Below is a short biography for each of the four participants. Click "Read More" after Jake's piece to open the complete post, please. :)
JAKE - MALAYSIA
Member of Rotaract Club of Petaling Jaya, District 3300 for 4 years
Current and former positions and titles include: President, Vice President, and Treasurer
Currently a student pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Management under the Northwood University Program
Describes himself as confident, adventurous, and open-minded
Has traveled to: Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia
Why is it important to have cross cultural interactions and friendships? "I think it is very important because cross cultural interactions help people open up our minds to different perspectives. It allows us to learn a lot from different cultures which makes our lives richer. It helps us to be more creative in problem solving also in communicating. We now live in a very connected and globalized world, therefore it is very important that we create as many cross cultural interactions to help us communicate with all sorts of people in a global scale. This will help us learn faster and generally be a more knowledgeable person."
ASAWARI (ASA) - INDIA
Memeber of Rotaract Club of Mumbai Shivaji Park, District 3140 for nearly 7 years
Current and former positions and titles include: President, Partner in Service Director, International Service director, Entrepreneurship Development director, and Zonal coordinator
A Biology and Chemistry teacher by occupation
Participated in Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Australia, Greece, Indonesia, and Singapore Rotaract Roundtrips
Describes herself as outgoing, friendly, and adventurous.
If she could learn any skill instantaneously, she would "learn to cook in all sorts of weird conditions. This includes almost all living edible things, as it will help her survive in all parts of the world."
MARIANA (MARIA) - ROMANIA
Member of Rotaract Club Ripensis Timisoara, District 2241 for 2 years
She has been in charge of Marketing & Public Relations for Rotaract Club Ripensis Timisoara and Rotaract Club Oradea, both within District 2241
Product Marketing Manager by occupation
She has traveled to: France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Hungary
Describes herself as friendly, outgoing, and determined
If you could be anyone else, dead or alive, who would you be and why? "This is not an easy question, giving the fact that you never really know what happens in someone's life. If I could be someone, I would choose to be an explorer, for all the travel and new cultures discovered."
CHRIS - CANADA
Member of Rotaract Burnaby, District 5040 for 6 years and former member of Interact of New Westminister Secondary for 3 years
Rotaract Positions and titles include: Current PACE Cultural Exchange Program Creator/Coordinator & Adviser, Public Relations Manager / District Webmaster, District Secretary & Local Membership Director, Program Facilitator for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program – Rotary International, Vice President of Rotaract New Westminister
Currently works at U.S. Consulate General Vancouver as an Administrative Clerk
He has traveled to: Taiwan, Canada, USA, France, UK, Barbados, Mexico, Vietnam, Spain, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Belarus, Austria, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Finland, Singapore
Describes himself as energetic, humorous, and loyal
What has been your favorite project with Rotaract? "My favourite project with Rotaract has to be the Pacific Canadian Experience with Rotaract (PACE Trip). I personally drafted and brought the project proposal to my Rotaract club in 2011 after having experienced the warmth, humour, friendliness and passion of international Rotaractors in their local Rotaract clubs during my personal travels and I wanted to bring that passion for Rotaract back to Canada with me. My goal was to put my district and my province on the map and invite inspired andactively engaged international Rotaractors to come enjoy 10 days of cultural exchange and volunteer activities alongside local Rotaractors who did not have much international experience or idea of what it was like outside in other Rotaract cultures. Internally, I also saw this project as one that would bond clubs and Rotaractors in our district together, as my district was quite new and lacked cohesion at that point. Being that it was the first time a Rotaract cultural exchange program/trip of thismagnitude had been held in my district of 5040, and Canada, all the logistics and sponsorships took 8 months of coordination with a dedicated committee. We also partnered with two neighbouring districts to the east and west of us to provide a more well-rounded program. The first year of PACE (2011) saw lifelong friendships created, created memorable experiences for Rotaractors/Rotarians alike and was so successful, the project was renewed to be held annually. I chaired the planning committee a second year to a much improved program. This program has now seen 4 fantastic editions, and I cannot be prouder of the life it has taken on its own as a district project and as one that experienced and new Rotaract members look forward to organizing yearly."