Posted by Edwin Bos - District Governor
As I've traveled around the District this year I've been telling a story about a Girl From Nepal and I've tried to blend her story into some of the bigger themes of Rotary. 
 
In March I visited with the esteemed members of the Wisconsin Dells Rotary Club and then ... COVID.  Plans to spend three April weeks in La Crosse and Marshfield had to be scraped. 
 
How to make a virtual Zoom visit somewhat more compelling than 20 minutes of talking Ed head.  The answer?  Speed up the development of a video originally planned for RotaryFest premier!  Enjoy the video; the next chapter will be revealed at virtual RotaryFest ... the Girl from Nepal will be there; no matter where she is or where you are!
 
 
.... and how a group of Rotarians from District 6250 went on a Rotary Friendship Exchange that ... read more.
 
morphed into a whole lot more.  When we left for Nepal in 2016 none of us thought that for the next four years, we’d be closely collaborating with a young girl, now a young woman, on what she and we called our “Mutual Rotary Project” through all those years.
 
One small story in a Rotary world full of stories.  I’ve spoken a lot this year about the Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary.  The story I just told is a great example.  A group of people with very limited means open a tool and start a Rotary Club in an extremely remote part of the world.  Then they open the Rotary Friendship Exchange tool and ask the world to come visit.  The Rotary Youth Exchange tool is opened by a group of Americans and used in an unusual way.  Isha opened the Interact tool and used it to rally her school and to accomplish good in some of the same remote villages the Americans had visited. 
 
What’s fundamentally remarkable about Rotary is that not one of these people needed or asked for permission to use the Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary.  They just saw a use for it, pulled it out of their pocket, opened the tool they needed, made the tool their own and set to work.  Rotary is a totally bottom up organization … all of us need to remember that Rotary’s signature project … the fight to eradicate polio; started in 1979 as a single idea from a single person, in a single Rotary club in the Philippines.  So, don’t wait for a big initiative to come down to you from Rotary International … it’s never going to happen … the next big initiative and the next small initiative will come from you or Rotarian just like you.
 
What makes the Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary even more useful is that Rotarians around the world are all heading in the same basic direction … all 1.2 million of us are trying to do positive things.  Isha is in Wisconsin today because close to 50 Rotarians, from all over the world, without meeting or talking or even knowing each other saw that something was fundamentally good and pulled together to provide one girl with an opportunity.
 
My message today is simple.  Everyone of us has a Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary.  Use it … don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for a budget, don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do.  Use it on your own, use it with a group of fellow Rotarians, use it with a group of Rotarians from other clubs who share your passion.  Use it to create your own Rotary stories.