Harold Boutaud is fulfilling one of his goals – to become fluent in English.
A Rotary exchange student from Orleans, France, Harold spoke to the Waunakee Rotary Club about his year so far studying at Waunakee High School. He is staying with the Scott and Ann Biba family.
Harold was looking to come to the United States to make new friends and experience a new culture. And like many French people, he wanted to experience “the American dream,” he said.  
“I wanted to meet people from all over the world,” Harold said, adding that he has met many other exchange students.
Coming to the United State was personal choice, he said. He wanted to be far away from his family for a year. He added that he thinks it was the best choice he’s made in his life.
His parents are Alexandre and Adelaine, and he has a brother and sister.
His father is active with the Orleans Reflets de Loire, the Rotary Club there. Harold showed a video of the duck race that the club organizes. Participants purchase a duck for €3 (3 euros), and a total of 30,000 rubber ducks are released into the river. The club donated €70,000 in proceeds to go to associations for children in need, he said.
Asked what most surprised Harold about the United States, he it’s been pretty cold here for him. He was also surprised that students don’t dress up more for school.
Harold is hoping to visit large cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis and to try new sports and new things. He urged Rotarians to invite him along if they’re doing something cool.
When Harold returns to France, he will have two more years of school to finish. He hopes to find a job that involves travel and would like to be fluent in English, Spanish and French.

The members also held club assembly and reported on various projects.
One of them is the Rotary Lights display, and members are needed to help Bill Erickson test out the lights, he said. A sign-up list for volunteers to greet at Village Park for the event will soon be uploaded to the website.
Lori Derauf said the youth committee has begun the Reading Pals program.
Allison Feldbruegge said a social was held at Brix. They will probably organize one more social for the year. Members are encouraged to bring a co-worker or friend who might like to join the club to these.
A sign-up sheet also circulated for the Nov. 18 Thanksgiving breakfast, which will run from 8-10 a.m. Members are asked to volunteer from either 7-9 a.m. or 9-11 a.m.
On Dec. 14, the club will sing Christmas carols at the Manor.
The club’s holiday party is set for Jan. 9, and Bob Klostermann is looking for a good musical act to perform, he said.
Guests: Dan Weiss, guest of Harriet Statz.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Nov. 9, Ryan Knight.
Anniversaries: Nov. 9, Bill and Jeanette Erickson; Nov. 13, Gary and Jane Epping
Greeters: Nov. 9, Linda Olson and Ken Pesik; Nov. 16, James Pingel and Robert Pulvermacher; Nov. 30, Corey Randl and Thomas Roepke.