Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do you believe in love? :P

One of my best friends from elementary school, that was my soul mates for 8 years ... the person that changed me in so many ways, the crazy one out of the two of us, the one that was more powerful and smart, the person I always look up to ... is getting married, next year in April :) Congratulations Tincuta!!! :D

Finding out about her wedding ... thinking about our plans to be present to each others wedding ... about her changing so much ... about her life right now ... about us changing the roles (me being the crazy one), made me think a lot about me and my life. I am in Dominican Republic, I am not getting married for sure, I will not settle down, I want to travel and to see more, experiment and I am thinking ... do I have a problem? Why a lot of my friends are taking that step and I don't feel like doing that at least in the next two years?

Besides love, is marriage a social requirement? Yes at some point your friends, family are going to ask you ... "Child do you have a problem? Just tell us ... You are neither ugly or stupid ... why can't you find somebody to settle down, have some children and be happy?" I can hear them :P And I suppose the words "I just don't feel like are not going to satisfy anybody" :D

Not get me wrong I want to get married (even though Raga predicts that I am going to divorce at some point :D), I want to have 3 smart and crazy children, one beautiful and relaxing house in a city that I love, friends around me ... but the moment is not now or in the next year ... because I feel that if I would do that I will leave behind my freedom and my dreams of discovering and experimenting!

Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am not ... main conclusion ... each of us is going to do that step sooner or later depending on his/her feelings :) Right? :P

Casa de piatra!!! :D

Friday, September 26, 2008

To laugh often and much!

It is not the critic who counts;
Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
Or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
Whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood;
Who strives valiantly;
Who errs, and comes short again and again;
Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
Who spends himself in a worthy cause;
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
And who at the worst,
If he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
Who know neither victory nor defeat.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than
Unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not;
Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To reach out to another is to risk involvement
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss
To live is to risk dying
To try is to risk failure
But the risk must be taken, because the greater hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing and is nothing
He may avoid suffering, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, live
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave
Only a person who risks is free
Take a risk!

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded!

Life is hard no doubt about it ... especially when a lot of the things that you believe in, disappear ...
But my question is ... who has the power to change that? Who has the energy to overpass everything?

Each of us ... realizing it or not!
After 3 days of being frustrated about people's reactions, culture, commitments I realized I have to change something as soon as possible! And in order to do that I have to face it first, accept it and find a solution, together ... because that is the only way I will be able to live this experience at the fullest, to smile and laugh at the end of a day!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Keep on going, with a smile on your face!

Random thoughts .... many feelings, that I can not compress in a clear order ...

| Relationships ... love, friendships, family, work ... come and go ... but more important than anything are the things you take out of them and who are those people you will never let go ... My friends that think about me; that write me their thoughts, their concerns, their happiness; the people I can learn from, people that challenge me. Most importantly is the trust you have in them and them in you; ... Most importantly is to pass the barrier of culture and paradigm, to see objectively and to care.

Being in Switzerland 3 years ago with AIESEC, we met a Romanian that was living for the last 20 years there and she told us like that "I am feeling good here, I have everything that I need ... but still I need my home, my country ... because it doesn't matter in which country you will go and you will do your best, they (the locals) are not going to see you as their own ... they will always accept your point of view or not; they will always express it face to face or more covered ... but the message is going to be the same ... you are not from here so you will never understand the situation in this country".

In the last days, I passed through the same experiences here ... people that are too full of themselves in order to see the reality, the objectives facts; people that don't care about people around them, they don't even care about their own experience; people that don't appreciate team work, results brought by the team; people that think that avoiding the truth is going to help them on a longer term; people that tell in your face that you are a foreigner and you don't understand and you don't care ...

I felt the same frustration in the beginning of this year when I was trying to understand how people don't look further that an image, don't see the results, the passion, the dedication and time ... and what can we do about it? change the people? change yourself? change the things you are doing? abandon them and leave? NO!!!! Simply care more about final results, your dreams for that year, the way the things are done, yourself, your plans ... and then care about what are the people saying! Be more clear with the messages you are transmitting! Trust in yourself! Enjoy!

| These days I also realize something about me ... I care a lot about people around me, especially the people I can feel close to my heart ... and its more easy for me to forget and forgive, because I can understand ... still that happens only when people also care and demonstrate that back ... when we can pass over challenges, mistakes, the unique way of being of each person ... and communicate; express our feelings, be sincere; share; plan; be together in the same room or in the same universe :)

Thank you Patri, Raga and Roxi for making my day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Success is a Journey Not a Destination and you're living it!"

