President David called the meeting to order at 12:30. After asking for cell phones to be silenced, President David led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Clara Montanez offered words of inspiration.

Secretary Lynn Holec announced the following guests:

Guests Rotarians:

Melvin Cook, President of Holobeam and guest of Abrahem Helal
Steve Genung, (who just submitted his membership application!) and guest of Joel Alpenstein
Dr. Christine Warnke from Hogan Lovells (also a membership applicant) and guest of Dr. Sam Hancock
Jim O’Keefe, Assistant Inspector General at Peace Corp and guest of Dick Pyle
Emily Lewis, Manager at the Jame’s Home Creations and guest of Josette Conell
Lenore Jacobs, retired from Federal Government and the guest of Lynn Holec and Clara Montanez
Diego Grajales, Consultant with Razer and son and guest of Memo Grajales
Tuya Mijiddorj, Master Tailor at Tuya’s Tailor and guest of Max Salas.

The following visiting Rotarians from abroad were introduced:

Alex Krem, Rotarian from Downtown Auckland Club, Auckland, New Zealand
Peter Barret, Rotarian from Honk Kong South Club, Hong Kong, China

The following visiting Rotarians from the United States:

Laura Joplin, Rotarian from Chico Club in California
Bernhard Galent, Rotarian from Dupont Circle Club

Sergeant-at Arms Peggy Schoen wished a happy birthday to the following members celebrating birthdays this week:

Lynn Holec – Sept 30
Marjorie Scott – Oct 2

For the Foundation Moment, President David encouraged Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation.

President David recognized Abe Helal for his Paul Harris achievement.

President David recognized Dr. Sam Hancock who will receive the prestigious Schlenz Public Education Award from the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international not-for-profit technical and educational water quality organization. The award will be presented during a ceremony at the organization’s 85th annual technical exhibition and conference this fall in New Orleans, La.

Our club now has an Interact Club, founded by students at the Washington International School. The club’s been chartered with nine members under the guidance of Quentin Wodon (who’s two daughters are among the charter members). They conducted their first fundraiser, a bake sale, this week, and are looking forward to more projects and fundraising, and to getting involved when they can in our club’s service projects.

President David announced the sad news that Rotarian Strong Legs Richardson passed away on Monday, October 1. There will be a memorial service the week of October 24. The details will be forwarded later.

Our Mardi Gras themed fundraiser is scheduled for February 9th. The committee still needs donations for the auction and volunteers for committees. Contact Laurie Husak.

RC Alexandria’s Fundraiser is this Friday, October 5 at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. “Taste of Giving” benefits their Foundation; tickets are $75 per person.

Happy Hour is this Thursday night from 6-7 p.m. at the University Club.

Mark Wilson made an announcement of Rotary Friendship Exchange with RC Edinburgh. Both clubs are celebrating their Centennial this year. The visit to Edinburgh is planned on June 3 – 7th and visit to DC on April 29 – May 3 of 2013. Mark encouraged Rotarians to host the visiting guests. The trip to Edinburgh promises to be extremely interesting for everybody: golfers, shoppers, art lovers and salmon fishers.

Erminia Scarcella introduced our speaker Ambassador Shankar P Sharma, Ambassador of Nepal. Dr. Shankar Sharma, has been Ambassador of Nepal to the United States for the last three years. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hawaii. He was Vice-Chairman of the National Commission, Nepal from 2002 to 2006. He also worked as a consultant to the Constitution Committee on “Distribution of Natural Resources, Economic Rights and Public Revenue” in helping to draft the new Constitution of Nepal.

Ambassador Sharma has an extensive experience in government, international institutions and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a Member in 1997, he worked as a senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal. He described Nepal as a beautiful country of 26 million people that, unfortunately, makes the world news when something unfortunate happens, like the death of nine Europeans in September 22nd in avalanche.

Ambassador Sharma concentrated on two topics: the political situation in Nepal and the relationship between Nepal and the United States.

Nepal has been a monarchy for many centuries.  The transition started during 1996 – 2006 when the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) started gaining its strength. In 2008, Maoist Party won the largest number of seats in the Constituent Assembly and formed a coalition government, which included most of the parties. The monarchy was abolished and Nepal became a Federal Republic. The leader of the Maoist Party is the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Nepal is a multiethnic country that is in the process of creating a Constitution. Dividing the country into provinces and naming them Dr. Sharma described as one of the complicated issues that the government is facing now.

Nepal and United States are celebrating its 61st anniversary of bilateral relationship. Over the last three years, the relationship has especially improved. US helped with terrorist group removal in Nepal. Nepal and United States are partners Trade and Investment Federation Agreement (TIFA). The permanent council will be established in 2013 for disaster management. The number of tourists from United States is the highest, followed by China and India.

Ambassador Sharma answered questions about the relationship between Nepal and China; environmental protection problems due to high number of tourists and receding of glaciers; the model of government.

President David presented the Tree Certificate to Ambassador Sharma.

The raffle was managed by Yoshiko Urakawa. The small pot was won by Nancy Riker, but she did not draw the Ace of Spades and the large pot will continue to grow.

Our greeter was Maria-Nelly Pavisich.

The hospitality table was managed by Balraj Gupta and Ted Hamady. Next week’s speaker is President David Klaus at the second quarter Club Assembly.

President David adjourned the meeting promptly at 1:30 p.m.