Traveling to Peru with Toastmasters

Gary Braithwaite highlights elements of his trips to Peru during the Smoky River Sweet Talkers Toastmasters meeting at the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130 administration building in Falher on March 28.

Mac Olsen
Express Staff
What does Peru offer tourists when they arrive? If you talk to Gary Braithwaite, quite a lot.

He and his wife, Silvia Braithwaite, have made a number of trips to Peru over the last decade. Peru is her country of origin.

Braithwaite made a presentation about their travels to Peru at a Smoky River Sweet Talkers Toastmasters meeting. It was held in the council chamber at the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130 administration office in Falher on March 28.

The year-round warm weather and exchange rate are among the draws for him.

“It’s always sunny and your money goes twice as far,” he says.
“Tourism is popular and the people go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.”

The history of the Inca civilization and the colonial Spanish influences stand out for him as well.

Braithwaite talked about these and other attractions as part of his 35-minute presentation. He used a series of travel photos to highlight the attractions.

Braithwaite was evaluated on how he presented his information, including use of language and mannerisms, and if he stayed within the allotted time for his presentation.

Check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for a series of videos of his presentation and the evaluations.

Prior to Braithwaite’s presentation, Normand Boulet, the vice-president of public relations for the local Toastmasters chapter, welcomed everyone and highlighted the evaluation process.

Boulet also introduced Richard Fournier, one of the evaluators and the grammarian for the word ‘marvel’. Fournier explained how this word is used in the context of the meeting, and he listened for the number of times Braithwaite used it in his presentation.

Boulet offered the following insights about the role of Toastmasters.

“All Toastmasters Clubs hope to improve communication and leadership skills of their members,” he says.
“It’s done in a very friendly and constructive atmosphere. It is about public speaking, but it’s also about leadership, listening and communication.”

Braithwaite’s presentation is part of a series called ‘Travels with Toastmasters’. Each week, a different speaker highlights a country they have been to and provide information about what they’ve experienced.

Next week’s speaker will be Denise Lussier, who will discuss New Zealand. That meeting will be held at the M.D. office, beginning at 5:15 p.m. on April 11.

Boulet encourages the public to attend. For more information, contact him at (780) 837-0043, or email to

Normand Boulet
Richard Fournier

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