Monday, May 11, 2009

Bon voyage and so long . . .

Our GSE Bangalore District 3190 friends departed Minnesota on Sunday, May 10.  I greatly enjoyed seeing them and spending time with them while they were here in Minnesota.  I remember the wonderful people who hosted me and my GSE team in Bangalore back in February and March earlier this year. 

This chapter of Rotary GSE now comes to an end for me.  I look forward to helping and hosting future visiting GSE teams in our Rotary District 5950.  Now I bring this "My Rotary GSE trip to Bengaluru" blog to a final close. 

You can now follow my NEW blog which is a daily photo from my city of Eagan.  Please logon to my new blog and tell your friends too! 
Kindly keep in touch!

All the very best to you and yours!
Warmest regards,
Leif Hagen  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

GK's final dinner

On Saturday evening, May 9, our friends Steven and Allison Butler invited us over for a final dinner with GK.  We drank yummy red wine, made silly poses, lingered over a delicious meal and had a memorable time with our Bangalore pal "GQ GK." 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Farewell GSE party at DG Chris Holm's house

We'll remember for a long time: Harsha the disk jockey, Manju the Bangalore airport guy, GK the printer and wonderful GSE team leader, Preeti the attorney and Manasa the HP employee!

On Friday evening, May 8, Rotary District 5950 governor Chris Holm and his wife Jessie invited us to their scrumptious house in Wayzata near Lake Minnetonka.  The potluck food was delicious, the "fellowship time" was entertaining, the drinks were chilled and the company and conversations were marvelous!  It was a truly wonderful finish to a most memorable month with our dear new friends from Bangalore Rotary District 3190.  We wish them fun and safe travels and a good return home.  Until the next time!  God bless you! 

Friday, May 8, 2009

My friend Vicki at the Taj Mahal

Vicki and I serve on the Rotary District 5950 youth exchange district board together.  She's an amazing expert on youth exchange and an inspiration to our entire board!  She was also recently in India to attend a wedding.  Vicki was lucky to have the water fountains flush with water at the Taj Mahal! 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Watermelons in Bangalore

Apparently, it's been quite hot in Bangalore these days. What could be better than some fresh, juicy watermelon to cool one off?

This photo is borrowed from Rajesh Dangi's "Bangalore Daily Photo" blog. I tried to meet him a few times in Bangalore in February to take some pictures but he was too busy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

India couple pledges US$2 million to The Rotary Foundation

A desire to improve literacy in India motivated Rajendra R. and Shubha Laxmi Chhapwale to recently commit US$2 million to The Rotary Foundation over the next three years.  Rajendra made the announcement during the couple's induction into the "Arch C. Klumph Society" at the Rotary International world headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA.  

"It's our concern for the deprived and unprivileged children in our country that made us come here, " Rajendra said to the assembled Rotary leaders, dignitaries, and guests.  "Rotary is doing such meaningful work through its programs, like polio eradication, Matching Grants and Health, Hunger and Humanity Grants, throughout the world.  I realized that The Rotary Foundation is just the right organization, where proper justice is done to the donations. 

The couple had already contributed US$250,000 to the Foundation and established an endowed fund.  The new pledge will go toward increasing this endowment fund. 

Rajendra is the founder of Monarch Realty Developers Pvt. Ltd, a property development company that has constructed more than a million and a half square feet of commercial and residential space in and around Mumbai.  

In 2007 - 2008, Rajendra served as president of the Rotary Club of Mumbai North Island, Maharashtra.  Shubha is a member and past president of the Inner Wheel Club of Mumbai North Island and will serve as district chair in 2011 - 2012.  

Congratulations and bravo to them for being such excellent philanthropic  examples to their fellow Indians and Rotarians around the globe!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bangalore GSE team in Duluth

Here you see the Rotary District 3190 GSE team standing on a rock in Lake Superior during their visit in Duluth last week.  Duluth is a large shipping port city in northeastern Minnesota. How did they get to the rock without getting wet?!  The five "great lakes" of the US are:  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.  (Hint:  HOMES) 

Monday, May 4, 2009

St. Louis Park Rotary club GSE party

Rotary District past governor Rod Shilkrot and his wife, Cheryl, invited the Bangalore GSE team, the St. Louis Park Rotary club and me to their house for a dinner party on Sunday evening, May 3.  It was a beautiful, sunny, Spring day! 

Current Rotary District Governor Chris Holm posed with the GSE team and the Indian youth exchange student.   

Incoming Rotary District Governor Sandra Schley standing in the kitchen with Manju, the Indian youth exchange student, and Sandra's husband Duane. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Genesha greetings from Minnesota!

My office assistant, Allison, and I send you warm, Genesha greetings from the "Hagen Financial Network" office in Eagan, Minnesota. Please notice her gold, Indian bangle bracelets and earrings which she received from her kind, handsome, funny, generous boss after his return from Bangalore. All the best!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Surrounded by beautiful Indian women!

Priti, Manasa and I had our picture taken at the Rotary District 5950 district conference in downtown Minneapolis on the 50th floor of the IDS tower last weekend. Three fun-loving, beautiful people just a few feet from the DAIS . . . .

Friday, May 1, 2009

Follow the rules in the park!

If you're in Cubbon Park in Bangalore, please be sure to follow the rules on the green park sign.

If you're walking through the botanical garden in Bengaluru, kindly mind the posted rules on this blue sign. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Ek - The Power of One" movie

Here's a 2009 newer Bollywood movie release:
"Ek - the Power of One."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bangalorean dancers came to USA

Charu Anand and some of her friends were invited to an international dance festival in Savannah, Georgia. Charu and her family hosted two of my GSE team members in the last days of our GSE stay in Bangalore. Doesn't Charu look beautiful in her red and orange dress with her magnificent jewelry?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Traffic outside of New Delhi

This camel is running down the highway and pulling a huge wagon overloaded with grain.

Blow horn! That's what it says on the back of the truck! Honk - honk! Toot - toot! Beep - beep! A symphony of horns . . . .

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun with the GSE team members

More fun pictures of the GSE team at our house. 

"Uncle G K" playing with our girls. 

A wonderful evening was had by all which will remain a special memory for my family and me for a long time. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

GSE potluck dinner at "Hagen Mahal"

On Saturday evening, March 25, the Eagan Rotary club board officers and the GSE India team gathered at our house for a fun potluck, vegetarian dinner. 

We were 24 people gathered to celebrate our new friendships with the GSE team from Rotary District 3190.  Manasa and Mangu were the VIPs at the dining room table while G K, Harsha, and Preeti were the VIPs at the kitchen table.  Anne and our three girls looked on from their family room dinner table. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bangalore GSE team on top of the world

The Bangalore GSE team assembled on the 50th floor of the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis for the Rotary 5950 district conference lunch. 

In the afternoon, they gave their GSE India powerpoint presentation at the Minneapolis Club during a GSE breakout session.