Monday, June 1, 2009

Deep emotion :)



Today it started! It's official: AIESEC International 0810 Transition started :D
It was an incredible day, actually some incredible days ... and I can not say more than I am deeply happy!!! I know is almost redundant and annoying at some point but I simply can not stop saying that I am happy ... and can not erase from my face the huge smile I have :):):) Is stupid but sometimes I feel guilty for feeling that and I constantly wandering how come I didn't had this feeling during my 23 years ... Hmmm ... Good question :)

Since my last post ... 3 weeks have past ... unbelievable ... I finished one month of transition, my team is in Rotterdam and we started the general transition ... and is an overwhelming feeling ... I accumulated so much knowledge; I've lived each day at a such intense passe; I met so many incredible new people but also my dearest Ciuci, Lucki and Mo that simply make me feel home wherever I would be; I visited so many places ... and this is just the beginning!

I ended this incredible month with a great day ... 1st of June 2009 ... a day that actually represents the beginning of our year ... the year of switching off the autopilot mode we are working with in the last years in AIESEC and challenge the process ... the natural and easy way of doing things and bring a different kind of change!!! Actually this is more a feeling that I have right now than a certainty ... but I truly feel this as an outcome of this 0910 term both at a personal and professional level, both as an organization and an individual :) And I think time will prove this as beeig right or wrong :)

Being a true emotional person ... I can say today I felt ... ALIVE! Sharing about our lives, the people that made our year (for me being definitely Pato that I owe an unforgettable experience to), our main things we want to learn and leave behind ... all this just made my heart beat so hard and of course my cheeks in becoming so red :D I couldn't believe it :):):) Today actually it was the first time when I connected the dots, of what I want from this AI Experience :) ... I just realize my constant dream is to help people and this is also my goal this year ... help the network especially the finance area in each country ... but more than that I want this year for ME!!! I heard so many times the phrase ... be happy with yourself in order to transmit the same happiness to others :) ... so yes this year I want to focus on myself in order to be able to generate more energy to the people around me :D I will learn how to ride the bike, swim, learn Dutch, go to a photography course, go to the doctor, read, travel and most importantly I will LOVE!

Deeply emotion! Deeply happy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The beginning :)

"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed"!!!

I started my experience in Rotterdam, Netherlands with this phrase in my mind ... phrase in which I fully believe in right now :)
I started my journey in AIESEC International, a dream I had since I was 18 (small and innocent Mali having just few months in AIESEC :p), with a lot of emotions and strong will to make it the best time of my life!!!

I started my new life in a country I always wanted to visit (on the plane I just remembered about Ale and Ioana, my 2 twin classmates and very good friends, that they brought once to a class a girl from Netherlands that showed us everything about the country: culture, landscape, and most incredible "treasures"- windmills, cheese, flower especially tulips, fruits and vegetables, green fields and natural way of life). Since then I said to myself ... I should at least go and visit this country :P And I did!!! I am here :D

I started my transition with my heart open to learn and enjoy this 4 months together with the old and new team :)

And what can I say until now ... is that I truly and clearly love it!!!!!

I love Rotterdam even though a lot of people were telling me not so good things about the city ... I love the fact that is quiet (I think is the perfect thing I needed) ... that is green and tidy ... that I can find the mango and platanos from Dominican Republic :P; kiwi, strawberries and any kind of fruits and vegetables I could wish for ... cheese and fish :D; flowers all around ... that I can feel safe and calm :)

I love the rooms we are staying in, especially Mo's room :) I feel like home :D

I love the office :D even though there are a lot of things we can redesign there :P
I love the feeling I have working at a global level ... the knowledge and information you get connected with ... the decisions you make. I love my day to day transition and things I would be managing next year (some of the people will say I am crazy ... but I truly enjoy them :D ).

I feel like a child that is again discovering the world!!!
I feel I am taking the most out of it ... right now, enjoying things I didn't do that much in the last 6 years ... walk around and discover, sleep how much I want, watch TV, eat all day long salads and fruits :P

I feel good!!!! I feel I started a simply and happy life here :)



I've seen the name of this street a lot of times on different AIESEC documents or websites but never imagined I am going to work here for 2 years :)



The flower market :)



AIESEC International's office



My favorite place from Mo's room (remembers me of my room in Cluj, especially the way I can see the moon and sky during the night)

Why this was the experience of my life?

