In 1976 I was the recipient of a Rotary International “Teachers of the Handicapped” award, which enabled me to choose a country in which to study special education. But a broader purpose of the award was to serve as an “Ambassador of Goodwill” and speak to Rotary Clubs, attend functions, sand represent my country. It was an awesome responsibility and opportunity.
At that time I spoke no foreign languages so was limited to English-speaking countries. A chance connection with a rugby player from Bristol,England led me to the place we called home for the 1976-77 school year. May I be so hackneyed to say that year changed my life? Yes, I think I’ll go for it. The connections, friendships, and opportunities from that year continue to enhance my life and that of my family and friends.
And so it happened that Johanna Kristjansdottir, another Rotary fellow, and I became friends along with Sally Harvey, a native Bristolian. We remain friends all these years later. Johanna has seen Sally, I’ve seen Johanna, Johanna has seen me, I’ve seen Sally. . .well, you get the picture, but the three of us have not been together for over 35 years.
This is our week.
Johanna is in the middle, I’m second from the right. It was a lifetime ago.
This is us now. The sun welcomed us back to Bristol, and for that we were grateful.