GSE Australia

Rotary District 6630 (Northeast Ohio) is sending six people to Southern Australia to learn everything about the country. The group will be in Australia March 30, 2006 to April 30, 2006. This site will share the stories of Amy, April, Cynthia, Dave, Frank and Patty.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

More Pics

We're Home!
The coastline near Victor Harbor, South Australia
The Barossa Valley
No comment!

Here are some more pictures. I'm off to Sydney in a few hours and probably won't be near a computer for about a week. Thank you everyone for reading. I'll will add new information and pictures when I return to the United States. For the people who have been reading this, the District 9520(Australia) will be looking for people to send to the Netherlands and Sweeden for GSE next year; District 6630 (Ohio, USA) will be sending a team to Brazil.

Assorted Photos

Cynthia and Patty at the Oakbank Races
The team at the Port Power AFL game

The team is heading back for the United States in about 12 hours (6:15 AM Central Australian Time). I thought I'd put up a few random photos. Cynthia, April and Frank will stay in the country for an extra week to see a few more places. Please keep checking the site over the next two weeks. I'll put up more photos from the trip.
- Frank

Friday, April 28, 2006

Going out with a Bang!

The team gave its finally two presentations over the last two days. One presentation was our normal presentation to the Intercity Rotary Meeting at Somerton Park on Wednesday, and today we had a reception and dinner with all of our host families. Everyone gave a short speech/presentation and reflected on how the trip/experience has touched them. Everyone did something different, but did a great job. There were a lot of laughs but also some tears. We've met a lot of great people while in Australia. We've made a lot of new friends. Many of the people at tonights dinner drove a couple of hours just to come see us one last time before we leave. That moved a lot of the team members. We've been treated great here in Australia. This experience is definately a once in a lifetime experience. I plan to add some pictures and more stories on Saturday, our last free day before heading home (most of us, some of us are going to stay for an extra more week of blogging!).

Thank you District 9520! Thank you GSE Team! Thank you Host Families! Most importantly, thank you everyone we've met in the last month. We've learned a lot and will will miss you!
Please keep in touch!

- GSE Team District 6630 Northeast Ohio

Monday, April 24, 2006

Making Weight

We're starting to get to the end of our trip and one of the number one concerns for the team "making weight" for the trip back home. Airlines only allow you so much weight to travel with in your suit cases. All of us have put on a few pounds (kilograms) during the trip. It's a good thing they don't weigh us. The Australians have fed us very well and I don't think any of us will ever eat this well again in our lives!

A few of us have mailed items home already. Our main issue has been our hosts are very nice and have given us gifts, and we've been buying a lot of gifts to bring home. Everyday we say we're not going to buy anything, then our hosts take us to another unique shop, store or museum. I think some of us may leave all of our clothes in Australia and only bring our gifts back with us. The team only has 5 days left to make weight/pack their bags for the return trip to the US.

News and Updates

Oakbank Races
I have been able to post pictures yet, but last week the Blackwood Club took the team to the Oakbank Races. The horse races or the 4-Day Horse Race Festival is a popular Easter Tradition in Adelaide. We went on Monday which was "Fashion Day". A lot of people were trying to dress to impress. Big hats and even bigger sunglasses were the in style with the ladies and suits with open collars were the thing for the guys. South Australia is the driest state on the driest continent on the planet. Three races into the day it started raining. The final two races were cancelled. It was the first time anyone could remember the races being cancelled. Earlier that weekend Dave and I have a golf outing rained out. Must be the Americans bringing their Ohio weather to Australia.

Cleland Park
Blackwood also took us to the Cleland Park. The team got to see native Australian animals. We got to pet Kola Bears; feed and pet Kangaroos and attempt to feed Emus.

McLaren Vale
We're in McLaren Vale, so I thought I'd send a link to the city's website. Please click on the link

McLaren Vale - Continued
We had our first full day with the McLaren Vale club today. They took us on a great tour of the area and the industries. We visited two wineries, a olive farm, a cheese factory and art gallery. The team did what it could to financially support the local economy. More weight for the suitcases. We had a great time at the Olive Farm and learned about olives and olive oil. If you ever want to order some tasty oils contact the address below:

Harding's Olives
Lot 20 Colville Road Willunga, SA 5172
Phone (08) 8556 2125 Fax (08) 8556 4773

After all the touring we had a Inter City Club presentation for about 90 people. Some of the clubs used busses to bring members to our presentation. Some of the clubs that showed up were from Victor Harbor, Strathalbyn and Berri. The District Governor also came to see us.

