Friday, July 31, 2009

Gifts for our District 1030 Hosts

While we are getting our travel logistics and paperwork in order, we are collecting gifts for our host Rotarians and others. Postcards, buttons, banners and other small momentos will go in our suitcases alongside our team uniform (black blazer, white shirt, black slacks/trousers). Several larger gifts will round out our 50-pound limit per checked bag. The photo represents a selection of items brought by previous GSE teams to other areas of the world.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Allow me to introduce myself

Hi there. I'm Amy.
I'm a 29 year old Licensed Practical Nurse. I live in Cincinnatus, NY but I grew up in Nashville, TN. I found out about the Rotary Group Study Exchange through an ad in the Ithaca Journal.
This orientation weekend was an interesting experience to say the least. We definitely learned a lot about each other and a lot about Rotary International in general. Although we've already lost one member of the team, I feel we came out of this weekend with strong ideas about what we want to accomplish and some ideas about what we can expect from this experience.
My goals for the time I'm in England are both professional and personal. England has a very different healthcare system than we have here in the US, and much of the talk in America lately regarding healthcare reform has been a push toward a system more like what is used in the UK. I want to see how this system works; who says where the money goes and how this person makes these decisions, and how such decisions impact patient care and outcomes. I know. Really fascinating stuff, right? On a more personal level, I'm a huge Anglophile. I've been reading English history as a hobby for years. It's been a goal of mine to make it to Europe before I turn 30, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to check that goal off my bucket list.
We were given quite a bit of homework, but it actually sounds pretty enjoyable. The biggest project we were given was to work on our presentations that we'll be doing in front of Rotary clubs once we get to England. All of us seem to have definitely nailed down what we want to talk about; now we just need to put it together and make sure it fits in the amount of time we're given. Not only do we need to lay out the words we'll say, but we also need to create and organize a Power Point presentation and practice the whole thing so that we can get up in front of people and say what we have to say without stumbling over our words.
Our other homework is to get gifts for our trip. We need a lot of gifts. The biggest gifts we need to find are for our host families, and I personally have many ideas going through my head. We also need gifts for other Rotary members we meet (and there will be many) as well as people we encounter when we go on our vocational visits. I love buying and giving gifts, so I don't think I'm going to have any problem with this part :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Group Orientation

We are meeting this weekend in Freeville, NY with veteran group study exchange (GSE) Rotarians from District 7170. On Saturday we learned about the history of Rotary International, the purpose and goals of GSE and, more specifically, about our destination: England. We are looking forward to the travel and sites we'll visit - and navigating all the logistics in this great new challenge. Please tune in for more information as the four members of this team - and the team leader - comment on our preparations this summer and trip this fall (2009). As we post more, you'll get to know more about us and our experiences.