By Ana Cáceres, a member of the Rotary Club of Autonomia, Argentina
Being part of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team to District 5420 (Utah, USA) and District 7510 (parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA) provided me with the main ingredients I needed to become a Rotarian. More importantly, the experience shaped my life.
On 15 March 2007, I began my exchange period in Utah. I knew enough English to communicate but adjusting from almost 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in Santiago del Estero to the chilly American spring was rough!
Much was different — the food, customs, religion, schools, people. But the love shown by my host families in the Rotary clubs of Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Murray, Brigham City, Cache Valley Morning-Logan, Park City Sunrise, Sugar House, Moab, Richfield, Dixie Sunrise, St. George, Cedar City, Centerville-Farmington, and my beloved Ed, Edith, and Marcia from Princeton, New Jersey, helped me adjust.
When I left for home, it was hardly the end of the GSE experience. As time went on, I realized how much I benefited from what I had experienced there: the ability to survive cultural shock, new language and communication skills, and the ability to respect differences.
This Group Study Exchange impacted me, and through my involvement in Rotary it has impacted the lives of many others. I am one of the 2,000 program alumni who have joined Rotary after trying this kind of scholarship.
I joined Rotary on 29 June that same year. I have served through many avenues in my club, taken part in district conferences and institutes, in community services projects, on many important works of translations, and it all goes back to my exchange. It has helped make me the kind of Rotarian I am.
On 1 November of this year, I was chosen as the team leader of a GSE going to Rotary District 7570 (parts of Tennessee and Virginia, USA).
Thanks Rotary. Thanks friends.
- Learn more about programs that help Rotarians make connections
- Read how a Youth Exchange shaped Ivan Vianna’s life
Yes, Ana. the GSE Program is fantastic. Like you, I was a GSE Leader in 2011 to England. The experience really makes us be more and more proud of Rotary International.
Congratulations from Brazil
Elias Antônio Neto – International Affairs 12/13
Reblogged this on Bits & Bites and commented:
Another great Rotary Moment!
I agree with you Ana……I was also part of GSE Team to D5960 Minnesota as Team Leader way back 1999. Good luck and keep on doing service through Rotary. God bless.
PP Angelito Púa
RC Manila Midtown D3810
thanks a lot Angel for your words. You were so kind. God bless you too.
Ana, Hope we could do a project together …..i am doing a Read-A-Book project by providing a mini library in my garage for out of school youth…..kids….older people.. They can borrow books free of charge….accepts old books donations, giving of excess books to others who are interested in organizing their own library. There’s a
Reading Club assisting me in the preparation. Please add me to your FB and will update information regarding this project. Thank you and God bless!
Ana is a model ‘Rotarian’, who can spread the word of PEACE THROUGH SERVICE in her community and the world. Rotary thrives with dedicated Rotarians who are willing and able to resent spread our ideals of Srvice above Self. Avanti.
Ayoub M Ayoub on December 28, 2012 at 11:38 corrigendum:
Ana is a model ‘Rotarian’, who can spread the word of PEACE THROUGH SERVICE in her community and the world. Rotary thrives with dedicated Rotarians who are willing and able to present and spread our ideals of Srvice above Self. Avanti
thanks a lot for your words, Ayoub. The publication of the article shocked me a little. Moreover, the fact It has had some comments. Thanks a lot again.ana caceres