Tag Archives: colombia

Making Sense of it All

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On my way to London

On my way to London

London was calling my name. After several months of anticipation, the time had come. I hugged my mom and boarded my flight. It was a long trip over there, but we finally arrived.

Hello LONDON!

We arrived to our ‘flats’ and noticed we quickly had to get used to going up flights of stairs to reach our new home. That was no big deal though, because we were finally here! I knew I was going to have an unforgettable time in which I could reflect on forever. What I did not know though, was that besides experiencing new things, how much these next 5 weeks would mean to me, and shape me.

The living room in my flat

The living room in my flat

My side of the room in the flat

My side of the room in the flat

It honestly is very hard for me to sum up all of my experiences during those 5 weeks abroad, therefore I will highlight some which were very important to me.

I’m in College – I’m Confused

Okay, let’s be honest. At one point or another (several in my case), we all have been confused about what we should major in. We tend to go back on forth, trying to decide what is we want to study while we are in college. Daunting and confusing, right? At least for me it was. I knew I had/have a passion for sports and I knew I wanted to make a difference one way or another, but that was it.

Throughout my journey several scenarios started playing in my head. Although fascinating, it was still even more confusing because again I wanted to do it all, at least that is what it seemed like.

Before the Olympics began we visited several venues, toured and examined the facilities with our class. Talk about something that is MIND BLOWING. Beautiful stadiums. We toured them and examined them. At that moment, I figured, okay I want to work in Facility Management. I want take care of the place that athletes call home.

And then, there was another event. A group of us helped out with the Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. During that day, I kept on getting the idea of how cool it would be to plan and run such event.

Basically, each experience and situation made me desire an occupation in respective fields. In life, we all have those moments, were we think we got it all figured out (at least for those 15 minutes), but we just end up going in circles trying to figure ourselves out.

Celebrity guest: Shawn Johnson

Celebrity guest: Shawn Johnson

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

But….What about…?

My first time going inside Olympic Park was eye opening. Not only was I in Olympic territory experiencing something that I never thought I would at my age, but I got to meet a couple strangers. While wandering inside, I saw this small group of people who I thought were Colombian. I only knew this because I heard them speak and I noticed their accent. Nonetheless, I had to make sure.

Kindly, I stopped the group and I asked them where they were from. I was right. Not only were they from Colombia, but they were actually from the Colombian Olympic Committee. Till this day, I still cannot believe I did not exchange information with them. I wanted to, I just did not think of it in the moment. It was overwhelming and I was unprepared. I had my opportunity to network with people from my country whom were involved in such great movement.

As soon as I got to my flat, I searched online for the Colombian Olympic Committee. I was looking for ways in which I could get in contact with them. I figured it woud be pretty fascinating to have a career that revolves around the Olympics. Mixing in sports, traveling, different cultures, and world movements, yeah it was the perfect fit for me.

While browsing the site I came across the World Games 2013. The great thing about opportunities is that within opportunities there are even more opportunities. The World Games is organized by the International Olympic Committee, these are games that are hosted one year after the Olympics for sports that are not in the Olympics. Coincidence or not, I found out these games will take part in Colombia, and I actually had an opportunity at being a volunteer.

It is crazy how a trip can open doors for you and guide you in what seems to be the perfect direction.

Thank you London for directing me towards my next opportunity.

Tower Bridge

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Cold Celsius to Fire Fahrenheit

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Cold Celsius to Fire Fahrenheit 

The most impacting change of my life could be summarized in the simple name change of a temperature scale.

Bogota

Born in Bogota, Colombia never did it occur to me that I would pack my bags at the age of 8 and leave to an unknown future. Without understanding what was going on, I had no choice but to go. I had to leave the cold. I had to leave more than that. Family, friends, school – I had to start all over.

Pack Your Bags

And so it was time. I actually don’t remember anything I brought over. It did not really matter simply because I only cared about what I was leaving behind. This was not a vacation. This was a forever change that I somehow had to adjust to. There was no way to prepare for such drastic change, no way to prepare for the blazing heat of Miami.

First Abroad Experience

From the beginning I made myself believe that my first abroad experience was going to make me the most miserable 8 year old alive. After I waived my dad goodbye with tears in my eyes, my next 4 hours flew by. I do not recall the airplane ride or picking up my bags. I just remember leaving the airport and seeing the sun beaming rays off the palm trees. Everything seemed so beautiful. I gazed outside my window not really caring where I was going. I was in awe. I realized this was my new life.

Language Barrier

Of course, it was just a week before I had to start school. Frightened at the language barrier I faced, I tried to get myself out from having to go to school. The first day after the winter break would be my first day of school. Not only was I the new girl, I also did not speak or understand a bit of english. I was afraid I would be an outcast and that I would not be able to communicate myself with others. As a kid the one thing one is afraid of doing is standing out. I just wanted to fit right in the group, not be noticed and not be bothered.

By the end of the day I was astonished at how wrong I was. I did not have a bad day at all. I made friends, somehow I did, in fact a lot of people spoke spanish. In a way, going to live in Miami gave me that advantage, because so many people spoke the language it was not as difficult for me communicate with others. Just that incident made me realize how I without the intention of doing so, made myself worried about a situation that I had no control over. I learned to let some situations be.

 

New Perspective

I left the cold and I came to the heat. I also left with a heart so cold, so filled with pain because of my loses. Nonetheless, as the days, weeks, and months passed my heart warmed up. It heated it up, and from it a fire started. This fire gave me the strength and opportunity to start over. As I adjusted to the temperature I knew that I would always have to adjust to change. Just like fire helps steel bend and form into incredible shapes, the fire from Miami helped me mold into a curious child looking to be the best ‘shape’, ‘figure’, or ‘artifact’ I could be.