Rotaract Exchange an ever Lasting Friendship-

My phone rang.

Deep in an ocean of sleep, I had half a heart to ignore the call but I found my hands searching furiously under my blankets for the phone, strongly programmed to pick it up.

The guests had arrived and I was supposed to pick them up and take them to their hotel rooms. I waded through the dark street, bleary-eyed in a sleep/state and waited for their bus to arrive.

It didn’t take long though and there they were, wide eyed and excited despite the continuous 22-hour long flight and 6-hour drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I perked up immediately out of embarrassment and that remained my impression of our new friends; always filled with buoyant enthusiasm and cheerful faces, all through good times and the toughest adversity.

img_1144At Kusma, the adorably chubby Nishu skipped to me and asked ‘Didi, hamilai kina maya garnu vako waha haru le? ‘

Timi haru lai ramro sanga padnu parcha vanni sikauna ko lagi ‘ I replied. Thrilled, she hopped back to play with her new American friends Jenna and Amanda as I sat observing their excitement.

2bThe shy kids were watching her play with them with envy from the corner, clutching the school supplies they’d just received tight and I could imagine Nishu’s heroic gossip at school the next day.

Thousands of miles away from home, it was on our shoulders to make their stay special and productive whilst we hardly knew them. Our club members marshalled all the energy and support imaginable to plan their stay and show them a good time. Looking back now, we don’t have much of a clue to how much it moved them but when you’re in charge of someone, you just really want to make them feel special and here’s what our Rotaract Club of NewRoad did to make each nine day of the ‘Inter Club Youth Exchange Program’ count:

unnamedDay One: Welcome program to our Guests and attendance at the 9th Rotaract District Conference.

Day Two: Attendance at the District Conference and a historic joint International Meeting between 4 Rotaract Clubs.

Day Three: Visit to the Shivapuri Primary School, Puranchaur, Kaski.

Day Four: Sightseeing around the Pokhara Valley.

Day Five: Initiation of hope, welfare and environment conservation by decorating Asha Pokhari and hiking to Stupa.

Day Six: Visit to Prativa Higher Secondary School and the Parbat District for helping disabled school children.

Day Seven: Promotion of Tourism at Kusma, Parbat, visit to Gandaki Boarding School and campfire at Pumdikot.

Day Eight: Stationary distribution ar Maheshowri Secondary School, Pumdi-Bhumdi and a parewell program to our guests.

Day Nine: Bon voyage with promises to meet again.

img_1165Having the exchange program helped us cultivate more meaningful, life-long relationships unlike hanging out with friends only when they’re in the mood. The endless programs and traveling, waking up early when no one wants to be cheerful, eating dinner together after an exhausting day, and everything in between was in stark contrast to today’s texting among ‘friends’ whose experiences often remain superficial.  I thought it helped us become better communicators and more cooperative, assertive, flexible, resilient, patient, grateful, compassionate and forgiving adults and yes, we are Facebook friends! We took many pictures together and it struck me the way our active cameras offered a lens on the value of our culture and the way we live our lives. And yes, it also caused some of us to smile more.

Rtr.Pratima Sharma,  15875432_1870432299858757_2633434467342265188_oRotaract Club of Newroad Pokhara.

RVCC Rotaract member – Making a difference

img_1144Being the current president of The Rotaract Club, a college level organization of Rotary International, connected Manuel Ramirez with Dr. Tulsi Maharjan, President of the Friends of Nepal-NJ and Past Rotary District Governor of the District 7510. Manuel never hesitated to help someone in need, constantly volunteering both in high school and as a young adult. The world of Rotary now opened the door for this humanitarian spirit to help the people of Nepal. Thanks to the connections with Dr. Tulsi, this student at Raritan Valley Community College will experience a different way of life, expand his horizons, and gain a new perspective. Manuel is already putting into practice in Nepal those skills he will learn as he works to obtain his Bachelors in Social Work. An eventual Masters degree and licensure means he can do professionally what he does now to help others.

15875615_1868817890020198_7555762015103204111_oManuel already expresses his deep gratitude for the chance to help the people of Nepal, and gaining a new, humbling experience to share with others. And he has already made deep relationships with Nepal even before departing, connecting with Sujan, a friend of Dr. Tulsi in Nepal. By working to help rebuild houses destroyed by the recent earthquake, and distributing school supplies to Nepalese children, Manuel gains more than continuing his community service. “I know my experience in Nepal will be a humbling one as well as a life changing one.”

asha2Friends of Nepal – NJ is grateful to Manuel and our other volunteers for their commitment to improving the lives of people in Nepal. If you would like to contribute, like Manuel, please reach out to the Asha Project at http://www.theashaproject.org/contact.html to find out more about how you can make a difference.