I always loved this team building game ...The "Johari Window" :D
Talking about who is ... Malina for Malina. Malina for others....

"A child full of life" still "Too serious and responsible" :P

Malina for others ... are actually more Malinas ... the very serious and involved one; that is smiling but not that much; that is speaking lauder and begins to blush; that is sometimes too involved with her heart and mind! ... the loving one; the child that needs protection and care; the one that loves to be surrounded by people; that loves to play and discover; the religious one, how somebody calls me because of my innocence! ... the one that thinks a lot before taking a decision; the one that is couscous; the one that is trying to make everything equal for everybody! ... the one that doesn't want to hurt nobody; that takes everybody into consideration and is afraid to say at some point, let's do it my way; ... the one that is ready to go to Dominican Republic for a dream and a feeling! ... the child and the mum in the same time!

Malina for Malina is ...

Loving life and people. Shy. Dynamic.Frustrated when people don't care about the things around them. Trying to see life in grey but she actually a lot of times sees it in black and white. Strong and looking for support in the same time. Flexible. Believing in freedom. Looking for the sun. Trying to get the best out of people. Too modest. Passionate. Forgiving. Challenging constantly herself. Enjoying sports and nature. Loving music. Happy, living for a dream!

I changed a lot during the years and I still am changing in this ... second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year in Dominican Republic but my importantly I learnt during these period ... to care and never be frightened about my mistakes ... to love even though at some point you might be hurt ... not to compare myself with other people ... that I am a rich person!

Change is the only thing that is permanent!

One poster that Raga brought from Romania was saying that "Change is the only thing that is permanent" ... and until this morning when the same Raga noticed the similarity between the poster and our situation ... I didn't connected the dots :)

Our story in AIESEC Dominican Republic as a national team started more or less 4 months ago ... since then we defined our dreams, we planned, split responsibilities ... more exactly our dreams never changed ... but God knows how many times our planning and splitting responsibilities changed until now ... we just lived this yesterday, when we've met a company that wants to involve us a lot in what in means their development in Dominican Republic (TN's, projects, recruitment) ... so the planning that we did after IC was totally changed ...

And now the big question comes ... is that ok? For sure for us and especially for me is a permanent feeling of being insecure ... of asking yourself if you can do anything more in order to stop that from happening; and my conclusion after a lot of thinking was that, considering our situation: 4 foreigners and one local (2 Europeans, 3 Latin Americans) working in an environment totally different of what they've been accustomed with; 2 of us starting their term without knowing spanish; not knowing the market (students, companies, NGO); the culture, the way of being and working of the people; not knowing the history; not having the financial resources in order to sustain yourself; being in a country that has a lot of potential; with 20 years of AIESEC history; AND having big dreams of: leaving a legacy behind (sustainability from all points of view), having an impact in the society and gaining the full membership ... is not easy to plan something and take it to the end.

Why? Because simply when you are doing the planning you don't know anything ... we did our planning in the transition with Felipe, Paula and Marisol ... and it was absolutely different of the things that we can really achieve (sometimes too optimistic and sometimes too pessimistic) ... we were like blind people that were trying to find their way back home.

In the beginning it comes the frustration ... how come you can not achieve what you've planned ... how come you can not have one thing that is sure? And the answer is simple ... you are like in a "business start up" when you know your dreams and you are totally engaged in achieving them, you have the energy and the power but you don't know what is going to wait for you there ... you are making constant mistakes and you have to have the drive and trust in yourself to get up and continue ... but continue in another way! Definitely not simple but you have to do it! You spot so many opportunities and you have the tendency of picking up everything, to get involved in everything ... until you realize you can not do it, one because you don't have the man power to do it and secondly that at one point you will not be able to do all of them good ...

