On Aug. 7, Rotary DTLA members Jennifer Usyak and Angela Fisher led 11 Rotary Youth Exchange students on a tour of downtown. The group included five students visiting from Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom and the six host family students from District 5280.

The day began at City Hall where the visiting students were presented with Welcome Certificates from Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge presented by Director of Los Angeles Sister Cities Kamilla Blanche.  Alex, a student from Berlin interning for the Councilman, led the group on a tour of City Hall including the observation deck and beautiful views of downtown and the surrounding areas.

Courtesy of the Midnight Mission van, the students next moved on to Olvera Street, then to Chinatown for lunch at Ocean Seafood Restaurant for dim sum, followed by a short walking tour of Little Tokyo.

The highlight for many of the students was the visit to the Midnight Mission later that afternoon.  After a brief tour of the facility to learn about its work as a drug and alcohol rehab center, the students got busy in the kitchen helping Chef Chris prepare and serve the evening meal.  Many commented later that it was an eye opening experience for them.

The day ended at the Rotary DTLA meeting at the LA Athletic Club.  Guest speakers Sally and Jonathan Tiongco, educators and owners of Six Taste Culinary Tours gave an inspirational talk about their vocation as educators linking the five tastes (bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and umami) with their careers and their passion project Six Taste.  A long day came to a happy end, and several of the students presented Rotary flags from their home districts for the traditional flag exchange at the end of the meeting!  We wish the students well and hope they will always consider Los Angeles their second home and come visit us again soon!




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