Linnea HaggardSpring Break in New York

Linnea Haggard

Sweden

Class of 2005 – 2006

The year of 05/06, I got the great opportunity to study at the Brenau University in Georgia by a most privileged scholarship founded by Rotary in Georgia, USA. I have gotten to know the customs and the way of living in the southern part of the U.S. And I have met some wonderful people who have become very dear to me. I have participated in Rotary conclaves especially arranged for international students and on top of all that, I won a flight trip anywhere I wanted in the U.S. So during my spring break, I headed for New York and I went to stay by the family of Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum. Her home is located in Manhattan, just by Central Park where we took a long nice walk in the sunshine. I also got to see the beauty of Riverside Park where the river was glistening in front of me, with the background view of bridges and tall buildings. When you come to New York, Dr. Ellie told me, you must see a Broadway Show. So she kindly arranged tickets for us to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” The costumes, the scenery and the music were outstanding — a real Broadway Show is in a class of its own. Then I had the fortune to come with Dr. Schoenbaum to her work. She is a professor and an HIV researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I was also able to participate in two very interesting seminars in her field.

Tuesday at noon time, I was invited to attend a lunch meeting at the Rotary Club in the Bronx. It was my wonderful Rotary host Nan Brown, who belongs to the Lanier Forsyth Rotary Club in Georgia, who had arranged this meeting for me. Of course, I held a speech about Sweden, my home country, and I got a very warm response from many members of the club. We exchanged Rotary banners, a custom that I have become familiar with during my time in the U.S. Many nice Rotarians wanted to show me the city of New York after the lunch. I got to see Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero and the Metropolitan Museum. I also got invited behind the scenes in the House of United Nations. I was lucky to see the famous round rooms where all the important decisions are made and I saw my country’s sign. I had lunch in their big dining hall, where they served exquisite food.

One day, I got the opportunity to walk Fifth Avenue up and down, and explore all the great and famous stores, a thing I really enjoyed. I learned to find my way through the giant subway system and I really had a great time. The days passed by rapidly and before I knew it, it was time for me to depart, leaving behind me a lot of unexplored tourist attractions. I was sitting in my airplane seat, looking out from the window at a city which is never asleep, where there’s always something to do. It was so beautiful. The sky was pitch black and New York’s many lights lit up the ground, revealing the water that surrounded and penetrated the city. I hope my path will take me there again someday in the future. I had some great days. Thank you, GRSP, for making it all possible!