AIESEC has this incredible power as an organization to always offer us more and more, "give us 10 times more than we invest" ... to see if we can take it and if we learn from each and every second spent together with some incredible and talented people :) So that is why I believe I can not end my story in Dominican Republic without mentioning the people that had a big impact upon me and the things I take for myself from this experience :D

So I will start with my team ... so diverse and so challenging ... asking and offering so much :):):) Definitely demonstrated me that if you are not strong enough, you can never guide some people towards a common goal ... that leadership is not about being the first or being the main character ... but in demonstrating day by day your passion and energy towards ACTIONs!!! not WORDs!!! I talked about Raga and Javi when they left (what did they mean for me and my experience) but I never stopped to talk about the girls: Pato and Lauris ... the 2 lovely girls that: were there for me from the very first day till the end; demonstrated me that the purpose is more important than personal comfort or personal interest; i can trust them with my own life <3

Lauris ... a passionate and hard working person ... always striving to be the best and demonstrate professionalism until the last minute ... the person that was most of the time against our believes and decisions (mostly because she was the only one that had a clue upon what can and can not be not in the country). I learned to admire so much her power to sustain constantly her opinions (even against 4 foreigners not at all easy to manage :P), to fight for her dreams and always be there. A totally "feeling person" (even though she was not showing it a lot of times :P) she was the person that helped me in becoming more strong, flexible, adapt faster to the situations and see the things behind the appearances :):):) She fully demonstrated what my mother was always saying to me "in small bottles is where the strong essences are". The one and only regret I have is that so few times I actually told her how much I admire her and what she meant for me ...



Pato ... so hard to be able to write down what Pato meant for me ... pictures and moments can not stop coming to my head ... always the 2 of us together (going to the bank, meeting the Alumni, doing shopping in Pola and reading the stupid magazines to relax, cook, clean, talk about everything, enjoyed eating an ice cream or some biscuits with the only money we had); sharing each and every pesos, each and every second, each and every memory from our lives; smiling and crying together; being there the strong or the soft ones; being able to pass together over all the challenges and end our experiences fulfilled ... being close also in the next year, :) at least on the same continent :P I found in Pato the connection I never had with my sister, the one person that is so much similar but so much different than me ... the person I trust and admire for what she is and demonstrated this year!!! The strong one but so soft deep inside, 100% dedicated to something she is putting her mind into, the mother of the house :) I will always have in my heart these special moment and would be eternal thankful for the support you meant for me this year ... I know I couldn't have passed so many of the though moments without you :):):)

My girls I know for sure we are going to see each other in Europe!!! :)
Rotterdam, Bonn and Belgium??? Let's see :D

My virtual angels :) Marco and Hugo

Only they know my deepest thoughts ... my hard and happy moments ... or maybe they didn't always know ... but they had the power to always make me feel good and supported ... always bringing a new perspective, a smile or positive attitude ... sharing our experiences made me feel close to them even if we were million kilometers away :)

Marco! My dear :) Day and night, Monday to Sunday, 24/7 connected and there for a talk ... being it about the GN Board, Financial Sustainability task force :P or simply us and our experiences :D The magic time in Rio and you helping me achieve my dream; MMM; taking care of me in Sao Paolo; the incredible present you've sent me; the action plan :d and now the letter :):):) How could I ever be thankful for what you did for me this year??? I will never forget ... "if is not good, that means that is not the end" :)



Hugo! :)How can you ignore one person for so much time and 2 years later to realize the incredible connection you can have with that person? :D Definitely strange and funny ... the turning ways of life :) Starting in IC with a random meeting and continuing with endless talks each day about our experiences as MCPs ... random or totally deep discussion, I got to realize how few things can build a special relationship if you find that "click" between 2 people ... I will be for ever thankful for Hugo's way of showing me (I don't know if it was conscious or not)the road to take during those though months ... that only by enjoying your experience, having the positive attitude and smiling you are going to be able to take and offer the best of you!!! :) Our emails, presents and talks will always remain in my heart ... always being unstoppable!!!



These and much much more people made my experience worth it!!! :D <3 :*
And still why this was the experience of my life??? :D

Because I realize thinking and writing all these posts about my experience in Dominican Republic, that I am different ... that each and every second from my experience built the new person I am today :) Because:

I feel I am a happy person :) I know that is strange, but since I was little my one and only hope and wish I had, was to find happiness and offer happiness ... and until getting to Dominican Republic I couldn't say I did ... actually I had it all along but I couldn't open my eyes and see it, I couldn't touch it!!! I was waiting for the "big waw" ... "that thing" that was going to make me 100% happy and was not enjoying each and every moment!!!

I gained so much energy and passion :) I truly feel now more alive than I was when I entered AIESEC ... more aware of myself (with good and bad) ... I feel in the same time I became more strict, pushy and reactive; demanding a lot from myself and people around me .. I feel strong, free and confident ... Even though I know I didn't rich that "full level", I can say I have more confidence in myself and the impact I can bring around me :)

Hope and power to fight for your dreams!!! Being selected in Dominican Republic after such a powerful experience in the Romanian elections (and considering all my path until now in AIESEC) I got to believe in my friends words: "good things happen to good people" :):):) But being part of this experience made me understand more the power of your thoughts and wishes ... I realize you do achieve your dreams if you fully believe in them with all your heart and mind ... people can laugh at you, challenge you ... but you are the only one that can make them true, that can make the other people believe in them!!! I have a lot of examples from these experiences when we actually gave our last drop of energy but we achieved our objectives because we fully believed in them ... yes we did a lot of mistakes, yes we missed doing things ... but in the end is important what you leave behind and what the spirit you end your experience with :D

