With over 1.2 million people in over 200 countries. The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
It was a great honor for us last night to attend the Rotary recognition dinner and be presented with the Paul Harris award for international service. In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and freindly relations among peoples of the world.
As I looked around the room , it was a little overwhelming .. Attending were so many who have given so much to the community for more years then I could even imagine. I am just so humbled how this could all come together ... As we were introduced, they shared a little about Julie and my past, and what our future plans were , then she began to read off all the area's that we are involved in, and it almost overwhelmed even me... To think that every one of those area's has a Kyrgyz National at the lead, following the burden that they have been given...What an incredible network we are a part of.
So I guess here is the way that it works... I come to the Rotary and share the needs in Kyrgyzstan. They step forward and choose a project ( Hospital beds ) and send us back to Tokmok with cash in hand. We renovate and replace the beds in the Baby hospital, and the City of Tokmok Honors us with a citizens award for social service
Then we come home and present the report of completion to the Rotary, and they present us with this award...and choose the next project....
As I stood in front of this incredible group last night, I could not help but think about some of the incredible people that our family work with both here and there that make this all happen.. Our LAMb team is such an incredible support to everything that we do. they lead by example, and encourage us every step of the way. They are so well respected internationally, that just by association, they make us look good. Our sponsors and friends who encourage and make it possible.. and our friends and workers in Kyrgyzstan, like Vlady and the boys who I know that as I am writing this will be up a ladder working on the hospital renovations... Sergey and Anya who have such an incredible heart for the projects, and are such incredible directors of many of the projects... I think of Dr Anara the director of the hospital, and the incredible job that she does with so little.. ALWAYS there to help those in need... I also think of so many in the Government office that we have worked with like Janell who has such a heart, for her city, and was instrumental in making the connections that have made it possible to bring the degree of impact that we have .
Most of all I recognize my family.. Julie and the girls are not just a part of what is going on, but they ARE what is going on... They live and breath to bring hope and dignity to the people of Kyrgyzstan, and stand beside me every step of the way, many times driving us to DO more and to DO better.
We are also blessed that the family that we leave behind , both in Canada and in Kyrgyzstan, understand that we go because we must.. and though it is hard on them every time we make the move.. they support us...
So when I was told about this award and asked to allow my name to stand, it is in recognition of all of you that I except these awards... because it is all of YOU that makes us look good....