My dear fellow Nevada City Rotarians,
Yesterday afternoon I said goodbye to Lyazzat Alshinova, our Friendship Exchange guest, at the San Francisco International Airport. With tears in my eyes, I told her how much I will miss her and how happy I am that her visit was so productive for our Twin Clubs. She in turn feels that this experience was one of the best weeks of her life.
Most of the success of our Friendship Exchange for me came from all of you. I deeply appreciate how enthusiastic you were in welcoming Lyazzat to our club, our community and our homes. All my preparation for this program -- whether the travel logistics, activities in NC, or the homestay at our house -- wouldn’t have paid off so well without your contributions. You rock!
I especially thank the Dennys and Newsoms for helping make Lyazzat’s first evening a very friendly event at the MIM concert, the Newsoms, Monary-Wilsons, and Inglises for hosting and preparing delicious meals which were wonderful ways of getting acquainted. These get-togethers wouldn’t have been so successful without so many of you attending and bringing healthy food as well. I also thank Cathy for leading us on a hike in Nevada City and a short historical tour of NC. My big thanks to Robin for assisting me to get sign-ups on the schedule of events, arrange the 4th of July parade participation and announcement for our club - Lyazzat was SO surprised to be introduced to the crowd! [Click for Parade Video in Facebook!]
Robin was also helpful in trying to arrange a visit at a playground for children with disabilities, and Lyazzat’s slides & videos at last Thursday’s meeting couldn’t have worked if it weren’t for Robin and Tom’s technical expertise (software issues). Lastly, I thank Robin for inviting interested Rotarians from other clubs to our meeting.
Speaking of our club meeting last Thursday, I was so impressed by your showing up, by your active participation and, of course, for making Lyazzat feel so welcome and honored to be with us. She was very elated to be able to present her Rotary club projects, as well as her ground-breaking work in her own non-profit to help children from low-income families in Astana to such an enthusiastic audience. (By contrast, when I went to the Astana Rotary Club’s meeting last July, and presented on our club’s interest in becoming Twin Clubs, doing a project together and continuing our Friendship Exchange, I was met with polite curiosity but little enthusiasm. My purpose in being there was not very clear to this young club whose members by & large haven’t the rich experience of conducting many projects as ours have. It was primarily Lyazzat who “got it”.)
Our two clubs’ two Friendship Exchanges and Twin Club relationship are proving essential to getting acquainted, and exploring possible ways to go forward with a global project with either a District or Global Grant to work together to help meet a serious need of improving child health in Kazakstan. So, stay tuned - we have lots to learn. More at 2018 Friendship Exchange with Lyazzat Alshinova.
With gratitude and affection,
Carolyn Feuille, International Service Chair
Nevada City Rotary