Friday, 22 July 2016

Rotary brings France, Belgium and Switzerland to Wellington and the Wairarapa

Plimmerton Rotary ready to welcome Laurie outside Customs  
Europe is coming to us in New Zealand this month with Rotary International Youth Exchange (RIYE) students arriving  at Wellington Airport and next week at Palmerston North Airport.

This week I'll report on the arrivals I witnessed into Wellington Airport and next week on our Palmerston North arrivals.

Bienvenue Laurie.  The smiles say it all. 
First was Laurie from France on Wednesday afternoon being greeted by her Plimmerton Rotary hosts, complete with French flag and multi-lingual welcome.  Plimmerton Rotary has a strong involvement in Rotary youth exchanges hosting many students over the years.  They also have the experience of people like District Youth Protection Chair John O'Connell, who chaired the District RIYE Committee for several years, and Donna Reed.    

Tawa Rotary after midnight, but still all smiles. 
Then at 1 am the next morning a hardy group of Tawa Rotarians welcomed Gaelle from Belgium.  Tawa also has a history of hosting Rotary exchange students and Denise and I were very pleased that our own Tawa Club is again hosting a student.  Hosting really does add to the vibrancy of a Club and widens perspectives.  It really is Rotary increasing world understanding.

Gaelle arrives in New Zealand
home after a long journey. 

This afternoon, I was again waiting at the International Arrivals area at Wellington airport, this time for the arrival of Laura from Switzerland - the same arrivals area where Laurie and Gaelle arrived.  But I couldn't see any of Laura's host Masterton and Masterton South Rotarians.  Finally I realised that Laura had flown in via Auckland and I caught up with Laura and our Wairarapa people, including her first host family at the baggage carousel.
Marilyn Bouzaid (Masterton South), Laura and her new family. 

I recommend to all Clubs that they actively consider hosting an incoming RIYE student next year and look for opportunities for outgoing New Zealand students.  I know DGE Mitch is a keen supporter of RIYE.

Now while I have your attention ( I do have your attention don't I?) there has been a change in the District RIYE Committee.

Lynne Phillips (Takaro) is taking on the role of Chair, succeeding Mark Chamberlain (Marton).  I would like to thank Mark for the contribution he has made to this invaluable programme and I thank Lynne for following Mark in to what is a very busy but rewarding position.  We are also grateful for the commitment of other RIYE District Committee members who are passionate about making a difference for young people and improving understanding in our world - Andrea Mackenzie (Makino), Secretary/Treasurer), Karen Hird (Feilding), Inbound Coordinator, Mandi Bates (Milson), Outbound Coordinator, Russell Cameron (Feilding), Donna Reed (Plimmerton) and Norma McFadzean.  


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