Posted by Timothy FitzGerald on Feb 26, 2018
Neeko Paluzzi (under the Swiss/South Tyrolean hat) returns "home" - But just where is home? Who is Neeko?
Neeko Paluzzi returns home!
Perhaps for you and I simply reciting your street address and name will answer that question quickly enough. But not so for Neeko! Yes, Neeko grew up in Norfolk and now resides in Ottawa as an artist, an educator and with involvement in the Canadian Council for The Arts. However, in 2006, at age 17, he invested a year of his life as an outbound Rotary Exchange Student in Switzerland living and growing with host families finding himself.
As is the custom, at the end of the exchange year, each exchange student writes a letter to him/herself detailing their experience and future expectations - Rotary collects those letters and mails them one year later.
(pictured above - left to right  - Rotarian Gerry Goddard thanked Neeko for speaking to us,  next year's Rotary Exchange Students out-bound Kristen Forsyth, Ana Van Den Hurk-Cooke, Carly Burow now attending Holy trinity, Albin Jung (at back) is this year's in-bound Exchange Student from Switzerland attending SCS, Rotarian Robert Stevenson - Director New Generations on the far right)
 However, Neeko wrote a  second letter to himself. He left it in the attic of a mountain house  inside a travel alarm clock stopped at 9:00 o'clock - only be retrieved by Neeko himself upon return to that place Wengen, Switzerland at a future date unknown - he returned in 2011.
Read on:
Rotarian Bob Stevenson remembers Neeko as an interesting student at WDHS. Neeko explained that Facebook was barely into its infancy. Rather than write letters home, Neeko, an early adopter,  created videos and posted them on his You Tube channel for his family, friends and fellow exchange students to follow. 
Of art and travel photography, Neeko explained his observation that most tourists recreate iconic views they've already seen in post cards. But who were those travelers? What did they feel? That remains unknown! Neeko's art form includes his narrated travel video, commissioned portraits and exhibitions. He devoted himself to this and defended his Masters Thesis - not with 100 written pages - but rather 50 written pages and 1 hour of video of his trip both in the cantons of Switzerland at age 17 and his return back again to his chosen place Wengen, Switzerland at age 22.
Using his art form, shared with us on-screen, he chronicled his return in 2011 chosen as a 100 km hike intertwining videos from 2006. During his trek his knee became so inflamed that he was bandaged, wrapped and limping to his ultimate destination. Our, Club actively listening, felt his pain and perseverance sure that constantly placing the camera ahead or retrieving it from behind significantly increased the distance of his journey on foot.
A great adventure at age 17, constantly surrounded by host families and exchange students, now lifelong friends, from around the world - yet still deeply missing those comforts of home in Waterford. 
Neeko thanked us for being his sponsoring Rotary Club enabling his personal growth and achievement.
Where is home? For Neeko, of several places, the cantons of Switzerland are one of them.
Neeko called his thesis project "Unterwegs" - roughly translated "on the road / on the way". This project contains a film and a book, examining how artists and academics interpret travel. To view the project visit his website Neeko Pluzzi      Photo-based Artist.