Open World Program promotes global understanding

27 Jul

Service in Action

By Greg Batz, a member of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA

Twelve years ago I was invited by a fellow Rotarian from a neighboring club to chauffer a delegation of Russian judges to the federal court house in Minneapolis for a tour and meetings on a Friday morning. Little did I know how that simple offer to help would change my life.

These five judges had been nominated and selected to participate in the Open World Leadership Program and were just finishing their 10-day visit to the United States. The experience I had that day was the beginning of an opportunity to travel to Russia four times and experience a country that most Americans only read about in the news or see on TV.

My wife and I have dozens of wonderful Russian friends from Moscow and St. Petersburg, to Ufa, Stavropol, and Krasnoyarsk. We haveā€¦

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