During the Toronto convention, those who were interested could gather autographs from Kiwanians living in ten different countries in exchange for a small gift (a shiny Eiffel Tower keyring!). They were asked to return a page of their convention program with their impressions. Here is what they said:
A member from Iceland tried to get me to pronounce his name, to little success. After several failed attempts, he said: “It’s fine, we can’t pronounce our names most days!”
Shawn, Pennsylvania District
I had the pleasure of conversing with Gerhardt and Karin from Germany. Learning about their clubs, men’s and women’s, it was very interesting. Too many moments gathering and meeting to select just one. All Kiwanians have a story!
Tony and Donna, Southwest District
I enjoyed several 10 to 15 minute conversations while making certain I got the required 10 different nations. We’re all so much alike. I was astounded with the number who have been Kiwanians for 20, 30 years.
Kent, Indiana District
Seeing friends from other countries that unfortunately I only get to see once a year.
Debra, New York District
Bought a raffle ticket from a West Indies club to win a trip to Jamaica, then found out their sister club is in my district!
Ilyssa, New York District
It was great listening to all the different accents.
Andrea, Ohio District
Getting air kisses and hearts from Austria! (Heart shape drawn)
Carrie, Ohio District
Friendly gestures, like meeting your family members from distant places.
Chander, Florida District
Learning that, since I know Hindi, I could communicate with the people from Nepal. So I told them how to get to the Eaton Center. (Smiley)
Dhara, Florida District
I found how unique people from different areas are and how it seems that everyone loves their organization.
Thomas, Texas-Oklahoma District
I had 10 wonderful moments! It was great to meet 10 different new people from all over the world! Everyone was so pleasant and accommodating! I even received an invitation to visit Nepal!
Patty, New York District
The couple we met from Germany taught me about the Kiwanis Young Professionals group they assist. I had never heard of this under 35, social media-based group. We are going to start one!
Laurie, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
I got to meet people from other countries and communicate even though we didn’t speak the same language. New friends that I can say hello to at the convention!
Jody, Nebraska-Iowa district
Meeting beautiful, educated Kiwanians, sharing the love.
Mel, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
Met some members of one of the newest clubs in Nepal. They were very energetic and eager. This made me very happy to see the joys of Kiwanis in others. Added fuel to power on my club.
FC Shatia, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
Loved my meeting with the Kiwanians from Nepal. My daughter was recently there and Deepak from the Lumbini Club hosted her one weekend. Sujan, myself and Cheryl (our president) talked about doing a project together.
Lori, Western Canada District
The couple from Romania and their daughter were very sweet. I enjoyed all the people I met from other countries. All you have to do is smile and be friendly.
Donna, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Meeting the different participants at the convention and forming new friendships that I hope will last.
Donna, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
Asking a person from Nepal to sign, this was the first time I met someone from that country.
Angela, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
While gathering autographs, I met many wonderful and exciting people and made friends from all over the world. I even made a connection to travel and spend time in the Philippines. Meeting all these people strengthens my commitment to Kiwanis and to serving the children of the world.
Brian, New England and Bermuda District
This was my first time attending the Kiwanis International convention. It was very amazing that how one goal, one mission brought all of us from around the world here. It was a great honor and experience to meet fellow Kiwanians across the world. I also got various district governors’ autographs. They were saying that was a great idea and welcome to give me autographs; Thank you (smiley)
Dagiimaa (district not provided)
Tour the world and collect autographs! While I was helping with the registration desk, I looked up to discover the woman collecting her simultaneous interpretation receiver and headset was a facebook friend through the Kiwanis International convention group that I had never met!
Jan, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
I spent a few minutes with each Kiwanian and took the time to learn about them, their clubs, their country and culture. It was worth the time and efforts. A nice experience.
Tim, Ohio District
It was indeed a very special moment to meet fellow Kiwanians from other parts of the world. You really feel their warmest hospitality as you request their signature. I think that, being a Kiwanian, it is already embedded in our hearts the knack of loving others, otherwise, we would not be.
Manuel, Philippine-Luzon District
It was a listening experience for me. At first, there was a language barrier, then I realized that all I needed to do was “listen” and the love that we shared as fellow Kiwanians allowed me to understand the message. How beautiful, how wonderful and such a good example to take back to my club and community.
Denise, Florida District
The Philippines delegation was so happy to be asked to sign that they continued to see me and talk to me over the next two days. It was fun and I’m happy I did the autographs, I don’t usually do that sort of activity, but I may consider it in the future. Thanks!
Denise, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Speaking with Governor Goin from France, there were three of them and me. Language barrier, but I think we understood each other. Another person came over and interpreted both sides, the three way conversation.
Maribeth, Florida District
New contacts to meet in Paris!
Christina, Germany District
I was invited to visit many clubs!
Lynne, New Jersey District
Everyone was so excited to sign my book. It was amazing to meet so many great people.
Alicia, Capital District
I spoke with many Kiwanis members who did not speak a lot of English. It was amazing how despite our language barrier, we were able to talk and describe our experiences with Kiwanis.
Monica, Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District
The autograph hunt gave me the opportunity to ask the members from Nepal about the distinctive hats they wore. They explained that it was a sign of respect in their culture. I was surprised when they presented one to me!
John, New England and Bermuda District
While gathering autographs, I met a lady from Washington, D.C. who cried when she learned I was doing a lot of projects in literacy education.
Audrey, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District
When I met the gentlemen from Nepal, I was surprised to learn that they had only formed their club five months ago, yet they had five members here at the convention, having travelled anywhere from 25 to 40 hours. That such passion exists reminds me of why we do what we do.
Michael, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
I feel happy to talk to different people from different countries. I feel people are all kind and cooperative due to the social organization Kiwanis. I feel proud to be a member of Kiwanis, this is my first time attending the Kiwanis International convention.
Rajan, Kathmandu, Nepal