Rotary gives us so many opportunities to discover other countries and cultures with a large number of members and communities around the world.
One of our members, Vivi Bennett, participated in a Rotaract Trip in Canada back in 2019 where she met David Garcia from Mexico. They have been in contact ever since and one day, David came up with the idea of having his club visit our club. At first it was just a fun idea, but we brought it up in our meetings and decided it would be great to have them visit. A few months later we made it happen.
Last February, right after Dallaska 3.0 (ice storm) we welcomed Barbara, David, Memo, Omar, and Rodrigo from the Rotaract Club San Nicolás de Los Garza Bicentenario. They drove all the way from Monterrey, Mexico to Dallas on a Friday. Thankfully, by the time they made it here, the ice had finally melted after a week.
Our weekend started with dinner at BJ’s Restaurant in Addison. We introduced everyone and talked about our plans for the next couple days. Even though their visit was just for a weekend, we made sure to include a little bit of everything in the itinerary. Some of our members hosted the visitors in their homes and we all met up every day for the different activities.
Next up on the agenda was brunch at The Rustic in Dallas. Our friends from the UNT Rotaract Club couldn’t join us but they made Texas and Rotaract themed welcome bags so we delivered them after we ate. We are very grateful for their contribution.
It was a windy but sunny day in Dallas. We walked around different landmarks downtown, including the Eye. This 30-feet eyeball sculpture is located in front of The Joule Hotel where once sat the first skyscraper in the western United States. The Eye was modeled by Chicago-based artist Tony Tasset to represent his own eye and it was brought to Texas in 2013. We made sure to take lots of pictures and selfies.
After exploring Dallas we headed to Fort Worth to visit the Stockyards and give them a fun and authentic Texan experience. Memo rode the mechanical bull and lasted way longer than we were all betting. After visiting some souvenir stores, we had dinner at Cooper’s and enjoyed some classic BBQ. We ended our Fort Worth stay by two-stepping the night away at a dance hall.
For our last day, we kept things chill and had brunch at one of our member’s house. They had some Mexican goodies for all of us to try as we enjoyed some sun in the backyard.
Of course we also included a little bit of shopping and headed to the Premium Outlet Mall in Allen. Even us locals ended up leaving with some bags. To close out the trip, we chose Legacy Hall in Plano. We said our goodbyes there, since they had a “red-eye” drive back to Mexico the next morning.
By creating this Rotaract Friendship Exchange, we shared our time, homes, and culture and established new friendships. Although, we are neighboring countries, we learned ways our culture is similar and different from theirs.
We have now been invited to visit Monterrey in July and can’t wait to see our friends again.