When we first walked in it was a little awkward because the president, who invited us, wasn't there yet and I guess the rest of the club didn't know we were coming. We all kind of stared at each other for a minute until we introduced ourselves as the Rotary Scholars, invited by the Club President.
Billy and I both gave brief presentations (since we were guests but not the guest speakers). I was asked some interesting questions afterward.
1. If I feel comfortable in Mexico
I told them that there was a definite adjustment period -- and possibly more so to living in a huge city and attending a large public university than being in another country. However, people have been very welcoming and I feel comfortable here (though the anti-American/gringo sentiment at the UNAM and in my program can be a bit intense at times).
2. My impressions of Mexico
I told them that one of the aspects that stands out the most is the depth of Mexican culture. I love that I can be walking down the street and stumble upon one of Diego Rivera's (or Orozco or Siquieros) murals or other types of artworks or that there are so many interesting traditions, such as all that I saw for Dia de los Muertos.
3. If my views of Mexicans has changed now that I'm in Mexico
I told them that there's a huge difference between US stereotypes of Mexicans and the reality of Mexicans in Mexico. However, I've been fortunate enough to work with many Mexican adults and children teaching English in North Carolina and working with Education Based Latino Outreach in Maryland. For me, my impressions haven't changed too drastically. Mexicans as a people are very welcoming, friendly and family-oriented. The biggest change has been the situation -- instead of me helping Mexicans learn the language and figure out how things work, Mexicans are helping me!
|with Club President, Adolfo Leon Austria|
|After exchanging club banners|
|Club Vallejo had lots of Club banner on display. Now they'll be|
adding North Carolina (my sponsor Rotary District)!
|Club Rotario Vallejo banner|