It was a pleasure to have our very own, past District Governor John Neely, speak  to the club this Friday about his recent trip to India with the Group Study Exchange/Friendship Exchange with District 6920.  
The GSE team was comprised of Rotarians from Jesup, Hinesville, Metro, Downtown and East clubs as well as a non Rotarian who is a fitness trainer.  They traveled to the southern part of India and visited Hyderabad, the capital, as well as traditional villages. While in India, they stayed at fellow Rotarian homes which was a highlight of their trip.  John felt there was great religious and social tolerance where they were.  While in India, they were able to attend a wedding.  It was an arranged marriage where the bride and groom had met just an hour earlier!  
As much as they enjoyed seeing and experiencing the local culture, they also took pleasure in participating in Rotary Service Projects and visiting Rotary clubs.  They were able to help administer polio drops for polio immunizations.  They also visited sites to see Rotary grant money at work - water purification plants, artificial limb clinic, dialysis clinics and schools.  When they were at the schools, they were treated like royalty.  Rotary has been able to provide to schools desks, benches, hand washing stations and bathrooms.  There is a high drop out rate for girls in India around the age they reach puberty due to the state of bathrooms in the schools.  It has been shown if the bathroom facilities are nicer, girls are more likely to stay and finish their education.