Ready for My Close Up

Okay, gang, so here’s the background:

Every day, one of the Global Volunteers writes a journal entry, accompanied by a thought for the day.  These are read aloud when our group meets–either in the morning at breakfast or in the evening before dinner.  As I was the first to arrive in Querétaro, our leader asked me to do the first entry.  Well, guess what–it made it on to the Global Volunteers website, accompanied by photos taken yesterday while I was working at school.

Yes, I know that some of you think I spend all my time cruising the ‘calles’  (that’s ‘streets’ for those of you that don’t share my oh so vast knowledge of the Spanish language; I’m easily as fluent as the average Mexican two year old) but no, I actually DO do something that vaguely resembles work.  Here’s proof:

image image

I tried to imbed a link to the site into this post, but my iPad is cranky this morning, so instead, a copy of my journal entry follows.

However, I  encourage you to wander on over to to check out all the wonderful opportunities for personal growth that this organization offers.  I’m kinda hoping that when you see how much fun and how worthwhile the projects are, some of you will be inspired to sign on.  Who knows, maybe we’ll  be together on a future trip!

Journal entry for Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thought for the Day
“Before you try to change the world, let the world change you.”

Volunteers arriving yesterday were greeted by a fiesta going full blast in Hotel Hidalgo’s courtyard. A father of 15 was celebrating his 90th birthday, with 80 of his direct descendants. Perhaps the secret to a long life is to know how to party hearty? Not a bad way to kick off our time in Mexico–with music, dancing and very happy people.

The "birthday boy" is wearing a white hat, and waiting for his guests to arrive.
The “birthday boy” is wearing a white suit.  He’s waiting for his guests to arrive.

Our leader, Pam, has a dedicated group of followers who enjoy serving with her. This is the 7th time Bill has volunteered in Mexico, followed by Roger who is on his 4th tour of duty. Eunice, Mary#1, Joe and Mary #2 will be serving here for the 3rd time. You don’t have to be with Pam for very long to figure out why she inspires such loyalty.

Although this will be the first time in Mexico for Shannon, Leslie and me(Shelley), we have all served in other countries. Lorraine is our “official newbie” and we are all delighted that she has joined the team.

During breakfast in the hotel, we introduced ourselves, then got a well organized and thorough orientation from Pam. Mary and Joe very thoughtfully had obtained brochures and maps IN ENGLISH for all of us. Although Querétaro is a tourist destination, most of the visitors are from other parts of Mexico, so there is not an abundance of English materials. Thanks to Mary and Joe, we can easily view the many appealing options the area offers for our free time.

Carolina, the head of the language department at U. Tech, joined us after breakfast. A warm, inspirational woman, who speaks beautiful English, Carolina shared information about the school and described the positive impact GV has had on the students.

Our meeting concluded with GV’s traditional team building exercises. First, we described fourteen characteristics of an effective team. If our ability to quickly identify those characteristics is any indication, this team will be highly effective indeed. Next, Pam asked us to think about why we signed on for this particular project. In other words, what were our goals. We each wrote three goals on separate index cards, took turns reading them aloud, then Pam grouped similar goals into categories. These were:
Help students
Cultural exchange
Personal growth

After a wonderful lunch, we were free to settle in, explore or rest until we meet for dinner at 7 PM.


Published by


I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.

8 thoughts on “Ready for My Close Up”

  1. Shelley – what a sweet story about your 90-year-old birthday boy. (i can’t help but wonder if his wife who endured 15 pregnancies and births is there to celebrate!).

    I love all your happy smiles and bright eyes. And your enthusiasm for such a worthy cause. No wonder they all love having you as a teammate 😋


    1. The wife WAS there. I stopped by when the party was in full swing to offer my felicidades, and she was sitting by his side. Because I was representing Global Volunteers, I wasn’t crass enough to whip out my camera and request a group photo, so you’ll have to take my word that she looked really good!


      1. That is amazing!! I had a woman working for me who bore 12 kids and could run circles around everyone in the office. I guess once you go through that, you’re ready for anything!

        Glad she was by his side 😋


I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts! Please share them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.