Bob Brown (and his adventuring hat) introduced this week's speaker (and fellow Rotary Club member), Jeff Petersen.
Intrepid traveler Jeff explains his logistic conquest of a 10-week backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, primarily Thailand.  At the rate of almost a slide a minute, he clicked through a series of photos taking Rotarians across the globe.  He only had one-way tickets and literally road in “planes, trains, and automobiles” (plus ships and motorcycles).
Backpacking means travelling light and that’s just what Jeff Petersen did.  Pictured here is Jeff’s backpack gear and a few souvenirs he brought back.
The Journey of a Thousand Miles
Rotarian Jeff Petersen said he had only a backpack for supplies and a one-way ticket to Thailand for his trip to Southeast Asia.  He called his ten-week adventure “incredible.”  Petersen said he typically planned his visit one-to-three days at a time and used phone apps extensively to find  tourist sites, lodging, and transportation.  He said he slept in 29 different beds of varying quality.  His longest hike was 19 miles in one day.  Because of his reliance on his cell phone, he backed up essential information in a paper dairy just in case he lost his phone or had a technological failure. 
Transportation was really quite easy according to Petersen.  For example, while trying to go from Bangkok to Ching Mai he had a choice of 12 trains and 43 buses plus their “Grab” service (equivalent to Uber).  Petersen said he learned not to take taxis because drivers didn’t use their meters, they just negotiated a price.  Large passenger vans were frequently used for tourist travel.  His most unique experience was a 13-hour night-ferry trip.  There were no chairs, only beds.
Jeff said that fortunately he knew a few people living in Thailand and Southeast Asia and had guidance on how to navigate his solo journey.  He did pass along some important lessons learned for the future, such as having at least two cell phones on the trip.  He found Google translate a valuable resource.  He learned food was very spicey and many times only available through street vendors (fortunately he never got sick).  He admitted he’s eaten his quota of rice saying it was served everywhere at all meals.
Petersen’s talk was mainly focused on logistics of his backpacking journey.  Perhaps a future appearance will highlight the many tourist sites and nature areas he visited.
Famous Birthdays This Week
May 12, 1820 – The founder of modern nursing, British nurse Florence Nightingale, is born in Florence, Italy .
May 12, 1907 – Four-time academy award winning actress Kathryn Hepburn is born in Hartford, Connecticut.
May 14, 1727 – Physicist and perfecter of the thermometer Gabriel Fahrenheit is born in Gdansk, Poland.
May 18, 1897 – Hollywood director Frank Capra, known for “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, and “It Happened One Night”, is born in Bisacquino, Italy.
This Week in History
May 12, 1949 – Soviet Russia lifts its blockade of Berlin that began June 24, 1948.  American and British flyers had successfully executed an airlift that delivered 2.3 million tons of food and supplies during 278,000 flights to the isolated West Berlin citizens.
May 14, 1796 – The first documented medical test of the smallpox vaccine was initiated by Dr. Edward Jenner, a rural English physician.
May 17, 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby horse race is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville.  It is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the U.S.
May 17, 1954 – In Brown v. Board of Education, the U. S. Supreme Court unanimously rules the segregation of public schools “solely on the basis of race” denies Black children equal education opportunity.  The case against segregation was argued by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Birthdays & Club Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robert Wildenradt
June 1
Jeff Keicher
June 17
Robert Brown
June 24
Christine Kalina
June 25
Join Date
Julie Sgarlata
June 6, 2012
12 years
Tasha Sims
June 7, 2023
1 year
President – Brandon Diviak
President Elect – Steve Wilder
Director (President Nominee) – Jonelle Bailey
Director (President Designee) - Becky Springer
Past President – Tim Neubert
Treasurer – Dr. Michele Jurkovic
Secretary – Sally Bruch
Sergeant at Arms – Paulette Renault
Monthly Committees
July: Board of Directors
August: Jeff Keicher, Brandon Diviak, Pat Shafer
September: Dave Hamilton, Jeff Jacobson, Jim Stoddard
October: Paul Callighan, Matt Nelson, Paul Stromborg
November: Sue Emberson, Jeff Frank, Heidi Wright
December: Paul Barnaby, Larry Berke, Riley Oncken
January: Ray Dembinski, Joyce Klein, Rob Mondi, Tim Neubert
February: Jonelle Bailey, Becky Springer, Tasha Sims
March: Chip Houdek, Brendan Wilson, Jim Buck
April: Bob Hammon, Jeff Petersen, Alicia Cosky
May: Bob Brown, Steve Kuhn
June: Steve Wilder, Paulette Renault

Standing Committees

Membership: Jonelle Bailey, Ray Dembinski, Bob Hammon, Steve Kuhn, Jeff Petersen, Bob Wildendradt, Jeff Jacobson, Brandon Diviak, Matt Nelson, Riley Oncken

Public Image: Bob Brown, Paul Callighan, Jeff Keicher, Joyce Klein, Tasha Sims

Fellowship: Paulette Renault, Pat Shafer, Sally Bruch, Sue Emberson, Dave Hamilton, Paul Barnaby, Larry Berke

Service: Brandon Diviak, Jeff Frank, Michele Jurkovic, Rob Mondi, Brendan Wilson, Heidi Wright, Alicia Cosky, Tim Neubert

Foundations: Jim Buck, Sue Emberson, Matt Nelson, Jim Stoddard, Paul Stromborg

New Generations: Chip Houdek, Julie Sgarlata, Becky Springer, Steve Wilder

Scholarships: Tim Neubert, Julie Sgarlata, Ray Dembinski, Steve Kuhn, Michele Jurkovic, Don Clayberg

Upcoming Events
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun. 19, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club Golf Outing
Sycamore Golf Club
Jun. 19, 2024
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club Installation Dinner
Sycamore Golf Club
Jun. 19, 2024
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: Program TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun. 26, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: NO MEETING THIS WEEK
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul. 03, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: Program TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul. 10, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
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