Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

April 12, 2013

Lessons from France: Exchange trip coming to a close

CHAMBERY, FRANCE — With every city we visit and every Rotary Club we meet in France, our connection and respect for the organization and our host country grows and deepens. As does our understanding that the world and its population of humans are all linked no matter the differences in language, culture or geography.

In the last week, we traveled from small villages in the Savoie department of the Rhone-Alpes region, including Cordon and Saint Jean de Maurienne to the larger lake cities of Annecy and Chambery. We have made quick jaunts into Italy and Switzerland, too.

We arrived at our last stop, Grenoble, on Thursday and on Monday our trip will end. Saying goodbye to one another and to the scores of new friends we have made here will be hard. It’s already been difficult each time we moved from one club’s care to the next.

We will no doubt recall the last four weeks throughout the rest of our lives and I am confident the connections we have made with our hosts will live on and flourish, too.

The enduring result of our trip, I hope, will be the wider view of the world we now have and the desire to continue broadening our individuals perspectives.

Already we have learned so much. With each site we have visited here, whether medical, energy, education, manufacturing, historical, government or cultural, we have expanded our knowledge and understanding of France’s history and its modern society.

With each day, new connections are made with issues abroad and at home. Our awareness of the increasingly interconnected world we live in is expanding and our ideas about it are changing too. There are so many similarities and yet so many differences among us, the most important being that we look at the world through different lenses, each tinted by our country or culture’s history as well as our individual experiences.

As a result, we think about and approach the same issues or problems very differently at times. I’ve seen so many examples in France. Regardless, our futures are as linked as our pasts. Acknowledgment and consideration of another way can only be helpful and it should not be feared.

As our Rotary International Group Study Exchange wraps up, that is what I will walk away with. I believe what Rotary was giving me was an opportunity to see no matter how big the world may seem at times, it is small, yet diverse and beautiful. And despite how difficult it may be at times, I will strive to communicate the commonalities.

Rotary has inspired me, and so many before me, to look for them. Then, once I find them, to do what I can to appreciate the differences, and work toward a better future for us all.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.
     

    April 7, 2014

  • What happened to safety of childhood?

    In the years before air conditioning, we slept soundly and safely with the screen door often unlatched.

    April 6, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone