Rotary Friendship Exchange 2017- Living the American Way

Joining the Rotary Friendship Exchange between RID 5950 and RID 3810 this Rotary Year 2016-2017 of Rotary Serving Humanity and Rotary Foundation's 100th year of Doing Good in the World is a very wonderful experience of a lifetime I will never forget.

Living and interacting with the Rotarians from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA from May 26, 2017 to June 8, 2017 together with other Filipino Rotarians from RID 3810 is an experience so worth remembering and to treasure forever.


Living with Rotarian Paula Schwartz and Family in their Cabin home in Lake Edwards is so exciting and so different. Raised in the metropolis, for a while I experienced life in the cabin by the lake, where the temperature is so cold and atmosphere is so serene where you can feel that heaven is within your reach and God is always just besides you. The generosity of the Schwartz family in sharing their time, material wealth and effort in caring for us as part of their family is so wholehearted and endearing. With them you will feel that Rotarians are indeed belonging to one big family where filial love is shared and where family secrets, joy and laughters, as well as trials and even sadness are shared. With them it is not only food, clothing and shelter was extended to us. Love, equality and close family ties as sister to Paula and Thomas, aunt to Angela and Alec was offered to us. As one family , color and economic status does not divide the love, respect, trust and faith that has tied us together to be a family in the name of Rotary. To sister Rtn Paula Schwartz and family, thank you.

Traveling up North towards Duluth, the Grand Marais, the Portage, up to the Canadian borders for 5 days with spouses Mark Lewis and Corrine Kay Lewis is a happy and so enjoyable experience. With them was never a dull moment. With them you will experience having both a brother and a sister who are your buddies at the same time. They bring us to places such us museums, and beautiful spots up north and introducing us to Minnesota food and delicacies that are not only delicious but also hugely served. Through them we were able to meet two wonderful and lovable friends, Rtn Sam Dalai and wife Lynn Dalai who are both darlings. Happiness in sharing time and adventure up north was their way of extending to us the fellowship joy Without boundaries Rotary friendship are made of. To Mark, Corrine, Sam and Lyn, thank you.

Living with Spouses Bob Erickson and Nancy Erickson is like living with your very own parents. With them you will experience pampering by bringing you to places that caters to the rich to eat lunch or dinner. As parents, they will teach you in their own gentle way the proper way how to order your steak done that will make you laugh together as one family bonding over the table to eat. They bring us on time to areas and places where we are supposed to be and sees to it that everything is ready and available for us if needed. To Rtn Bob and Nancy, thank you.

Life with Rtn Connie Ripley is so simple and relaxed. With her you will find both a sister and a friend. Living all by herself, she showed her generous offering of her time, material wealth and of herself when she opted to request leave from work just to be with us and bring us to places where we are to be. She sees to it that even the most simple personal needs that we want such as going to the parlor for a haircut was made. She has to work overtime for 12 hours just to be able to bring us to the airport when it's time for us to leave for Atlanta. To Rtn Connie, thank you.

Yes - Rotary friendship and fellowship is beyond boarders.  Rotarians belong to one family not tied up with blood, with a vow, or contract.  We are one family surnamed Rotarians tied by our desire to be of Service Above Self.

~ Cecilia Lorita