My very best days in Yucatan have been full of friends, lots of family and a “good reason” for a party. The first day of March filled all that criteria and then some.
Saturday was Auntie Alice’s birthday, and believe me, the party at her winter home in Chicxulub was a humdinger!
Yet, as un-for-get-ta-ble as it was, I had a feeling that the Sunday would be more than just “the morning after.”
By 10:00 am, the sun had climbed high in the sky but the heat was not too intense, thanks to the Gulf of Mexico breeze. Jorge and I had agreed to meet with the International Women’s Club president Lisa Johansson and her husband, Pepe Ballote, Sharon Helgason and Janet Fry, members of the IWC scholarship committee, and two of the program recipients, Lenny Hau, a Law student at UADY and Sonia Lopez, Nursing student at UADY.
Allan Gray, a colleague of mine from the New Brunswick Community College – St. Andrews, had invited us to visit him at his beach digs. Allan and I have known one another for more than 15 years and have partnered in many international student programs. We’ve had so many great experiences and when I saw the BIG grin on his face, I knew we were about to have another…
Several months ago, Allan heard about the IWC fund raising trip to Chiapas, and he quickly offered to donate money to the scholarship fund recipients, even though his responsibilities at work would not allow him to join us. He talked with a few of his co-workers about the tour and the need he had seen when he went with me and several groups of students to Chiapas. They were all moved by a photo I published in one of my blog posts – of Gladys – a small child I met there. They too wanted to help. Other people found out and before long, many residents of the St. Andrews community became involved.
During the month-long campaign to raise money for the IWC scholarship fund, the good people of St. Andrews NB Canada raised the equivalent of $23,500.00 Mexican pesos and collected two full suitcases of goodies for needy children in the Santo Domingo marketplace in San Cristobal de las Casas.
· $89.00 was raised from the DVD player tickets
· $200.00 from the Madd Hatter Tea Party
· $300.00 from the Taco Pico restaurant evening
· $138.75 from the Wellness Committee Bake Sale
· $170.00 collected for the Hearts for Education
· $100.00+ US funds personal donation
The NBCC Corporate Office generously contributed a top-up amount of one thousand dollars by way of the Community Engagement Fund.
We have no words to describe our gratitude…
Sharing the morning with Allan, his sister and my IWC friends was “as good as it gets” It was a brilliant example of how people can open their hearts to those in need, even when they live 1,000s of miles away.
I would like to THANK Allan and the amazing people who helped make this day possible. Congratulations to Sharon, Janet and the other tireless members of the IWC scholarship committee and to Lenny and Sonia for taking full advantage of this educational opportunity.
“It is wonderful to meet such good, good people from another country,” said Lenny as she hugged me goodbye.
But are we really from “different” countries? Today I felt as though Chicxulub, Yucatán and St. Andrews, NB were the southern-coast and northern tip of the same caring community, one that transcends national borders, political affiliations and religious beliefs.
Happiness is often glimpsed through windows… giving to others is a sure way to let it in to your life.
It just doesn’t get better than this.