Cheryl Keepers introduced two of our Rotary Exchange students: Robin Lockwood and Sydney Chaves.  Both of them showed presentations of their trips and discussed their experiences in the places they visited and studied.

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program has been around for about 75 years, and involves about 80 countries.  It is an enormous undertaking, and accomplishes amazing things when it comes to international and cross-cultural understanding.  There is simply no substitute for not only visiting, but living and studying in a foreign culture.  It is an education that simply can not be replicated in a classroom.  To breath the air, taste the food, and truly live in a foreign place is an amazing opportunity to learn not only about a foreign culture, but also the world and how your own culture fits into it.

Robin Lockwood went to Boppard, Germany.  It is a small city along a major waterway, so it gave her a small-town experience, but still be able to visit and travel to many other places with ease.  Her pictures were wonderful, and demonstrated that she truly had been involved in the culture of the place she lived.  She made many friends, and spoke wistfully about much of what she had seen and been involved in.  It was clear that the experience had been a powerful one, and she shared her feelings with us about the entire experience.

Sydney Chaves went to Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Sao Paulo is a big-city experience of Brazil, mega-crowded and on the coast.  It was a radically different environment than Robin's, but that is what Rotary Exchange is all about.  It was fascinating to not only hear about Robin's and Sydney's experiences, but to hear about how different their experiences were.  It was an education for our club just to hear how different their experiences were in the ways of cultural difference, geographic differences, etc.  It was a great demonstration of the impact that Rotary Exchange programs can have, and how much everybody can learn by such intercultural experiences.