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 ...