Thanks Rotaract clubs in Nepal for your great Hospitality.

My trip to Nepal was filled with many Trials and Tribulations, getting sick the day before the flight, getting sick after coming back, and not being able to stay longer. The morning of the flight to Nepal I felt awful I thought I might not be able to go but I told myself I was in to deep and pulled myself together and went on that flight and it was one of the best decision of my life. Our trip to Nepal was everything you can imagine, beautiful landscapes, wonderful people, and delicious food. I met so many new friends that when I come back I will have more than a dozen people happy to welcome me back and I will happy welcome to America if they decide to come. Like a wise man once told me “When we see each other again I hope you say how are you instead of who are you.”

Our friends in Nepal brought us to help and visit wonderful places and people. We sailed across and lake and climbed our way to a Buddhist temple where we saw all of Pokhara. We went to multiple schools and supplied kids with school supplies we brought with us from America. We were honored many different times which made me feel like a star with my fans cheering for me. Our friends even celebrated my birthday got me a cake and made it the best birthday I’ve ever had, with great people, seeing our Nepalese friends pull off some sweet dance moves, and great food and drinks. I recommend this trip to every Rotaract member to experience this, because the road to happiness and success is achieved by meeting happy intellectual people like I did on this trip.

MARCEL GORKA

My Youth Exchange visit to Nepal

Travelling to Nepal was an incredible opportunity that I stumbled upon as a result of being a member of the RVCC Rotaract club. It was a really unique experience that I’m so thankful I got the privilege to be a part of.

The highlight of my trip was getting to meet the amazing members of the NewroadPokhara Rotaract club, who were so welcoming and friendly and amazing tour guides! We built great friendships and developed a fantastic bond between our twin Rotaract clubs.One thing I was really impressed by was the fact that most of the Rotaractors we met were entrepreneurs of some sort, having started at least one business or company and running it successfully. I was so impressed that many of them were starting off their business careers at a young age, and I found that inspiring!

Another memorable part of the trip was getting to experience the beautiful country and culture of Nepal. I was absolutely amazed at the beauty that was all around us wherever we went, I hadn’t expected it to be so gorgeous! It was also so cool to witness the vibrant and beautiful culture of Nepal, which is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. All the people we interacted with were so hospitable and friendly, and it was remarkable to be welcomed into so many different homes and get to see little parts of life in Nepal.

We also did many service projects while we were there, such as distributing school supplies, painting walls and benches, and doing some construction work in Kathmandu. This provided credibility to the missions the various groups are accomplishing, and added to what they were doing already. This opportunity to come alongside these groups and support them was very encouraging and inspiring to me, as well as beneficial to the community. It was also neat to see how the Asha Project is helping people in Nepal, and be a part of that.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity to travel to Nepal, and really grateful to all the people we met for coordinating it and organizing everything so wonderfully. I would encourage anyone else who considering going on a trip like this to seize the opportunity and go for it, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

 

AMANDA GREEN

Rotaract Youth Exchange Rotary Districts 7510 USA and-3292 Nepal

 

Sebastian Gallic’s Experience: When we all arrived in Nepal we were unsure about what we would be actually doing. Sure, we had hundreds of pounds of supplies to give out but still we were uneasy. Once leaving the airport we immediately saw the warm welcoming the Nepalese. They were easy going, yet motivated to get things moving on to the next leg of the journey. I will never forget one of the young Rotaractors saying, “ We won’t let you sleep!,”as we began our nine hour long bus ride (after 30 hours of traveling) to Pokhara. This type of energy became a theme on the trip as we realized even when our Nepalese friends looked tired they never complained, always were looking to help, and wanted to take a picture!

Throughout the following 2 weeks there were many opportunities for service but a few really stuck out as making an impact in my life. One of these unique moments was when we arrived at a school about an hour outside of Pokhara to distribute forty some-odd bags of school supplies. The children looked weary as we sat in the hot sun for hours but after giving each of them supplies they seemed to perk up one by one just as did their parents as they watched. A nice ceremony was done to hand the children the supplies which made it feel like an even more special time. Each school was different in how they held these ceremonies and gave out the supplies but they were all so grateful and happy that we were there to help. These types of moments resonated within me as we made our stops to different service opportunities.

