It’s Another British Invasion!
In 2010, I was lucky to lead a team of 12 people to England for a Rotary Friendship Exchange. We spent two weeks in the Midlands, first in Peterborough, then in Northampton, and finally in Loughborough/Leicester.
For five nights, Alan and Margaret Bothamley hosted me, my travel partner Alison Dailey and Sam and Stella Hazel. Four strangers in their warm and welcoming home, where we devoured their food, emptied bottles of gin and partied every night, plastering everything with our colloquial American patois.
Their first question? “Are you and Alison a couple?”
Because of Life’s roadblocks, Alan and Margaret weren’t able to join the English team on their visit to South Carolina.
This week, we’re correcting Life’s mistake. Alan and Margaret are visiting Charleston through Sunday. Dividing their time between us and Alison. Meeting fellow Rotarians. Catching up with Sam and Stella and other Rotarians from our team.
Rotary Friendship Exchange is a program of cultural understanding. It encourages Rotarians to spend time with their counterparts in other countries. We hope to dispel unfair generalizations about other cultures. Like the English reserved? Bah. They’re some of the wittiest, bawdiest people I’ve ever met. Their warmth, humor and hospitality cemented friendships for two weeks. Over four years later, we still correspond with Alan and Margaret. We’re lucky that Rotary brought us together.
Have you ever made friends through a foreign exchange program?