On March 7, 2008, our GSE team will depart for Australia. The team is made up of Kate Seamans, who grew up in New London, N.H.; team leader and Rotarian Steve Puderbaugh, a veterinarian from Candia, N.H.; Amy Beth Kessinger, an educator from North Pownal, VT.; Pete Peck, a pharmacist from Springfield, VT.; and Mina Connor, a veterinarian from Londonderry, N.H.

When the GSE Team arrives in the Blue Mountains area of Australia, just north of Sydney, each team member will stay with eight different host Rotarian families of Rotary District 9690, who will take them on visits with professional organizations in their fields.

In preparation for the GSE trip, the team members have met several times to get acquainted and prepare for their group presentations in Australia. The team also attended a regional meeting in Sturbridge, Mass., with other GSE teams, student ambassadors and Rotary officials.

Rotary District 9690, with 36 member clubs, is part of Rotary International, the world's first service club organization. Today the organization has more than 1.2 million members who volunteer their time and talent to promote its motto of "Service above Self." Through the Rotary Foundation, the organization funds programs such as the Group Study Exchange, which are part of its mission to promote good will and peace through the improvement of health, support for education and the alleviation of poverty around the world.

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, the team premiered its presentation at a gathering in Keene. The presentation's theme was "Seasons in New Hampshire and Vermont." Steve Puderbaugh, the Rotarian team leader gave an update of the District's charitable missions - Amigos de Honduras and Pure Water for the World and bio-filter installations in Honduras - the rest of the team each took a season. The small but appreciative crowd ageed that the district will be well served on this trip.

If you'd like to follow the exploits of Our District 7870 GSE team, they have created a blog which they plan to update along the way. Click on the following or paste it in your browser: