One thing is for certain when speaking on your local Rotary Club and that is that the group continues to find ways to give back to the community and provide the best in programming for their members. In recent weeks, Rotarians have been involved in several fundraising efforts and have really taken to their new project, the Jungle Bus, a traveling library that rents books to kids across the community. Many of their members have also been reading books to children at local schools. In the midst of all their charity work, this past Wednesday afternoon, October 18th, their regularly scheduled meeting had an extremely exciting presenter, a presenter that they consider “the most interesting man in the world” when Whit Perry took the front of the room, guitar in hand.
From a young age, Whit Perry has led an incredible life. As a teen he worked as a scuba diver and instructor on the island of Tobago. At 21 years of age, Perry embarked on a journey of backpacking around the world, a journey that would take 8 months and incredibly, only $1100 in 1962. Starting in Europe, he made his way across France, Spain, Italy, and many other places, playing his guitar and living with people that would take him in. From there his journey moved to Egypt, then to other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Pakistan. He played at Army bases and traveled via hitchhiking and trucking across the country. Eventually he made his way towards India and Nepal, where he arrived on the day that the first American made it to the summit of Mount Everest. After India and Nepal, a brief stint in Japan would be his last stop before returning home to the states.
To try and recount all of the stories that Perry told that day would be foolish. However, one main theme was present, a theme that perfectly links back to the character of the Rotary club. Perry in his travels relied on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter, a kindness that he states is still present in people today but is covered by a layer of violence. It is the kindness and generosity towards others that many Rotarians show on a daily basis as they strive to give back to the community. They are constantly involved with programs, functions, and charities all across the board and will continue to do so in years to come.
You can find some of Perry’s books, including “In the Footsteps of Robinson Crusoe” on sale at Amazon.