Posted by Jeanie Morgan
Producing the Messenger each week has many benefits.  It has helped me get to know my fellow Rotarians and my new Rotary Club much better than if I simply attended lunch each week.  It also allows me to stay in touch with some of our seasonal visitors.  This week, I learned a little more about Lolita Wiesner, a member of the Red Deer Rotary Club in Alberta, Canada.  Lolita is a seasonal visitor, who regularly attends our Mesa West meetings during the cooler months of the year.
Lolita and her husband, Hans, are members of one of the Rotary fellowships.  Since joining the International Travel and Hosting Fellowship, they have been hosted by Rotarians in Scotland, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Denmark, India, Japan, United States and even Canada.    When on cruises, where they've been in port for a day, they've been picked up by Rotarians to spend the day with them as they are shown around.  Lolita says: "This has happened in quite a few cities around the world.  It has been awesome.  We've made many friendships, and quite a few of the Rotarians we've met have in turn visited us."
In the collage the two left photos are of a couple Hans and Lolita met on their first visit to Australia in 2010, Glenn Wran and Fern Linden.  They hosted the Wiesners, showed them around, and allowed them to leave their excess luggage while they traipsed around Australia for eleven weeks.  The photos were taken when Glenn and Fern visited Hans and Lolita in Canada in July, 2017.  The top photo was taken when the two couples went to Lake Louise just outside Banff.  The bottom photo of Glenn and Hans was taken on the Wiesner patio on July 1,  2017.  It was Canada Day, hence Hans was sporting his Canadian Hockey jersey.  They also went to the Calgary Stampede together last July.
The middle top photo was taken when Hans and Lolita visited ITHF friends, Ken and Glenda Murray at their home in Ottawa.  With the two couples is a former member of Lolita's club, Tara Ghazouly, who had moved to Ottawa.  Their visit included the added opportunity to reconnect with Tara.  The Wiesners first met Ken and Glenda when they stayed with them on their way to the Rotary International Convention in Montreal in 2010.  They saw them again at the convention and have stayed in touch via Facebook and email.  Once the Murrays visited Hans and Lolita in Mesa.  This week was the first time for them to visit Hans and Lolita in their home.  The top right photo was taken while they were out sight-seeing together.
This week, While hosting Ken and Glenda Murray, they were joined for dinner Monday, July 9 by Bonnie and Dale Ganske.  Bonnie and Dale are are local Red Deer Rotarians who continue their rotary membership each winter, when they head south to Huatulco, Mexico.  The three couples enjoyed a great evening of Rotary fellowship and fun, with Hans cooking spicy shrimp and barbecued steak.  The bottom right photo was taken when they were gathered for dinner (shown l-r Glenda, Ken, Hans, Dale and Bonnie).
Just in case this story has inspired any Mesa West Rotarians or any of our Messenger subscribers to learn more about the International Travel and Hosting Fellowship, You can CLICK HERE to visit the Fellowship website.  Many of us enjoy the international aspects of our great organization through youth exchange and hosting visiting teams.  This is one more opportunity to grow international friendships and understanding  as hosts, visitors, or both.