Posted by Karin Ciano on Aug 17, 2023
Rotary Minutes Aug. 15, 2023
President Heidi Fisher opened the meeting on time.  Michael-jon chimed us in, and we sang happy birthday to Bo.  Heidi recognized the meeting volunteers and lifted up the tech team (Matt) for helping us manage some temporary difficulties with the projector and sound.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, Michael-jon offered an Inspirational Minute featuring reflections by Edward Abbey, John Muir, and others on the need to connect with nature and the outdoors.  We enthusiastically recited the Four-Way Test.  There were no visiting Rotarians but Shelly recognized our two guests, Annabelle and Rachel Gifford.  Linda then formally introduced Annabelle, our featured speaker, who recently returned from a sojourn in Italy with Rotary Youth Exchange.  Annabelle spent several months before her departure learning Italian.  She went through an orientation program designed to help her understand differences between cultures and to develop skills in figuring out how to successfully navigate those differences.  She was also presented with a stylish navy blazer that is now festooned with souvenirs from the places she has visited and the friends she has made.  Annabelle stayed with four host families and attended three different schools in the cities of Cremona and Brescia in northern Italy.  The school days were set up differently than in the U.S., with students going home at 1 to have lunch with their families then returning to school afterward.  Annabelle was intrigued to learn that Italians actually said "Mamma mia!" and used hand signs to communicate.  She also learned that Rotary dinners in Italy may have many delicious courses, so it's best not to fill up too soon.  Her favorite moments were a weekend in the Dolomites and a trip to Sicily, plus making good friends.  She looks forward to future travels and offers her thanks for being selected as a Second Century Scholar.  Linda mentioned she is looking for volunteers to join her in meeting our inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student at the airport this Saturday, August 19, at 2pm - if you can join her please reach out!  Linda is also looking for people interested in planning activities with Rotary Youth Exchange students this year - the more lead time, the better, so please reach out to her today!  Everyone is encouraged to attend the next two lunch meetings on August 22 and August 29, as they will be hosted by two venues vying for the honor of hosting our Club meetings in the future.  Last but not least, Doug Bruce got fined $20 for 2 puns.  
Submitted by Karin Ciano, rookie scribe.  All errors are solely the fault of the scribe.