We negotiated a three week exchange in Chateaulin, Brittany in 2013. Our partners were not Rotarians, but they put us in touch with a Rotary friend. We agreed that it would be ok if they traveled to our home in California with another couple. They said we could have friends visit their house.
We invited fellow Rotarians to join us in Brittany. Garrad and Dallas arrived on a Saturday with two adult grandchildren. This was good timing, the Chateaulin Rotary Club was having a garden party the next day. Sunday lunch is long and relaxed in France, though the rainy and blustery weather meant we spent more time under a tent than enjoying the garden. It was lovely to meet French Rotarians in a relaxed and friendly setting.
Garrad and Dallas left the next day, but Steve and Solange, also Rotarians arrived. Our corner of Brittany is popular with tourists during the summer and an enterprising German, Eike, organizes special lunches for visiting Rotarians at a seaside restaurant in Morgat. After our first meeting Eike insisted on giving us a tour of the peninsula including a visit to his summer home.
At the second meeting in Morgat I was speaking with a local who invited us to join him at the Pork Roast in Telgruc-Sur-Mer. He greeted us warmly and showed us the 20 pigs simultaneously being roasted on turning spits. They served over 2,000 folks in the village square, we enjoyed a quick tour of our Rotary friend’s house, complete with a glass of Champagne. He also searched the crowd and found a nurse who spoke good English. She and our doctor friend from California had an interesting discussion on life and medicine for over an hour. There was live music and dancing, and as we left around midnight I had the impression the party was just beginning.
It was always a pleasure to visit our local supermarket and encounter the Rotary family that owned it. There is one negative to attending Rotary meetings in France—you get spoiled by the delicious food.