Tuesday will be a early day but a Special Day. ANZAC Day is a National Holiday similar to Memorial Day in the United States. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The team will attend services at 6:15 AM to remember the men and women who were injured or died in the Australian and New Zealand militaries. For more information, go to this link

Many of you probably wonder what I'm talking about when I say Intercity Presentation. Everytime we go to a nex city/Rotary Club, we are guest speakers are a meeting. Our team has a 30 minute presentation in which we inform the audience about our district (Cleveland, Ohio) and give short presentations about ourselves, our occupations and our families. We have a total of seven presentations during the trip and one final presentation at a going away banquet. The last three presentations have been infront of groups of more than 90 people. The Intercity term comes from the fact that the host Rotary Club will invite other local clubs to attend the presentations/meetings.

Vocational Days
Another term I've been throwing around has been "vocational days". With every city/club we visit; they arrange for the indvidual team members to network with or job shadow with a local employer. The vocational days usually last an entire day and allow team members to learn about similar vocations in a foriegn country. The team has been given a ton of information and make tons of new contacts. We've also shared a lot of information about our occupations in the United States. The team has two more vocational days this week.

Thats the update for now. Thank you everyone for reading. Pictures will be up soon. I will also post more Australian terms that we have learned.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

St. Peters/McLaren Vale

Hello everyone! We've moved again! The team arrived in McLaren Vale this morning (Sunday). McLaren Vale is about 45 minutes south of Adelaide. We've spent the last few days in St. Peters.

St. Peters in a suburb of Adelaide just to the northeast. As with all of our stops, we had another great time. The St. Peters group gave us tours of Adelaide, told us the history of the city and had us speak to one of our largest groups. The presentation on Wednesday night was infront of 105+ people. I guess the team is popular. On top of our vocational visits, the St. Peters club took us to the Barrosa Valley to visit several wineries, farmers markets and scenic locations. The Barrosa Valley was settle by German immigrants, so there was a very German feel to the area. The stay in St. Peters flew by.

We're enjoying our trip. As soon as we get settled in one area, it's time to move on to our next club. That brings us to McLaren Vale. We're in wine country! We've only been here for a few hours so, I can't type much now. We have a busy schedule lined up over the next few days.

After McLaren Vale we'll be off to Somerton Park. This is our last week of the Rotary Group Study Exchange. We have three presentations this week, two vocational visits, two mayoral recpetions, one Rotary debriefing to ask our opinions of the trip and a lot of packing.

For anyone interested in the GSE program, click on one of the two links to the right of this webpage. They are trips planned for next year. This is a great experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I appologize for the lack of pictures lately. I will get more stories and pictures up soon.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Weekend

We got a chance to experience some Australian "Culture" on Easter. The Blackwood Rotary Club took us to an Australian Football League (AFL) game. The game (match) was between Port Adelaide Power and the Fremantle (Perth) Dockers. Many of the team members enjoyed watching because the action is non stop. The game is easy to follow when you're watching and have the proper teachers. Explaining how Aussie Rules football works on the internet is another thing. I'll just let everyone know that Fremantel beat Port 110-79.

Pictures from the game and the weekend activities will be posted soon.

The next couple of days will be busy for the team. Tuesday we have vocational visits all day, then a presentation at the Blackwood Intercity Club Meeting. Wednesday we're off to St. Peters. We'll get a tour of St. Peters meet our host families, then we have a presentation at the St. Peters Intercity Club Meeting. Thursday, another full day of vocational visits (job shadowing and networking).

If you don't see any posts for awhile, don't worry too much about us, we're just keeping busy learning about Australia!

- Frank

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Where is April?

People reading this blog are probably wondering, Why aren't there any pictures of theteam leader April? Where are the pictures of Cynthia? Does this blog have a bias against posting pictures of either one? Are they still alive? Do they avoid being in pictures? Not really, they seem to be the two people taking a lot of the group photos!

This morning a sepcial unit was sent in to take care of this situation! At 7:59 AM April 16, 2006, A special unit of GSE Members was sent to April's Host Familie's House to get her picture!

Here is a photo from that mission!

Cynthia is next on our list!

-The Photo Unit

Friday, April 14, 2006


Car trip to Tailem Bend (South Australia)
Group photo with the Group Study Exchange Team from Mexico
Southern Ocean at Hindmarsh Island
Amy, Patty and Frank in Mildura
Cake at the Tailem Bend going away party.

Day Off

The team got a day off today. Most of the group took time to visit some parks and see the city before having dinner with the Blackwood Rotary Club. As always, we were fed very well, and the food was great!

The Australians have been reading this blog and gave me a few more terms and slang to add to the website. Here are a few more with correct spellings:

big smoke - the city
chunder - to vomit (don't worry no one is sick)
dunny - bathroom
greenie - conservationist
international - foreign (from outside of Australia)
interstate - anything to do with another Australian state
mozzie - mosquito
pokie - slot machine
post - post office
postie - mail man or woman
slab - 24 pack of beer
uni - University
yakka - work