2017 - 18
During the month of February and March, us, the Exchange Students living in Mumbai, India, made a trip to the North of India visiting such beautiful places as Rajasthan, Agra, New Delhi and Dharamsala. I believe the best part out of all of it was the fact that we started the trip in such a dry and hot place as Jaisalmer; riding Camels and playing and celebrating Holi under the bright sun of the desert, and we finished the trip with the nice, cool weather of Dharamsala, admiring the reflection of the sunset on the snowy mountains.
My favorite place from all the different cities and small towns that we visited was clearly Jaipur. I knew from before that Jaipur was also called the Pink city, but I was completely amazed by how pink the streets were and how pretty that color looked on the stone of the buildings and monuments. Some exchange students and me luckily found a small and local café that was located right in front of the Hawa Mahal, and from there we were able to see the sun hiding behind the beautiful monument, during its daily sunset process, while some monkeys were climbing through the pink walls. It was such a spectacular view and I really felt like sometimes getting lost is the best way to find the beautiful things.
We spent the next day in Amer Fort, and even though we didn’t climb all the way up by elephant, the arrival of these ones through the main entrance, one after the other one, with the vivid colors painted all over their trunks, was an image I am probably never going to forget.
Next stop after Jaipur was Agra, were we visited, as millions of tourists and locals do every year, one of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Taj Mahal. I remember that moment as it had been straightly taken from a movie scene; some of us crying over the beautifulness and the consciousness of being in front of such charming and worldwide known place, while others were just speechless, because that is the best word to describe the Taj Mahal: Breathtaking. After spending the whole morning walking around the humongous mausoleum and taking as many pictures as we could to keep that memory present for the rest of our lives, we drove all the way to New Delhi.
Rhishikesh was one of the last places we visited, but definitely a really meaningful and peaceful place. We spent that same evening we arrived next to the Ganges River, where young children offered and sold us the small cups with flowers and a small candle inside. The action of floating it down the river, considered as a small offering to the Goddess Ganga, gave both fulfilling and pleasant feeling, as well as a magical reflected image on the calmed waters of the river. We spent such a wonderful time talking to the young Indians near the river while we all enjoyed together singing Bollywood songs.
The next day and before setting off to Dharamsala, we drove all the way up by Jeeps to a small temple up in the mountains, where we could already feel the cool temperature we had all been wishing for.
We all had a really nice and restful time in Dharamsala during the 3 nights we spent there, enjoying the chance of wearing winter clothes and jackets along with the emptiness of the streets and peace of the mountains, after 7 months living in the Mumbai chaos.
In Amritsar, last place but not least, we were amazed by the Golden temple, as beautiful at night as during the day, and definitely kept us with a good feeling even though the trip was over.
The last day before going back to Mumbai was a mix of sad but sweet feelings; as we knew it was the end of one of the best trip of our lives, but we also knew we had enjoyed it to the fullest and had made the memories and friends that we were never going to forget.
14th April 2018
My Brothers & Sisters,
Namaskar, I am Lucas. I welcome you in Rotary District Conference. I am a Brazilian. But I am now proud that I am also an Indian. I love India. My mother Sarala and father Balasaheb Erande love me a lot. I love Indian food. I am a past president of Interact Club. I am a Paul Haris Fellow Society Member.
I am grateful to Rotary who have started Youth Exchange Program; because of which I got new friends. Also got a second home. First Brazil and second India. I learnt a lot in India. I enjoyed Ganapati, Diwali and Christmas. I loved Navaratri. I am grateful to Rotary; who gave me the opportunity to speak.
5th February 2018
District Conference of Mumbai 2018.
Living in India for 10 months definitely gives you loads of chances to have amazing and wonderful cultural experiences, but I’m sure that whenever I look back at my exchange, the district conference will be one of the memories I will remember the most.
We had two days to enjoy and show what we had been working so hard and excited on; during the past 2 months,
so the passion and grace during the performance was something all of us, the exchange students, experienced.
Both conferences, first one in the fabulous JW Marriot Hotel in Mumbai and second one in Thane, turned out fantastic and so was claimed by all the conference attendees who even surprised us with a final standing ovation and nicely congratulated us and the Rotary Youth Exchange team for the performances. It was a weekend full of friendship, excitement and happiness, and I am so grateful of the way everyone treated us.
