Back to the Rotary Club of Lewes!

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Yesterday, I returned to my host club, the historic Rotary Club of Lewes, established in 1923, with its renowned group of wonderful Rotarians. Instantly, I was offered countless drinks and welcomed into conversations. Meetings are appropriately set in the Sheriff’s room of the White Hart Hotel: where Thomas Paine engaged in early debates and conceptualized the Declaration of Independence.

The Rotary Club of Lewes has maintained a most impressive Rotary presence for almost 90 years. Regardless of which way they march into future years, I am very proud to be their honorary female member. Lots of entertaining bickering, plenty of character, and tons of passion. And after so many visits to different clubs, it was really nice to join in as President Jim Hatfield led his home club. I am humbled to be so lucky to have such an encouraging and active counselor, who is never without a positive spirit, and an eager attitude to add richness to my experience.

Something really special, was that the Rotary Club of Lewes also had along a special guest. Dr. Alison Jolly came, warmly welcomed in by all the members. Jim gave her a really lovely introduction, and I couldn’t have been more honored to have her along! She is the only non-Rotary member, aside from Dr. Patricia Wright, to ever attend Rotary with me. Dr. Patricia Wright came with me in 2010 to cotalk to my sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Larchmont, before they even sponsored my application. I remember having told Alison about that day a while back, by phone. It was so amazing to have Dr. Alison Jolly with me, here, at my host club in Lewes. As a part of both the Madagascar-obsessed community and the Rotary world, it really doesn’t get any better than that. So, photos:

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Much of the photos here were taken by the White Hart’s personal copy of the Declaration of Independence. And others include Past President, Peter Boyse, who took it upon himself to entertain both of us guests with a great sense of humor and kindness.

Much thanks for a wonderful day!


Rotary Club of Seaford

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Really lovely visit to the Rotary Club of Seaford. Those at my table even knew a fair amount about Madagascar’s biodiversity. I was very impressed.

We had a great visit, were welcomed so warmly, and catered to on every level. They brought me over a white board upon request, and I was even served coffee by the President himself, Isla Sitwell. I also had the fortune of sitting next to Past District Governor John Preddy, who dazzled me with great stories and a really nice vote of thanks. And the photos…

So Larchmont, it looks like we acquired another flag today.

Thank you to the Rotary Club of Seaford, and of course, to Jim Hatfield, for again enduring another one of my talks in great company!

The Story of the Hummingbird

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Today would have been the 72nd birthday of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who cared about life beyond her own, and mobilized what I think may be the single greatest peace building movement so far, simply by doing the best she could…

So, in honor of her birthday, the story of the Hummingbird:

Wangari Mathai started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, where she taught women to plant trees, noticing their watershed, agriculture, and wildlife diminishing, hillsides eroding, and their livelihoods becoming more deeply impoverished. By teaching these women to plant trees, they were able to teach each other, and grow roots for a sustainable peace.

How do you hope to carry on her legacy?