Portugal meets the USA

Alyssa and the Portugal GSE Team members at the Falcon Lake House. They really dug our welcome poster!

Aside from the codeine treated bronchitis I am trying to kick, I also got a much better treat – to meet the team from the Rotary Group Study Exchange from Portugal! Poor team had a hard time with Customs when getting into the US and they missed their connecting flight so they were a day late into Laredo.

They got their first taste of Laredo personalities at a mixer at the Falcon Lake House (Thank you, Falcon Bank!!). One of the team members will be staying at my home and will have to put up with my middle of the night coughing fits. On Thursday, my club will take them on a kayaking trip down to Rio Grande and hope they see the gorgeous side of Laredo’s nature. Thanks Big River Outfitters for cooperating with us!

Team members took turns signing the poster for Alyssa, the wannabe world traveler 🙂

About Group Study Exchange, aka GSE… long ago, I was just like these guys coming in from Portugal. I actually answered an ad in the Laredo Morning Times about a cultural exchange to another country (didn’t even say what country) for professionals under 40 who were willing to represent South Texas. For some reason or other, I was chosen. I went along with other team members from Victoria, McAllen & Edinburgh. It was a tiring month but I learned so much and stayed with different Rotary families for 3-4 days at a time. The condition for applying was to NOT be a Rotarian – fit me to a “t” because I wasn’t a Rotarian, I was able to take a month off work and I enjoy the road less traveled.

That is exactly what this team will be doing. Their very first stop was Laredo but they will move from city to city and be hosted by Rotarians along the way. At each place, they will do a few presentations about what is life like in Portugal and will be talking to people in their profession.

It’s a simple concept that encourages international understanding and links people together. Maybe next year one of you readers might take a chance and APPLY to be a team member – it takes work and it is definitely not for “beach tourist” personalities but it is worth it for those who enjoy learning.

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About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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