Rotary Club of Central Melbourne-Sunrise had a lot to do with six youngsters from Botswana and Malawi who came to Melbourne for the Global AIDS conference in July. All six, aged 16-21, acquired AIDS at birth.
Member Alan Seale took three to the zoo, and afterwards asked them what they liked best. One replied, “The kangaroos were nice but I liked your car best.”
Alan: “Why?”
Youngster: “Because it’s clean and there are no (he groped for the English word ‘insects’ but couldn’t recall it) beetles in it.”
Alan also took them to Healesville Sanctuary where they admired the open-for-viewing animal hospital there. “It’s a much better hospital than we have,” a youngster remarked.
Member George Mackey visited the group at the “Global Village” of about 100 AIDS display stalls at the Convention Centre. While there, he asked one lad, “What do you want to do in your life?” expecting to learn about their career goals.
The lad replied, “I want to live till I’m 40.” The lad then looked at George appraisingly and added, “Maybe older.”  George, who’s nearing 64, felt the lad was thinking, “But not as old as you, thanks!”
The club hosted the lads on request from Ed Pettitt, from Houston Skyline Rotary Club, Texas. Ed coordinates AIDS projects in Botswana. His club sponsored Global Scholar Michelle Heard to Melbourne, and RCCMS is hosting Michelle here.  Ed was our guest speaker two weeks ago.