Boa noite, São Paulo!

Rotary members make connections in the House of Friendship.

Rotary members make connections in the House of Friendship.

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.

Read more coverage from São Paulo
Watch videos from the convention

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