Pedro Lisboa, 17, of Brazil, jokes that when he was placed in Minnesota through a foreign exchange program, the organizers of the curriculum said to themselves, “Oh, he likes hot weather, so let’s send him to Minnesota.”
Lisboa is the first foreign exchange student North Branch Rotary has hosted in years.
Rotary member Dave Nordberg said it’s an exciting opportunity for Lisboa and for those who will have the chance to get to know him and learn about his culture.
He explained Lisboa will be with three host families during his stay in North Branch; he’ll stay with them for a little over three months apiece.
“It’s a very rewarding experience for the host families,” Nordberg said, noting that Rotary is looking for more families to be a part of the program next year.
Nordberg said Lisboa is looking to experience as many quintessential northland activities as he can during his time here.
“He wants to learn to snowboard and ski and maybe do some ice fishing and a polar plunge,” Nordberg said. “He’s also really looking forward to the leaves turning.”
Lisboa noted, “In Brazil, we just have summer. The trees never change – nothing changes.”
Although Lisboa quips about the cold, he admitted experiencing winter here will be different, and he’s a little nervous about the prospect of sub-zero temperatures and frozen lakes.
“He hasn’t experienced any temperatures colder than 59 degrees,” Nordberg said.