Voice
Emily Burkholder sends a message to her parents back in Canada.
Submitted by Rhianon Burkholder
In the last few days, my husband and I have been glued to CBC and BBC news every opportunity we get.
Why? We have a daughter named Emily, and she left on a student exchange program to France in February.
Emily is 13 and is in Grade 8 at Monsignor Clancy School, Niagara District Catholic School Board.
Emily was to return to us on Monday, April 19. She has been staying with a French family in Orleans, and although she has enjoyed the exchange, she was very anxious to come home. It was a big parental decision to support her trip, but now we don't know when she will be home.
When Emily first found out her departure wasn't going to happen, I think she was so geared up to come home that this became a tragic crisis to her.
It's heartbreaking as a parent to hear how disappointed she is, thousand miles away. The next day, Emily was disappointed but reasonable. I don't feel badly about her reaction when I see adults on the news very stressed and acting the same way as her. I think no matter where you are in the world; there is no place like home.
At the moment, we have very little information. I've spoken to the family in France, and they do not know any more than we do. The International Student Exchange people called us Sunday to say Emily's flight was cancelled, but no other information or contact has been made available. To date, we know nothing. We do not even have an estimated departure for her.
Our kids look at us as parents to fix things that are adult matters. This is an act of God, and there is nothing we can do but support her from a distance. We have no control of her ticket or a say in how a minor can travel. It is difficult just to sit and wait without any information.
Update: I was just informed by the International Student Exchange program in Ontario that my Emily won't be arriving home till May 4. This is very difficult for a parent to digest, but there is nothing we can do to alter this. We just pray she gets home safe.
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