The day Rotarians saved my exchange

Geddes and the GSE team in Colombia

Ian Geddes (back row fifth from left), members of the exchange team, and their Colombian hosts.

By Ian W. Geddes, past governor of District 1020 (Scotland)

I have many Rotary stories to tell, but this one happened in Colombia. I was chosen by my district to lead a Group Study Exchange team to Bogota. As a Spanish teacher in Scotland, my dream had long been to travel to South America. Having been chosen as leader and then having negotiated a sabbatical from my school, my team and I finally set off for Colombia.

One week into the trip, the day after we had visited the fabled El Dorado, I fell ill. At first I thought it was just altitude sickness as we traveled along the Andes at 11,000 feet above sea-level. But no, it turned out to be appendicitis. Continue reading

The beauty of friendship: a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy

130729_dudo_thBy Veronica Dudo, a television journalist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and member of a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy.

Breathing crisp mountain air in the Italian Alps, feeling warm sunshine strolling along Lake Como, coasting through the canals of Venice, and taking in the majestic landscape of the Lombardy region are just some of the adventures I enjoyed as a member of the South Jersey Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from New Jersey, USA, to northern Italy. Continue reading

Group Study Exchange made me the Rotarian I am

Ana Cáceres become a Rotarian thanks to taking part in a Group Study Exchange.

Ana Cáceres became a Rotarian after taking part in a Group Study Exchange.

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! Continue reading