I end my experience with this important lessons about myself and life ... with many other that maybe I would realize only later but I will begin my next life changing experience knowing that:

I am truly happy and proud
I gave everything in my power this year to have an impact
I have a unique place in this world that I can call my second "home"
I have new friends I can always rely on :)

My 11 months and 11 days :)

I started my unique story in leaving the Bucharest airport with the confidence that is going to be a great year ... didn't even know that good what is going to expect me there(all my researches were sending me to lovely beaches and resorts, so I was sure it was not all about that but I couldn't picture in my head the country, people, experiences I am going to pass through) ... had a small general picture of what AIESEC is doing in the country (later during the year I realize it was totally different than what was actually happening) ... I knew I am starting my road with a Colombian girl (Patricia my VP Finance), a Dominican girl (Laura my VP ER) and a Romanian guy I kind of knew before (Raga my second VPER or whatever we called the position at that point :P) ... I knew I am going there to help and transmit all my 5 years of experience to AIESEC in Dominican Republic (a country in Latin America, the region I wanted so much to leave in)...everything else was a total mystery :)

Got to Madrid airport and had my first shock ... seeing all "morenito" and "bling blig" guys waiting for the Santo Domingo plane :P; got to my destination and met the only person I was more close to in the entire country, Felipe; spent a great night in some restaurants close to the beach where everything was part of a movie ... full moon, incredible blue water and white sand, natural fruit cocktails! Loved it!!

And it all started ... getting to know Santo Domingo (loud and crazy, diverse colors, lovely flowers and palm trees everywhere, a lot of garbage on the streets, everybody with a smile on their face and singing in any circumstance, challenging means of transportation, fruits I never tasted in my life) and our big common office and house; getting to know Pato, Paula and Laura; first frustrations regarding the fact that I couldn't speak Spanish and I was feeling like a "handicap" person ... just smiling during the company meetings and saying to everybody "buenos dias" (even though it was the middle of the day or afternoon) :P

Transition and planning passed very fast and begun our eternal challenges with money (debts and guarantees we had to pay) and members involvement. Javier (a Colombian trainee that was interested in working part time in the MC as communications responsible) became part of the team and together Pato, Lauris, Javi and me started to do members and EP recruitment ... failed terribly ... main reason ... we were having the expectation everything is going to be like in Colombia and Romania (strong promotion and 300-400 people are going to come to the Big Picture) ... 5 people came and none applied as member ... nobody applied as EP after one week of intense promotion every single evening. The challenges with money became more serious (didn't have money ... I will always remember the dinner we had with Pato eating some small 6 pesos biscuits both of us) ... and were beginning to be a little bit desperate ... still having in our mind that everything is going to be ok :) And we continued without seeing any results, without money but with a lot of energy and motivation. The first miracle happened when Yoselin, an Alumni realized we were not doing that well and lend us some money ... unbelievable feeling me and Pato had at that point!!! God is taking care of us!!!

Raga arrived and from that point on we were leaving definitely better (he saved and challenged us in so many ways) ... we begun building our small family: Pato, Raga, Javi and me with our habits, stories and day to day life ... So nice August weekends learning how to dance, enjoying Pato's food, discussing about everything and everyone :):):) Still the things were not working as we wanted, planning projects and activities that didn't had the results we wanted ... but at least we were there for each other! Again huge challenge ... IC was coming and we had no money to go or pay the fee; our first meeting with the Alumni (meeting Kildare the person that was going to be our biggest supporter); first planning with the EB trusting that everything is going to be ok ... And again through an incredible effort of Kildare and the Alumni we got the money to go to IC!!! Another miracle :) Our first discussion with the team regarding who should go with me to IC ... and thought decision of leaving the girls home to manage the projects we have planned ...

IC ... enjoying an incredible conference, meeting all my friends: Mo, Mada, Dora, Vlad, Iulian, Lucas, my CEE MCPs and new incredible people: Marco, Hugo ... representing for the 1st time Dominican Republic and being proud of my country and Jose :):):) ... feeling mature and decided to change the way things were functioning back in Dominican Republic. Fulfilling my huge dream of seeing Rio and the Corcovado :D One of the most unique moments of my life!!! Visiting Venezuela :) And again the challenges appeared: Raga got sick and was not able to enjoy IC and Brazil; due to the hurricane season the plane we were suppose to flight with, was not available anymore so we had to pay for other tickets from Venezuela to Dominican Republic ...

