Givonna Debruin at RI HeadquartersVisit to Chicago

Pam Doyle, Revelstoke, BC, Canada

In August, my travelling companion GIVONNA DEBRUIN of Vernon, BC, Canada, and I travelled to Chicago, Illinois, USA for a week's visit. Givonna, an experienced ITHF member, had written to TAMIYE & JIM MEEHAN, to ask if they could host us for three nights. We were thrilled to see Tamiye's quick and positive response with suggestions on what to do with our free time and an offer to pick us up at the airport. At the airport, a Jeep pulled up with our names posted in the window! At Meehans' lovely home in a heritage area of Chicago, we were greeted by two curious Norwegian Elkhounds: Trinka and Cody. With their help we settled into our rooms located on the third floor and then were treated to dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant.


During our stay Tammy drove us to Rotary One, a Chicago Cubs' baseball game, and the Chicago Art Institute. Jim & Tammy also provided us with a three day rail pass so that we could return home on our own. On our final evening together, we treated the Meehans to a restaurant of their choice. Good thing it was a long walk as the place specialized in desserts! Finally our day of departure and once again Tamiye offered to drive us - this time to our hotel in city centre. Saying good bye to our four new friends, we discussed where to meet up next ­ the Rotary Convention in Sydney, the Guatemalan project Tamiye's club is involved with, or a reciprocal home-hosted visit here in Vernon and Revelstoke, BC.

This was my first experience with hosting although I've been a member of ITHF for almost three years .... and what a positive experience it was! I encourage others who haven't taken the opportunity to try a home host stay or to be home hosts - to just do it! It starts with something as simple as an email request. Thanks to our gracious hosts Tamiye and Jim and to ITHF for making this connection possible.

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