Sunday, February 13, 2011


So lately Rotary has been giving my girlfriend a very hard time and I am not the least bit pleased. I think there are a few things Rotary needs to understand, facts that I think should be obvious but apparently need explaining.

Now Rotary thinks it is necessary to explain to Michelle how the internet works. They are upset that she posts what she really thinks on this blog, and doesn't paint the truth with rainbows or coat it with sugar. What they fail to comprehend is that a dishonest blog may as well not exist. Readers do not come to blogs to read about happy lies; they come to read about other's lives. And despite what rotary may believe, we do not live in a fairy tale world where nothing bad ever happens. Life is full of the good and the bad. If someone comes here to learn what an exchange trip is honestly like, they want to know the pros and cons so they can make an educated decision. Honeyed lies may look nice, but they could mislead someone into making a life changing decision. Michelle is not going to bullshit her readers like Rotary expects her to. It is the responsibility of the reader, including Rotary, to understand that this blog is a glimpse into Michelle's most private thoughts.  To use this blog against her is cruel and a violation of trust.  Rotary needs to understand this, and to realize that they have no right to tell Michelle what she can and can't post on her blog.

Michelle should be able to rely on Rotary for support. Rotary claims to understand how exchange students feel, but they really don't. Instead of lending a helping hand when a student needs it, they respond with anger, threats, and insults. Oh and here's a tip Rotary; to take the word of people Michelle has hardly ever seen, or in some cases has never even met, over Michelle's own word isn't just disrespectful, it's down right disgraceful. Michelle is a damn good exchange student and I am disgusted by the way the Rotary program is treating her. Any problem she has ever had with Taiwan has never been with the people or the culture; it has always been Rotary.  You cannot possibly pretend to understand how Michelle feels day-to-day through the infrequent contact between you.  As soon as Rotary's spies see anything that they don't like, they get pissed and go on the attack. The correct response for any person of maturity is to address problems and try to ensure they do not happen again, not to punish to victimized party.

And how can they say she's not accepting Taiwanese culture? Have you been reading the same blog as everyone else? Do a little homework before you pass judgement based on the crooked tongues of people who don't even know who they are talking about.  Michelle eats the Taiwanese food, is trying hard to speak the language, and is learning the culture is many ways.  She spends time with Taiwanese people and works hard to communicate and learn from them.  She doesn't spend every night getting drunk and abusing the privileges of being in Taiwan.  In short she is trying very hard to be a good exchange student and Rotary needs to see past their veiled view and realize that.

I also don't appreciate how much time Rotary spends COA (covering one's ass), especially the part when they go into length to explain how any failed trip is the fault of the student, not the program. B.S. If the Rotary program feels it is necessary to send Michelle home early, then it should logically come only after they have done everything reasonably possible to help her trip be a success. But is that what they've done? HELL NO!! Rotary's "attempts to help" have consisted of threats and angry emails. Seriously people? I mean what is wrong with you? Get a sense of reality and stop abusing the woman I love.

And if any of you Rotarians that are spying on this account have a problem with what I've written here, please feel free to comment. I would just love to hear from you.


  1. I love what you did! : Matt Burgos$

  2. It's sweet that you're defending your girlfriend. You're right though, I'm not sure if you mean Rotary as in Rotary Taiwan, but generally Taiwanese people get offended x10000 by the tiniest complaint. I remember that just because I said I didn't like onions the world exploded. They expect uniform thinking, uniform dress, uniform everything - much different from Western education. But that's the way they are. They are the ones losing out if they send your girlfriend home. So screw them.

  3. We both appreciate your support Jane

  4. I was an exchange student in Taiwan a few years ago. And I had the same kind of problems. I didn't have a blog though but I got in trouble for saying the truth! And all the things you write about seem a lot like the experiences Rotary but me through. But I agree with Jane about the culture difference. You can't fight it as an exchange student though. I gave them what they wanted and then went back after the exchange year trying to show them who I really was.

  5. We go into Taiwan as ambassadors, many students forget that. It's not something to forget about. I'm not saying anyone should try to "change" anything. Only that the truth deserves to be out there so that people in the future will not be blind-sighted.

    Thank you for noting your experiences. It really helps the whole process.