As most of you know, I am a current Rotary Global Grant Scholar, which means that I get to be part of this awesome international community of people who are always looking after their scholars. The last blog post I wrote about an activity my Rotary host district planned was my visit to Windsor Castle, but I have been part of so many more since last year. Therefore, I decided to dedicate this post to recount all the amazing events my host district has planned and of course, to thank them from the bottom of my heart for making my year abroad an unforgettable experience. So let’s start:
1. CIN LHR Collection
Before coming to the U.K., I was not familiar with the BBC charity Children in Need. My host club organizes this collection in Heathrow airport every November to raise money for the organization, last year they collected over £42,000!! Isn’t that amazing?! The work of one club has a great impact for many disadvantage children in the U.K. Now, can you imagine what happens when more people come together for the same cause?
2. Visit to Blenheim Palace
During this trip, I had the opportunity to learn about the Churchill family and had breakfast with Lady Henrietta Churchill which happened to be a relative of Winston Churchill. I also learned that Blenheim Palace was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and I got to wander around the gardens of the palace.
3. Rotary Clubs visits
As a scholar, you are invited to different Rotary clubs and you get to share a little bit of your passions and your studies. The more events I attend, the less nervous I get when speaking in front of an audience. This has definitely helped me to grow as an individual and also to share a little bit of what I am doing with the people that have supported my dreams.
4. Annual District Conference
This has been by far, one of the coolest events I’ve been part of! It was a three day conference, where you get to interact with Rotarians from the district (over 600 attendees) and fellow scholars. One of the nights, we had a gangster/ flapper theme party, which gave me an opportunity to dress up! At the end of the night, I was exhausted from dancing and that is including the short breaks I took to rest from dancing… meanwhile, all the Rotarians danced all night non-stop, which was pretty amazing to see. They definitely told me age is nothing when it comes to enjoying life!
5. Royal Ascot races
After losing a few pounds, I can say I now have an idea how to bet on horse races! So, if you are planning on going to one race soon, just let me know and I’ll give you all the tips. I could not have dreamed of a best first horse race experience, as I was able to dress up with a pink hat and a nice dress.
Honestly, my host club, home club and host district are just great. They always make sure all of the scholars feel at home, which is something I will be forever grateful. Now, I am just trying to process the fact I have lived in England for 8 months and I only have four more months to enjoy my second home before returning to the US. This year is something I will never forget and I will never stop being thankful for. So for all the incoming scholars out there, get excited as you will soon be able to have the best year of your life with Rotary!
Thanks for reading – Ingrid!