Rotary Youth Exchange in Action
by David Pine
There is a strongly held belief among Rotary people around the world that the Rotary Youth Exchange Programme is the most valuable activity that Rotary engages in. Having young people spend 12 months of their lives in a different country is Rotary’s way of promoting international peace and understanding. Since its inception, some 40,000 students from all over the world have taken part in the programme.
Plimmerton Rotary usually hosts one inbound, and sponsors one outbound, student every year. Right now the Club is honoured to host a remarkable fifteen year old young lady from Germany. Maike (pronounced “Mica”) Schrickel comes from a city called Kleve in north west Germany, not far from the border with the Netherlands. In her presentation to the club on 17th September 2013, Maike explained that Kleve is a city of some 50,000 inhabitants. The city’s focal point is the Castle Schwanenburg (“Swan Castle”), built in the year 1145. The swan is the emblem of Kleve.
Fluent in four languages (German, English, French and Dutch), Maike spoke of her “amazing parents” who are both doctors, and of her brother Lukas who is studying medicine in Hungary. Maike has a large group of friends back home. She loves spending time with them and enjoys holidays with family and friends.
The school system in Germany is broadly similar to ours in New Zealand although Maike, who is attending Aotea College during her year in Porirua, noted that one distinct advantage of German schools was that “there are no school uniforms!” Meike had been keen to visit New Zealand because she had heard about our beautiful scenery and friendly people. “I want to experience the differences between the New Zealand and German ways of life and to understand another culture. Also, I would like to travel around New Zealand, improve my English, and have lots of new experiences. Her to-do list includes skiing, diving, surfing, sleeping on a boat, and spotting some whales and dolphins.
“I am very keen to see the All Blacks play rugby and I would like to be able to do this while I am here. I hope I will to gain a good understanding of New Zealand culture. Above all though, I want to find myself.” It was obvious to members of the club that Maike was already well on her way to achieving the latter goal.
Introduction of Rob Tinney. Rob is a long-time Plimmerton resident who, as a competitive sailor and involved in coaching and running regattas, is now a life member of the Plimmerton Yacht Club. He is also a member of the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade. Welcome to Rob & Janice Tinney.
The July Inner Wheel newsletter is now up on the website, so click on the link for Inner Wheel news and information.