By Allen Garner | Independence Rotary Club

T Minus 51 Days

The team selected to represent District 6040 on the Group Study Exchange to Romania and the Republic of Moldova has been hard at work preparing to travel as worthy ambassadors of the District, the Clubs sponsoring each member, Rotary International, the State of Missouri and the United States of America.  One of the original members of the team, Carolyn Chrisman, received “an offer you cannot refuse” in the form of a job opportunity which precluded her from staying on the team.  With the help of members of the Rotary community in District 6040 a worthy replacement, Brandon Armstrong, was found teaching math at Truman High School in Independence.  He has rapidly made up for time missed due to his late addition.  The team now consists of Brandon, D’Onica Hodgkin, Shatomi Luster, Jared Summerville, and team leader Allen Garner.  The clubs providing sponsorships are Lee’s Summit Sunrise, Plaza Club, Independence Rotary, Rotary Club of Blue Springs, and Independence Rotary Club (two sponsorships), respectively.

Departure, Arrival, Departure, Arrival

The team has successfully navigated the requirements of international travel booking and will depart from Kansas City on Delta Flight 959 leaving Terminal B at 3:11 p.m. on May 20, 2012.  On the way to Bucharest the flights will pass through Minneapolis and Amsterdam before arriving at Bucharest at 4:25 p.m. (Bucharest time) on May 21st.  The team will remain in Bucharest until June 21 at which time they will leave Bucharest at 9:25 a.m., travel through Paris (no leaving the airport) and Detroit, with arrival scheduled for 8:36 p.m. in Kansas City.  Two members of the group are planning to extend their stay by a few days which they will use to visit Rome.



The Team has developed a presentation for use prior to leaving and continues to refine presentations for use while in Romania. Through several meetings and training sessions the team members have expanded their knowledge of Rotary at the club, district and international levels. Uniform clothing to distinguish the team has been purchased or ordered. Additional training and informational meetings are planned to expand the information base about the host countries. A number of individuals with personal experience in Romania have generously volunteered time to help prepare the team. Gift ideas have been researched with orders being prepared for some items.

Tentative Study Plan

Once in Romania the team will visit Bucharest and Pitesti (2 cities from the south of the country) and then spend the most time in Transylvania ( Alba-Iulia & Cluj-Napoca) and in the north- west of Romania in the Maramures county and its capital Baia-Mare.  On June 16 the team will attend the District 2241 Conference in the town of Cluj-Napoca.  While at the District 2241 Conference the team will make at least one presentation.  At the end of the study period the team will fly from Cluj to Bucharest, spend one night there and take the plane back to USA.

Thank You

Each member of the team has expressed continuing gratitude to those who have made this trip possible. Every Rotarian in the District and even all those on the international level have contributed through the Rotary Foundation to the funding of this trip. Lives have already been changed and will continue to be changed as the team completes the exchange. No matter how many times we say thank you, please know that the thanks is continuous on ongoing.

Following the Team

The Team has established a blog and a webpage for those of you who wish to keep up with the team. It is the intent of the team to utilize these tools to reach as many people as possible during the preparation time, but even more during the time in Romania. The blog address is: The website is