In January 2018, I found myself in a challenging situation: in three months’ time, I would have to travel to Singapore for a research conference. However, I didn’t have a clue about travelling outside my homeland. To begin with, I didn’t even possess a passport. It was during this whirlwind of decisions that I decided to reach out to the Rotaractors in Singapore.
Within few days of posting in the “Rotaract Couch” I had found an amazing group of people who not only provided me with tips for travelling within Singapore, places to visit and accommodation, but also suggested that we meet up to strengthen the fellowship between the countries.
Thus, on 23rd of March, I boarded the very first flight in my life knowing that there would be a bunch of like minded individuals waiting on the other end. To add to the fun, a group of nine fellow members of Rotaract Alumni Mora were joining me; seven travelling to Singapore from Sri Lanka and two residing in Singapore!
After the hustle and bustle of four full days in Singapore which consisted of the Project HPHP Carnival with Rotaract Club of NUS and Project Exploract (which would be covered in detail in future blog posts), we were invited to a dinner courtesy of the Rotaract Club of Nanyang Technological University.
As we made our way to NTU, the skies had grown dark and rain was looming on the horizon. However, seeing the welcoming smiles of the President of the Rotaract Club of NTU, Rtr. Jesse Raj, and his members, brightened the evening.
Being 11th in the world university rankings and also among the most beautiful and sustainable campuses globally, Nanyang Technological University is a dream destination for any scholar. My fellow Rotaractors and I had the unique privilege of receiving a guided tour of this premier University thanks to our hosts for the day. We didn’t forget to take a photograph with the Club and District banners at “The Hive”.
After the tour, it was time for the most awaited segment: food and fellowship. Over a yummy meal of Malaysian rice and curry, we discussed a variety of topics including Rotaract projects, current issues and how we can tackle them as Rotaractors. The fellowship was made even more special when DRR Rytha Lew, IPDRR Zen Tan and Rtn. Mok Shao Xian joined us in the conversations with their years of experience in Rotaract.
As the evening came to a close, “Mun kevum” from Sri Lanka were exchanged with “Gourmet salted egg yolk” from Singapore, and tokens representing Sri Lankan cultural heritage were exchanged with pin-on badges from RID 3310. A letter of gratitude bearing our logos was presented to Rtr. Jesse as a gesture of goodwill. We bid adieu to our beloved friends with the hope of meeting them in the near future for more exciting projects.
By Rtr. Rochelle Silva