We had five members of GSE, which is the Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange, in Takarazuka city in Japan. As a chairman of the International Service, I arranged a Takarazuka tour for them with other members. After we picked up our guests from their hotel at Sanda city and took a train to Takarazuka, we enjoyed a Japanese lunch at “Ganko Sushi, Takarazuka”.
Then we went on a backstage tour of Takarazuka Revue visiting the several departments such as the the costume department, stage design, electricity and tools department, and we saw a rehearsal. This atmosphere was tense because the next day was the opening day. They enjoyed this tour because the Takarazuka Revue is so beautiful and played by only women, who are selected from across Japan and who practice singing and dancing very much for plays. Then, they attended the club meeting to meet our club members and each member made speeches which I translated. They gave us very warm hearted and good speeches from bottom of their heart. Then we enjoyed a drinks party later at the same hotel. It was a long day for us but we could understand the differences between countries and cultures through this Rotary activity.
Here is some information about GSE, refer to the Rotary International website:
The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for business people and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.