By Ryan Hyland
With the 2015 Rotary convention in São Paulo coming to a close, we asked attendees in the House of Friendship what they enjoyed most.
Heather Dieckmann, Rotary Club of Bethel-St. Clair, Pennsylvania, USA:
The Major Donor dinner was really fun. Just the conversation at my table was amazing. I was privileged to sit next to Geetha Jayaram [recipient of the 2014-15 Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award]. She was so lovely. Getting to know her on a one-on-one level was the highlight of my trip.
Ita “Woody” Etuk, Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis, Nigeria:
My favorite part was when the 10-year-old kid [Lucía Gómez García] spoke at the convention. I’m going to take her message back and try to enlighten the kids in our community. They need a certain level of awareness in Nigeria. We need younger people like that in our district. Dr. Arias was amazing, too. His message “war against war” is a perfect message for the world.
Trygve Danielsen, Rotary Club of Baerums Verk, Norway:
This is my first convention and I was very impressed. Gathering 15,000 people like this really helped me see what Rotary is about. I’m a governor-elect, so it’s important that I bring back what I learned at the breakout sessions and from the speakers. I enjoyed [General Secretary] John Hewko’s update on the Secretariat.
Celso Luiz Fracaro, Rotary Club of Guarapuava-Lagoa, Paraná, Brazil:
The speakers, the House of Friendship, the learning seminars [breakout sessions]. But the most important thing for me was learning of other people’s projects. Here in the House of Friendship and the non-Rotary projects that the speakers were associated with. As a district governor, this was all very enticing.
Pietro Belli, Rotary Club of Fiesole, Italy:
The opening session was thrilling, especially the entertainment. Hewko’s talk about Rotary being evolutionary with New Generations was interesting.
Mônica Santos Ferreira, Rotaract Club of São Paulo-Cambuci:
The Rotaract Preconvention was fantastic. The networking opportunities there and here at the convention will help me be a better Rotaractor and hopefully a Rotarian.
Gilbert Leibel, Rotary Club of Accra East, Ghana:
I enjoyed every part of the plenary sessions. I think the organization could have been a little better, though. But the city is beautiful. I had a lot of fun. I just registered for the convention in Seoul. I’m hoping to have another great experience.