Club Meeting September 5 2018 Jade Reis Costa


SPRING had “sprung” it seemed! The sky was blue, the birds especially the rosellas greeted us noisily! But it is Melbourne so we should enjoy the day and continue onto our meeting which reflected the spring time atmosphere. Geoff Gartly, Chairperson asked Martin to give us the Invocation and Margaret L the Loyal Toast. Grant took us to Brazil, the country where our beautiful Jade the Rotary exchange student comes from. Brazil is the largest country in both in South America and Latin America and the 5th largest in the world. It borders every South American country except Ecuador and Chile. In 1534 the country was colonised by the Portuguese and declared Independence from Portugal in 1822. Independence was recognised in1825. In 1960 the Capital was moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia. The largest city is Sao Paolo. Minas Gerais State is a large inland state in the north of south-eastern Brazil. Brazil is a federation composed of 36 states and the Federal district which contains the capital city Brasilia. It is the second most populous state and the fourth largest state in the country.  It is the main producer of coffee and milk in the country with a population of 21,000,000. Sete Lagoas is a city in Minas Gerais and was founded in 1867. Although “Sete Lagoas” means “Seven Lakes”, there are 17 in the municipality. Grant asked us to be upstanding to Toast President Luciano Alves Moutinho and the Members of the Rotary Club of Sete Lagoas-Serra, Federative Republic of Brazil. The club belongs to District 4520, chartered 16th May 2005 and has 33 members. The club meets at Rotary House which is shared with another club on Tuesday at 8.00pm. Thank you Grant for coinciding the International Toast giving us some background to Jade who will in her presentation tell us more about where she lives. Geoff continued the pre-breakfast business of the morning by welcoming Alan back from Overseas and his friend Andrew French who will be Jade’s next host family. We were then invited to partake of the marvellous Smorgasbord we have offered every meeting morning. We are so spoilt.  Pres Ian congratulated the organisers, Helen and Grant of the wonderful Brazilian Night held at Cilantro on August 31st. He also commented “Well Done” to Grant for his presentation of the International Toast. He then called Margaret L to the podium in order to officially present her Dinner Badge. Congratulations Margaret! He also advised us of the Open Day at the Caulfield Community Centre to which we are all welcome and asked for a brief meeting of the Board after the meeting. Peter G talked to us about the Learning Awards. These awards are made to students who study in the VCAL system and who are doing useful learning within the community and who otherwise would not achieve as well in the traditional HSC world.  As this would be a donation above the $1000 it needs to come before the club members. The motion will be posted in the Bulletin for 2 weeks before to be voted upon. Jo mentioned that Matt Donovan from FOOD for CHANGE which runs a farm supported by volunteers has invited us to look at this farm on Wednesday and we could accompany her if we wish. The farm grows and distributes food from unused land to support those in need. Our Guest Speaker was Jade Reis Costa. Jade is a 2018/19 Exchange Student from Brazil. She is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sete Lagoas-Serra (the club Grant chose for our International Toast) and is hosted by the Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central. Jade is home hosted by Geoff and Vicki Gartly whose son is an exchange student in Finland. Jade is 16 years old and is a member of Interact. Jade showed us photos of her family and friends. Her parents are divorced but they are still friends and live in 2 different cities Baldin and Sete Lagoas. Her grandfather had been the Mayor of the city and she has 2 grandmothers.  She showed us photos of the lakes and the old train station of Sete Lagoas which no longer has trains. Baldin has a population of 9,000 and produces fruit and vegetables and has a high production of candy. She showed us photos of the food and fruit, the special treat being Jabuicaba which is from a tree grown for its purplish-black white pulp berry-like fruit and is native to Minas Gerais. Many sweet products are made from this fruit. Jade brought some to share with us. There are no beaches in Minas Gerais so people follow Football. She loves soccer and she showed us a photo of her “hero’ Ronaldinho Gaucho who is a Brazilian former professional footballer and ambassador for the Spanish club Barcelona. Jade explained that school life in Brazil is very different from school here in Melbourne. The students do not choose their subjects and they stay with the same class throughout their whole school life. The language is Portuguese. She talked of Brazilian Tourism and showed marvellous photos of the famous water falls, Foz do Iguacu which are waterfalls of the Iguacu River  on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana. Together they make up the largest waterfall system in the world. She talked of the famous Carnavales one which is in February and was created in Salvador and the other famous “Carnavale in Rio de Janeiro” which is in March, The photos are most colourful. Minas Gerais (Minas means mines). The mines produce gold and diamonds.   Moving on to the club that sponsored her, Jade explained that there were 3 major projects that the club is involved with. One is to improve the homes of those who live below the poverty line and showed before and after photos of the homes. The second project s is to be able to supply wheel chairs for those who need them. Wheel chairs are extremely expensive and often they are chairs that have been restored. Again there were before and after photos and the third project is give lectures for pregnant girls to help and teach how to care for their babies and to give kits for further help. John M asked about the political situation in Brazil especially after the horrendous fire in Rio de Janeiro where the museum holding most important cultural items were totally burnt and lost. Jade said that everyone was extremely sad and after the vote in October she hoped that there needed to be a person who would care for the Culture. Possibly that would be a big influence on the vote. Brazil has a large export in motor vehicles and oil. The journey from Sette Lagoas to Sao Paula to Chile to Australia was 31 hours. There were long waits between planes. One would greatly admire the fortitude of this beautiful and clever girl who has travelled alone to a far-away distant land and then almost immediately has become engulfed an involved in our Australian culture and is able to address a group of older people in a language that is not her own. Thank you Jade for sharing and for being such a joy. We hope that your time in Australia will give you good and lasting memories. Thank you for being with us today. Acting-Sergeant Tony always seems to match his stories with the members and with good humour we always pay! At the moment the fines go towards the drought funds for the struggling farmers. In closing Pres. Ian on behalf of the club wished the Jewish Members of the club “A Happy New Year and Well over the Fast”. Safe journey Linda and Peter and BE THE INSPIRATION.  Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)


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