An interesting Rotary program of fellowship is the Rotary Friendship Exchange which our club has participated in around 16 exchanges over as many years.  This friendship activity was originally recommended by the New Horizons Committee back in 1981 and is intended to encourage Rotarians and spouses to visit with Rotarian families in other parts of the world.
It may be conducted on a club-to-club or district-to-district basis.  The idea is for several Rotarian couples to travel to another country on the Rotary Friendship Exchange.  Later the hospitality is reversed when the visit is exchanged.  After a successful pilot experiment, the Rotary Friendship Exchange has become a permanent program of Rotary and our club went to Australia Rotary District 9640 this last October.  This week eight Friendship Exchange Australians from Rotary District 9640, New South Wales/Queensland, visited our club as well as other clubs in Rotary District 5495 on the way up and back to the world famous Grand Canyon. We shared Rotary stories and learned that their main project is focusing on malaria vaccine.  While each club had a different project focus in their own community, most projects centered on youth, education, health and disease. While in Phoenix, they had the opportunity to be highlighted by the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and then finished off with good food and drink. What a great way to make new International Rotary friends.