Rotary Youth Exchange gave me hope for peace

By Rotary International

Kate Roff

Kate Roff

By Kate Roff, a former Rotary Youth Exchange student

Being lost in the middle of the bustling, hazy, city of Bangkok, Thailand, is not ideal for a 17-year-old Australian girl. But, it was a moment that changed my life.

I was on Rotary Youth Exchange and despite excellent instructions from my caring host-family; I had no idea how the intricate bus system worked, and hadn’t mastered the language yet to ask. After boarding the wrong bus for the third time, a young student calmly stood up, took me by the arm and walked me miles down the road to the right stop. She spoke little English, but waited patiently until my bus arrived and told the driver my destination. It must have added a full hour to her day, and she wanted nothing in return – just to help a stranger.

A bustling, hazy, street scene in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by Joe Powers

I was shocked. I had never encountered such kindness. That was one of many moments I was humbled by the generosity of the Thai people during my exchange year, and something that I hold up as proof of genuine compassion in the world.

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Source:: Rotary International Blog

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