Posted by John Farrow on Feb 12, 2019
In the absence of a regular club meeting this week, here is a look at Rotary Friendship Exchange.
On February 9th, 12 Rotarians and partners left on a Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) trip to India.  President Rick Fiedorec, Greta DuBois, President Elect Ana Sutherland, Past Presidents Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec, Heather Kembel, and John Gale, and member Ed Thompson, along with Jeri Mooney and Gary Kembel, are representing Cataraqui Rotary.  Barry and Nicole Rowland, and Matgaret Shibley are representing other District clubs.  During their exchange the team will visit other Rotary Clubs, visit projects that we have participated in funding, and talk to other Rotarians about Canada.  They will even squeeze in some sightseeing as time allows.  During their stay the team will be billeted by volunteer hosts from the Rotary Clubs in India.  RFE is a great way to travel to another part of the world and see the work that Rotary does.  Its unique structure of Rotarian hosting also makes it more affordable.  Soon an RFE Team from India will make a reciprocal visit to Kingston, and there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with Rotarians from another part of the world.
From the RI website;
Edwin Bos and his family have visited India, Nepal, and most recently, the Philippines, through one of Rotary’s unique programs, Rotary Friendship Exchange. This exchange program gives Rotary members and their families the chance to experience new cultures — and make lifelong friends — by staying in the homes of Rotarians in other countries.
Bos, assistant governor of District 6250 in Wisconsin, USA, led 13 Rotary members and their families on an exchange to the Philippines, where they stayed with Rotarians in District 3850. While there, they visited several projects, including a depository for shoe donations, a library’s computer literacy program, and a clean water initiative. Participants also enjoyed local festivals and learned about ecotourism in the Philippines.

Rotary Friendship Exchange fosters interclub collaboration, with the goal of advancing international understanding and peace through service projects and spending time together.

Bos’ district has worked on several international service projects, including a global grant project with the Rotary Club of Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines, that provided clean water.

“Participating in the exchange was the best decision I’ve made as a Rotarian,” says Ellen Waldmer, of the Rotary Club of Jefferson, Wisconsin, USA. “I had the opportunity to see a water project our clubs and others helped fund and celebrate with the children and families it benefited.

“We’ve made so many new Rotary friends while visiting our host families and clubs. It’s an experience we will treasure for years to come,” she adds.

Please enjoy some of the photos that have been shared of our RFE Team.