Highlights of the first week:
- Our team members have traveled all over the world which makes for wonderful conversations.
- Several team members have served Global Volunteers two or more times.
- We range from age 16-76.
- We live all over the USA from California to the Midwest to the East Coast.
- Several are educators or retired from the field of education.
- We all have a desire to serve others and Be Servant Learners.
- We are all adventuresome and curious about world cultures.
- Waking up before dawn and hearing the sounds of the Mexican workers sweeping the streets. The people of Queretaro are very proud of their city and keep it clean and well-landscaped.
- The very cool, crisp mountain morning air which will get quite hot by 4 P. M.
- The sun not rising until after 7 A. M.
- Entering the dark hallways to go to breakfast at 6:00 for our two 7 A. M. classes.
- The 30-minute bus ride with Arturo through the city to UTEQ.
- On the way to UTEQ, seeing many international companies such as Peugot, Volkswagon, Gerber, Bombadier, Wal-Mart and Pilgrim´s Pride and many more, which makes learning English (the national language of the business world) so critical for the students at UTEQ.
- Eating at many local restaurants, listening to music in the plazas, museums, churches, the Aquaducto, walking among the local people, shopping at Woolworth Mexicana, Farmacia Guadalahara and other wonderful markets.
- Our Saturday side trip to San Miguel de Allende and an appreciation for their arts and crafts
- Our Sunday side trip to Bernal, the Magnetic Mountain and to Tequisquiapan, an authentic Mexican village and the beautiful countryside
- Montezuma´s Revenge, sore throats and respiratory infections– we have shared medicines, visited the doctor at UTEQ and all hope to be recovering!
- Three team members completed their one week of service and have departed to other cities. We will miss them.
But the most important highlights were our experiences with the students at UTEQ! We all agree that these young people are phenomenal. The students are respectful, polite, cooperative, motivated and so interested in learning English! Their dedication and motivation give us energy. Their smiles, bright eyes and attention to every word is gratifying beyond words.
The instructors have allowed us many opportunities with the students as well as actually teaching lessons, playing games and singing songs. Several of the team members are professional educators and we admit these students may be the most motivated we have ever taught!
- Several team members turored night classes on Wed. and Friday. The night classes are smaller with more adult students. The conversations we had with the older students who are more knowledgeable about world events were very enlightening. We enjoyed hearing about politics, government, international events and world trade.
- Two team members were invited to a student´s parents´anniversary party on Wed. night.
- Two team members were invited home with 2 students on Friday. Grandma Gloria (Jackie´s abuela) prepared delicious sopes. Both of these events are great honors!!
- A team member spent his Saturday working with the students at UTEQ.
- UTEQ is a lovely campus at the edge of the city. Students are studying technical careers and hope to complete 2 year degrees so they may find employment in the many industries in their city.
- Most students have said they prefer to live in Querétaro but have a desire to speak English to advance their careers.
- Four members toured the Avionics building where the students are being trained for employment with Bombadier, a Canadian company. Half of the avionic technical students are female! How wonderful is this!
- It is really neat to see students in the hallway, outside, and in the cafeteria and they recognize us and say hello!
- Now we eagerly approach our second week working with the students.
- A quote from the volunteer manual: “This is travel that feeds the soul. Everyone benefits and because of the servant-learner, the world is a better place.”
Personally, I know I will be a better teacher when I return home because I have witnessed some wonderful teaching methods from Diego, Juan Luis, Deya, Moni and Fer. They fully engage all students in small group interactions, use games and employ the Socratic method. I will always remember Juan Luis asking his students: “Tell me more.” “What else do you know about?” And I will always remember hearing the teachers say to us as we left the Language office and headed off to class, “Let´s go!”