2008 Group Study Exchange Rotary District 5470, Colorado USA to Rotary District 1160, Ireland
Thank You 5470 District Governor Walid Bou-Matar 1160 District Governor Paul Hutchinson Rotary Club of Colorado Springs! THANK YOU TO OUR GRACIOUS HOSTS IN IRELAND
What is the Group Study Exchange (GSE) Program? A unique cultural and vocational exchange designed to build bridges of friendship between nations. Designed for young professionals, the team participates in vocational exchanges to enhance their professional and leadership skills. The team members will be prepared to better address the needs of their communities and an increasingly global workplace.
Group Study Exchange Team Members District 5470: Western & Southern Colorado Sally Spaulding, Aspen; Angela Harness, Grand Junction; Amber Ptak, Colorado Springs Jon Mangino, Trinidad; and Jack Thomas, Colorado Springs
Where Did We Go?
What Did We Do? The Team arrived in Limerick on Friday, August 29, and enjoyed a walking tour of the city, a visit to the King Johns Castle and the Cliffs of Moher and a meeting with the Lord Mayor. The team traveled to Galway and met with City Council, Lord Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, a financial advisor and a domestic violence agency. American BBQ! The team arrived in Cork and enjoyed a trip to Kinsale, a tour of the Jameson brewery, meetings with the Lord Mayor and City Manager, a stop in Queenstown/Cobh and a night out on the town.
A days drive to Enniskillen was awarded with an afternoon boat ride with our gracious hosts and a lovely dinner full of laughs, as well as vocational visits. The team enjoyed their downtime in Omagh and were fortunate to spend time at the Folk Park and Peace Memorial. A short trip to Ballymoney included the Giants Causeway, Bushmills Distillery and a walk across the rope bridge. We arrived in Derry for a tour of the city and surrounding areas, a rainy excursion on Davids sailboat, relaxing days on the beach and evenings out at the pub.
We spent our time in Belfast at the symphony, an Ulster rugby game and incredible vocational exchanges and a tour of Stormond. We arrived in Drogheda for a relaxing weekend at the dog races, watching the Tyrone V. Kerry Gaelic football game and a vocational exchange with a homeless shelter and a domestic violence shelter. The Dublin team led us on a tour the city, a hike to the summit in Howth and a night out on the town. After we left Sligo, we visited the Waterford Crystal Plant and Bandon (west Cork). We left Ireland on Sunday, October 5 th.
Strengths/Challenges of the Group Study Exchange Strengths Hospitality Home Stays (mix of hotels, home stays and B&Bs) City tours + public transportation Dinners and social events with the Clubs and their Families Sailing, boat trips and the excursions Food/Drink Down time Challenges Coordination and communications regarding our itinerary Vocational Studies Length of time of the exchange Meeting the needs of the Clubs and the Professionals on the exchange
Make Dreams Real Club Meetings The majority of meetings are held at hotels or restaurants The majority of the meetings are 60-90 minutes in length Most meetings are held during the lunch hour or over dinner Most meetings were very social in nature and many included alcohol Formality The farther North, the more formal (Shall We Toast the Queen) Similar format to the Rotary Clubs in Colorado Springs Women One club we visited will not allow women to join Inner Wheel is active, particularly in the North One club currently has a female President Three clubs will have female Presidents next year Other Most clubs have an average of 40 members Close friendships, a lot of laughs and good Craic
Rotary in Action: Cork Remembrance Tree River Clean Up Safe Driving: Youth and Speed Rombo Project: Kenya Fundraising for Local Organizations: Alzheimer's and Organ Donation