DISCOVERING AND RECONNECTING NEW HORIZONS IN HOUSTON
The Rotary International Annual Convention brings together Rotarians globally all under one roof, and in June 2022, 11,000 delegates gathered at George R. Brown Center in Downtown Houston Texas, USA and Kenya had the 3rd largest delegation among the countries represented. Due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 the conventions were virtual and it was such a relief when it was announced that the Houston 2022 Convention will be in-person. I looked forward to reconnect with my Rotary network across the world. This was my 4th Rotary International Convention and the 2nd in-person Convention.
Some fun (real) facts about Houston, it is home to NASA. It has the largest medical center in the world, Texas Medical Center with over 50 medical related institutions. Houston has an underground pedestrian tunnel system. I initially thought downtown Houston was so deserted and boring until I learnt there is an underground tunnel where everyone is.
The RI Annual Convention is always an opportunity to vacation while making new connections in the Rotary network that you can partner with in projects, learn new things professionally and service wise. The House of Friendship is a great place to learn more about the impactful projects that are always show cased there.
There are many breakout rooms providing a chance to learn what you are passionate about, since you have a choice to choose which one you want to attend and as many as your time allows.
It was evident that diversity was key topic during this Convention and it is key in Rotary “Friends, the flame of Empowering Girls that we could light up has become a shining torch by your efforts, and it will shine even brighter as the torch passes on to incoming President Jennifer Jones, who has agreed to carry forward this initiative” Rotary International President 2021/22 Shekhar Mehta
I get questions like, “Does Rotary pay for you these trips?’ No, Rotary doesn’t fund our trips, in any case you give to Rotary. Rotary does give you the chance to take trip or if you may, a vacation with a purpose. Plan ahead of time, take advantage of the early bird registrations, it opens one year ahead for registration. It is also known three years ahead of time where the convention will be so you can always plan ahead and start saving for the trip if the country/city hosting is on your bucket list. And you can also take your family with you, make it a family vacation.
~ DFC Veronica Ndumbi, Immediate Past President