Yes! Another successful Rotary Weekend.
This last saturday Rotary had its 1690 District Conference in the southern French city of Pau. And thanks to Rotarian Christine Shieber I was able to attend it.
We left Bordeaux early saturday and arrived in Pau 2 hours later. Once we arrived there, I was able to see all the other inbounds again, and meet the new ones. The best part of it is that I got to practice my Spanish and even my French, which I barely ever do. And I oughta say; I am pretty happy and proud of what I have learned so far. I know I’m nowhere near ready to teach it yet. But if someone leaves me stranded in a random French city, or Québec. I’m sure I will find my way back home!
At night we walked around the city and ended up going to a bar to dance a little, which can be awkward when done, latin style, in a small city that probably doesn’t see many tourists. After an intense evening in Pau we headed back to the Best Western, the local hotel we were staying at.
Sunday morning we left Pau and headed to Lourdes, city that also lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. Lourdes is know for its remote Grotto of Massabielle. Where 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous claimed seing “the Immaculate Conception” who she believed to be the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Since the apparitions in 1958, Lourdes has become one of the world’s leading Catholic Marian shrines and the number of visitors grows each year. And like I learned as a kid, it is a really important place within the Roman Catholic church, and the grotto’s spring water is believed by some to possess healing properties. So I had to bring some home for my family.
So, cheers to the french Rotarians, they pulled off a great District Conference. But honestly, this was nothing compared to the ones Minnesota’s District 5950 does each year. Every time I just get so excited I just wanna puke by the time we are leaving.
- Post’s photo: A break from the 1690 District Conference, walking around Pau on May 24th, 2012