It was indeed an honour and a rare privilege to have been one of the first few Rotaractors from the world to be invited to attend the Rotary International Assembly at San Diego from Jan 13–19.
It was on July 18 last year when the selected Rotaractors from India shared the invitations they had received on their social media accounts. I was very disheartened to have not got any invite and, on that note, decided to check my email inbox. And yes! There it was, an invite that read: “You’re invited to the 2019 International Assembly!” A flow of mixed emotions gushed through me, leaving me speechless and overwhelmed.
It was a great experience to attend the Assembly where I met many intelligent and sharp international Rotarians and Rotaractors, all experienced and specialists in their various disciplines. I thoroughly enjoyed this event with its numerous interesting sessions and discussions on various leadership-oriented topics. Several of the sessions were very informative and insightful in the topics that they covered. It has been a very enriching experience and this Assembly has helped me adopt an international perspective on how to benefit from the exchange of ideas, sharing of personal expertise, and socialising with international delegates.
The Assembly helped me embark on a journey of new learnings and has served as a fount of knowledge. How often do you meet and greet people from all over the world who collectively work for one common platform called Rotary?
I would like to thank RI President Barry Rassin for giving me the opportunity to be present at IA and share my views and ideas with Rotarians and Rotaractors from all over the world. He is truly an inspiration to all of us and has changed the perception of Rotary towards Rotaractors. Rotaractors are the future of Rotary and today, we can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Rotarians and support them in the various areas of focus.
I can proudly say now that if I have friends and family all over the world, it is only because of the RI Assembly. There has been an exchange of various cultures and brainstorming sessions have been conducted on various levels. These have instilled in us an all-too-novel way of looking at different situations that life might throw at us.
A very big thank you to RIPE Mark Maloney for presenting such a beautiful theme for the RI year 2019–2020: Rotary Connects the World. It highlights the feeling of being connected to the entire world which is only possible because of Rotary. It’s beautiful how a theme as simple as this can have such an impactful and profound meaning.
The writer is DRR of RID 3170