Our last few day here in São Paulo have been focussed on Rotary and our hosts, and very much about "celebrating the past year" and "welcoming in the new". This week is all about the 'posso' (handover) parties, as last year's club president and teams are congratulated, and next year's are welcomed into office. Some have been grand affairs, others less so...but each one, a highlight for the Rotary Club and it's members as the new theme and objectives are announced. Every occasion is well supported by neighbouring clubs- so at each one we've attended the team has met up with many of the friends we've made over the last month.
The highlight was last night's District handover when PDG Paschoal Leardini passed on the baton to DG Ennio Caramella in very grand style.
In our time here we've come to know this enormous city pretty well, and some of us have even taken to the streets and metro without the help of hosts or our resident friends.
It is going to take a while for all the experiences, sights and sounds, generosity and kindness to sink in and for us to assimilate all we have learnt, not just about the city, but about this truly amazing country and its people.
But as the first part of this Group Study Exchange programme with District 4430 comes to an end we will leave with countless memories and the inevitable mixed emotions.
Tomorrow we have another 'posso' - a brunch with Emi's club and a team farewell dinner (churrascaria!!) with all of our friends from Suzano and São Paulo. Handkerchieves ready! ... I guarantee there'll be tears!
As this likely to be the last report from SP, the team would like to thank everyone who has followed our updates and ramblings on the blog - we hope the words and photos have given you a taste of our journey and the time we've spent here in District 4430. Thanks also those in both Districts, 1240 & 4430, who have made it 'happen' (too many names to mention, but you know who you are!) And of course our appreciation goes to the Foundation of Rotary International, without which this extraordinary programme of cultural and vocational opportunities for young people would not be possible.