Friday, 26 February 2016

Rotaract New Zealand Roundtrip

Left to Right: Alina Kochling, Moez Yahia Bacha, Ozmara Santoyo, Aritra Ray, Yanet Rodriguez, Gabby Brand, Chiew Ee Kwong, Artem Axenov and Katharina Storck beside the Desert Road in National Park with Mt Ruapehu in the background
One year ago, a group of Rotaractors from New Zealand decided to make history.  We were going to host the first ever Rotaract New Zealand Roundtrip!
Now, this may sound like Greek to most people, so we'll give a brief explanation. A Roundtrip is a trip organised by Rotaractors of a host country for international Rotaractors. The focus of these trips is to foster global Rotaract ties, do community service and provide an authentic experience of the host country while facilitating international friendships.
After more than a year of planning and preparation, including hours of gruelling Skype meetings, on December 4, 2015, New Zealand Rotaract was ready to go! Our Rotaract delegates from Mexico, Malaysia, Germany, France and Australia arrived in Auckland, and we all embarked on a whirlwind journey through both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
We spent the next 16 days travelling along 3,000 km of scenic New Zealand roads, creating unforgettable memories, making lifelong friends, and at the end of it forming our own international Rotaract family. Over the course of the trip, we stayed in 10 cities*, did community projects in Wellington and Dunedin, and met dozens of amazing Rotarians. If we said the going was all easy, we would be lying, but that’s what kept it interesting!
Before anyone saw it coming, the trip was coming to a close. It was an emotional day for everyone when our little Rotaract family had to go our separate ways from Nelson. The past 16 days had kept us so busy in the present that no one had realised it would have to end at some point, and that we would have to say goodbye.  Thus with tears in our eyes, we boarded our flights to Auckland and Wellington to begin the journey home.
We went home with unforgettable memories, thousands of photographs, and lifelong friendships and connections - the true impact of which will resonate throughout all our individual Rotaract circles.
Rotaract New Zealand is ecstatic with the result of the inaugural Roundtrip, and we have already started planning our next one, tentatively for early 2017.  For further details, contact Artem Axenov via or +64 204 003 0372. 
So what are you waiting for? Come, jump into the Rotaract-wagon …
·       Footnote:  The Rotaract NZ Roundtrip included Auckland, Tauranga, Taupo, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Greymouth and Nelson.  

Words: Aritra Ray and Artem Axenov, Past District Rotaract Representatives, Districts 9920 and 9940 respectively