At yesterday’s International Women’s Club meeting we had a lot going on: our annual elections, a triple-treat of speakers, and the Real Life in Merida video team was on hand to make a short film about our group. Getting through such a full agenda in room filled with 80 women was quite an accomplishment.
As the ladies arrived, Arturo Novelo and his crew took footage of the gathering. Most of the IWC members wanted to keep visiting with one another, but eventually they settled into their places, and after a warm welcome by President Marie Barchus, Marianne Kehoe introduced our three guest speakers.
“Christopher Collins Lee is the best concertmaster and neighbor I’ve ever had,” she began,
and in turn she presented the other two speakers: Martyn van den Hoek a superb pianist and the founder of MUSIK ZENTRAL in Vienna Austria, and his colleague Marieli Sosa, another renowned pianist from Mérida.
“We should start with a little music,” said Christopher as he tuned his violin. No one uttered a word while he played his two selections. When Marianne asked how he manages to memorize such difficult pieces, Christopher looked amazed.
“I don’t memorize it,” he said, “I hear the music inside me.”
WOW! He spoke about his love of music and said he had been blessed to have great teachers from an early age. Then he added, “But many talented musicians do not have the opportunity to develop their gift.”
The other two guests, Martyn and Marieli then joined Christopher to speak about their work. “When you listen to music, you are able to suspend your worries and lose yourself in it,” said Martyn, “This is important because when you come back to the real world, you bring a little bit of that peace with you.”
MUSIK ZENTRAL is a teaching and mentoring organization, headquartered in Austria
and has a branch in Mérida. They give gifted pianists and string artists the chance to study for a two week period with world class teachers. The program has run in Mérida for four years and is in need of help for next year. The three spoke about the ways that IWC members could help: cash donations are always welcome and homes to billet students and teachers are also needed. The IWC members seemed most enthusiastic, and I would expect that many will help out next year.
The coffee, tea and a large selection of goodies were enjoyed by all during the break. And
everyone took advantage of the time to continue visiting with old and new friends. A group of the winter beach gals attended the meeting and we all enjoyed seeing one of our past presidents Michelle Rodriguez. Michelle is the state of Yucatan delegate of the Red Cross so she doesn’t often have a free Saturday when she can attend our meetings. She told me she hopes the IWC will continue to support the Red Cross as it has in the past. She looked very pleased when I told her that a group of women who attended this year’s big fundraising dance are already planning to do so again next year.
No one wanted to leave their conversations but January’s business meeting is always a particularly important one. The 2012 president presented the slate for the 2013Board of Officers, which was passed by a landslide. We look forward to a great year with Margaret Wedge as President; Lisa Johansson as VP Progamming, Aili Kiuru as VP Membership, Maria Elena Gonzales as Treasurer and Patricia Calvillo as Secretary. Many thanks to the outgoing Board: Marie, Nancy, Beth, Theresa and Rainie for their excellent leadership over the past year.
Meanwhile… back to the film crew. Everyone is curious to see what video will look like. Arturo Novelo’s company Real Life in Merida profiles people, places and organizations that illustrate daily life in our city. We are so pleased that the IWC will now be included in the excellent online information source. Do click on the link and view some of the videos already posted.
If you are a new girl in town, the International Women’s Club is a great place to network. The general meetings are held on the last Saturday of each month in the auditorium at my college: TTT Calle 57 No. 492 Between 56 and 58, Centro. You can go onto the IWC website for more detailed information.