Posted by Bob Heck on Aug 10, 2020
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: Ella Cereghino – Exchange Student to Columbia
Meeting Called to order: President Sean @ 12:03 pm
  • Invocation by: Fred Adair
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: President Sean
  • Song: N/A
  • Four Way Test led by: President Sean
Visiting Rotarians
Guest of Rotarians
Host parents and Ella Cereghino’s parents.
Reminder: Please feel free to use the chat feature to share good news, as well as happy bucks.
Will be posted in PDF format on the website for members to access
Olympia Rotary Book and Media Club:
Meeting Wednesday, August 12 @ 6pm at the Rose Pavillion at Priest Point Park. President Sean will send out a separate update via email.
Literacy Committee:
Judy Henderson shared that the 2020 goal for the committee is to donate 300 books this year, to participate please reach out to Judy. Lots of books have been donated thus far. The focus on the books is to collect childrens book (non-religious, please). You can buy books from a local book store, or donate gently used books. Age range is 0-20.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
This committee has now been formed for our club and will be led by Kyle Cronk. This is an exciting addition to our club’s leadership and a learning opportunity for our club and our community. If you want to join the committee, please connect with Kyle or Sean. Kyle shared information about a documentary and discussion series that the YMCA is hosting (via email) and President Sean will help organize discussion groups for our club for those who are able to participate.
Program: Ella Cereghino – Exchange Student to Columbia  
Ella is a student at OHS, a member of SOGO (Viola), plays Volleyball and has successfully navigated an exchange during a global pandemic. Ella spent 8 months in Colombia on the Rotary exchange. She was hosted by the Club Rotario Cali San Fernando. She thanked our club for supporting and sponsoring her.
Colombia was her first choice due to her interest in learning Spanish. She wanted to understand the culture of the country since she’s heard a lot of negative stereotypes. She lived in Santiago de Cali, a city of about 2.5M. It is known as the Salsa Dancing Capitol of the World. The city is so big there were 9 other Rotary exchange students in the city.
She attended a private school and was in a cohort of 30 students who would rotate to each of their classes together. It was beneficial to form strong friendships, however, she didn’t meet as many friends outside of the cohort. As an introvert, Ella shared that she was outside of her comfort zone upon arrival and at school and is really pleased with how she grew and was able to engage with her peers.
Ella was able to continue playing viola and enjoyed learning how to play salsa music. Outside of school Ella enjoyed taking Salsa lessons and enjoyed learning how to dance. She adjusted to the meal schedule, as lunch is the largest meal of the day, and while it was a big adjustment, Ella said she really prefers the schedule now.
Prior to the quarantine, she was able to explore the country and many other cities/cultural events. She’s was able to make the transition home safely and appreciated learning and seeing a so much during the exchange. Ella recommended those interested to pursue an exchange. She took several questions from the club members about her presentation and her exchange experience.
Meeting Adjourned: 12:57pm by President Sean