by Chandra LaHusen (and multiple Rotary contributors)

The District 5110 Rotary Friendship Exchange team to District 3850 Philippines has returned filled with warm experiences of friendship and hospitality. Hard to believe so much depth of connection can be fit into so little time. We dined together up to five meals a day, sang and danced together, explored the limitless art and took in the spectacular nature.

We visited Rotary projects including a mother’s milk bank, computer vocational training project, rural health clinic, and high school vehicle repair workshop.

RFE Philippines team visited us last summer and Lito from that team selected medical supplies from the Eugene Southtowne Rotary hospital project, Supplies were packed by Southtowne Rotarians, various hosts, including Cottage Grove club, donated money to send the boxes to the Philippines.  The supplies were then taken to a Prenatal Clinic in the Philippines.

When our team arrived this month, the team participated in the unpacking of the equipment.  A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to the District from the clinic. Friendships, and partnerships and service all merge together. The team all arrived home safely but unfortunately had to cut their trip short as the airport in Manila was closing down.

The Rotary world seems much more personal and dynamic after having this experience. I think each of us took away a renewed sense of inspiration and understanding from our Rotary friends and hosts. The world just got more connected! Thank you District 3850 Rotarians–may your health remain strong and your good deeds continue to flourish.

The Louisiana RFE is being postponed and dates will be announced soon. Although there is a planned team of eight, there could be additional openings once the itinerary is rescheduled.

The October trip to South Africa is still accepting commitments. It is slated to go out October 1-15, but depending on the run of this virus, it might also need to be delayed. We are presently keeping it on the records.

Incoming teams from Atlantic States Canada in May and Louisiana in July are still on the tentative schedule but we will continue to look at conditions and with the safety of all foremost in mind.