Truly inspired by local lifestyle, the adventurous 10 vow to imbibe the positive traits of the city, says P. SUJATHA VARMA
Everything about the city is so colourful and yet so cool. I am fascinated by the rich and vibrant shades of saris the women in Vijayawada use Emma All eager to be in the lap of Mother Nature, the group of 10 vivacious youth fixed their gaze on Bhavani Island, the striking landmass that lay perched on the pristine Krishna River. Undulating on the placid waters of the Krishna, they relished the hour-long cruise taking in those soothing sights of lush green fields in the distant horizon. Far away from home, on two ends of the globe - Brazil and Philippines - they were still at home in the warmth of Mother Nature. Despite cultural differences and geographical distances, they were together to know each other better. Sharing jokes and overcoming language barrier, they filled the air with their bubbly giggles and enlivened the surroundings. The delightful boat ride energised them and the spirit of camaraderie that existed between them became all too evident.
Feel good factor
Coming all the way from Brazil and Philippines for the Group Study Exchange programme of Rotary International, the youth amply demonstrated that the world was one and so were emotions, only the people were different. The GSE team adventurers included Emma M. Nava (leader of the team from Philippines), Abigail, Cristina J. Corona, Hazel P. Villa, Angelo H. Angolo (all from Philippines) and Luciana (leader of Brazil team), Paula, Flavia, Janine and Vanessa.Fascinated by the bright hues that the country stands out for, they were amazed at the strong bonds the closely-knit Indian families enjoyed. "Everything about the city is so colourful and yet so cool. I am fascinated by the rich and vibrant shades of saris that women of Vijayawada drape themselves in," observed an awe-struck Emma. Besotted with the clink of the glossy bangles, the matching bindi and the attractive anklets, the women in the team have bought themselves a huge collection. "I am in awe of the unity in diversity. I like Indian temples too," said Lopez Pereira, leader of the team from Brazil.Maria Cristina "Pinky" Corona from Philippines saw a lot of common things between India and her native land. Hazel P. Villa, a journalist working for The Philippine Daily, the largest circulated newspaper of the country, was impressed by the Indian hospitality.The members planned a lot more to bring in that pep, to add flavour to the monotony of life. Not willing to let such lovely experiences fade from their minds, they maintained a factual account of every momentous occasion of their stay.
"We're waking up to a new morning every day. The city is so full of activity," chuckled an excited Angolo, the only 'man' of the team.Sending out a profound message to the world, the Rotarians' visit to a foreign land was to insist that strong social ties boost well-being of mankind. Burying their blues, the GSE teams connected to their peers and were surprised to find how happy their hosts were to have them here. "Everything here is as unexpected as they are exciting. I am glad at this opportunity of moving outside the realm of our daily experiences to explore new horizons," remarked a spellbound Abigail from Zamboanga city in Philippines.Besides partying, shopping and savouring spicy delicacies, the bunch of enthusiasts learnt about serious things the fun way. They were unanimous in their opinion about the city - After all, who would not want to lift the veil of mystique surrounding a powerful city like Vijayawada?