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By Kalamalama staff


Both exchanges are part of “The Saga,” a program that gives disadvantaged children ages 8-17 a chance to experience a weeklong adventure.

Last year’s group of Hawaiian children were the first children from outside French Polynesia to be invited to this event. They participated in a luau, went sailing, played in a waterfall, surfed, snorkeled, scuba dived, and played with dolphins. (See Kalamalama vol. No. 27, issues no. 7 and 8, August 16 and Oct. 4, 2004.)

To complete the exchange, five Tahitian children will spend a week on O‘ahu doing such things as visiting a taro patch, a fishpond, the Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Cultural Center, taking a nature hike, and paddling.

“ This exchange will have a great impact, not only in the lives of the children from Tahiti but also in the lives of the children from O‘ahu who are attending,” said Katja Silverå, Rotaract District 5000 representative for 2004-2005 and former Kalamalama editor at large.

“ They will be able to make new friends, form new bonds, and practice their English language skills while sharing the uniqueness of each other’s cultures.”

Eight members of HPU’s Rotaract Club and one HPU Rotaract alumnus will join students from Chaminade’s Rotaract Club in hosting the Tahitian youth. “This is the first time in Rotaract history that an international exchange will be done on a university level,” said Silverå.

“ This is a chance for the students to experience another world and see what doors education can open,” said Steve Alexandre, the Tahiti Rotaract Club chaperone who will be escorting the Tahitian students. “We are thrilled to open up new avenues for these young adults and for Rotaract to be able to make a difference in the community both here, locally, and internationally.”

“ This trip embodies what Rotary and Rotaract stand for – ‘Service Above Self’,” said Silverå. “We are looking forward to building a sustainable relationship that will bring us a cultural exchange for many years to come.”

Rotaract is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, international volunteer service organization of students and young professional, ages 18-30, who believe they can make a difference in their communities and the world in which they live. Rotaract clubs provide an opportunity for young adults to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist members in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service. Rotaract clubs are a part of the Rotary International, a worldwide association of service-minded leading professionals, who through their global effort, look to bring peace and international understanding to the world. There are more than 7,000 Rotaract clubs worldwide with some 160,000 members. For more information on Rotaract, call (847) 866-3000 or visit rotary.org.

Rotarct club exchange students enjoying Tahiti. File photo.



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