Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

ROTARY

Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self.

District 6270 encompasses Rotary clubs from around Southeastern Wisconsin, the largest being the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Inc. There is a great Rotary presence in the Milwaukee area thanks to this club, I am so grateful to the Rotarians for choosing to support me as their Ambassadorial Scholar for 2012-2013. From the Milwaukee Rotary Club website,

“Each Tuesday Milwaukee’s business, professional and community leaders come together at the War Memorial Center for lunch to listen and learn about the key issues affecting our community–the largest weekly gathering in the metro Milwaukee area.

Members of The Rotary Club of Milwaukee are part of a worldwide network of over 1.2 million men and women who make a difference in the lives of people in their communities and around the world.  Rotarians work together to find solutions for issues of poverty, illiteracy, clean water, environmental improvement, hunger, disease and many more.

Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Milwaukee:

  • Make a difference in Milwaukee and around the world.
  • Are part of team doing hands on service opportunities to a variety of local organizations
  • Have the chance to be part of the global effort to make a polio free world
  • Support youth exchange programs here and abroad

Each year the club gives about $150,000 to the community and projects in developing countries.  Many important local institutions came about through the inspiration and enterprise of this club’s members including the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Children’s Health Education Center, Second Harvest of Wisconsin, the Marcus Center for the Performing Art and more.  As part of an international organization, we regularly support student exchange and scholarships for international study and provide support to self-sustaining projects in Third World countries. Today, we are considering support of a water treatment and bottling project in Tanzania.”

It is clear that the Rotarians have been making a real change in Milwaukee and abroad. For more information about District 6270, click here.

If you are unfamiliar with the Rotary International organization or would like more information on how to join a Rotary club in your area, please feel free to check out their website.

AMBASSADORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship was around for decades and allowed thousands of students to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies abroad while integrating service into their daily lives. However, Rotary has decided to change this program. The reasons for this change are still unclear and now there are different grants available. I do not personally support this change because I think the Ambassadorial Scholarship was extremely effective at reaching its goals and provided wonderful experiences for students over decades and decades. But all good things must come to an end, so they say. (These views represent my own personal opinions and may not reflect the position of the Rotary Foundation, District 6270 or the Milwaukee Rotary Club)

SALTA, ARGENTINA

For eleven months I called Salta, Argentina “home.” It’s a wonderful city in Northwestern Argentina and here’s a little information about it!

Population: 535,303

Founded: April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima, Perú and Buenos Aires.

History: (From Lonely Planet) Founded in 1582, Salta lies in a basin surrounded by verdant peaks. This valley’s perpetual spring attracted the Spaniards, who could pasture their animals in the surrounding countryside and produce crops that it was not possible to grow in the frigid Bolivian highlands, where the mining industry created enormous demand for hides, mules and food. When the extension of the Belgrano railroad made it feasible to market sugar to the immigrant cities of the pampas, the city recovered slightly from its 19th-century decline. In recent years, growth has been rapid, as numerous families have settled here in search of work, fleeing the economic conditions in rural areas.

Nickname: Salta la Linda (“Salta the beautiful”)

Origin of the Name: Debated. It can be the name of an Indian tribe, the “Saltas”; or “salla ta” that means “crag-place”; or “sagtay”, in quechua “meeting of the outstanding”, or, the preferred meaning, “sagta”, “very beautiful” in the language aymara. I’m going to stick with very beautiful :)

Climate, Seasons, and Weather: Summers (December-March) are warm with frequent thunderstorms and daytime highs around 79 to 82, with pleasant, refreshing nights around 59 to 61. Fall (April-June) brings dry weather, pleasant days at around 71 and cool nights at around 50. By winter (June-August), the dryness is extreme, with very few rain episodes. Nights are quite cold at 37 on average, but daytime heating allows for high temperatures of 66. Snow is rare but not unprecedented, and frost is quite common. Spring (September-November) brings sunny weather with warm days and cool nights: days range from 77 to 82 with nights between 50 and 57.

Culture: Salta is probably the most Spanish city in Argentina by physical appearance: so much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucía. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non-indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity.

Travel: Salta won the Traveler’s Choice Award in 2012 from Tripadvisor. According to Lonely Planet, “Sophisticated Salta is many travelers’ favorite, smoothing ruffled psyches with its profusion of services, engaging active minds with its outstanding museums, and lighting romantic candles with its plaza-side cafés and the live música folklórica of its popular peñas. It offers the facilities of a large town, retains the comfortable vibe of a smaller place, and preserves more colonial architecture than most places in Argentina.”

LA UNSA

La Universidad Nacional de Salta is an Argentine public national university in Salta. It was founded on 11 May 1972 as a part of the Plan Taquini, a reorganization plan for education. It has around 20,000 students.

There are six colleges, or “facultades” – economics, science, humanities, engineering, natural sciences, and health sciences. No surprise, I will be studying within in the college of humanities. This college is like the “arts” side of College of Arts and Sciences at Marquette, and offers undergraduate degrees in education, history, language, anthropology, communication, and philosophy.

I was pursuing graduate studies in the Maestría en Ciencias del Lenguaje, or Master’s Degree in Language Sciences (basically like Language Acquisition). To be completely honest, my experience at the university was horrible and I learned very little over eleven months of graduate coursework. But luckily I had a wonderful experience overall and I’m not about to let a bad program get me down!

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