June 22, 2010

Jalsa! The District 3060 Conference

Photos of the 3060 District Conference.





And on to Vapi!




And on to Surat!




And now the photos from Vadodara!



Anand, and Ahmedabad

Here are some photos from our day trip to Ahmedabad, and our time in Anand.




Wadwan City and Surendrenagar

Photos of our time in Wadwan City and Surendrenagar.




Sassan Gir and the trip between Rajkot and Porbandar

More photos.
There are some good shots of Asiatic lions, including a good video.




Some photos from our GSE visit to Porbandar. Please visit the link for the album. I've had some difficulty with the links coming through, so you may have to copy the link into your browser.

June 21, 2010


I have some pictures from Bhavnagar. Hopefully some of you are still on the email notification list.



April 27, 2010

Adding photos on the web

I know,
I've been terrible about getting back on here to provide a concise wrap up of this amazing adventure. I have a little free time this week, at least in the evenings, so I'm going to start uploading photos onto a new Snapfish account. I'm organizing the albums by city, so hopefully that isn't too cumbersome. Also, my Indian friends, this initially is only my photographs, so please let us know of photos or places you want more pictures of, and we'll expand the albums accordingly. Hopefully everyone is still on the notification list and will get this. Stay tuned!

First album will be Rajkot.


February 6, 2010

The End is not the End

I'm sorry that we slowed down on the posting at the end, but we had greater difficulty finding time for the internet in our last two stays in Surat and Vapi, as we spent a number of our nights out with Rotarians enjoying dinner and company.

Now that the GSE trip has wrapped up, and the team has gone on separate vacations, we will look to complete the journey in the blogosphere when we return to reality. Thank God for journals to help fill in the blank spots in our memories! Not only do we have more stories about the people, places and good works we've seen, but we also have our impressions, final thoughts, and a little about our travels after GSE.

Karen (my wife) and I are currently in Jaipur staying with Rotarian Chandresh Nagar and his lovely family, after having visited with Rotarians in Delhi (more on them in a separate post!) and Agra while sightseeing. We will venture further into the state of Rajasthan with visits to Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer, before wrapping up our time in India. It truly has been life altering. I hope everyone has enjoyed our trip, and our writing, and hope that you will stick around for the finale.

Blake and Team

January 31, 2010

A New Star in the Galaxy from District 3060

My friend, Rotarian Ruchir Jani, was elected "Rotarian of the Year" from District 3060 in Gurajat , India, today. Ruchir is a founding member of Rotary Vapi - Riverside. We were very lucky to Ruchir as our coordinator and he excelled at fielding all our questions and schedule changes, in addition to his responsibilities for the conference. We are forever indebted to Ruchir for his grace, thoroughness, and his friendship, in particular.

January 29, 2010

District 6900 GSE Team Meets Rotary International President (2011-2012)

The team was fortunate to meet with Kalyan Banerjee today. Kalyan is RI President elect for 2011-12 and his home club is here in Vapi. He has just returned from the States and is busy preparing for the District 3060 Conference. He and his wife were kind enough to give us time and open their home to the team. Evidently, Kalyan is not too busy to get involved with the team's personal travel plans post GSE. Many thanks to Ruchir Jani, our GSE coordinator in Vapi for arranging the meeting.

Next stop-the District Conference where will meet the inbound team to 3060 from Sri Lanka, the outbound team headed for our district 6900 from Gujarat 3060, and say goodbye to our friends here in Gujarat.

January 26, 2010

Diamonds and fancy clothes

Surat is a city with a rich history. It was India's largest trading port before Bombay gained strength. During our visit to Surat we were met memorable sights and people. We toured Venus Jewels, an impressive diamond polishing factory. Surat polishes more than 70 percent of the world's diamonds. Sadly they did not provide free samples :).

We also visited Rivaa Exports Ltd., a manufacturer of women's clothing. We saw how the embroidery is stitched.

And we got a look at how the fabric is dyed.

Thanks to GSE Coordinator and my host Yatish Parekh for his wonderful programming. I really enjoyed all the laughs we shared!

I will miss the whole family!

This morning we move to a new city, Vapi. The District Conference is not far away, Jan. 29-31. It will be sad to say goodbye to India and all our new friends.

Smiles in Surat

Last night we made our presentation to the 11 Rotary clubs of Surat. It was a high-profile event as we were fortunate to have District Governor Maj. S.K. Sharma in attendance. Our GSE leader Bill Barney presented Maj. Sharma with "Marshes of Glynn," a painting by Charlene Hall, wife of Past District Governor and Polio Challenge Coordinator Robert Hall of District 6900.

It was certainly an Indian-Southern affair as the Rotary Friendship (Family) Exchange team from North Carolina joined us for the evening.

It was also good to see our "best friend" Past District Governor Kulbandhu Sharma. Thanks to him for all his dedication to our GSE team.

Today is Republic Day in India, so we have some free time. I hope to post more pictures from our adventures in Surat later in the afternoon. But for now we are off to a textile factory ...