Jeremiah Weintraub

 India

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
School: Shorecrest
Sponsor District : District 6950
Sponsor Club: Saint Petersburg, Florida
Host District: 3141
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Mumbai


My Bio


In describing major roles I play in life, I would name friend, son, brother, grandson, pet owner, teammate, and fan. As a friend, I am that one who always has a joke or funny story to share and adds laughter to our group. I love visiting my friends’ families and having them over to my house too. When my family moved from West Virginia to Florida before my junior year, I was able to make new friends pretty quickly due to the welcoming atmosphere at my new school and my bright outlook. I am hopeful that spirit will earn me many new friendships in India. I live in beautiful, sunny Saint Petersburg, Florida with my parents, my 15-year-old sister, an exchange brother from Taiwan, and three orange cats. We moved here to be close to my elderly grandmother and her partner as we knew they would benefit from our help. I love family gatherings, especially with my large extended family in West Virginia. I will miss them all while I’m abroad, but I look forward to seeing how families live and play in another culture. It would be a huge bonus if my Indian host families have pets and/or babies. I enjoy playing sports, especially football and basketball, but I’m up for learning new sports too. I know that cricket is the #1 sport in India; I’ve got to learn about it. I love watching college and professional sports too. My favorites are: West Virginia University football and basketball, the New England Patriots, the New York Mets, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Occasionally, I’ve been lucky to get to go to games live, but usually I watch on TV. I also am the Commissioner of our family's Fantasy Football League, which is a real chore considering the varied personalities.

Take a camel ride, they said

Take a camel ride, they said

Having a little fun at the Taj Mahal. (Couldn't resist)

Having a little fun at the Taj Mahal. (Couldn't resist)

Pet the elephant, they said

Pet the elephant, they said

We turbaned exchange students showing respect.

We turbaned exchange students showing respect.

Lord Ganesh! The remover of obstacles

Lord Ganesh! The remover of obstacles

The Taj Mahal! What a priviledge to have visited this wonder.

The Taj Mahal! What a priviledge to have visited this wonder.

Chalo Boys: Rotary Exchange Students Extraordinaire

Chalo Boys: Rotary Exchange Students Extraordinaire

Rotary Exchange Students after our dance show -- a greater group you couldn't find

Rotary Exchange Students after our dance show -- a greater group you couldn't find

My friends from all corners of the globe

My friends from all corners of the globe

My wonderful second host family - delicious food and great conversation every day

My wonderful second host family - delicious food and great conversation every day

My wonderful first host family ~ met me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT - upon my arrival to India

My wonderful first host family ~ met me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT - upon my arrival to India

Chalo Boys - a photo opp with elephant dung. Always a crowd pleaser.

Chalo Boys - a photo opp with elephant dung. Always a crowd pleaser.

Chalo Boys at the Taj Mahal

Chalo Boys at the Taj Mahal

Chalo Boys fun at the Holi Festival

Chalo Boys fun at the Holi Festival

Journals: Jeremiah-India Blog 2017-18

  • Jeremiah, Outbound to India

    One's mother tongue is Spanish, the other's is Danish, and the third's is French. I speak English. Yet we are brothers.

    I figured I would make great friends during my exchange year, but I never expected to create the type of bonds I have developed with the Chalo Boys. "Chalo" mean's "Let's go" in Hindi and our gang of four -- the Chalo Boys -- are always on the go and up for anything. Poncho of Mexico, Andreas of Denmark, and Amaury of Belgium, and Jeremiah of the the US -- the Chalo Boys.

    As for language, I have learned that it doesn't matter where we come from or what language we speak, we are all capable of loving each other.

    I feel strongly that the most important part of my exchange has been the connections I have made with others... my dear host family members, my fellow students at school, all the great adults in the Rotary Club of Mumbain. But forever holding a special place in my heart will be the other exchange students from all over the world. Our bonds are strong.

    I am amazed by the idea that, in the future, I will be able to go almost anywhere in the world and have a great friend waiting for me -- someone who also shared this exchange adventure in India.

    I also have been extremely lucky with both host families I have stayed with. In the first family I had two host brothers, one 18 and the other 14, who I became extremely close with. When my older host brother, Kabir, left for his exchange in Italy I really felt my brother was leaving. He did so much for me such as show me how to get around the city and introduce me to his friends. However, after he left I started to get very close with my younger host brother Divyum. I would do things like help him with his homework and play soccer with him and his friends. My first host mom helped me so much with completing all the formalities necessary to be in Índia and she also let me host small get together with the other exchange students so we could get to know each other better. When leaving for my second host family we were all holding back tears.

    My second host family is very different but equally as great. My host parents have two children but their son, Aryan, is on exchange in Spain and their daughter, Namrata, was studying acting in New York for the first two months I was at their house. I was worried because I relied on my host siblings so much in my first host family, but my concern quickly disappeared because my host parents are so nice with me and we enjoy talking to each other. For example, I am not a huge fan of some very popular Indian dishes so when my family has those dishes for dinner my host mom will make me something she knows I like.

    I love all my host family members and will be so sad to say good bye.

    I know that saying goodbye to these people who have done and mean so much to me will be extremely hard but the fact that I know we will see each other again all around the world puts a smile on my face.

    Click HERE to read more about Jeremiah and all his blogs

  • Jeremiah, Outbound to India

    The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world but for me, the real wonder has been this Rotary Youth exchange program.

    Everything that has happened this year has helped me grow up and mature so much. Being on my own away from my family, making many of my own decisions, handling my own money, traveling to so many interesting places, being in a huge metropolis, encountering new people every single day. My list of growth opportunities goes on and on. But perhaps one of the things that has pushed my development the most, especially the development of my world view, is is the fact that I came to India -- such an amazing nation and so very different country from my homeland.

    India is very different then my home in Florida in a lot of aspects. First of all, the huge crowds in Mumbai. They say the population 22.5 million of those they can count; but everyone acknowledges there are far more people flying under the radar of the census takers. The congestion and density is different than anything I had ever experienced before. After learning how to navigate the crowded trains (and by crowded I mean I have to push the crowd in to make a space for myself), I am confident that I will be able to use any public transportation anywhere in the world. Secondly, the diversity here in India is incredible. Diverse because there are so many different religions, cultures, languages, foods, and festivals. I have been able to enjoy everything that's come my way. The festivals, especially, are such fun and most of them are unique to India.

    One of the trips Rotary Youth Exchange in India offers is a north India tour, from which I just returned. On this amazing adventure, I experienced a variety of cultures first hand. In Amritsar, a walled old town, for example, I saw a large population of Sikh people whose heads must be covered in dastaars, or turbans. This headgear is associated with Sikhism and is an important part of the Sikh culture. Among the Sikhs, the dastaar is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. It's an important part of the unique Sikh identity. When I needed help tying my own turban in order to see the Golden Temple, several people were more than happy to help. It's fun when strangers jump in to the experience! The gilded Golden Temple is the holiest religious complex of the Sikh religion and I was privileged to have experienced it. When we visited another city, Dharamshala a hillside city that's home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile, we got a great look at Tibetan culture.

    I could go on and on about my Rotary Exchange experience but it’s so much better if you experience it yourself. So, if you are a high school student considering going on exchange, my advice would be to just do it. It will be the best year of your life.

    Click HERE to read more about Jeremiah and all his blogs

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