We got back in September and the big issues started to appear .... hurricane season that didn't affected us so much; a lot of work and again the results were not there (me coming again from IC with the expectations that everything is going to be different); a strong wall was beginning to be built between us, the foreigners (Pato, Raga, Javi and me) and the Dominicans (Laura, the EB, the Alumni) ... and the situation being managed bad from both parts (us not understanding what are the possibilities in this country and attitude we should have) ... projects in which we invested a lot of time and passion (especially Laura and Patricia) that couldn't take place for various reasons ... strong arguments with the Alumni about what should we focus on in order to have results, things that were not what AIESEC meant for us ... If until then we still had the motivation and energy, October was the month when everything went bad ... our motivation (including mine), team's unity and work level decreased a lot ...

I think never in my life I felt so useless and challenged ... constantly having in my mind the question "What can I do? Why is not functioning?" ... having huge gastritis crises after the BOA and Alumni meeting ... being almost desperate because I was seeing that we are investing a lot of knowledge, energy and time and people around don't understand and appreciate us ... discussing with Raga about what makes us happy and Raga's decision of going back home in January ... I think all these moments and feelings were the peak of taking the final decision ... "live or die" ... go and leave everything behind or remain, change you attitude and enjoy this experience ... Thanks to great people around me (both in Dominican Republic and outside)I rebuilt myself both inside and outside and I decided to change myself and start everything from 0 :)

Unstoppable weeks started :D Having team days where we rebuilt our team, motivation and dreams, being 100% sincere with each other; organizing SER MAS and the 20th Anniversary where everybody including the Alumni were recognizing the effort and professionalism of the team; having Felipe's visit where we demonstrated unity and power to keep walking on the great road we started; planning our biggest legacies: pay the AI debt, regain the AIESEC Dominican Republic's membership, have a Dominican MCP elect, re-built AIESEC Santiago, organize a Job Fair event and Caribbean Leadership Conference :)

Holidays came
... having Mo here was the most incredible Christmas present I could ever receive in a country that does not celebrate Christmas as Romania does (what was to expect in a Latin country with 35 degrees outside :P) ... and having the time to reflect and think about my next steps ... Being in constant doubt between applying as a Director or VP Finance in AIESEC International's 0910 Team (a constant doubt I have since entering AIESEC, Finance or something else :P) ... so I decide that the best, most challenging and impact full experience I could have is to continue my 6 years of AIESEC with other 2 ones as AIVP F :D

So January came ... Jenn was elected as MCP ... Raga left Dominican Republic and left behind a deep hole in our hearts, we missed him so much :( ... we started re-building AIESEC Santiago, together with Felipe, a Colombian CEEDer we moved to Santiago for one month and started promotion and recruitment- both members and EPs (difficult times for me ... doing promotion from 08.00 am to 09.00 pm and in the night writing my AI Application); Laura, Pato and Javi were organizing recruitment and conferences ... Javi left and I couldn't say goodbye ...

Preparation for IPM
started with the same challenges ... money ... the bank changed their policies and we couldn't redraw the money needed in order to pay the debt ... Jenn didn't know if she could take her visa ... so again miracles happened!!! Jenn got the visa, the Alumni lent us with money and I was preparing to leave to the airport (destination Italy) when we still had to take a decision ... are we paying our salaries or take the money to IPM and pay AIESEC Dominican's Republic 3 years debt ... tough decision especially because once more the girls were staying home to work ... We decided to take the risk, sacrifice the next months and achieve a goal that we had ... During premeeting I found out Jenn received some "millas" from an Alumni and she could join me in Rome :D Jumping around of happiness around the hostel all night long :P

IPM
was a powerful moment ... I had my successor there to transmit her what means to be MCP in an international conference and to get all the "global network" knowledge she was needing ... we payed the debt and fulfilled the membership criteria ... I got to reconnect with "my people" and start a beautiful story ... and fought with all my heart and was elected AIVP Finance :):):) From that moment on I felt that everything is possible ... that purely "sky is the limit"!!!!

Last two months ... everything happened so fast ... ILC in Guatemala, Job Fair, MC elections, Activarse and CLC, last meetings with the BOA members and the Finance Commission, transition .... our goodbye party and meetings ... it was a constant run that we could not stop!!! Yes we had decisions to take, hard moments and challenges ... but we knew ourselves so well, we knew what to do and what not to do and we had the clear mindset that everything is possible!!! So it did!!!

We were at the limit so we evolved!!!
Challenges did made us stronger and changed our attitude towards life!!!
We have friends for a lifetime!!!
We did say goodbye with a smile on our face for what a great year we've spent together!!!
We are better going to great :) due to these 11 months and 11 days!!!
I will be forever thankful to Dominican Republic, AIESEC and you my dears for this!!!




Our first picture together :) So young and innocent :P




Our team building :):):)


video

The song that represents ... our year!!! Us being unstoppable!!!

"The End"

My unbelievable experience in Dominican Republic ended on the 30th of May ... so hard to realize that almost one year passed so fast and that beginning with this day my life will be so different and so far from the places, people, experiences I lived ...

