Rotary International District 5580 - to - Rotary International District 2760


Share our Excitement & Join our Journey

Welcome to the travel blog of Rotary District 5580's Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team which will embark on an exciting five week goodwill / vocational exchange to Nagoya, Japan in November, 2009.

Here, our hybrid American-Canadian team of enthusiastic and adventurous young professionals, along with our lovely, talented and fearless team leader, will share cultural experiences and engage in unique vocational learning opportunities.

If you have come to this site, you are likely: a Rotarian, family member, friend or colleague of one of the team members, or... are just plain blog-curious. Either way, we encourage you to check our site often to learn about us, follow our progress as a team and of course, keep in touch as we explore Japan.

We thank Rotary in advance for the adventure of a life time and to all readers, we invite you to share our excitement and join our journey.


GSE Team Japan 2009








GSEチーム ジャパン 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

“Hug it out” Team

Greeting one another with a close-fisted, knuckle-based high five, in appreciation of the fact that not all team members are “huggers”, GSE Team Japan had its first official planning meeting in Bemidji, Minnesota July 17-19, 2009.

Warmly welcomed into Team Leader Evonne’s home, the weekend began with a potluck dinner. Tony, Evonne’s husband, prepared deliciously fresh walleye which was accompanied by several complementary dishes and drinks from team members (e.g. Japanese plum wine). Naturally, the meal finished with … chocolate cake (care of “Alternate Team Leader Extraordinaire”, Ann Perry) and a side of two “ Betty’s Pies”. Our team admits a shared love of food and sweets (which could bode well for trying new culinary delights in Japan). It could also lead to a GSE recipe book in the future.

Like our orientation meeting, once again Team Japan kicked into high gear and made many strides in preparing for its exchange. We were able to finalize our uniforms (after multiple fashion shows in numerous stores), agree on the layout and format of our brochures, blog and business cards and landed on a theme for our presentation…which, also begins with b … but we’ll leave that as a surprise.

In addition to the work, Team Member Rebecca shifted our focus for a few minutes in an icebreaker that challenged us to appreciate the current influences in our lives and the impact they could have on us as we pursue our journey. It was a great way to get to know each other even better.

Overall the weekend was another success and just as it began, ended with a big group close-fisted, knuckle-based high-five or, hug, for short.

Before signing off, thanks also go out to Earl Rogers and the Duluth Rotarians for such a warm welcome at your noon meeting.

Until next time….


  1. Hi- this is a great website to keep up on my sister, Rebecca's Journey thanks for sharing
    Love, Jodi

  2. Hi GSE team... you sure have an experience of a lifetime ahead of you! I went on the GSE trip to Nagoya last November with the Rotory club in NW OHIO. I would love to talk to anyone who is interested in getting first hand advise and a bit of what to expect in Nagoya... Please give me a call anytime and leave a message if I don't answer. Thanks, Kevin... 419-870-1771

  3. Hi There:

    Greetings from Team Japan 2009 down south...we're also a canada/US team from the Detroit area...visiting 2250 Tochigi leaving September 30, 2009!!! Our Alternate team leader found your blog....ours is similar Looking forward to following your blog.