Chris, our Team Leader, writes about the wonderful Rotary Friendship Exchange with District 6270 from Wisconsin that we experienced last week.
The incoming team consisted of Leader Julie plus three couples, Ela & Bernd, Mike & Sue and Bugs & MaryJo. The Plimmerton hosts were Chris and Anne-Marie, Ron and Jenny Lucas, Kay, and Wendy.
Unfortunately they arrived a day late due to a missed connection in Los Angeles but we certainly made up for lost time as soon as their feet touched down in District 9940.
Arrival evening was spent at the Rotary Meeting of Kapiti with a formal Maori Welcome which was translated into English for our full appreciation.
Highlights in Kapiti were visits to Southward Car Museum, NZ Police Museum, QE2 WW2 Marine memorial with an address from a retired US Marine and a visit to Nga Manu nature reserve.
On Saturday morning Kapiti Hosts drove their Guests over the Ruahines to Pu Kaha (Mt Bruce) Wildlife Centre where the Wairapa Hosts were waiting to receive them.
Feeding of the Tuna (Long fin Eels) was really worth the visit and we learned that eels live for up to eighty years and most find their way here from Rarotonga and return there to spawn and die.
In the Wairarapa, our team visited both Castlepoint & Cape Palliser lighthouses, a dairy farm, and a vineyard. Our visitors were fascinated by the old bulldozer line up at Ngawi and the huge jet boat fishing boats at Castlepoint. The weather was kind to us. There was a combined Rotary Meeting at Carterton Golf Club where Julie and her team kept us entertained with a beautiful Power point Presentation.
Plimmerton Rotary Hosts met their visitors at the Featherston Fell Museum and after a film show and special presentation there we brought them over the Remutakas, stopping off at Kaitoke Regional Park for a walk over the swing bridge and a visit to Rivendell.
That evening was our 50th Anniversary when we all got a chance to dress up and enjoy a wonderful Celebration.
During their stay with Plimmerton they were shown around the Life Flight Trust Operation and Wellington Children’s Hospital by Bill Day and his team. We experienced the Mana Maori Tour of Te Papa and had a group tour through Parliament Building which included all the excitement of an emergency evacuation drill.
This is the first incoming team since before Covid and we are thrilled that it was such a huge success.
We look forward to many future Rotary Friendship Exchange teams coming which will give us many future opportunities to engage with our world wide Rotary family and make new friends.
A massive thank you to those who hosted.