Finishing CLC everything passed so quickly .... transition ... so proud to see Jenn together with Rene and Glory ("our babies"; the 2 persons that in only 2 months impressed us with their passion and involvement; we founded the kind of people we were looking for the entire year ... those kind of people that understand and feel AIESEC, that would give everything in their power to make this organization grow) planning and being motivated to take our work further! Happy to see their positive attitude, maturity and understanding ... being 100% certain that they are going to make incredible things in Dominican Republic and that together with Andreea, Ricardo and hopefully an ER person they are going to demonstrate to themselves and to the world that Dominican Republic is a country with an incredible potential!!!

1 day
before my departure and I couldn't even picture in my head the fact that I was going to leave ... I couldn't do my luggage till the day I left ... I was constantly thinking about all that happen, about the fact that I am leaving behind all my nights and days ... my people ... my places .... my house and bed ... my best friends now ... my day to day life ... my tears and laughs ... my dreams and work ...

In the last night we had a great dinner and we invited people close to our heart to say goodbye; Kildare again made us a huge surprise my bringing us a letter from him and the Alumni close to us thanking us for this incredible year ... preparing us a very special moment ... this was the moment I couldn't stop crying until I got to Madrid ... couldn't sleep so I spent my entire night remembering ....

It was incredible the level that my departure was affecting me ... and I couldn't understand at first, why??? (when I left Romania I was not like that) ... now, I was crying for one day and one night and I simply couldn't stop ... Talking to people, I realize this experience was the most intense in my entire life, I fought a lot with myself and others for my dreams and the things we wanted to leave behind; I gave my entire soul, energy and time; I found incredible people ... and now I had to leave everything behind and start again from 0 ...

So I gathered my things ... bought presents for my family and friends, said goodbye to everybody and went to the airport in a "carrito" :) Jenn, Rene, Laura, Glori, Cristal, Pato and me in a small car :P remembering the good old time!!! :D The hard part started ... how do you say goodbye??? How do you pass over the fact that you are not going back home in Santo Domingo(how you did so many times)? How do you tell people in 1 minute everything they've meant for you, what you've learned from them and what you wish them??? So I did and leaving a big piece of my heart there I entered the check in door and didn't look back ...

At the point I was in Madrid's airport my heart was in peace :)

In peace because I knew we gave everything we had ... happy and proud of our year: of our experience and what we've left behind (results, people, mindsets); of us: Pato, Lauris, Raga, Javi, Jenn and our future; of the future of AIESEC in Dominican Republic with an MC team build by 3 Dominicans, 1 Romanian and 1 Colombian (the 3 cultures we are always going to keep in our heart); of my 11 months and 11 days experience!!!!



At the airport :) Thank you so much guys!!! <3 Love you forever!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caribbean Leadership Conference 09!

Organizing together with AIESEC Puerto Rico Caribbean Leadership Conference (the first edition of an international leadership conference designed to develop the Caribbean Talent)was a dream we had since last year, June 2009 ... connecting again two countries that have passed through difficult periods in the past and try to re-establish that "country to country friendship" that was present some good years ago; promote the Caribbean Region, the potential of our countries and uniqueness of our talent; promote AIESEC in Dominican Republic through an external conference at the beginning of CLC (ActivaRSE- Sustainability and Leadership Forum) and Global Village in the most traditional and beautiful place of Santo Domingo, Plaza Espana; offer to the Dominican members the opportunity to organize and participate in an international conference in their own home :)

We had 45 delegates and 7 facilitators from Guatemala, Venezuela, Ukraine, Mexico, Colombia, US, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Romania (that being me :D) ... a small but cozy conference that respected its name "Caribbean" in each and every sense ... tropical hotel, palm trees wherever you were looking, morning plenaries and sessions by the pool or in the pool :D, closing plenary on the beach ... definitely something the European in me didn't even imagine :)

Challenges over challenges ... managing the OC and especially the OCP, big lost in the conference budget, huge expectations from all parts, my last conference as MCP and my last dream to be achieved in Dominican Republic!
Learning after learning ... during ILC I realize again and again:

* I love to organize events and conferences ... remembered me so much of NPS 06 :)
* The magic is still there! Each and every conference is giving me a fantastic energy ... even though I was dead tired before the conference ... all the events, delegates, sessions just woke me up and gave me the energy to enjoy this conference to its best
* My level of patience (especially with people that are not professional and dedicated) decreased ... I became more strict and direct ... I was amazed sometimes about me and my reactions ... which is not necessarily a good thing. I think pushing so much for things to happen and working with such different and challenging people, made me this year much more results oriented than I was before!
* I enjoy being around people and delivering sessions mainly because I feel the impact I can have
* In Dominican Republic things can not go wrong :) ... there is always a lucky star that is smiling to us :)We started the conference with so many challenges and difficult situations, and we ended it with incredible motivated delegates, achieving the objectives of the conference, having a great and motivating Alumni session and finishing with a plus in the budget :D Still thinking about this conference and our year ... I can say this conference gathered all the feelings I had during this experience ... unknown, trust, energy, frustration (you plan everything with time but you receive an answer just some hours or minutes before the event; people are telling you they are doing something but a lot of times is not even crossing through their minds to actually respect their promise), satisfaction, peace! Everything finished in the best way possible and still my question is how??? :D



