The international organization known as Rotary promotes yearly travel that all people between the ages of 26 and 40, male and female, and of all backgrounds - should know about - because it is a Rotary-funded six week study aboard and anyone can apply to be a part of this significant life experience. If you are this age group - you could enjoy the kind of experience that is described in my notes in this article. To find out more about the program go to the international Rotary website and search for GSE - Group Study Exchange - and contact your local Rotary Club for more information.
Our adventures continued:
May 4th - Wednesday:
People - people - people: it's the Japanese equivalent of the San Jose Jazz Festival/and Mardi Gras parades. The streets are packed - and Aoi, her cousin and I watched as the student bands, the women with flowered hats and colorful kimonos and kids twirling batons - thousands of Japanese people paraded by - and tens of thousands more watched along the street. Vendors sold Japanese foods. Many more stages were set up with Japanese dancers and musicians - it's a celebration.
My hosts own a chain of men's clothing stores called Futata Men's Clothing - 100 stores throughout Kyushu Island - we visited the main store in town - and Takafumi Futata met us. Suits for men in Japan are all dark. I've also noticed in the houses that I've been in - that all the walls are bright white - no paint color inside or outside of Japanese homes. Color is reserved for flowers/trees/nature, china dishes and women's kimonos in Japan. Against an absence of color - flowers stand out so much here. Dinner was at Yoshimatu and Eriko Futata (the grandparents and Rotarian) - with Hisa, Kyoko, Nobuo and Yukiko - and we had a feast outside on the patio. The grandparents - and two of the children have three houses on the square block - and a Japanese garden in the middle where we had dinner. Hisa and I talked at length about Rotary - he is a very intellectual, world traveled and a thoughtful man - one of my favorite people that I've met here. Hisa has a vision for Rotary - will travel to Korean to celebrate with a Rotary Club there next week - and wants to inspire more Rotary Clubs in China and plans to work in this direction. He showed me how they orientate new members to Rotary - and would help to develop sister relationship between Clubs in the Bay Area - so that we continue the friendships between our Districts. I've invited the whole GSE Committee that cared for us here - to come to America when we have the finishing party for their team - and what we need to learn from Hisa and others is how to have more Japanese join Rotary in our District. Hisa has many good thoughts. Dinner was fine china and silver - French wine and sake (beer too) - and everything you can think to eat grilled on the grill. I particularly liked the rice and apples grilled. It was a beautiful night out and my hosts made me feel very welcome.
Joan Perry President/CEO of Take Charge Financial! | Joan's Blog and http://www.takechargefinancial.com
Joan Perry has developed her expertise over twenty-five years, beginning as an Investment Banker working on Wall Street and continuing as a Money Manager and Owner of a Securities Brokerage Firm. As President of Take Charge Financial!™, Joan initially founded one of the first female-owned Municipal Investment Banking firms in the United States known as Perry Investments Inc.in 1985, which then began retail and brokerage services to individuals in the mid-90s. She has in-depth trading and market experience from managing institutional and retail investment dollars in the securities markets, and throughout her career has managed billions of dollars in the bond, stock and options markets. Joan combined her personal and professional background in her book A GIRL NEEDS CASH© published by Random House in 2000 - a story of money in women's lives and the transition to taking charge of it. She received her MBA from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and undergraduate degree from Denison University. She was the founding President of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club and currently the Co-Chair of the Los Gatos, CA ‘Jazz on the Plazz’ Summer Concert Series.
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