Newberg Noon Rotary Club Newsletter for November 14, 2018

Newberg Noon Rotary Club Newsletter for November 14, 2018

Dale Welcome welcomed us grandly today as GREETER!

Prez Om was excited about the standings in the State for the local swimmers!  And…a proud MOM! With photos on the BIG SCREENS!

Laura T. led us in the Pledge….and if you hadn’t noticed…our meetings are B U S Y !!!!  So, hang onto your hat and let’s get to it!

Lots of guests today!  Marvin Robinson [husband] & Michael Summers [their pastor] as guests of Judy Robinson; Rosa Ruiz [Mexico] & Matteo [Italy]  are in-bound exchange students; Chloe Bridges and Sarah Hess have returned from their trips to Italy and S. Korea….stories to be shared with us today.  Also present were John [an Earlybird Rotarian] and Debra Bridges, Chloe’s proud parents.

John & Debra Bridges

Dale Welcome provided us with this unusual international “Rotary Moment”:

“I am fortunate to travel around the world on a regular basis and it leads me to many adventures to interact cross culturally in many meaningful ways.  For me, being a Rotary member and working as a vocation in the humanitarian sector have so much in common; ‘service above self’.  Those words, ‘service above self’, are powerful reminders of our humanity and responsibilities that extend far beyond ourselves to our local community as well as around the globe.
The circumstances and living conditions I see when I travel and conduct field visits always have a profound impact on me as a reminder of just how blessed we are in Newberg, OR.  In Sept, I visited the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan just 10 miles from the Syria border.  The camp houses over 40,000 refugees, 60% of whom are children, and is one of the better camps serving Syrian refugees in terms of living conditions.  Azraq sits in the middle of the hot, dry desert with only the horizon looming in the distance and no communities or towns nearby.  Much of the population of the camp have lived in Azraq for years with young children only knowing life in a camp.
The Syrian family I visited with had fled Syria over four years ago after the conflict killed their two boys, ages 10 and 12 at the time, and their farm was overtaken and destroyed.  The father, Anand, reminisced of their farm, livestock, crops and family that they have long left behind.  Days in the camp are spent with the parents of this family caring for their four year old and six month old girls but with little do but to sit in their hut, occasionally visiting new friends found in the camp and longing for a day when they can return to Syria.  Life in the camp is hard, boring and very unfulfilling leaving me to wonder how much hope can there be for the future of these two little girls.
Stories like this make me sad.  I still find it hard to believe these kinds of things occur in our world today.  However, I do remain hopeful because of the spirit and sense of service to others that exists in every Rotarian I have met around the globe and those of you in Newberg Noon Rotary.”

The DUCK – Becky Ankeny did her usual good job of gleaning $$ from Rotarians for their opportunities to brag, complain, or otherwise make known publicly something that happened to them recently.

Om gave kudos to Jim McMaster for his guidance/coaching of the NHS Swimming State Champions!

Shannon B. complimented Ray H. for being the only man at a table full of ladies!  And Ray letting us know he & spouse are headed on a trip to the Phillipines…speaking of which…did you know…The Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain.  Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then-Prince of Asturias. 

Paula claimed she couldn’t keep up with her 100 year old Mom on a recent shopping excursion in Portland!

Stephen Palmer thanked us for the card congratulating on his recent marriage.

Dan Keuler and his wife are welcoming their second child next spring.  Congratulations!

Auggie spoke of our dental clinic project in Guatemala.

There were other some “brags/announcements”, but Becky was getting around the room too fast for me to keep up with note-taking!

Today’s program featured Exchange Students.  Rosa and Matteo [on the left in photo above, to Prez Om’s right] are from Mexico and Italy respectively.  Then Sarah & Chloe at Om’s left.  Rosa & Matteo’s introductory information has been shared in a previous newsletter.  However, Rosa provided us with an up-dated version:

“Hi! My name is Rosángela ,but you can call me Rosa, and I’m the exchange student of this year. I’m from Oaxaca, Mexico. I’m 17 years old. I’ve wanted to be in an exchange since I was a little kid, my dad persuaded me to do it. Now I’m here and I’m really enjoying it, at the beginning it was hard but everything gets better with nice people. Despite Mexico is close, living here is different and challenging.

I’ve only practiced two sports in my life, swimming and volleyball. My favorite sport is swimming, I’ve been practicing for almost three years. Swimming have me amazing friends. I also like scouting, I started when I was 11 years old and I can say that every moment there is and adventure. We do many activities like volunteering and camping. I love it! My favorite classes are chemistry and biology, I want to study something with them when I grow up.

I’m glad I’m here. To be honest United States wasn’t one of my options but everything has a reason. I’ve been having an amazing experience so far, and I really want to learn as much as I can, this is my year and I have to enjoy it”.

Chloe and Sarah were the “outbound” students, having now returned home.  Chloe went to Italy…Sarah to S. Korea.  Chloe has provided a summary of her time abroad: “Hi my name is Chloe Bridges and last year I was an exchange student to Italy. I lived in the north of Italy in a town called Piancogno.  School in Italy where I lived was very difficult because it was lecture style schooling where the teachers just talk for an hour and student have to take notes from them talking.  My three home families were all very welcoming, and I loved them all. As well as my host families I became very close with the other exchange students in my district. The exchange students and I got close throughout a couple of trips we had together where we got to bond for multiple days.  They became a big support for me and I was the support for them as well. I want to thank this Rotary club and the morning time Rotary club because without you it wouldn’t of been possible for me to go on this exchange and experience so many amazing things. The most sincere and biggest thank you possible to each and everyone of you for such an amazing opportunity!”

Chloe Bridges

Yours truly surprised Sarah by greeting her in Korean [I was there for 13 months, 51 years ago, and worked closely with Korean soldiers!].  She was hosted in a city in the very south of S. Korea, somewhat west of the large city of Busan [old name “Pusan”]…a very large port city.  She participated in an art school that met evenings….and provided us with quite a few photos showing her Korean families and friends and their many activities.  While in Korea, she traveled to many sites, including the DMZ.  S. Korea is a bustling nation, with the 5th largest economy in the world.  And Rotary has been an important part of their culture for decades. The population of S. Korea is 51+ million, with nearly half of that residing in the nation’s capitol, Seoul.  By contrast the entire population of N. Korea is about 24 million…and the total land area of the two nations combined is about half the size of the State of Oregon.

Sarah Hess

Sarah’s proud Mom, Michelle Bechtold, extolling the positive advantages/results of Rotary’s International Student Exchange Program.

Rotary’s International Exchange Student Program is truly INSPIRATIONAL!

Prez Om closed the meeting by having the students “ring the bell”!

Respectfully submitted

Rick Kaufman

Newsletter Editor