So the lessons we've learnt:

1. TEST. Have the openness from the beginning to see what are the things that the local environment can offer you and analise them, but in an objective way.

2. FOCUS. Choose from the things that you identified, the ones that involves less resources and bring you most results. Don't loose the big picture, your final image at the end of the term!

3. DIVERSIFY. Think about diverse ways of doing things, of diverse activities that can bring you the resources that you need. Have plan A, B, C, D! Be couscous ... because you never know what may happen especially in a society that you don't know that much.

as a team, as an individual .... trust in your dreams because everything will guide you there. You have to know what are the things that you bring in this "game" ... what can you rely on, when your world is constantly moving. Accept the people how they are and build on their strenghts. Have the right person doing the right activity (I know this sounds so KPI and CSF like :P but is so true) even though that is not in his/hers job description ... have the guts to say this structure is not good, let's change it!

5. BE POSITIVE. Be down and have the power to smile and trust that the things will be for the best. See the sun at the end of a hurricane :) See the beauty around you, because dirt you can find anywhere.

each moment to the fullest!!! Be happy with what you have!

ONE Unique experience ... changing everyday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My month! Brazil, Caracas! Lovely!

My last post, one month ago ... preparing for IC 2008, Brazil ... my expectations ... to achieve my dreams ... to promote Dominican Republic and to visit Brazil!!! What really happened is hard to express in words ... one of the best trips of my life!

The Trip.


Flying with a charter plane thanks to one of our Alumnus that we've met 4 days before leaving. Being almost close to lose the plane because we were lost on the way to the airport. We stopped In Caracas, Venezuela for one day where we found some incredible AIESECers, Thais and Bernando that picked us from the airport, took us to eat and then offered us a place to sleep for the night. First impressions: Caracas is an incredible city, surrounded by hills that offer a special flavour to the city .... still a dangerous country (first time I heard about kidnap express and special places where by any chance you should go) managed in a Communist way! The people ... lovely ... you had the feeling you know them since you were little!!! Crazy, energetic!Passionate!


Taking the plane to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Relaxed trip done by my own. Meeting the AIESEC guys in the airport due to my red AIESEC Cluj recruitment T-shirt with "I am an AIESECer" :D. Arriving at the PreMeeting location. Oh my God ... I can not express in word my feelings at that point ... couldn't believe we got to IC, couldn't believe we arrived in Brazil, couldn't believe I was meeting ... Mo, Felipe, Dora, Vladutz, Silvia, Iulian, Mada after 3 months ... my friends MCPs after IPM ... Juan Manuel, Dante after one year!!! Beautiful ... I was feeling fulfilled, happy, proud. Talking till 4 am in the morning about my experience, my new life, my new me ... gossiping, God I missed that ... finding about other stories and other lives. Going back to sleep, some guy occupied my bed but still was welcoming me dearly to sleep with him ... The PreMeeting was reminding me so much about our NPS and the crazy situation we had at that point with beds and accommodation. Funny :P

Tuesday, Wednesday. PreMeeting

Meeting people from IGN ... my GN now :D
Feeling useful (having a finance training :p) and happy to be there together with Felipe, the GN Board and MCs from Latin America.
Energy. Passion. Sharing!

Thursday. Opening, Global Village

Interesting, colourful opening ... definitely I had the feeling Portuguese is a strange language ... kind of a different Romanian (for them juice is "sucu" for Romanians is "suc" :D ).Yoselin, our Awarded Alumni arrives and everybody was asking us who is she and why is she so involved!
Global Village ... a total success ... Dominican Republic was at its best :P

We got to the incredible 5 stars hotel and I was sharing a room with a guy, one of the few mixed rooms ...My roomy LCP from China that I saw in the first day and talked about 30 minutes and that was it ... during the conference I just saw him in the morning sleeping and from once in a while in the sessions.

Friday 22nd till Saturday 30th. International Congress

One unique feeling of being again in a huge conference with people from over 106 countries, this year with more Alumni and Partners involved due to the 60th Anniversary ... feeling like a small piece in a big puzzle ... wanted to gather all the images and words in a bag and bring them back home :) Still one year later after Turkey I was living a different experience in IC. I was feeling I am 50% there in the conference agenda and flow and other 50% with my friends and with my MCP responsibilities ... and I was feeling so good. The conversations we had, the fun, the stories, the ideas filled me with energy, passion and determination.

