Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 14, 2019
Hooray for Hernando Nora!  For our Thursday January 10 meeting, ‘Nando' saved the day when technological complications prevented us from showing a half-hour YouTube video from former exchange student Thomas Scheuba, about the work his organization is doing in Ethiopia providing water in villages that formerly had to carry every drop several kilometres on women’s heads.
           
The video would download to Monika’s laptop, but wouldn’t go from there to the big screen so all of us could see it.
           
With about 20 minutes of silence to fill, Nando stepped up to the podium to discuss his week as an exchange student. But then people started asking questions about his life in Columbia, and Nando answered so fluently, and with such enthusiasm, that before anyone knew it, it was time for the Four-Way Test to close the meeting.
           
Even more to his credit, Nando had been the featured speaker the week before, January 3, with a slide presentation about life in his home city of Bucaramanga, known as the “pretty city” for its parks, its views, and its pleasant climate.
 
Bucaramanga is the capital and largest city of the department of SantanderColombia. It has the fifth-largest economy by GDP in Colombia, has the highest GDP per capita in Colombia, has the lowest unemployment rate, and has the ninth-largest population in the country, with 521,857 people. Bucaramanga has over 160 parks scattered throughout the city.
           
Nando will probably go to university in Medillin, Colombia’s second-largest city, after Bogota itself. The university there has about 20,000 students, who speak dozens of languages, but mainly English, Spanish, and German. ‘Nando himself plans to study economics.
           
Asked about Colombia, and Medellin particularly, as centres of drug trade, Nando suggested that Colombia is no different from Canada – some parts of the country, and some parts of each city, are dangerous to go into, but other parts are completely safe.
           
Some of his slides showed the city of Bucaramanga by night. Fireworks are a specialty, with few restrictions on their purchase. For Independence Day, the fireworks displays last for four hours.

Another exchange student heard from

 
Before Nando’s first talk, on January 3, Judy Guido read a looooong letter from the club’s outbound student, Rori Allport, in Denmark.
Rori described her high school, a genuine graduation “prom” that she attended – the girls in formal dresses, the boys in suits. She enjoyed a trip to Copenhagen, saw the Little Mermaid, went to the Tivoli Gardens, and watched the changing of the guard at the palace.
 
She said she hasn’t been homesick, not even at Christmas. She was scheduled to stay with four different families, but is negotiating to stay with just three, so that she can getter integrate into the family.
           
And she too enjoyed fireworks displays, in her case for Denmark’s New Year’s celebrations.
 
Announcements
 
The next LC Chamber of Commerce – Business After Hours social event is on Wednesday, January 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Winfield Curling Club.  A great opportunity to enjoy some ‘appies’, promote our Rotary achievements, and recruit new members.  Your $5 ticket includes appetizers and 1 can of Budweiser Beer (yes that's correct).  Wine available for sale at the bar.
 
A new breakfast speaker’s schedule is posted on our website, at www.lakecountryrotary.ca  Magda Kapp, from the Braintrust Foundation, will be talking to us on January 17 about injuries such as concussions, and a new bike helmet safety program  to reduce preventable brain injuries for youth 19 and under.