Open World Program promotes understanding

By Rotary International

Open World program delegation

Rotary members in North Carolina host delegates from Russia in the Open World program.

By Greg Batz, a member of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake

Twelve years ago, I was invited by a fellow Rotarian from a neighboring Rotary club to chauffer a delegation of Russian judges to the federal court house in Minneapolis for a tour and meetings on a Friday morning. Little did I know how that simple offer to help that day would change my life.

These five judges had been nominated and selected to participate in the Open World Leadership Program and were just finishing their 10 day visit to the United States. The experience I had that day was the beginning of an opportunity to travel to Russia four times and experience a country that most Americans only read about in the news or see on TV.

Members of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake host visiting Open World delegates.

My wife and I have dozens of wonderful Russian friends from Moscow and St. Petersburg, to Ufa, Stavropol, and Krasnoyarsk. We have experienced Siberian banya’s (saunas), spelunking, broken bread, shot vodka, and eaten caviar with these friends. We’ve been invited guests to a wedding, hiked in the …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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