Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I entertained an American man and his wife in our house, here in Oxford. It was a very pleasant afternoon – the Americans were friendly and well-spoken. My wife prepared a typical English cream tea for them. How did all this come to be?
After our return to England from Germany in 2005, we started to build a new circle of friends, one part of which was an invitation to me to join a local Rotary Club. At the beginning of this month (July) I was elected as president of the small club for the coming year. Rotary was founded in the USA, but is today worldwide. Perhaps you already know, that together with Bill Gates, Rotary has raised millions of dollars for the eradication of poliomyelitis, from the world.
There are now only three small areas where it still exists. From the millions of cases, just fifty or more years ago, the figure last year, was a little over two hundred. Yet more than $5 billions are still needed for total eradication. Rotary also donates to dozens of needs and wants in individual club areas.
In some countries, the clubs can be very formal, in the manner of dress, etc. Our club is very informal, resulting in an extremely friendly atmosphere. We don’t give money, we raise money, by organising various events.
Oh yes! The Americans! They had attended an international Rotary Congress in Lisbon. After the congress they decided to see a little more of Europe. One of their destinations was Oxford. One aspect of Rotary, is, being hosted by a fellow Rotarian, around the world. The guests are expected not to stay longer than three days with any host. Our Americans were not our guests, but guests of a fellow club member, who had to attend a family funeral, so he asked us to have them for the afternoon. It was a pleasure.
Isn’t it wonderful to know, that within the rat-race of typical modern life, there is still so much good in the world?