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JAN2013


The purpose of the Rotary Group Study Exchange(GSE) is to promote cultural and vocational exchange between Rotary districts. The 2012-13 GSE Team from District 5230 (Central California USA) is composed of a team leader and 3 team members. Mona Cummings, the team leader, works as a professional fundraiser with the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund in California, while also working on a variety of community development projects in Africa. The team members

short 30-day period, each team member stayed with 14 separate Rotary home stay families! The team visited a number of club projects and historic and educational sites in Kolhapur, Ichalkaranji, Sangli, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Vasco, Karwar, Ponda, Margao, and Panaji. The Assistant Governors and sponsoring club/s of each region were responsible for coordinating each of these visits. Among the many highlights was a visit to the special needs (differently-abled) schools and Project Cocoon (neonatal unit) in Kolhapur, the Rotary Trade Fair in Ichalkaranji, the MBA College and grape/winery tour in Sangli, the Monument Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur, Pattadkal near Bagalkot, the World’s Biggest Kitchen at Iskon near Dharwad, and the distribution of wheelchairs in Belgaum. The beautiful coastline of Karwar and Vasco were also memorable, as were visits to the cashew and dairy factories in Ponda. Upon conclusion of the tour, the 2012-13 GSE Team from District 5230 sends out “thanks” to all of those who welcomed them throughout District 3170 during their 4-week stay in India. The journey was both an adventure

include Dr. Krishna Patel, a pediatric resident with the Central Valley Children’s Hospital in California, Dr. Amanda Mortimer, a clinical psychologist with Kaiser Permanente and faculty member with California State University in Fresno, and Beulah Boyd, a business solutions specialist with Ultimate Staffing based in Fresno, California. Over the past month, the GSE Team from Rotary District 5230 has been on a whirlwind tour of District 3170, which is comprised of the states of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Perhaps most amazingly, during that

of a lifetime and a valuable learning experience. The team was affected deeply by the warm felicitations, the flowers, music, dance, and smiles that were given to them along the way. A very special “thanks” goes out to all Rotarians and their families who welcomed the team members into their homes. The team was deeply inspired by the Rotarian “Service Above Self” that is taking place throughout District 3170. They are looking forward to sharing what they have learned about Indian culture, economy, education, and history to District 5230. Namaste!

THE GSE EXPERIENCE By Mona Cummings

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