The True Experience of Fellowship – An Eye Opening Trip to Mongolia
When I first joined Rotary, I have always been told by the senior members about The 4-Way Test and the importance of all the service projects, however, fellowship between Rotarians is a phrase that we often use in Rotary functions, newsletter, meetings, international visits etc. as well. The word fellowship is easy to understand but difficult to experience. A great smile, a solid hand shake, a big hug are our usual greeting manners throughout Rotary gatherings.
Throughout the Mongolian visit with DG Eugene, 20 fellow Rotarians from different clubs have also joined and their participation made the journey to Mongolia an unforgettable experience. I would like to share with you my humble thoughts on the true experience of fellowship.
I have participated in the Mongolian visit from 11th to 16th September 2013 consisting of 6 days and 5 nights. Normally this trip would have been a bit too much for anew president like me who is already working 12 hours in his day job plus a young family to look after (2 young children under 6). However, encouraged by the senior members, I have decided to have faith and make a promise to go. I was pulled out from my daily routine. The night before my wife seemed a bit uncertain about me taking 6 days off from our life together.
Anyway, I arrived safely at the airport. I was greeted by many great smiles from several new faces from other clubs. After some group photos, we hit the road of our journey. When we arrived at the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, we were again greeted by warm welcomes from RC clubs of Mongolia. We took the coach, hit the road, had lots of laughs. Then fruitful conversations began, and all new faces talked to each other like old friends, madejokes, discussed the trip to come. It was indeed very exciting. We then arrived at the dinner place hosted by the local clubs. We all enjoyed the good meal, lots of joy, old chaps hugging, new friends chatting. It was so much fun.
Then we proceeded to check in the hotel and woke up at 4am the next morning, took the 6am flight to Gobi Desert and arrived at the Southern Gobi. Once in therural area with blue sky, 5 jeeps were waiting for us. It was a really good arrangement. We immediately hit the road for our destination, the Camp(hotel) consisting of real Mongolian yurts, more blue sky, clean air, beautiful prairie, and lots of warm welcoming smile. The yurts was clean and acceptable, although only communalwashrooms were provided. It was quite fun nonetheless.
Most importantly, there were no Wi-Fi, only weak mobile signals. Back home, usually everyone would havehad their heads down into their smartphone all the time and now we all switched to having our heads up all the time for fruitful conversation between Rotarians. It was truly a great fellowship encounter for us.
During the days of mountain and valley visits, Gobi Desert, dinosaur relics, visiting nomad families and lots of laughs and jokes, meeting local Rotaract Clubs, we were all so pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm of being Rotaractors; and when it came to one of the biggest events of our trip, the Chartering Ceremony of a NewRotary Club in Mongolia “The Rotary Club of NOMT”, we had a wonderful banquet, wonderful performance, fruitful fellowships with Rotarians from all over the world. It was really unforgettable and an eye opening trip to experience.
Thanks for all the arrangement by DG Eugene and all participating Rotarians, I have enjoyed the most unforgettable trip in my life.
Yours in Rotary,
RC of Hong Kong Island East