Report on Student Visit

by | Jul 21, 2022 | General | 0 comments

Presentation by Beatrice Frigo-Gilbert – 20-7-2022

Rotarians invite Mexican and Californian Students to Mallorca

Another keystone of Rotary is to bring young people of this world together and let them see the world and realize that one can live comfortably also with other customs and beliefs. Our daughter was once in the eighties in an International Rotary Camp in Wales, when she was a High-school girl and came home very enthusiastically, saying: “We all agreed that we want to have a good job, a family and world-peace so that we can enjoy life!”

The Rotary Club of Mallorca together with the Foundation Juniper Serra y Ferrer, [named after a former Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and missionary of the Franciscan Order, Junipero Serra who was beatified by John Paul II in 1988 and canonized in 2015], invites students every year for a two week stay in Mallorca. Other Clubs on the Island are asked to help to show them around, as was also our Rotary Club East Mallorca International. We took over on Friday, the 8th of July, at 11 o’clock, at the railway station of Manacor with the intention to show them the Rafael Nadal Museum Experience and have lunch with them there. Geoff, Peter, Angelika and myself waited with our cars at the station to welcome them and bring them to the Museum. We met up with 6 female- and two male-students all around their twenties, all very good-looking, in best of spirits and full of humour and laughter.

Some came from Club Rotario SLRC del Desierto, Mexico, others from Club Son Luis Rio, Colorado del Desierto, and one from Club Rotario Tijuana-Oriente, all from District 4100 and obviously friendship Clubs of Fundación Casa Serra and District 2203, as I saw written on their hand-overs and on the visiting card of Aileen Sanches Sandoval. Unfortunately, the phone-number on her personal card which I dialled back home, did not give me a connection.

This visit to the Nadal Museum, also new to me, was a full success. It is much more than a museum, as one can have fun and compete with friends in the experiential room, while learning the values of various sports. The exhibition room with all the trophies and heart-going revelations from top sport-cracks on a video-show has educational values, representing those of its Ambassador, Rafael Nadal and his Foundation, such as effort, self-improvement, companionship, commitment and sportsmanship.

The lunch on the terrace that followed was tasty, but more important gave us the opportunity to get to know these young people, full of hope and looking into a bright future for themselves. The heat and the full stomach afterwards made us all a bit drowsy and handkerchiefs were taken out, but then already the Rotarians, obviously the main responsible for these youngsters, suddenly appeared on the terrace and we handed the responsibility for the students over, somehow a bit sad, but also a bit tired. The students did not leave us before handing out presents and giving us big hugs. They were now out for a new adventure: the Caves outside Porto Cristo!

We were invited to come to their final evening at the Convent of Petra, where they were handed out their attendance diplomas. This was a very official occasion in the beautiful Convent church with the Presence of Jesus Martinez, the Mexican Prior of the convent, the first President of the Rotary Club Mallorca, newly founded in 1980, after it had been closed down during world-war 2, as well as the Major of Petra, the Secretary of the Foundation and other VIPs. Jesus and the Prior and the other VIPs all made short speeches, with those of Jesus and the Prior more outstanding, telling the students to always look forward and never back and affront any challenges, not forgetting the help of the Almighty.

Before receiving their diplomas, each one of them had to go forward and tell something about her- or himself; some spoke freely, especially the one that has already taken up schooling first-graders,  others needed the help of their handkerchiefs and one was so very shy, we could hardly understand what she was saying. – All this was followed by an aperitivo rinforzato, as the Italians would say, offering tasty Mallorquin specialities. Jesus came to greet us and I had an interesting conversation with two Mallorquin ladies, one telling me that she adds an apple and a tiny bit of vinegar to the Gazpacho. –   As we received presents from the students a week before, I also brought something along for them from the market stall next to Isabelle’s, where I had been working in the morning, selling second-hand-clothes, and where the owner always offers me a reduced price on his goods. We, in Switzerland, call these things golden nothings, like something to hold a shawl together with a sprinkling pendant for the young ladies and for the mail-students summer-shawls. – Then the sad moment came of having to say good-by. Another wonderful Rotary experience came to an end.

Beatrice Frigo-Gilbert – 17.7.22