Meet Frauka and her husband Thomas, here enjoying a glass of Ice Wine, after dinner
They were in Houston this week from Fulda, Germany. Fourteen years ago Frauka, a young German Physician, was part of a Rotary GSE Team that visited Tom's Rotary club.
GSE stands for Group Study Exchange....and I am not sure that it is still a Rotary program. I will try and explain it. A member of a German (or any other country) Rotary club would escort four or five young professionals (not Rotarians) from their district, on an exchange with another Rotary club, somewhere around the world.
They would stay for about a month in what ever district they traveled to. While in that district, (in this case the Germans came to Houston), they would be hosted by Rotarians in various clubs for one week . Houston has like sixty clubs, so only four clubs would take part in their visit. While with your club, you would show them what you considered special about your part of town. Parks, museums, businesses, factories and social service organizations, etc. There would also be parties, lunches and all kinds of social events. One day, during that week, they would go to work with a Rotarian in your club, with a similar job. The candidates would also give presentations (about themselves and their country) to each of the Rotary Clubs.
I felt it was a wonderful program that fostered fellowship and friendship between countries, and also encouraged those GSE candidates to join Rotary, when they returned to their country. Tom and I took part in countless exchanges.
We did not host Frauka, when she was here, but we did host another candidate from that group, and gave the going away party.
We also traveled with the group to a friend's ranch in the Texas Hill Country. I vividly remember Frauka being so surprised when she saw an armadillo on the ranch. She thought that they were extinct, and part of the prehistoric age! I can still visualize her chasing them through the pasture, with her camera ,until it was almost dark!
Jenna and Phil, the couple I have yet to mention, hosted Frauka, so many years ago, and they have remained dear friends.
I forgot to say that it was an exchange. A Houston Rotarian, and a group of young professionals traveled to the German district the same month.
* by young I mean usually between the ages of 25 and 40 years.
Oh dear...I do tend to get wordy when I only post once a week!
See you next Monday!
See you next Monday!