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Rotary exhange student Lolly Pasotti of Italy is settling in to her LO home

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lolly Pasotti gets a big hug from Molly Mullen, her host mom in Lake Oswego. Mullen says Lolly is already helping her make lasagna and bruschetta.Lolly Pasotti has only been in Lake Oswego since late August, but the Italian exchange student already has a lot of fans.

“Even after a long, tiring flight from Italy, she greeted us with a big smile and a great attitude,” says Ken Jensen, who heads up the Lake Oswego Rotary Club program that brought Lolly from Brescia, Italy. “She has since met many Rotarians, and every one of them has been charmed.”

That includes Brian Bice, the club’s Youth Services Committee chairman.

“Lolly certainly appears to be a perfect choice for our exchange student,” Bice says. “Everyone who has spent time with her thinks she’s terrific. We’re very proud of her.”

Lolly thinks Lake Oswego is pretty terrific, too.

“I love it, actually,” the 16-year-old says. “All the green. It’s a very green place.”

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lolly Pasotti says she likes everything about Lake Oswego, especially its greenness. The 16-year-old will attend Lake Oswego High School during her stay.Rotary’s foreign exchange program had been dormant for more than a decade before Jensen led the charge to bring it back this year. He says he thought it might be hard to find a host family willing to commit to a year with another teenager in the house — until he met Molly Mullen.

“Ken came over at the right time,” she says. “My husband Pat and I had talked about doing this.”

And so they did. Lolly quickly became part of the Mullen family, which also includes 15-year-old McKinley, a sophomore at Lake Oswego High; and 10-year-old Reilly, a fifth-grader at Oak Creek Elementary. She’s become part of the Laker family at LOHS, too.

“I like school. There are a lot of activities. It’s well organized,” Lolly says. “In Italy, we have so many lectures.”

Naturally, her fellow students want to know all about her life in Brescia, where Lolly lives with her dad, who is a doctor; her mom, a university professor; and her twin sister.

“The students ask me the main differences between Italy and the U.S.,” Lolly says. “They treat me well, and I’m meeting a lot of people. There are a lot of clubs. I want to join the ski team.”

She also hopes to improve her English skills while she’s here, and is looking forward to taking classes such as anatomy in preparation for a career as a surgeon.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Exchange student Lolly Pasotti found her host family waiting for her when she arrived in Portland from Brescia, Italy, in August. That's McKinley and Molly Mullins to Lolly's left, Pat and Reilly Mullens to her right.

Lolly says her favorite activities so far have been swimming, listening to music, spending time in the outdoors and doing “lots of fun stuff” with the Mullen family. She has already made herself useful in the kitchen — Italy has the greatest food in the world, she says with a smile — by helping Molly Mullen make lasagna and bruschetta.

She does find one thing perplexing, though.

“Root beer floats!” she says, her eyes getting big. “I’ve never seen root beer mixed with ice cream before!”

Rotarians may not have been able to explain that all-American concoction when Lolly visited a club meeting last month, but they are hoping that her bubbly personality and quick adjustment to life in Lake Oswego will inspire other local families to host exchange

students and other local students to consider studying overseas.

For more information about the Rotary program, contact Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cliff Newell has retired, and this is one of his last stories. We will forward on emails to him that are sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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