* NO is not an answer! If you really want it, you can achieve it!
* One year is not enough ... when you know everything and can actually perform ... you have to leave and start another experience ...
* I had this year a great team ... challenging but really professional and hard working!!! Felt so proud of the girls (Pato and Laura) that were managing the conference in the back stage and got it to the place where we wanted :)
* Never stop being modest but still ... never stop being proud and happy for what you achieved!!! We definitely have a lot of things to improve in organizing this conference ... first edition and tuns of learning ... but we for sure have something to be proud of :) One thing I learned in Dominican Republic is to be able to maintain high expectations but also to offer importance to your job and achievements ... to celebrate and enjoy your efforts!!
* Two words ... "Thank you" from the people you appreciate most are the ones that can make your heart smile :) Thank you once more Kildare!
* The quality of AIESEC people is incredible! Once more a faci team is making history!! :D

I feel happy and in peace ... one more thing to deliver in the next days, the ending of transition and we are ending our term ... but also very emotional (I pass very fast from being sad to being happy and the other way around)... but I presume is a normal reaction :)

2 more special days :D

Monday, April 20, 2009

10 precious days :)


And I am trying to capture my feelings and moments and I feel I simply can not ... because is a combination of happiness and sadness ... I want to start a new adventure in my life that is going to be 100% different that what I lived before (I remember I was feeling the same coming to Dominican Republic) ... more professional; different level of impact; different people; change in climate&food&level of life; more "cold" and "calm" country; more time to focus on myself ... but in the same time i don't want to leave the people, places, experiences I lived here at such an intense level. I am thinking constantly how fortunate I am to be able to pack again one year of your life in a luggage and go away leaving all behind, but how damn hard it is ... you feel you leave pieces of your heart in that place, a place that maybe you will never see again ... and for sure when you come back everything is so much changed.

My mother was telling me last year that I am like a gypsy that is moving constantly with the entire house and family to a better place ... and I realize now is so much true ... Cluj to Bucharest, Romania to Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic to Netherlands :)

I think for me is even more difficult because of my personality ... of being an emotional and feeling based person ... that takes everything around her first through the heart and afterward through the mind ... of being a person that gets energy from outside being: people, climate, places, work ... so I realize each year this change is:

1. making me more flexible and stronger
2. challenges me more than anything until that point (trying to re-built my home, working place, network ... my equilibrium in general)

I definitely leave behind a life-time ... one country that changed me in an incredible way (both in good and bad) ... one country that demonstrated me who is deep inside Mali and what can she do when everything else is falling apart including her ... one country that helped me in finding my road in the next years :)

In the next days, even though they are going to be very busy and crazy I want to have some minutes and capture my feelings and learning in Dominican Republic ... wrote them down and end this experience here ... be prepared and ready to start another adventure in the other part of the world :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

some thoughts ....

I have 12 more days ... 12 more day in Dominican Republic and is incredible ... again and again I am thinking how time flew away so fast ... with good and bad, with funny and sad, with people that come and go ... and now I feel I am exhausted ... but so much in peace ... is that kind of level you get to: when you know what you have to do, you know the environment, you know the people, you know your dreams and you become efficient enough to be professional and bring fast results :) Is a damn good feeling especially after the long months of learning, questions, energy invested and search for: normality, friends, peace, happiness ... Is a great feeling I have deep inside because all the things that we've planned and at some point couldn't happen due to different reasons, are actually happening right now :) - The Job Fair, the CSR Conference, the Caribbean Leadership Conference, AIESEC Santiago, growth in the country :D

And when you see beyond all that, you see ... people ....

We (me and Pato) just arrived from a dinner with an Alumni, Kildare that actually was the person that was here with us (especially with Pato, me and Raga) in the good and in the bad, that helped us to get to IC and IPM, the brother we never had, the person that cared more about us than sometimes our family because he knew what we are passing through, the person that most appreciates our effort and results, the person that connected us with the Dominican culture ... and I have no words ... incredible .... He took us to dinner, he offered us a beautiful neckless, he was saying goodbye with tears in his eyes .... a person that expresses passion and purity through all his actions ... a person that impressed us so many times .... a person that thought me what it means to be a true Alumni, a true Dominican ... a person that sometimes cares more about the others than for himself ... a person that simply loves to help and be there for the people around him :) I will never understand sometimes how people can connect in this incredible way ... get deep inside your heart and never get out ... and he definitely is one of these persons :) Me and Pato were like his daughters :D



Our dear Kildare, thank you for every minute and second here!!! :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Change ...

Who are we? What do we want to become? Who are the people that are influencing us or helping us to get there? How are the things we are doing each second going to help us get there?

