Rotary 'GSE'Team Returns From Mexico
From May 5 through June 4, Magoolaghan, three other young professionals and a Rotarian group leader toured Baja California and parts of the Mexican mainland. They were the guests of Rotary International members from District 4100.
The group visited Ensenada, Rosarito, Tijuana, Mexicali, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California Peninsula, and Hermosillo, Obregon and Los Mochis on the mainland. In all, they covered about 1,300 miles, visiting about a dozen Rotary clubs, and traveling the vast majority of that distance by automobile.
"It was an amazing journey, and a very unique way to see a foreign country," said Magoolaghan. "As the guests of native Rotarians - usually staying in their homes - we received first-rate treatment and were able to sample the very best in each area."
The other members of Rotary District 7250's Group Study Exchange (GSE) team were: Andrew Chan, a law student and courts worker; Lauren Kane, a yoga instructor; and Mali Locke, a foundation program officer. Their leader was Bill Jacobs, a retirement consultant and member of the Locust Valley Rotary Club.
The group's activities included visits to government offices, museums, Rotary-sponsored programs, and local points of interest, such as historic sites, fairs and natural areas and beaches. The members also had several vocational days each, where they met with people in their profession.
"I toured my first daily newspaper, went on assignments with reporters and was interviewed on television and radio," Magoolaghan said. "Our program was very full but it was educational and fun as well."
The journey culminated with the GSE team's presentation at District 4100's district conference in Cabo San Lucas. Magoolaghan, Chan, Kane and Locke assembled the best images from their trip and provided narration for the audience, which responded with laughter, applause and a standing ovation.
Group leader Jacobs, who has hosted GSE participants from Thailand, Argentina, India, Brazil, Germany, Australia, France, Mexico and led a group to Switzerland in 2000, said the exchange was a genuine success.
"I am incredibly pleased and proud of how this team acted and responded and I believe that is borne out by the response the team and I received from our hosts all along the way, culminating with the conference's reception to [the group's] program," said Jacobs.
The GSE team celebrated their return to New York with a barbecue hosted by Magoolaghan and a cocktail party hosted by local Rotarian and GSE Chairperson John Howley. The team members have also been invited to help screen the next batch of GSE candidates.
"Besides a long break from newspaper reporting and the unique opportunity to see Mexico with people who know it better than anyone, I was able to make new friendships with wonderful people I would not have otherwise met, including my teammates," Magoolaghan said. "I'd definitely recommend the program to anyone who works well in a team."