PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - Laine Kohama, President 2015-2016
Aloha Rotary E-Club members and fellow Rotarians!
The one thing, well there are many things that are great about Rotary, but one of my favorite things to do is to attend the fundraisers. It’s where we all sit down and have a great time enjoying the event, food, and friendship. This month I was able to attend the sold out, Ala Moana Club’s Crab Fest Fundraiser. It was wonderful to see PE Capsun and his lovely wife Linh helping out, with Kama and his wife, and our newest member Samantha!
The event started off with me getting help from one of the pageant Queens in the parking lot. We got to catch up on how she got involved in helping out the Ala Moana Rotary club, and how Rotary has helped her, and others with scholarships. After my fantastic new friend dropped me off at the event, I was greeted by Mary Ann Berry. It’s always so wonderful to see her.
From there I was able to go to the silent auction and check out all the fun things they had in there. It was great to see Charlene (our Districts' Polio champion), selling one of her mugs. She modeled one for me in the pictures below. From there it was seeing all my Rotarian friends and making some new ones.
There were reserved seating for us and I was next to Jamie and Sam Apuna. It’s great to see my President classmate Jamie from the East Honolulu Club. There were more folks on the table and we all got to talk story and get to know each other. There was a lot of food. It started out with the salad, chowder, and taro rolls. From there it was the main course with a huge crab (all you can eat), with potatoes and corn on the cob. Also, my friend Roger from the Ala Moana club was bringing me tons of Japanese beer and sake. Next year I’m going to purchase an option to pay for BYOB.
Our DG Del and the lovely Diana was there to honor a special fire fighter that was named City and County employee of the year. Once upon a time I was going to be a fire fighter, and I currently have a fire science degree, but that’s for another day. The brave men and women who are firefighters have my respect and support always. It dawned on me which is why Rotary is in my being. One of the main reasons to wanting to be a firefighter was the ability to help people, and touch their lives. Rotary has given me that vehicle where we can help people, and touch the lives of people in our local community, all the way to our global community.
I’m hoping that you’ll all join us next year for the Ala Moana Crab Fest fundraiser. Upcoming is our District Assembly on April 23rd and Mahalo to our members (Biz, Capsun, Courtlin, and Garry) who will be there, but also helping with the SAA duties. As the District SAA I’m going to be where ever they need me. They expect about 200 Rotarians to come to the assembly so it’s going to be an awesome time. I’ll leave yo with a quote, "“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Speaker: A Bridge Over Peaceful Waters
By Christina Welch, Rotary Scholar to UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
As I pedaled my newly acquired bicycle through the streets of Delft, in the Netherlands, I realized I was smiling to myself. Navigating through the cobblestone streets and over the canals felt nothing like home, yet I was so grateful to be here.
This bicycle is on loan from Paul Gompen, a fellow Rotary member. I didn’t realize being a beneficiary of the global grant meant so much more than simply a scholarship. It became immediately clear upon my arrival that I am now a part of an international network of wonderful people that are willing to help in whatever way they can, at the drop of a hat. For example, when I arrived in the Netherlands after a long international flight, it was such a relief to find Henk Jaap Kloosterman, my host counselor, waiting in the airport to ease the transition into Dutch culture.
I am among the first class of graduate students in the newly created Water Cooperation and Peace master’s program. This joint program takes place in three leading international institutions: University for Peace in Costa Rica, UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands, and Oregon State University in Oregon, USA. The program is designed to create a new interdisciplinary field by merging hard water science with social science. The main goal is to create a broader perspective of topics related to water diplomacy, water security, and dispute mitigation.
I didn’t realize being a beneficiary of the global grant meant so much more than simply a scholarship.
Coming from an environmental science background, I am highly motivated to apply my scientific knowledge of ecosystems and climate change to tackle these issues on an international scale. Specifically, trans-boundary water mediation is arguably one of the most critical issues today in managing our water resource.
In the past six months, between the University for Peace and UNESCO-IHE, I have met students from over 60 different countries. Discussing water accessibility, political issues, and primary water security concerns with such an international group of working professionals has been one of the most enlightening experiences, and has really put into perspective how fortunate I am to be coming from a country with access to relatively safe drinking water right from the tap.
This global grant has quite literally been the opportunity of a lifetime at a pivotal time in my career. At UNESCO-IHE, I am being trained by leading professionals in the fields of water: economics, law, governance, management, and conflict mediation. The concepts and lessons I am learning here are providing building blocks for my future career. I feel so fortunate to be receiving such a high-quality education. Yet none of this would be feasible without the help of Rotary as a whole. Additionally, I would like to individually thank Rotarians Stephen Brown and Pam Russell for their tireless work on my behalf to help make my dream a reality. I have a feeling I am going to continue to smile every day as I pedal through the streets of Delft.
Learn how to apply for a UNESCO-IHE scholarship
By Ray Paler
Check out these referenced links for more information on Rotary and various services.
The Rotary Foundation
Increasing Sustainable Service
TRF Funding Model
Areas of Focus
Basic Education & Literacy
Disease Prevention & Treatment
Economic & Community Development
Maternal & Child Health
Water & Sanitation
Women in Rotary
Rotary E-Club of Hawaii Upcoming Events
D5000 Spring Assembly - April 23, 2016
Spring 2016 Assembly
Our new "Project & Partner Roundtable" is bringing in experts and local/island-specific contacts in the fields of:
Have you been searching fro a new project? This is a great way to find out how Rotary can be of assistance in our own backyards! Come find out what critical needs exist in your community - and what we can do to help.
There will also be breakout sessions built for Rotarians at every level. They include:
Club Events & Fundraising
Club Strategic Planning
Rotary Grants (DDF & Global)
Having Fun in Rotary
International Service Opportunities
Leadership Through Service
National Immunization Day (NID) Highlights
Public Image and Communications
Rotary International Foundation
Rotary History 101
President-Elect (2017-18) Breakout
Secretary/Treasurer (2016-17) Breakout
REGISTER ONLINE TODAY at: http://bit.ly/D5000Assembly
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