Friday, March 12, 2010

A Farewell to the Volunteers from our Mexico Host

Farewell Global Volunteers!

This is mainly just a thank you speech from us, teachers to you Global volunteers.

We always appreciate what you do for our students, and believe me… they might not say it but they appreciate it too.

I specially would like to mention a couple of things that make me feel personally very happy and satisfied about your visit.

One of them is that our students, once they have had the opportunity to meet you and talk to you, have a feeling that what they have been learning through all these months or years is blooming and have the feeling of fulfillment now that they have seen communication for them is possible with an English speaking native.

Another is the great experience that you have shared with all of us teachers, which leaves a deep mark in our hearts because we learn a lot from you, and I hope I don’t just speak for myself; because you are teachers of life, because you have traveled all over and that sharing with everyone changes minds, perceptions, and attitudes on people towards our fellows.

I had the chance to have some of you working with my students and you are really amazing people. I specially want to thank your availability to spend time with the students even when you were having lunch, and I know some of you even brought your own snack so you could spend more time with them.

When you guys are in our facilities, the environment is different; people in some ways are better, more open, more accessible… I think there’s no science that can explain that. I call it love, love to what you do and to life itself. I think is will, will to be, will to live, will to be better and greater. I personally think that makes a great difference in the world.

These are supreme feelings and from the deep of my heart I thank you all for letting me be part of it and I hope, one day I will be able to do something like what you do, Then, the world would be better if we all could change that bit.

Juan Luis

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Good Life in Queretaro - La Buena Vida

1. Plazas....large, small, pockets... families, dancing, fountains, music, balloons, and people watching

2 Shopping...treasures found behind doors in beautiful courtyards, kiosks on Liberdad, shops on Cinco de Mayo - and don't forget the opals

3. Restaurants...cafes...bakeries - Mexican, Italian, Continental - all individual and unique with terrific food

4. Weather - it's March....warm sunny days and very cool nights - great for sleeping after busy days

5. Ice cream!!!! in every flavor and on every block - mango moon, penon, tequilla chile. Tepoznieues - the best - recommended by the students.

6. and or Magnum lovers - "ice cream bars on steroids" are found everywhere!!!!

7. Driving ....and pedestrians, one way streets, a few lights and THE most courteous drivers I've ever seen....someone is sure to stop-no matter where you cross the street!

By Pat

Monday, March 1, 2010

How do I love Quertaro...let ME count the ways

I have been asked why I like to lead Global Volunteer teams to Queretaro. It is a very easy question for me to answer. I would like to borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her "Sonnets from the Portuguese" where she writes "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." I shall take the liberty of asking "How do I love Quertaro...let ME count the ways." SO...let me begin.....!!!! I love UTEQ....our hosts that make us feel welcome....and make it easy for me to provide our volunteers with the best experience possible in working with the teachers and the students. I love the campus we walk through with the interesting landscape and varieties of cactus. I love the students who eagerly wait to meet the new practice their English and make new friends. I love to see the informal "teaching/sharing/chatting" that goes on between a "gaggle" of students and volunteers as they sit at picnic tables near the cafeteria. I love hearing the laughter that goes on during these chats....the demonstrations of dancing by the students....and sometimes the volunteers....all done with fun and good humor.

I love the wonderful Hotel Hidalgo our team stays at in the historic area of Queretaro. I love the staff at the hotel that answers questions and takes such good care of us. I love the restaurants we enjoy our meals at....the amazing variety of Mexican foods. I love to walk one block from our hotel to the main jardin in town where there is constant activity. One has their choice of getting their shoes a colorful balloon....arrange for a trolley tour of the historic quarter.....listen to music in the bandstand....take tango lessons....or just sit and watch the multi-generational families enjoying themselves. I love the museums that share art and the culture of Mexico. I love the sound of the many churches and cathedrals. I love the grace and kindness of the people in this wonderful community.

I love the grace and friendliness of the people in the community that we meet and talk with...who guide us when we are lost....or point out where the best place is to get ice cream or buy the special thing we are looking for. I love the sounds and the smells and grace of this community. SO simply said .... "I love Queretaro."

Written by Pam