Our speaker on Wednesday 25 November 2020 was Tina Mossman Wykes, who had spent a year in the USA, living with three families and going to school there when she was just 16 years old. Coming from Bombay/Mumbai, with a population in the order of 20 million (at that time), and arriving in Forest City, Iowa with a population of 4,000, was a bit of a shock. She was surprised that everyone in the town seemed to know who she was even before she was introduced!
By her own admission, her life in Mumbai had been privileged. Her life on the three farms in Iowa was less privileged in as much as she had to feed the pigs before going to school each day, and in the summer months there was corn and other crops to be picked.
She made her exchange through the Rotary Youth Exchange Programme, and with a father in Rotary, and a mother in Inner Wheel, she fitted in very quickly in the USA. She studied hard, graduated in the USA and went to the Prom, things that were not happening in India in those days.
This was a truly fascinating adventure, expertly told by a natural raconteur. Tina made it clear that Rotary Youth Exchange had been an important and memorable experience in her personal development. We thank our friends in the Rotary Club of Forest City for ensuring that there was such a positive experience to relate.