2005 Siberian Rotaract Youth Forum

John Pile Jr presents to a group of Siberian Rotaractors about the organization in Alaska.

John Pile Jr presents to a group of Siberian Rotaractors about the organization in Alaska.

As club president, in 2005 I was asked to represent the Aurora Borealis Rotaract Club at a meeting with the newly formed clubs of Eastern Russia. The program included three weeks of training and cultural exchange in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Barnaul (as well of plenty of hiking around Lake Baikal and a two-day ride along the trans-Siberian Railroad.

For a week of the trip I worked with 100 Russian young-adults deep in the Altai mountains of Siberia on global studies simulation. Other participants came from all parts of Siberia, many travelling thousands of miles as well. The district covered 11 time zones.

Interesting note: because transportation between Alaska and Siberia is difficult and expensive, it was cheaper to fly the “long way round”: Fairbanks -> Seattle -> Moscow -> Irkutsk

The Rotaract district meeting took place outside Barnaul, Russia.  (In 2005, the Rotary District included Alaska, the Yukon Territory in Canada, and all of Russia east of the Ural Mountains.)

The Rotaract district meeting took place outside Barnaul, Russia. (In 2005, the Rotary District included Alaska, the Yukon Territory in Canada, and all of Russia east of the Ural Mountains.)