2019 Friendship Exchange
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2019 Friendship Exchange
The District invites you to participate in the Friendship Exchange team from District 7230 to visit Mumbai, India, as guests of Rotary District 3141, from February 14 - 24, 2019.
The Friendship Exchange Program is modeled on the Group Study Exchange program, but for Rotarians.  Instead of visiting a foreign country/city as typical tourists, you’d stay with local Rotarians who show us what's best in their area, while we also share their home and their family life.  This is far more meaningful and fulfilling in terms of cultural and international understanding, and leads to long‑term relationships.  For more information, https://www.rotary.org/en/our‑programs/friendship‑exchange
The District will send a team of five Rotarians and an adult companion each, i.e., a maximum of 10 persons.  Participants will bear their own airfare, and personal expenses, and take care of their visa requirements.  While ticket prices vary, they cost around $1,000.  Local lodging, boarding and transportation will be provided for by the local Rotarians. 
The exact schedule and itinerary will be set after the team is selected, in consultation with the team and with the Team in Mumbai.
Mumbai, the City of Dreams, is one of the  biggest and diverse cities of India. The entertainment and financial capital, it is a place filled with dreamers and people who work hard day and night to achieve their dreams. From struggling actors, laborers, and Bollywood stars to stunning architecture, incredibly diverse cuisine, and entertainment, Mumbai is a city for all.  The attractions parallel those of New York.
If you are interested in enjoying "incredible India" with well-informed, friendly and fun‑loving Rotarians, and enjoy the best of Indian hospitality, please send the duly-filled application this form along with a check for $100 drawn to “R.I. Dist. 7230", to Rtn. Shahid Latif, Chair, Friendship Exchange Committee (R.I. Dist. 7230), 555 Central Pk. Ave. Apt 230, Scarsdale, New York 10583‑1057 with an electronic copy to kchittur@post.harvard.edu.  While the application deadline is December 31, 2018, team members will be selected on first‑come, first served basis - so get your applications in today!
Team members must adhere to the schedule, once it is finalized, strictly.  However, team members may spend more time in India at their own expense before or after the scheduled trip.  Further, team participants must host, or arrange for hosting, a Rotarian couple from India when the return Friendship Exchange team from Mumbai visits here in May 2019 in accordance  with the Hosting Guidelines.  [Please see below]
Questions?  Email Shaw@kmgnyc.com, with a copy to the District Governor at kchittur@post.harvard.edu.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Rtn. Kris Chittur
District Governor
Fill in the Application form and return as soon as possible.
Responsibility & OBLIGATION of Host FAMILY
            These guidelines have been compiled based upon the experiences (read, mistakes) and observations of Rotarians who have participated in international exchange programs as guests and/or hosts.  They are meant to help you build a lasting relationship of mutual respect, trust, and understanding with your guest.
  1. Provide an independent room with attached western style toilet & shower facility.
  1. Spare personal time, as much as possible, with the guest. Do not make your guest feel neglected. Make them feel at home. At the same time allow them their space & freedom.
  1. Pick up (in the beginning) & drop (at the end) the guests on a given day and time from/to a predetermined location decided in consultation with the guest and, if applicable, previous/next Host.
  1. Arrange for transport of the guest for any activity, either on your own or in association with co-hosts.  Do not leave your guest unattended at any point in time.
  1. Facilitate logistic support to the guest during the stay like providing internet facility, identifying locations for making telephone calls & similar assistance.
  1. Provide breakfast, lunch & dinner at place/s consisting of home hospitality, resort visit, fireside dinners & Rotary Meetings.  Remember your guest is used to a different diet, and may have food-related sensitivities based on religion, health, or taste.
  1. Provide recreational activity in tune with the interests of the guest which may consist of visit to a shopping mall, library, museums, architectural monuments, social events, sight-seeing locations, pleasure trips, sports and sporting events, and may also include visit to your place of work.
  1. Adhere to the itinerary very carefully & without exception. 
  1. Be on time.  Being late, absent emergencies, is disrespectful of others. Delays waste time of everyone in the team, and may lead to skipping a planned event/visit. 
  1. Please keep the concerned persons informed in case of any deviation from the pre-determined itinerary or activity.  If someone else has taken your guest for the evening, and will be late, make arrangements to ensure that the guest is safely dropped off at your home.  Under no circumstances should the guest be stranded to fend his/her own way, especially in the night.
  1. Share with the guest, information on your family, profession, business, personal achievements & recognitions and also inquire about your guest.
  1. Involve your guest in discussing topics which highlight your culture, traditions, art, heritage, economy, politics, marriage, food, costumes, music, dance, family system & in general your unique unity in diversity.
  1. Encourage your guest to experience your lifestyle either by way of tasting your food or playing your musical instruments or learning your language or wearing your costumes.
  1. Do everything that will help your guest enhance their vocational knowledge & skills.
  1. In case the guest falls sick, provide medical assistance through an authorized source.
  1. Avoid conversing in your local language while in the presence of your guest. You could be misunderstood
  1. Avoid discussing controversial issues like terrorism, racism, adultery & similar topics.
  1. Do not discuss, with your guest, any projects, Rotary or otherwise, seeking financial assistance or in any manner involving finance, personally or through their club or their district or through the Rotary Foundation.
  1. Avoid visits to any Rotary projects on your own.
  1. Provide adequate rest period to the guest. Enquire with the guest their willingness to participate in any unscheduled or additional activity before drawing up such activity.
  1. If you have any additions/ comments to this list, please let us know by email at kchittur@post.harvard.edu
Rotarian Krishnan S. Chittur
Dist. Governor, R.I. Dist. 7230