Our first full day was a day of vocational visits, which was topped off with a night at the baseball - Durham Bulls vs Charlotte Knights, and of course with the contacts our Rotarian hosts have we were hosted in the owner's box, with luxuries stretching from haircuts (yes, there is a resident hairdresser in the owner's box!) to beer and hotdogs.
The Bulls won convincingly, inspired I'm sure by their mascot's visit to the box where Kel became his number one fan.
Throughout the game we kept close tabs on the North Carolina Hurricanes ice hockey match, which still had less than 10 minutes to go when we had to leave the baseball. A mad dash across to Tyler's Taproom in the American Tobacco Complex allowed us to see the Canes score to level the game, followed very quickly after by a match winning goal that saw the team progress into the next round of the championship. There was much rejoicing!
The following day we crammed a lot in: breakfast and tour at North Carolina Central University, tour of Research Triangle Park and the Federal Environment Protection Agency, presentation to RTP Rotary Club and a tour of Duke University. My host Gaston and his colleague Sam ably guided us around Duke, including the magnificent Duke Chapel, where Gaston tried to kill us by leading us up the long spiral staircase to the top of the tower. While not all made it to the top, we were pleased that all made it safely back to terra firma. Kel had opted to miss the Duke tour as she had scheduled an additional vocational visit (couldn't get enough?). The evening saw us return to Tyler's Taproom where we had a great night with local Rotarians.
Another full day followed: a 7am breakfast presentation to Durham Sunrise club, followed by a brief visit to Trinity College. We went on a walking tour of downtown Durham, which has basically been reinvented in the last 5-6 years, with a lot of the old tobacco warehouses being converted into retail, commercial and residential premises. From what we've heard, Durham has come a long way, and the recent addition of a Performing Arts Centre would indicate the progress is continuing. It has a great feel about it.
The team proudly showing off their bowling shoes