President Chris Krueger hosted an informal gathering at her home Thursday evening, October 25 to give local Rotarians a chance to meet the group being hosted by the Mesa Rotary Club with the Russia-USA Inter-country Committee organized through Rotary.
In 2014, someone wrote on the Committee's facebook page, "The mission of the ICC is still in its formative stages, but it is felt that the joint activities pursued by the member districts offer great opportunities for collaboration between the districts from the two countries. Some of the planned activities of the organization will include joint projects, friendship and professional exchanges, expansion of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, Vocational Study Groups and annual meetings."  Earlier that year, someone else had included this in a post, "This would be a similar follow-on to the (Center for Citizens' Initiatives) CCI’s Productivity Enhancement Program which was so successful in the past, bringing Russian Entrepreneurs to this country to study our business practices and take what they learned back to Russia and apply it to the business environment in Russia."
It was a bit challenging to have in depth conversations trying to visit with our visitors.  It seemed everyone struggled a bit to understand each other because of language challenges.  At the same time,  it was rewarding to see individuals who just a few decades ago were separated by the cold war sincerely reaching out to each other in friendship.  It was clear that we were all able to laugh at many of the same things and enjoy good times together.  Mesa Rotary Club President, Craig Henry, was overheard explaining to one of the Russian Guests that Mesa Rotary and Mesa West Rotary were almost as far apart as Russia and the United States used to be, and that he and Mesa West President, Chris were trying to bridge that gap and work on at least one project together - the Aqua Africa fundraising project being planned in February 2019.