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Archive for December, 2009

I will be returning to St. Louis, MO on the December 12th. I am very sad to leave considering all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had and especially considering the wonderful people I’ve met!

In particular, my host family, the Ndours

My work, the children and teachers at La Liane

My host club, Rotary Saint-Louis

and of course, friends I’ve made here!

My Rotarettes!!! (Yes, we are that nerdy)

Emily, the best coordinator, ever!

And how can I express missing a whole city, or a whole country in pictures? It’s actually impossible either in pictures or words. I’m just so thankful for my time here in this beautiful city, in this beautiful country and with these truly beautiful people. On my return home, I am looking forward to the opportunity to share what I’ve seen and done with many people, Rotary and non-Rotary. It’s a small gesture in return for the national hospitality that this country is famous for, and that I have sincerely felt my three months here.

Au revoir, Senegal! Or rather, A la Prochaine!!

On the Pont Faidherbe (Faidherbe Bridge) – built by Gustave Eiffel, it is a national landmark and the pride of Saint-Louis

And ‘salut’ to the US, Edwardsville and District 6460! We will be seeing each other very soon!

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Meeting Simon Kafando

A couple weeks ago my host club, the Saint-Louis Rotary Club hosted the District Governor and Lieutenant Governor for our Rotary District 9100.  I’ll give a little explanation of what this means to non-Rotarians.

Within the organization of Rotary International, there are clubs, districts and zones. Rotary clubs are made up of individual members called Rotarians, and are led by a club president and officers. These clubs represent smaller geographic regions such as towns, but that doesn’t mean that there may only be one Rotary club per town (for instance, Dakar has five Rotary clubs). At the next level, the Rotary District is comprised of a number of clubs. They are also representative of a geographic region. For instance, my host district 6460 serves West-Central Illinois is comprised of 50 clubs in that area. The leader of these districts is a District Governor who represents the Rotary International board of directors within the district. Then there are zones which are made up of about 15 districts lead by zone directors who are also on the board of directors for Rotary International. These zones can have international boundaries.

So, basically for a club to host a district governor, is a pretty big deal! It was really cool to meet Mr. Kafando and listen to the achievements of my host club within the past year. He also explained some of the goals that he has for our club and our district in general. We hosted the governor at Dior’s hotel (she’s the president) on Tuesday, which is the normal meeting time for our club. The difference with this meeting, besides the different meeting place was also the timing and attendees. Usually our club meets from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, but this meeting lasted from 6:30 to 11:00pm!! We had our regular meeting from 7:00 to 8:00pm, in which everyone was introduced, including the Rotary scholars (there are five of us), and a group from a Belgian Rotary Club. These members had come to visit to see  how the work was progressing on the match grant project that had been started between the two clubs. This project consisted of buying farming equipment and financing school renovations for a small village just outside of Saint-Louis. The meeting continued with Governor Kafando speaking as well as President Djiane, after which the governor opened up a forum for questions, which I thought was a really cool idea. After the meeting was adjourned, we had a delicious dinner and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Rotary Scholars! Although…I’m not sure where Vanessa is!

President Djiane and Governor Kafando Exchanging banners

Exchanging gifts

For anyone who wants to learn more about District 9100:

http://www.rotary9100.org/search.php?lg=en

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