Once more if that was again necessary I realized an IC is about the people, and that for me personally being around people is the most important thing in order to feel at my best, to enjoy and to perform. Having fun with David; learning from Hugo; remembering IPM with Lukas and Roman; talking about our future steps with Lore; gossiping with Mo, Mada, Glori; sharing our crazy lives with Vladutz; Lucas being there for me; delivering trainings with Moru; talking about ourselves with Mo and Felipe; asking for constant help from Silvia; coaching with Iulian :D; finance support for different people; meeting new and lovely AIESECers .... people that impressed me with their wormth, crazy attitude and persistence.

After these days ...

-> I felt healthier ... I ate a lot of special fruits, vegetables ... and the best cakes I've eaten in my life
-> I know for sure special friendships will never end, even thought you are on the other part of the world
-> I imagined my end of the term and exactly what I want to leave behind
-> I love the connection I have with some of the MCPs in the network ... having trust that they can support you and that you can enjoy this experience together with them
-> I am even more confused about what I want to do in my next year ...
-> I am truly Colombian deep inside :P

During the conference due to some dear people to me I decided to make my trip even more interesting and go to RIO DE JANEIRO. I was dreaming one night about Rio and about my wish to go there so ... I talked with Mo, asked for a loan from Raga and Mo, talked with Marco about finding us a home there and the plan was done :D

Saturday 30th in the night we were on our way to Rio de Janeiro!!!

In Rio but also during my experience in Dominican Republic I have a constant feeling of being incredibly lucky!

Why? Because I have some exceptional friends and people around me that care ... that offer me everything ... that support me and challenge me; because I find ways (many times with the help of the same friends) of leaving my financial situation behind in order not to affect my dreams and my experiences; because I am living an incredible powerful experience in a country that is teaching me so much; because I feel happy with the person I am right now and with my life!!!

One example. I was dreaming about going to Brazil since I was a little girl ... the reason was not really clear for me ... I was watching the Brazilian movies and the image of Rio in the night, Corcovado and the landscape fascinated me!!! And from that point on ... I knew I have to go there, when and how I didn't have any clue ... And how the dreams really come true if you are bold enough to fight for them and to say them out loud ... it did for me!!! One of the few big dreams I had ... came true!!! Me being in Rio de Janeiro, besides the huge statue during sunset ... seeing all the incredible city lighting up ... having some great people around me ... the feeling of not wanting to leave that place ... a place so colourful, quiet, cozy ... I couldn't believe it my eyes!!! One unique view!
And my 3 days in Rio finished with saying goodbye to Mo ...

Wednesday 3rd of September. Back to Sao Paulo

Having a relaxing day walking and visiting ... seeing the huge city and its buildings together with Marco, Dante and Martha; going with the bus 1h and 30 minutes to get to a park; admiring the infrastructure they developed; experience the fact that nobody knows how to get to a specific place in the city due to its incredible big dimensions ... and saying goodbye to Marco ... one special angel of mine that I discovered during this IC!

Thursday 4th of September. Back to Caracas

Meeting Mauro and other smart and funny Venezuelan people :P ... visiting Avila, one of the most beautiful places they have in Caracas ... becoming more and more frustrated about the political, economical, etc. system there; that they don't encourage young people to remain in the country ... Farmatodo, a new concept of pharmacy with everything from medicine to vegetables ... living in a Venezuelan family ... offering support ... Finding out that you can not return home because of the hurricane and the fact that you don't have any more places in the plane ... buying from your two months salary the plane tickets back, 900 USD ...

Sunday 7th of September. Back to Santo Domingo

Definitely... feelings, dreams and people ... all in pictures ...

Dominican Republic from the plane!

Global Village!

My dear friends ... Foaie verde Cluj!

Is good to be ... is good to be an MCP ... especially when you are so nice dressed :P

My girls! This is a picture for MC 0708 AIESEC ROMANIA :D

I was dreaming with this ... Rio ... sunset ...


Mo and Marco :)

Caracas :)
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