Rotary Ramblings
Prior Lake Rotarians—Making a Difference Around the World
By Joyce Corey (Prior Lake Neighbors)
Prior Lake Rotarians have excellent vision as they see their mission in a global perspective. Rotary International is a network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
To fulfill this mission, members of the local club have visited other countries on behalf of Rotary. Three Prior Lake Rotarians share their insights from their travels.
Over the last 30 years, I have watched my parents, Pat and Norma Klein, give their time to the people of Chimbote, Peru. In 2017, I was approached by my father to help with a big educational project for a Rotary District to open a technical school for mostly poor women in Chimbote. The grant was approved for $30,000, which our club donated $4000 towards. Fellow Rotarian Cindy Shepard and I traveled there in April 2018 to witness the school in action and see all the projects our club, along with St. Michael’s Church in Prior Lake, have completed over the 30 years. It is amazing to see the community effort that we have shared to help an impoverished community thousands of miles away!
I was invited to take part in the mission trip to Chimbote, Peru by Prior Lake Rotarian Joan Lompart. Michelle Jirik, who serves on the board of directors for a group called Friends of Chimbote, accompanied us. 
One of the primary goals of this trip was to visit a mom, Domitila, and her four children ranging in age from 5 to 15. The three boys have severe disabilities, and a 12-year-old daughter who is healthy and must help care for the boys as her mother tries to find work doing whatever she can. We also got to see the water project that local leaders were able to build. I was so impressed by what a coordinated effort these people can make. 
This was such an inspiring and emotional trip for me. I experienced several episodes of tears of joy, love, and pride for the people of this area.  Even though the travel was long and customs so different, I have no doubt that I will be making a return trip.
Joan Lompart
This is my sixth service trip for Prior Lake Rotary, as a 20-year member of the club. I have been to Haiti three times, Nicaragua, Uganda, and Peru. I am never immune to severe poverty and lack of basic needs like clean water, toilets, and sturdy homes.
These trips keep my gratitude high for living in the United States. Travelling gives me a better understanding of how strong communities flourish in poverty. These are strong people with family values and beautiful children. I am grateful for each opportunity and if I ever come from a place of ‘not enough’ it is quickly righted by remembering these experiences. Thanks to Prior Lake Rotary for encouraging international travel and helping offset the cost.