At the beginning of the road we all start with a dream, a vision of what we want to be and have at the end of the road and we are fighting with all our energy and resources to get there. But my question is ... What if we change on the way? What if we forget of who we are and transform in somebody we don’t like? As each experience is changing us ... at some point realizing it or not we can lose these dreams, energy and light we were sharing with people around us...

There are millions of examples, from parents that focus so much on their children and job that at some point they forget about themselves ... of couples that after some years of marriage they lose the magic.... Simple example: me (at the beginning) coming to Dominican Republic, facing all the challenges and managing my emotions and actions in a totally wrong way ... me forgetting about my passion, energy and positiveness....

Due to all these I believe the most important thing that we should take care of is our heart and energy ... how we are going to manage it, influences so much our attitude and connection with people ... if our heart is not happy and in peace ... people around us will notice and we are never going to be able to smile from the heart

And actually who is helping us overpass all these challenges and hard moments in our lives ... people around us ... being the mother, brother, best friend, colleague, lover ... people that know you above all and that can have a positive impact upon you ... people that can tell it to your face “you changed you are not the same” and can get you out from that gray cloud you entered ... people that can remind you of your dreams and can help you get there...

I remember myself in September 2005 and smile now :) I remember myself passing thought the strangest period of my life: when my colleagues from the EB couldn’t talk with me, when I was so closed in myself and had the feeling everything is wrong around me, when I was actually acting totally against my values ... At that point only Stefan had the power to get me outside the office, take me to a walk and open my eyes ... and I will remember his words forever :) My God how many things I realize after that ... how many things I realize in November 2008 when one person was here for me each day (even though virtually) remembering me that we should never lose the smile from our heart and that challenges come and go ... Definitely these people can change our experiences and transform them in something beautiful!

How fortunate we are to have this people around and how happy we should be to share each moment with them!!! How grateful and thankful we should be!!!

And I have a little part from a movie I love that expresses exactly this ... how key people in our life can be there and make a difference :)

video

“Is that girl on the road you keep forgetting”...

Let’s challenge life and the normal way of doing things ... let’s not forget about ourselves and our plans due to the tough and fast life we are living!!! I know for sure we can :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A little bit lost ....



I feel strange .... I have passed through this feelings before some times now ... I gave my best during the last 10 months, I have everything in my life to be happy and I truly am but I don't have energy to enjoy it ...

I am beginning to feel melancholic for the experiences I have passed through on my dear island ... remember the hard and soft moments, the lovely places, the people ... and in the same time I feel something big is waiting for me and I want to gather all the energy and motivation in order to start it with the right foot!

So I am little bit lost ... always when I am tired and exhausted I loose my equilibrium and my clear vision about tomorrow and the future .... but I will come back ... I have to, the last 5 wonderful weeks in Dominican Republic are waiting for me :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

For everything there is a season :)

And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Definitely these last months have been for me the months for healing, laughing, dancing, gathering stones together, love and live in peace :) Is incredible the feeling I have right now of fulfillment, happiness and achievement!

I am in the Costa Rican Airport (making a connection to Santo Domingo) coming from IGN XPRO (ILC 2009) in Guatemala ... and I have the feeling I am at the top of the world ... is so strange because I actually don't remember a time in my life when I was so incredibly happy; satisfied with the version of Malina I got to :D; and grateful and proud with the people I have by my side and I am enjoying each experience with :)

I was writing in my last post about the IPM experience and what I was feeling back then ... all my emotions and special moments ... and now after one national conference and another international one I can say ... somebody there up really loves me and people around me!!! And I was thinking that definitely in our life we have extraordinary moments when our mind, heart, senses are simply electrified and they can not express the level of emotions they are gathering ... that the things you do each day, places you visit and the people you have close to your heart have that awesome power of bringing you endless sparks in your eyes ... butterflies armies in your stomach and a constant smile on your face :)

I have the great feeling somebody is offering me the best AWARD of my life for something big I did ... that somebody is remembering all those incredibly hard moments, energy and passion invested, moments of feeling that you give your best but that is not enough :) And what is so clear for me RIGHT now is that we all need to pass though these moments in order to be not better but GREATER at a personal and professional level and to enjoy 10 times more these moments of truly happiness!!!

ILC in Guatemala was an incredible fulfilling experience for me especially because is my second time facilitating this conference in a region I simply love and got so much connected with ... working with a true team of professionals ... people that smile each moment from all their heart and that simply don't have in their vocabulary the words problem, can't do, frustration ... humble, passionate people that can transmit that so easily to the delegates ... a synergy that was build in some hours and resulted in the best conference I had ever facilitated!!! Everything went so flawless that we just woke up yesterday at the end of the almost 2 weeks of working together ... that we fully achieved our dreams for this conference ... incredibly motivated, constructive and thankful delegates (ever in my life I didn't feel so much appreciated by people around me) ... new hopes build for the region and a lot of energy and passion shared between faci, delegates, OC, chair that I am sure will converge in achieving the results we planned :)

I am living definitely the best moments of my life ... loving, achieving my dreams, being what I so much wanted from me as a person ... and living this I can not stop thinking about the future ... about the next one month and 9 days I still have in Dominican Republic ... about my future 2 years in AIESEC! What I know for sure is that hard moments will come, challenging ones that will have a big impact upon me at a both personal and professional level ... but I did promised to myself during this conference that I will not leave anything or anyone in this world change me ... that I will remain the same humble, simple, passionate person there to help people :) and I will fight from all my heart for that to happen!!!