I have to say Discon was a lifetime experience; performing with students, who have already become friends, from all over the world, learning the beautiful and traditional Indian
dances and Bollywood, sharing the stage with celebrities and most important, being able to show all our efforts taken and making Rotary proud with our enthusiasm.
That is why I would like to thank all the Rotary team and the teachers for giving us this amazing opportunity and for making it, although the stress, chaos and rush from backstage, a successful event for the public and for us, the Exchange Students. This is one of all the reasons why I am so happy of having started this journey with Rotary Youth Exchange programme; there is always a lot of experiences to live that definitely make you feel like a real Indian and at home.
12th February 2018
After 2 months of practice, dedication and hard work, with a lot of companionship and the help of the best dance teachers and of the RYE team, we finally had the conference.
On the first day was the conference of the 3141 district in Mumbai, in the beautiful hotel JW Marriot, where we were very well received by all and we felt like celebrities.
Everything went great in our presentation, on the rush of changing the outfits and in the excitement some little mistakes happened; but always with a smile on the face and well...the show must go on and we could always count on the help of the entire team.
On the next day we had the 3142 district conference in Thane and again we were very well received and we even had a VIP area for us. In the presentation I felt that we were more prepared, despite the tiredness. When the show was over with a lot of clapping and cheering, I felt that all the exhausting practices definitely were worth and I felt so happy for having learned more about this wonderful culture and had the opportunity of learning Indian dance.
It was an amazing event and I would like to thank all the rye team for making this event possible and thank for all the help. Special thanks to Heena and Seema for all the patiently teaching us and reviewing all the steps so that everything would turn out perfect, to our chairman Kamlesh, to Hema for being there in all the practices always supporting us, to the ROTEX team for being in the conference helping and supporting us and to everybody. And congratulations to all my exchange friends, that we keep rocking it.
5th February 2018
RYLA IN THE JUNGLE:
The association of Rotary Clubs of Thane gave us, the youngsters, the chance to spend an amazing weekend at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, practicing adventurous sports, and I was not going to waste this opportunity. I love risky activities and also nature so it could not be a better way to spend the weekend. Besides that I needed a little bit of calm in this non-stop city.
The jungle adventure started on the 7th of January. First of all we had a yummy Indian breakfast, idli and masala chai, we needed energy for the day. Then the Governor and a few more Rotarians spoke to us about leadership and how to become a better leader.
During the speech they mentioned the characteristics of a good leader such us:
initiative, a good listener, hardworking, team player, etc. After this enriching talk we were ready to start the activities. All of us were divided in 5 groups and each group had a leader who was responsible to guide and encourage their members.
Before the activities they explained to us how to use the basic tools of this sports .We started with rock climbing which was followed by zip lining. I got so impressed when I got to know that the organisers had set up all the ropes on their own for the second activity, they did such a good job. After these activities we went for lunch, we were all so hungry. In the afternoon we did the last sporty activity of the day, rappelling. From the top of a hill we could see the city of Thane, with all its huge buildings and at the end of the day we could also gaze at a gorgeous sunset. Before getting dark we were back to the bungalows, we ended the day by playing games and dancing on Bollywood songs. Sunday 8th of January, second and last day of RYLA.
We were woken up by 6 am, we were all freezing, nobody wanted to leave their blankets.
I would never have imagined this cold temperature in Mumbai. Zumba was the first activity of the day, but not before chai with cookies to get warm. After Zumba we had breakfast and then a hike of one and a half hour in the forest. There we meet the local farmers who grew their own crops. We went inside their rustic homes and they prepared for us an amazing ecologic green tea. We were back at the bungalows for lunch, and there many little children waiting for us they performed a play and having fun we taught the children many values. For me, one of the highlights of the day was when all of us stood up and all together started singing the national Anthem of India. We finished this amazing weekend giving the awards for the King and Queen of the Jungle RYLA.
13th January 2018
Schedule for Outbounds for 2018-19
- Last date of application, 31st December 2017
- Personal Interview & Selection, January 2018
- Country placement for outbounds, March 2018
- VISA processing, April 2018
- Outbound/Host Training, May 2018
- Departure to country of exchange, June 2018
ROTEX organized a Thane city tour for Inbounds
Devanshi participating in Rotary project in Brazil
Animesh with his inbound colleagues in Mexico