Swedish Rotarians get a taste of the Miss-Lou lifestyle

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 16, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Several Swedish Rotarians and their spouses visited the Vidalia and Natchez area Monday as part of the Rotary International Friendship Exchange Program.

The group got a chance to sample seafood and visit with members of the Ferriday Rotary Club during lunch at the West Bank Eatery, then visited the antebellum house Melrose and the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

Although the visitors said they appreciated the Miss-Lou Rotarians’ hospitality, they added that their most enduring memory of Louisiana will be New Orleans.

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&uot;The Aquarium (of the Americas), the Garden District, … but especially Bourbon Street,&uot; said Bertil Trobro.

Although Trobro is from a more rural part of south Sweden, he said the atmosphere of the French Quarter reminds him of the Water Festival held each year in Stockholm.

For Lars-Gunmar Hansson, the highlight of the trip was seeing a Broadway musical and the opera &uot;La Traviata,&uot; both of which he described as &uot;really fantastic.&uot;

While Birgitta Nilsson described New York as &uot;very metropolitan,&uot; she said another highlight of her visit was stopping in Memphis to take a tour of Graceland.

Later this week, the visitors will also tour cotton fields and gins, visit museums and take a boat ride down the Ouachita River. While in Louisiana, they are staying in the homes of Monroe-area Rotarians — who, in a few months, will visit them in Sweden.

&uot;The best part about this is getting to know people and seeing that people are the same throughout the world,&uot; said Sidney Seegers, district chairman of the Exchange Program. &uot;As Rotarians, they have the same goal as us — developing understanding among people worldwide.&uot;

Lloyd Love, a Ferriday Rotarian and former district governor who attended Monday’s luncheon, described the program &uot;as a great move toward peace. It’s a wonder there is all this killing in the world when programs like this are taking place.&uot;