The day Rotarians saved my exchange

By Rotary International

Geddes and the GSE team in Colombia

Ian Geddes (back row fifth from left), members of the exchange team, and their Colombian hosts.

By Ian W. Geddes, past governor of District 1020 (Scotland)

I have many Rotary stories to tell but this one happened in Colombia. I was chosen by my district to lead a Group Study Exchange team to Bogota. As a Spanish teacher in Scotland my dream had long been to travel to South America. Having been chosen as leader and then having negotiated a sabbatical from my school, my team and I finally set off for Colombia.

One week into the trip, the day after we had visited the fabled El Dorado, I fell ill. At first I thought it was just altitude sickness as we traveled along the Andes at 11,000 feet above sea-level. But no, it turned out to be appendicitis.

Geddes recovering from the appendectomy.

As the surgeon went off to prepare for the operation, I broke down completely. End of dream – three to four weeks convalescence instead of exploring Colombia. Just then the wife of the district governor walked in and said she would arrange to get me back to Bogota – some four hours away- where I would get keyhole (minimally invasive) surgery …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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