At our last meeting Jeanette recalled that when Leon was still in charge of Rotary Friendship Exchange in 2001 he arranged a group of 9 of us to travel to Oregon USA  . That was in October 2001. The travellers were Leon with Pauline , Jeanette with Michael , Marie Barbera and 2 other Rotarian couples from other Clubs               
As usual  This RFE  program was structured as a reciprocal exchange for Rotarians to be hosted in the homes of Rotarians for 3 or 4 nights in 4 different Clubs . Our only cost was to make our way to Oregon , There was no cost to Rotary
While  we were planning our trip  The September 11 attacks terrorist attacks in USA took place and some partners such as Pauline preferred to cancel the trip .                    Leon said to Pauline “ I am going , you can stay home if you wish “ In the end everyone agreed to travel . We made our way to Eugene, Oregon the  city of our Rotarian hosts.  It  is also  the site of The University of Oregon . This university proudly boasted of its gridiron team . So eventually we were invited to witness this  American Football match  between the Oregon University  and Stanford University The host Rotary Club paid for our attendance and we felt honoured by the donation
Before moving to the ground we were invited to take part in what they called a  tailgate party which is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle ( as per . We enjoyed eating and drinking before the match .
Then we moved to  attend the  game between these  two University teams
We were fascinated by the strange model of playing football . particularly seeing defending players leaving the ground and being replaced by attacking players
The Oregon team were doing well but towards the end of the match they overtaken by their opponents. and lost the game        We moved to leave the ground and the next excitement was the result of someone kicking one of the footballs into the crowd. This football hit Jeanette on the head . Luckily Dr Leon was on hand to treat her to reassure her that there was no serious injury
Our hosting in Oregon was held in interesting rural houses . We recall that one of these houses was protected by an  electric fence around garden to keep out  the deers
Hosting was very friendly and comfortable . The only complaints we recall was when Jeanette opened the window of her bedroom because she found the room too warm . Her hostess asked why she wanted to warm the verandah
Then Marie had also one small complaint with the hosting . Each the four houses where she stayed owned a dog and Marie had not warned them that she was scared of dogs
Our hospitality had a high point when we stayed in Coos Bay One of the Rotarians worked in the local police force .. His contribution was to take us for a  tour the town in his police van. Marie remembers the experience of being  taken to prison
Then October happened to be the birthday month for a few of our members . The first to celebrate was Leon . To celebrate we made our way to King Estate Winery which was a wonderful organic winery,. the wine was fantastic but it cost more than we expected as Pauline found out when she got home . Pauline held up the title of being the best shopper
Next function was a barbecue next to  a rustic cabin along the Wells creek . Interestingly the cabin had no power except for the generator that had the task of powering the alcohol making machine to generate margarita for the players .
After the meal  the main entertainment was to hit golf balls across the Wells creek
Pauline was taken for a quad bike into the forest and we thought we lost her and we worried that you would never see you again but she came  back safely
We all had a very good and fabulous time seeing  an interesting part of the world         It was just after this exchange that Leon passed on the role of Chair of Friendship Exchange to Jeanette which she has held for the next  20 years