Mesa West Rotary Club will be hosting Carlos Luque, a Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Ecuador for the 2018-19 academic year. The original information the club was given about Carlos' arrival indicated he would arrive at 3:59 PM on Saturday, July 28.
A message was sent to club members on the day of Carlos planned arrival updating the flight number and changing the arrival time to 6:40 PM.  A later message to our membership indicated his flight was delayed a bit with an estimated arrival time of 7:10 PM.
When Carlos' plane finally landed and Carlos walked past airport security, he was met by a welcoming entourage of fifteen.  With Rotarians and their families living busy lives, to have fifteen in the welcome party when Carlos finally walked past security, was an impressive feat.
Carlos is shown with his first host family in the top photo (l-r) Amanda Rosenberg, Carlos, Frank, Sammy, and Jack Rosenberg.
Included in the welcoming group photo, are (l-r) Daryl Bethea, Frank Rosenberg, Sammy Rosenberg, Jack Rosenberg, Amanda Rosenberg, Colleen Coons, Dan Coons, John Pennypacker, Donna Goetzenberger, Carlos, Ryan Del'Ollio (ROTEX Mesa West Sponsored), Cooper Newman (ROTEX), Caleb Lowe (ROTEX) Hannah Lazere (2017-18 Rebound-ROTEX), Marla Lazere (RYE Committee) , and Kelly Gilmore (RYE Inbound Chair).
ROTEX are former exchange students who volunteer to help the Youth Exchange Committee to plan and execute activities with inbound and/or outbound students.  They are there to help share some of their experience as an exchange student with students who are starting (or about to start) their exchange experience. ROTEX are a vital resource to help our program grow! They are the Rotary Youth Exchange Experts! 
Now that Carlos has arrived and is beginning to get settled, Mesa West Rotarians who hope to get better acquainted and share a unique experience with him should make arrangements to be added to his calendar before it gets impossibly full.  Remember, what seems ordinary to you will be a new and unique experience for him, so don't hesitate to invite Carlos to share time with you.
It takes a brave and adventurous young person to leave all that is familiar, including friends and family, to spend a year in a different culture where very few people are bilingual.   Most inbound students find that, even though they have studied English, it is difficult to understand conversations at first.  Talking louder is not helpful, but slowing down, keeping your message simple, and making eye contact to verify understanding, or notice confusion early, can be very useful.  Carlos will quickly adapt, and get used to our local speech habits, but his early days will likely be a bit stressful. 
Remembering the way he was welcomed will be a precious memory for Carlos of a great beginning to his Rotary Youth Exchange year-long adventure.