What an experience! Four of our club members traveled to Hamburg in June where over 27.000 Rotarians and Rotaractors joined from across the globe to connect, exchange ideas, be inspired and attend the Rotary International Convention.
Personal highlights were the Rotaract PreConvention and that two Rotaractors received the highest honor possible from Rotary International for their commitment and contribution (Phoenix for doubling the number of Rotaract Clubs in her district and Paul for founding a Rotaract Club in a refugee camp).
We feel inspired by the program, ready to catch up on sleep from all the great parties, and can´t wait to see our new friends from across the globe again.
We know this sounds overly enthusiastic – but what can we say – feeling part of something global can be a powerful feeling.
So who´s planning on joining the convention next year in June in Honolulu, Hawaii?
PS: We were super excited that one of our own, ou president Nadia von Österreich, was in the program.
Why did you come to Rotaract? And what should our club life look and feel like when we look back in a year? These questions guided us in the official Kick-Off-Meeting of this Rotarian year 2018/19.
We took a look back at the foundations and the spirit of Rotaract and the Rotarian family and reflected how our club has filled the three pillars – Learn – Help – Celebrate – with life in the previous year. Looking ahead, we brainstormed our visions for the club and got inspired by the many ideas that our members and guests shared.
Ranging from supporting the local food bank (Tafel) with a Buy-One-More activity, or learning about bee-keeping as part of Rotaract Germany’s BeeAlive project, to raising funds along with our Rotarian partners club through e.g. the Adventskalender sale or the Hanau-24h-Run, we are already looking forward to a busy year – and there is more to come:
A recent presentation at Rotary Club Eschborn on CPR inspired us to start developing a Saving Lives social service project to teach people how to act in a medical emergency. Creative Time with Children in need sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon, doesn’t it? First contacts with local partners have already been established. Providing refugees a platform to share their stories and to further mutual understanding is the idea behind Untold Stories, a concept pitched by our guest Sonan. And, of course, a Rotaract Frankfurt/Main-International original concept, ROTARart CulturACT, the charity concert with performances by Rotaract members and friends first started in November 2017, may be back by popular demand. Stay tuned!
Doing good is the main driver for Rotaract. As an international club we wanted to organize an international project and the first location to do so was Romania.
After a thorough organization (getting in contact with the school and seeing what they needed, searching for donations in order to be able to acquire the needed materials or getting donations directly in the form of goods), eight members of the Frankfurt/Main-International club departed towards Romania. The journey started in Bucharest and, after a half-day trip through the Dobrogea region by car, we reached Murighiol. Here we had to load everything in a boat as Crisan, the place where the project took place, can only be reached in this manner.
After a boat trip full of thrills, a big scare, lots of rain and a thunderstorm on the night’s sky, we managed to reach our accommodation. We planned to visit the school the next day, but because of the rain we postponed the visit for 24 hours.
The school had 10 children enrolled in kindergarten, 13 elementary school children and 15 secondary school children. The classes were carried together for different grades because of the reduced numbers. The teachers were very dedicated and made sure that everyone got the attention they needed. We prepared backpacks filled with books, sweets and other materials for each of them and we had several donations for the school. We spend some time with the children and learnt about their everyday activities, we managed to break the ice and get past the languag
e barrier. The older children started the trend and then the younger ones also joined the discussion. They were in the middle of an ethics class before we arrived, discussing the values a ‘good person’ should have and it was a very nice lesson to re-learn the concepts through the eyes of the innocent.
We took advantage of the good weather and took several trips around the area, visiting the delta, the Letea forest, the old port of Sulina and we also went out on the Black Sea. Our visit to Romania ended with a two-days stay at the Black Sea, enjoying the beach, visiting Constanta and meeting new friends from the Rotaract and Interact Constanta.
All in all it was a humbling experience, giving a helping hand, discovering new places, meeting new people and spending time with the club members. We are looking forward to the 2017 edition.
The speaker Niels Loeb, chief designer of Adam Opel AG, held a very interesting presentation about one of the car that he worked on and gave us a detailed overview on the ADAM. Niels told us about two principals, on which ADAM is based: “Innovate and not imitate”!