Another moment that has impacted me happened just after we ate at a wonderful resort a generous Rotary member hosted. After we ate we had to go outside the resort to wait for a bus. So close to what seemed like paradise yet the area we stepped into was nothing less than the slums. We sat down and began waiting for the bus and occasionally snapped some pictures of the
people around us. Two young girls began to fill around 20 empty liters full of water. After a few moments I joined in and began helping them. The one aspect of this act of kindness was that there was no formal thank you’s, no picture taking, no formal ceremony ( which were all good and healthy); just a human helping another human. This moment was why I went on the trip; I have found that on this trip the informal acts of kindness not recognized by all seemed to be the most impactful moments in my own life.

Each part of the trip had its own flavor yet there was one thing we could always count on: an overwhelming kindness and helpfulness orchestrated by Sujan Regmi. Without his continued support and his attention to detail I do not believe that this trip would have been possible. From orchestrating where we ate to getting someone to help me get to the Catholic church on Sunday afternoon, Sujan did everything with joy. I am extremely grateful to call him, and all the Rotaractors that I met over the course of the trip, my friends. Til next time DHANYABAD

USA-Nepal RotaractYouth Exchange

Ryan Galdamez

First of all I want to say Thank you to everyone who hosted us. You guys did an amazing job of making us feel at home. I truly enjoyed my time in Nepal and I will absolutely take my family there one day.

The Rotaract Club of New Road Pokhara members were awesome they did a great job of showing us the beautiful city of Pokhara. I was able to get very close to them because they were so loving and caring. One thing I learned from them was that they are very welling to help no matter in what way. For example they all were very aware of us and took care of us in whichever way they could. In Pokhara we did a lot; for example, the first two days we went to the 9th Rotaract Conference which was full of very talented young adults who are very willing to help the community. The next few days we went sightseeing, painting and delivered school supplies to a few schools. I remember giving the students the school supplies and the smile that came to their face really made me happy in the inside. I remember a quote I heard in Parbat by Antim Gurung and it stated, “You could go to a movie and have 3 hours of joy, but helping others is a happiness that will last a lifetime” and I truly believed those words. I also remember Hiking to the top of hill and seeing a big Buddha statue and then going up the stairs and seeing the whole city of Pokhara and my breath being taken away by the beauty of what I was seeing.  Pokhara had so much to offer from a Five Star hotel to camping. The people that hosted us really did a great job of showing us what the city Pokhara really has to offer.

The last two days we stayed In Kathmandu with the Rotaract club of Rudramati. They also hosted us very good. I remember when we got there they took us to eat at a place where they order MoMo’s for us and they tasted very good and also sausage which was very good as well. They also took us to the Asha Project of the constructions of apartments and the painting of a park where many people go to hangout and have fun. I also remember eating where the construction site was and just seeing all the people there helping and doing a small part to help a city devastated by an earthquake two years ago. I also remember going to two schools and giving them schools supplies and they both received them with open arms. Kathmandu really showed me how close people get when there is devastation and no matter how bad the situation is life still goes on.

I learned a lot about myself in this trip because I was able to step out of my comfort zone and really engage with people I have never met before. But this trip really helped me come out of my shell and now I feel like I can take on any task put in front of me. Our friends from Kathmandu and Pokhara did such a great job of showing us Nepal that I feel like if I would have gone a lone and had done everything by myself I would have not experienced Nepal as I did with everyone that hosted us. This trip really made me appreciate what I have in my Country and because of this trip I was able to open my eyes to see what is really happening around the world. Now I have more motivation to help out our community and communities around the world because I know there is a lot of work to be done in order to get this world into shape.

 

 

Branchburg Rotary’s Literacy campaign in Nepal.

ashaToday, 103 million youth around the world still lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60% of them are women.  An estimated 50% out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas. Enrollment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91%, but 57 million children still remain out of school.

Why are these statistics so important? By supporting education and literacy in communities around the world, we can change these figures and help improve lives. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.

asha1Rotarians worldwide are committed to supporting this goal through education-oriented projects that provide technology, teacher training, vocational training teams, student meal programs, and low-cost textbooks to communities. Rotary’s goal is to empower communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. Here are a few examples of Rotarians taking action:

asha2The Rotary Club of Branchburg’s Asha Project has been working with many schools in Nepal, in support of education for children.  The club provides financial support for scholarships, educational materials, organizes teacher training to sending Rotaract students to volunter in Nepal to motivate students to learn and coordinated Rotarian visits to local government schools where special need children can be integrated into classrooms.  Many schools have been equipped with computer labs and setting us an E-libraries to provide support in reviewing current practices and planning for future development.

 

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