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Memories of painting the shades of Earth…

“That was the moment I knew these people are gonna be my Rotaract besties”

This comment from one of my Rotaract besties made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside today.

The “moment” was from “Emergence ‘17”, the training program for the Board of Directors of Rotaract Alumni Mora 2017/18. We had been asked to write down a list of our strengths. With diverse strengths such as martial arts, punctuality (?), driving skills (??), stand-up comedy, gym skills (???) etc, it seemed that no team could ever match us. Indeed, we turned out to be the team which won everybody’s heart (but not the gold ???). It is just one of the sweet memories of a year which flew by.

It has been quite a while since the Immediate Past President of Rotaract Alumni Mora, Rtr. Himantha, asked me whether I would like to write a feature article for the blog about my memories of last year. Somehow the task simply eluded me; simply because there were so many memories worth recounting and condensing them to a single article was a challenge.

It was a journey of encountering different personalities. When I was called upon to serve as “Director- International Service” somewhere in early 2017, I barely knew my fellow board members, let alone Rotaractors from other countries. Thanks to the numerous events, after-parties and never-ending Messenger chats, my friend list has grown in leaps and bounds.  

It was a journey of creating memories. I will remember how I tried to communicate with an elderly Singaporean lady at a charity project organized by Rotaract Club of National University of Singapore. She didn’t know Sinhalese. I didn’t know Chinese (Duolingo isn’t exactly helpful with a native speaker). English wasn’t an option either. But we managed to communicate… I will remember how one little girl at a Children’s Home wanted me to hold her in my arms forever. It broke my heart to leave her; but I will always be reminded that there are so many less fortunate individuals who need our help. I will remember how one random Rotaractor asked me to dance at the Rotaract Ball. Having never been asked to dance before, I think I turned out to be a horrible dancing partner. Yet, it taught me the beauty of Rotaract camaraderie.  

It was a journey of painting the shades of Earth. Whether it was by planting a tree or striking up a twin club partnership, we contributed in our own way to a sustainable Earth. The journey was by no means easy. Yet it was worth the effort.

At the end of the day, the Rotaract year 2017/18 wasn’t about being “The Rotaractor of the Third Quarter of RID 3220” or a “Spirit of Service of RID 3220”. It wasn’t about winning the “Most Outstanding International Service Project (Gold award) or the Most Outstanding Special Project for Rotaract Golden Jubilee Celebrations (Silver award) for projects which were in the avenue I worked for. It wasn’t about being a member of a club which was one of the “Most Outstanding Clubs”. It was about the personalities I encountered, the memories we made, the hearts we touched, the spirit we maintained at Rotaract Alumni Mora family and the shades of Earth we managed to paint.

By Rtr. Rochelle Silva

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