Cultural Exchange Weekend.
Once again we went ahead with a Cultural Exchange weekend. This year it was in conjunction with the Corowa High School.
It was an action packed weekend, with 24 ladies from many different cultures, arriving on Thursday night and sent off to their billets for the night.
One of the interesting things was that these ladies were not keen to stay in a home where there was a dog, as in their culture dogs are for security and are usually quite aggressive, and so it is quite understandable that they fear of them.
On Friday morning they went up to the Corowa High School and spoke to the students’ from years seven to eleven at different times throughout the day, sharing their stories and traditions to the very interested audience.
Students studying Food Tech in years 9/10 prepared lunch and coffee for our Refugee women.
Towards the end of the afternoon an Ethiopian coffee ceremony was held and presentations were made to the High School in appreciation of the experience that was had by all.
Friday night was just a night at home with the host families to relax and get to know one and other. Saturday morning was spent looking around Corowa and participating in a little retail therapy before heading down to Bangerang Park for a BBQ where kangaroo sausages were served along with kangaroo steak and other BBQ foods and salads.
Saturday night we headed off to the Memorial Hall in Corowa for a feast of ethnic food that had to be seen to be seen to be believed.
We were entertained a fantastic local band the Squid Doctors. These young guys played music from the 80’s, 90’s and some of the current songs as well.
One of the benefits was learning to tie a scarf African style.
Sunday morning, after a quick look around the market our visitors headed back home to Sydney in their bus. I received a phone call Sunday evening to let me know that they had arrived home safe and sound.
This was another great initiative from Corowa Rotary Club and following is a quote from our visitors on the success of their visit to Corowa.
“Our job is done here, planting a seed of multiculturalism and social inclusion. This was tops of all the cultural exchange programs we had had for the past 9 years because it involved sharing our stories to the young minds. Thank you Corowa Rotary Club, Corowa High School, STARTTS, Community Migrant Resource Centre, African Women Group and our hosts within the communities of both NSW and Victoria.”
2015-09-03 Cultural Exchange Visit
In July 2015 the Club was approached to host a visit to Corowa by a group of 35 migrant women from Sydney. The trip was planned for September so the Club agreed and then went to the community to asks for host families. This turned out to be no trouble and we ended up with a surplus of hosts.
The women arrived from Sydney on Friday night and left on Sunday morning, and in the intervening period experienced country life with trips to a farm to see sheep shearing, a winery and the Corowa Chocolate & Whisky Factory.
The highlight of the weekend was Saturday nights dinner where the ladies cooked traditional meals for everyone to enjoy. They then told their story of how they came to come to Australia; some were immigrants and some were refugees. The weekend proved to be a great success that a return visit was planned.
Below are some of the photo's from the weekends. To view a larger version just click on the photo.