Volume XI, Issue 6: August 12, 2011 Meeting

President Scott started the meeting with a moment of silence for the Babich family, who lost their son Eli a week earlier. We then discussed how our Club would be helping with the next day’s memorial service. We are all thinking of Matt, Liz, Tasha, and the entire Babich family.

We also received the news that Honorary Sunriser Maggie Kraft’s father passed away last week. She returned to California from her Peace Corps assignment in Botswana and she was able to spend some time with him before he died. Our thoughts are with Maggie and her family also.
District Governor Maureen Merrill will be our guest speaker this Friday. Please be there, and “Show Rotary” by wearing a pin or other Rotary attire.

Lori Breyer announced that our new Exchange Student Noëmi Schönenberger arrived last Wednesday, and has taken up residence with her first host family – Donnie and Jennifer Rosebrook. Noëmi is from Switzerland, and she you will be able to meet her at this Friday’s meeting.


Last year’s Outbound Exchange Student, Chris Zazueta, was our guest speaker last week. Chris recently returned to Arcata after spending a year in Béthune, France.

Chris left on August 25th of last year, and he said, “When I got there, I was so scared.” However, his host families (there were three in all) were very supportive, and his counselor, Gerard, took Chris under his wing. “Everyone was friendly,” he noted.
Chris showed us a series of photos from his adventure, starting with the city of Lille, which was the nearest large city. He is an experienced snowboarder, and he found an ersatz practice hill. He had a good time, although “…snowboarding in summer is unusual.”
Another trip took him to the edge of the English Channel, where on a clear day, you can see England. Unfortunately … However, Chris did see a treat – mussels with French fries. He also visited Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he visited and photographed France’s largest cathedral.
Chris’s time in France often brought him together with other Rotary Exchange Students. Many times they would share “Exotic Meals” – where one or more of the students would prepare a traditional dish from their homeland. He also was able to take in some professional football (soccer) games.
High school is quite different in France, according to Chris. “The students are not allowed to talk,” he noted. Instead, they sit at their desks and take notes as the teacher lectures. Chris made several friends at the school.
In the winter, his host Rotary Club took him on a skiing trip in the Alps. The weather was quite balmy – in the 70’s – while they were there, and Chris took a lot of beautiful photos.
Other places that Chris traveled to included Paris, where he visited the Louvre,Espace Dalí (a Salvador Dali museum), and went up in the Eiffel Tower; Versailles, where he toured the castle where many international treaties were signed; Brussels, where he toured the European Parliament and Mini-Europe, which contains “everything from Europe, only smaller”. He was able to visit the French RIviera, and he found that France has many vineyards, especially in the south.

Chris had photos of the fireworks set off to celebrate Bastille Day, but he noted that when he visited the Riviera, he saw fireworks every day. “In Monaco,” he said, “they just have fireworks because they’re rich and they can.”