(young peer group of various nationalities)
It was in 1980 when a total number of 60 or more Rotary International ambassadorial scholars from the world got together at Georgia Southern College in Georgia, US. It was for an orientation for us to get prepared for the following school year to fulfill an ambassadorial task as well as an academic purpose. Two months was long enough to develop our life-long friendships. We shared lots of time with studying and attending activities prepared by the Rotary. We were much concerned about why we were there. We had enough time to talk about various topics such as our own concerns, country, culture, politics, academic interests and so many. We were just so frank to expose ourselves into a unique community and eager to understand the differences.
Of all my close friends, including me, none of us applied to the same universities in the US. It meant we would have little chance to meet again. That brought us about a desperate moment of good-bye at a municipal airport while carrying a large luggage and going through a gate for each destination in the US at the end of summer.
If Apple or Windows had been there with us those days, it would not have been such a sad farewell. I think they arrived in a society a little bit late for us.
Since then, many had failed to keep in touch with one another except one or two.
Now this is what happened last fall. Owing to Facebook, we were united again! It was really amazing and dramatic. The only thing to do was that you just type out a friend's name in a friend search box. Then, look what you got there. Like we drew a fishing net, we found out familiar faces one after another. Sometimes we had to ask others in the Internet whether a profile picture we saw was exactly the one we had been looking for. Yes, it has been 30 years. It sometimes was not easy to tell. But most of the time, this kind of anticipation turned to be a big scream of joy at a computer screen. "Bingo! We got you!"
This way, now we had 17 members in our Facebook group all from different continents on earth.
(right click to open this in a new window for a larger image)
We're now seriously thinking of the whole reunion in person somewhere in the world not on Facebook anymore . In a timely fashion, in May, the Rotary International will have the International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Ahead of the main conference there will be also the Rotary Alumni Meeting for granted students. It would be nice if some of them can get together during the event. Yet, taking the mileage indicator into consideration, Bangkok might be too far for some of us. The choices are Argentine, Belgian, Brazil, Egypt, Finland, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico,Thailand and USA. Wow! I don't have any idea.