2017-10-18, Belkis Jacquez, NMSU Study Abroad Ambassador

Rotarians and guests were enjoying a tasty La Posta lunch with fajitas and extra spicy red enchiladas when “time to call the meeting to order” rolled around.  President Lya rang the bell and asked Ana to give the invocation.  President Lya led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Fran distributed a song entitled: “The Thing” from her Wacky, Weird & Wonderful Songbook.  The song was definitely “wacky and weird;” however, the group, with lots of help from Fran, Charlotte and Patty, sang it well (at least in the opinion of this author!)  President Lya introduced the visiting Rotarians, guests of Rotarians and our high school student guest.  There was a lively “meet and greet.”  Charlotte was named the mystery greeter.  Those who did not greet her were fined! 

The celebration of happy dollars was started with Jeff Brown followed by John Hernandez who was “just mighty glad to be here!”  Blaine’s happy friend Elmer was also sitting at that table with Jeff and John and contributed a number of imaginary happy dollars.  Dr. Dan (Daniel Wilczak), a prospective new member, was happy as was Ana, his sponsor.  Bobby visited Texas and was reminded why he moved to New Mexico over 50 years ago.  Terry: for his mother’s 85th birthday; Charlotte paid a fine for Gary not shaking her hand and called it a “happy dollar.”  Lyn: the Aggies won soccer, football and volleyball all in one day - probably a record of some sort!  Gary Esslinger: granddaughter!!  Patty: rough week, but doing better; Steve: for getting Jay out of the “dog house.”  Jay: for getting out of the “dog house!”  Fran’s happy dollar was overshadowed by the “phone incident.”  The Sergeant-at-arms found Richelle’s phone in the vicinity of a half-empty tequila bottle and returned it to her for a fine.  Richelle claimed that the Sergeant had been watching too many “White Collar” episodes and deftly lifted it from her purse.  Our suspicion is that that the phone was in the purse beside the bottle!

The Program

This month’s program coordinator Les Smith invited Ms. Belkis Jacquez, one of the ambassadors of the NMSU Study Abroad Program, to present some of her experiences as an advanced undergraduate student who has studied and traveled extensively throughout South America and Morocco.  President Lya introduced Ms. Jacquez.  She is a senior at NMSU majoring in biochemistry, anthropology and minoring in genetics.  She expects to earn her bachelor’s degree at the end of this semester.  She is an honor student in the College of Arts and Sciences and recipient of a number of scholarships including the Rotary Leadership Scholarship.  Ms. Jacquez told us of her plans to become an MD/PhD with emphasis on the anthropological side of medicine. 

Her presentation centered on her experiences in Ecuador where she spent the spring semester of 2016 studying at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.  In addition to studying abroad, she participates in volunteering and pursuing scientific research.  During her stay, she and fellow students took the opportunity to travel throughout the region.  In addition to studies relating to her majors, she studied Quechua, the language spoken in the Andean highlands from Ecuador to Bolivia and Copiera, an elaborate form of martial art popular in South America. She worked as an interpreter for Timmy Global Health (English, Spanish and Quechua) and performed neuroscience research in one of the psychology laboratories.  The research led to a presentation and publication.  She showed a number of pictures of places she visited throughout the region.  She is an enthusiastic, dynamic and talented speaker and a great representative for NMSU’s International and Border Programs Department.

After the Program

Patty reported that contributions of $120 for our Club’s “Clothe a CHILD” project.  Bobby had the ticket and drew a three of hearts.  The current pot stays at $500 and the next one is still growing.  President Lya concluded the meeting by leading us in the 4-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Bruce Davis

Bobby Rankin

Daniel Wilczak


Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Dan Jones

Marietta, Ohio

Teresa Griffith

Marietta, Ohio

Don Buck

Rio Grande

Rob Sheldon

Rio Grande

Student Guests



Ben Curnutt




Date Club

Dinus Briggs

4 meetings

Brookings, SD

Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan