When you think about Rotary Exchange, you probably think of the youth exchange, high scholars who will study and live for a year in another country, and you have no idea of the possibility of spending 1 to 3 months in a country, being over 18 and less than 30 as a young professional. I was lucky enough to meet and have the opportunity to fulfill one of my biggest dreams. It all started with a neighbor, a Rotarian, talking to my mother about the possibility of my younger sister doing the youth exchange, and she is in Taiwan finishing her incredible year, right now. With that we hosted for the first time, my Polish sister Klaudia, and we started to participate and help in all Rotary activities, my mother started teaching Portuguese and now she is a Rotarian, and I'm here in Arizona. I can never thank Rotary enough for having this opportunity to come to Arizona and spend 2 months touring several cities and meeting incredible places and people.
In Phoenix I spent two weeks with Sheila Breen and Guy Walker, had the opportunity to meet and attend a class at the Walter Conkrite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; I visited the Arizona Republic Newspaper, had I had the opportunity to talk to several journalists, watch the recording of an interview and follow the reporter Rachel Leingang in action; I went to the Botanical Garden and a lot of other places. In Scottsdale with Mike and Mary Zongoliwicz I was able to watch a recording on channel 15 abc; I also went to Taliesin West and learned about Frank Lloyd Wright. In Wickenburg I stayed with two families, Robert and Karla Wedig and Alvin and Carol Hancock; I went to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and to The Wickenbug Sun newspaper. After that I went to Tusayan with Clarinda and John Vail, and I could see the beauty of the Grand Canyon in different places, I took the helicopter and jeep tour, I cried when I came across such a beauty, it was breathtaking; I went to Bearizona; I could see a bundle of snow; and we went in several other places and cities nearby.
I headed to Sedona, where I had two families again Dick and Marge Youngberg and David Gill and Betty Loos; I went to the Museum of Northdern Arizona; at the Chapel of the Holy Cross; I also had the pleasure of going to various places with Miki Dzugan, such as Chamber of Commerce in Sedona to meet with Kegn Moorcroft, Director of Communications; KNAU public radio in Flagstaff, meet with Ryan Heinsius; and a lot of other amazing things. Now in Prescott, with Lori Dekker, I have already visited the Sharlot Hall museum; Phippen museum; I walked and toured old Prescott; and gave an interview to Sanford Cohin at the KQNA radio station.
So many places to see, so much different thing to do, it is impossible to see everything in a week, but it is enough to make you fall in love with each place, for each family (all incredible), and have the desire to return soon.
Thank you to all Rotary clubs in Arizona for making this possible.