Every beginning eventually comes to an end, no matter how sweet the journey. For me, being a Rotaractor and holding the position of the Director of the Professional Development Avenue enabled me to show a different side of me. I always wanted to join something, something which recreates me and polishes me to become a better version of myself. I honestly believe Rotaract helped me to achieve greater heights. It called for another beautiful journey with new personalities. In that light here is a brief account of my journey throughout these two years as a general member and then as a director.
I was at Gate 8 waiting for a ‘big birdy’ when Gethmi and Tharushika phoned me asking to join the Board of Directors (BOD) as the Professional Development Avenue Director. I was so happy at the same time a little confused because of the work load I had. But both Gethmi and Tharushika believed in my ability to take on this role. Seeing the beautiful combination within the BOD, I couldn’t say NO! My first thanks go out to our President Rtr. Gethmi Adhikari and Secretary Rtr. Tharushika Peelikumbura for nominating me and giving me this opportunity.
Everything that happened under the Professional Development (PD) Avenue was amazing and it has been a monumental year and I truly believe that this is one of the best years since the inception of the avenue. None of these successes would have been possible had it not been for all my PD kids. Thank you to everyone who chaired projects, who were in organizing committees, and supported in any way possible to make the avenue a success.
It all started with ‘Spread Grace’, which spread a lot of information to grace one’s life. We delved into etiquette and decorum in professional settings. Our second and the signature project was ‘Writing Clinic 3.0,’ which was indeed a success with a lot of smiles and tears which we hid. Third project; ‘Beyond the labels’ was a joint project with Rotaract Club of University of Colombo School of Computing. We were able to speak to an audience of 150+ successfully. The fourth and final project was ‘IGNITE’ with the AIESEC Community of the University of Colombo. In this project we arranged a leadership seminar for the newly appointed BOD. That was the PD avenue for this year in a nutshell. I believe those sweet memories and hard work will be a source of strength to achieve new heights and dreams in the following year.
There were moments where I felt down and depressed. One such example being our journey to Kandy for Writing Clinic 3.0. What does one really feel, when you travel outstation, (to be more precise 122.3 Km of distance) just to complete a project only to find no one there except your travel buddies from your end. I walked many times down the same corridor of Girls’ High school Kandy waiting and thinking when more participants will attend, while releasing my stress. My mind questioned me, “Did I ruin my EXCO’s expectations?” Additionally, I was lost for words trying to answer the incoming Co-Director of the PD Avenue – Abheetha’s same string questions, “Akki what we going to do now? Akka shall we postpone this? Akka everything will be alright just stay calm will you?” All this while I was guilty to look at Gethmi’s face who asked me, “Where are the kids Sarasi?” followed by an assuring, “okay no worries, don’t be upset, you did a great job this far buddy!” Adding on to this, Tharushika all the way from passport office called me several times asking for updates. This was a mammoth task at the end of the day and as evident from above, wholly stressful and frustrating. It is in these moments that you wish for support, which I’m grateful to have received from my crew and everyone who attended to help the avenue to support in some way or another. We were finally able to say, “DONE and DUSTED!”. This is just one story, the string of others that took place behind the scenes are more.
As a whole, I believe all the Directors and the Executive Committee worked immensely hard and raised the bar for the years to come. Thank you so much for all the love, support, and encouragement throughout the year. My humble gratitude goes out to my fellow avenue directors and to the EXCO members who supported me throughout. I deeply appreciate and acknowledge all your kindness and motivation.
I’d like to take this opportunity to write down a few words to my two kids who are going to work for Professional Development Avenue this year.
Dear Abheetha and Sandamini, this is a journey full of sweetness and it tastes a bit bitter sometimes. But believe in yourself. No matter what, just go for it and achieve it. Many more blessings for you two to continue on a beautiful journey, because I have seen your potential!
On the final note, all the best and thank you all once again, everyone. I will always be there a proud Rotaractor. In that vein, this is me, your annoying Professional Development director signing off one last time.
Rtr. Sarasi Adhikari
Director of the Professional Development Avenue
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