Nothing is more exciting to a young adult than to spread his/her wings and go to another country and immerse themselves in another culture, away from the familiar surroundings of family and friends. Nothing could be more nerve racking than putting your child on a plane and trust a family to take care of your child and keep them safe. Host families become nervous and excited about caring for a child and helping that child navigate through a new school, new foods, and the host parents extended families.
The Rotary of Coconut Creek received an honor and blessing like no other. On Sunday, January 10th, 2016, the Club received an email from Keith and Laura Royle (Host Parents) that Aya’s family from Brazil were coming over to visit and invited the members to come and meet them. What ensued was short of amazing!
Aya comes from an impressive Rotary lineage. Her mother, Roseli Anzai is a Rotarian from Rotary Club of Sao Paula – Aeroporta (District 4420). Her grandfather, Tim Ussi, is a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Aracatuba (District 4470). Upon meeting the family, it was immediately obvious why Aya is the young lady that she is. We had coffee and desserts and Tim asked David Mountford if we can have a Rotary Meeting, which we did. The team explained to Tim and his wife, Nilce Ussi, the format of our meeting and we discussed the various projects that the Club was working on in 2016. We had our happy dollars exchange and Tim expressed so much gratitude to the Club and Keith and Laura for taking care of Aya. In addition to Aya’s mom and grandparents in attendance were her dad, Wilson Anzai, her Aunt and Uncle Mark and Vivian Ussi and cousin Nolan.
Most of the conversation has to be translated (thank you Aya and Sara Monaghan) but there were no moments of awkwardness, rather the moments that were shared were simple friendship and love because we are all part of this one big amazing family which is Rotary. No language barrier could take away the reasons that brought us all together. The next generation of Rotarians is a responsibility that each and every one of us need to take seriously. This generation is the future and we need to become that solid foundation for them to continue the work that we have started.
So if you needed another reason to make that decision (or New Year Resolutions) to join Rotary, here it is. Make this year the year that you become part of a family that believes together we will leave behind a world free of Polio, and make a difference in the lives of people around the world.