There are 64000 combinations of ADAM that give Opel customers a choice to design their own car, which leads us to the conclusion that ADAM is all about personalization.
As we’ve already had a number of interesting presentations for the last period, a decision to spend one of the Monday’s evening at a nice place with tasty food and drinks in a great company wasn’t a bad idea at all.
It was indeed the first meeting in the history of our club, when we could try as many chocolate as we wanted to. Moreover, our guests and members had an opportunity to choose between the variety not only of dark, white and milk chocolate, but also of the latest innovation – caramel chocolate, which some people from our group found even better than the traditional ones.
The history of “Heller Pralinen ” was told by Christian Ruzicka – the owner of this chocolate business, who kindly explained us the way his manufactory works and gave us a chance to enjoy the taste of a well-qualified marzipan, nougat and even of raw cacao beans.
Susanne Bergsträßer (Senior Director of the BaFin) gave us a short introduction of the work as a securities supervision. The BaFin is a Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany. Before 1995, there was no such supervisory organization in Gernany and therefore People sometimes called it a “banana republic”.
This meeting was especially interesting for those, who are working in or studying business and finance. Nevertheless, some of our guests and members that are not related to these topics had an opportunity to learn more about it and had, of course, fun, while doing it.
Arthur Muguet presented to us a short summary of the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. This book deals with personal effectiveness. Here are seven habits of people that want to reach a high level of effectiveness: 1) Be proactive; 2) Begin with the end in mind; 3) Put first things first; 4) Think win/win; 5) Seek first to understand then to be understood; 6) Synergize; 7) Sharpen the saw.
With an idea to get to know each other better, we’ve split into two groups with the new member of the club in each of them. Each group had its own plan for this evening: one part our guests and members went to the bowling and had more active kind of fun, while another one spent a quiet evening in the Maingold Café.
Miruna told us about her journey to India and about her first and following impressions that she got there during two weeks. A great number of amazing photos were showed to us and we could only wonder what an incredible country it is. Moreover, some of our guests and members started thinking about spending their next vacation in India in order to plunge in its culture.
It’s official: we are not the youngest club in the district anymore! Yesterday, on October 18th, we celebrated the official founding charter of the Rotaract Club Schwalm-Eder. It was a really nice evening with, yes, again, delicious food, great conversations and awesome people. Thank you again to the RAC Schwalm-Eder for the invitation and we wish you a good start!
If you are ever in the area check out their homepage for more information.
The RAC Mainz invited us to join them for their traditional “Federweißer” meeting with Federweißer and Zwiebelkuchen… and this was an invitation we could not decline! So on October 6th 2014 a group of courageous members went to cross district borders to district 1860. Their courage was rewarded with a great evening: some glasses of delicious Federweißer, homemade Zwiebelkuchen and in general a lot of fun with new friends. 🙂
Thank you very much guys, we are already looking forward to next year…
On September 29th, we welcomed a high-ranking guest to our meeting: Constanze, former RDK (Rotaract German Committee) chairperson. With the advances of the IS in Iraq and Syria the topic of the evening could not have been more up-to-date. We learned to distinguish between ethno-nationalistic terrorism (e.g. ETA), social-revolutional terrorism (RAF) and religious motivated terrorism (such as Al-Qaida and their advanced brothers from IS).
Handkäs and Ebbelwoi are typical elements of the cuisine in Frankfurt/Hessia. Since we had never gone to a typical “Apfelweinkneipe” before it was about time we did and we truly had a wonderful evening.
On September 15th, we welcomed Tim to our meeting. Although he is German, he has been following American politics with a passion for years. Thus it was a logical conclusion to have him talk about the midterm elections in the US taking place on November 4th this year. It was a witty presentation full of facts and figures and we are excited to see what will happen in November…
… Then you should try “Tough Mudder”! On September 8th, Caro, president of the RAC Hanau, fascinated us in her presentation on one of the toughest hobbies a person can have. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh5HdPM_QuE