Sunday, April 5, 2009

Full Circle

Dear Rotary Friends:

We have now come FULL CIRCLE. The Incoming Team UK has just departed for home.

As Team leader for the GSE Outgoing Team from District 7770, I can attest to the fact that we all enjoyed a month of hospitality from our colleagues of District 1070. On return, I was given the opportunity to coordinate the agenda for the Incoming Team. I have developed an enhanced appreciation for all of the behind-the-scenes work which is required to put a visit together. I want to thank once again DG Iain Vernon, GSE Coordinator Colin Bain and all of the coordinators and host families who made our visit spectacular.

We hosted the team in my area, the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, for their first stop of their stay. The leader and the members were an absolute delight. We designed a very fully agenda for them and they held up well. We have closely monitored their exploits on their excellent blog site - . From the entries, I think it is safe to say that their “Adventure of a Lifetime,” was every bit as fulfilling, satisfying and exhausting as ours.

Many of our host families re-joined the UK Team at our District Conference in Columbia, SC. Both the Outgoing and the Incoming Teams were provided ample time to make PowerPoint Presentations to the assembly. 3 members of my team attended, and everyone took the opportunity to Party Hearty.

I want to share with you some awesome news. The District Conference was one I will never forget. During the Saturday Night Banquet, awards were presented. To my great surprise, I received the Rotary International Service Above Self Award for my mission work in Haiti. This is presented to only 150 Rotarians. I was INCREDULOUS.

In researching this honor, I have learned, “The Rotary International Service Above Self Award is Rotary's highest honor for individual Rotarians, recognizing those who have displayed exemplary humanitarian service with a focus on active involvement in helping others through Rotary.” We have had only 9 members of District 7770 (S.C.) receive the award since it was instituted in 1991.

On this past Friday, my team joined many Rotarians in Charleston for the going away party. Everyone again enjoyed true Rotarian hospitality. It was so sad to see them go.

The following morning two team members, Mary Dolan and Eric DiLorenzon, ran a Half Marathon across the Cooper River Bridge. I have yet to hear their results.

This will be the final entry in our GSE Blog. Thanks again to so many who made our Rotary GSE experience so memorable.

Bill Greene
USA Team Leader

PS Bob Parfit from the UK deserves special recognition. Without a doubt, he is the most prolific emailer I have ever seen. He often sends a half dozen witticisms to us each day. We have thoroughly enjoyed his sense of humor and insights on a variety of subjects. Bob, please, keep it up.

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