Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
It is indeed a great honor and privilege for me to be part of this global family of peace seekers, and it is an experience that will be with me forever. I became more fulfilled when I heard from the Deputy Director of Rotary Peace Center, Dr. Vitoon the number from where only 48 applicants were eventually selected to attend this year’s sessions. I didn’t know who and what to meet during the program but was prepared and determined to confront whatever might want to stand in my path of becoming a catalyst for world peace. Three months seemed a very long time to be away from my family and profession, but something kept reminding me that “you cannot pour water from an empty cup….” Coincidentally, I got the confirmation of this on my first day in class through the quote written on the board by one of my new fellows! I immediately got to know during my first week at Chulalongkorn University that Rotary Peace Center (RPC), Chula is a stimulating environment where brigades of professional peacebuilders are continually being branded for well over a decade for the invaluable use of our World that is constantly in search of peace.
No matter the reason(s) behind the smiles on the faces of the Thai people in Bangkok, this truly is a perfect place to learn about Peace. Most of the people exude smiles making it difficult to believe the country has gone through so many military juntas in her socio-economic and political development. Truly a land of a thousand smiles Bangkok is. Food, food, and more food everywhere yet I am not seeing obese population among the people who are clearly balancing what they eat which in itself is healthy, with so many activities to keep in shape. The elderlies are also not left out as you see them in clusters shaping up doing various forms of simple exercises in dancing.
The weather here is hot but the environment is generally fine. Chulalongkorn University is an attraction in itself. The kind of development it has experienced in the past 40 years is unprecedented in adding value to the tourist center of Bangkok city and as a citadel of learning in Thailand.
Class 27 is an array of individuals of peace seekers with great experiences and expertise in many professions. Some 16 countries’ matured individuals meeting mainly in just one room to know more about how world peace can be made better in our time. The camaraderie enjoyed by fellows within and outside the class is exhilarating and relaxing. I am not sure many in the Class have had the luxury of such beautiful company and experiences in this fashion in their adult lives before Chula!
Gbenga Adeoye – Nigeria
Rotary Peace Fellow – Class 27