Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stop Staring At My Sister!

The last time we attempted to fathom the tourist experience in Querétaro, someone hijacked bus full of special needs kids with Tourette's Syndrome and crashed it through the door of Burro Hall. So when we came across this story from our Sister City, Holland, MI, we decided we'll just concede the point: the citizens of Querétaro really are a bunch of slack-jawed yokels who stare at anybody different.

The team of 14 teachers from Holland Public Schools and two from Holland Christian Schools traveled to Mexico in August to brush up on their Spanish, connect with the schools and swap teaching strategies.

Bob Zwiers, a Holland High School social studies teacher, had taught his students about how immigrants often feel isolated. Like an immigrant might, Zwiers started to feel as if everyone was talking about him as he walked around Queretaro.

“I’m walking through the airport, and I’m realizing that there are not many people in Mexico who are 6 foot 5 inches with red hair and blue eyes,” Zwiers said.

Walking through the airport, you could also get the impression that there are not many people in Mexico, period, since the whole of Querétaro "International" Airport could fit in Holland High School's gym. But, seriously, what do we know?

Of course, it wasn't all squirmy discomfort for our Sister-Citizens. They came here to accomplish things. Among them:

Principal Nery Garcia...and Queretaro administrators hope to eventually set up a blog and video conferences so that classes in Mexico and Holland can interact with each other.

Memo to whichever Holland school officials have just found this post via the Google: we're here to help. Our ability to pass among the natives without attracting undue attention may be of great value to you.

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