Once more thank you conference team of ILC 2009!!!
Love you for what you are teaching me each day :*

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stardust ... magic ...

Sometimes our feelings can not be translated in words ... even if we try is simply impossible to express the magic :)

I am happy, I am truly happy ... don't actually know when I was that happy ... fulfilled and proud of my team, my family, my friends, me ... the sense of achieving in some days the dreams you had since 5 years ago, dreams for which you worked like crazy in the last months ... having by your side people that mean so much to you ... makes the days that just passed the happiest days of my life!!!

I still can not believe how life has this magic of settling the things in the right way ... how I entered in AIESEC, become so much involved, applying position after position, being elected or not, coming to Dominican Republic and then being elected in AIESEC International ... after 5 years and a half ... achieving my dream and well kept desire of being there up and share all that passion with other great people around me :) I still can not believe all the experiences I passed through, the people I met, the great places I saw ... how many times I was saying to myself I have to stop and mind my own business, how many times I came back saying I am strong enough to face anything that will stay in my way, how many times I cried of happiness and sadness, how many nights I spent having fun or being worried, how many challenges made me stronger and stronger ...

I still can not believe sometimes how I can be so fortunate in having so many incredible people by my side ... best friends, friends, people I worked with ... definitely AIESEC is mostly about people ... people that beginning with my first steps in AIESEC demonstrated me that everything is possible ... without Dani I would have never remained in AIESEC; without Gioni I would have never enjoyed working on the finance area in AIESEC; without Adisor I would have never had that determination to do things that challenge me and make me tremble; without Stefan I would have never learn how to enjoy AIESEC and become a professional in everything I do; without my dear Ciuci, Miha, Lucki I would have never known what true friendship means; without Ilinca, Vlad, Dora, Adela, Dey I would have never passed though the biggest down period of my life; without Mo I would have never known that the closeness between people is not a matter of time but a matter of trust and chemistry; without Pato and Raga that regardless of differences in culture or personalities what really matters is the things you can learn from each other and things you can change in yourself; without Hugo and Lucas I would have never woken up in the morning with a smile on my face knowing that ... we don't have any money to live with, the country is not accepting us as foreigners, we are working like crazy but the results don't appear ... having their constant support and trust :)

And is an incredible feeling ... of having these and many many other people by your side that trust you and the experiences you are passing through ... that trust you at a professional or personal level ... from your own town and country or from all over the network ... people that know you for a lifetime or just met you!

Is a great feeling of passing though one of the hardest 80 minutes of your life and be selected Vice President Finance in AIESEC International for the next two years ... lovely feeling of having a great team and build incredible high dreams :)

I am happy and proud of AIESEC in Dominican Republic and us as a team ... paying the debt to AI after 3 years, fulfilling the membership criteria, having both MCPs present in IPM, having an important increase in country results, having 50 Alumni fully involved ... demonstrate us that our effort was worth it ... that dreams do come true :)

Being home for 18 hours and seeing my lovely family, friends ... my town ... the AIESEC office I grew in gave me so much energy :)

My heart is truly happy and fulfilled for finding a person that is making my days even greater that they were before ... that challenges me ... that is there for me with heart and soul ... that is making me enjoy every second :)

Yes this month was an incredible one for me!!!
Truly happy :)



My Dominican Team 4 ever We did it!!!



AIESEC Dominican Republic and the Future - Jennifer MCP Elect AIESEC Dominican Republic



My new team AI 0910- part of us



Friends for a lifetime

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gracias Javi y que seas muy feliz!!!



"Esta es mi despedida...
Esta es mi manera de decir adios...
Esta es mi manera de darte las gracias...
Esta es mi manera de pedir perdon...
Esto es algo que me representa...

Conmigo me llevo las cosas más increibles y hermosas que pasaron....
Conmigo quedan las historias y recuerdos de momentos hermosos...
Contigo aprendi que una vida completa se puede vivir en semanas...

Solo puedo darte las gracias por confiar en mi....
por creer en mi...
por entenderme....
por soportarme...
por todo lo q me falte :P ...

Espero que tengas una vida increible...
exitosa...
feliz...

Lo único que tengo que decirte es que siempre serás alguien importante en mi vida,
que siempre estaras en mi corazón y que siempre podrás contar comigo...

Ya tu sabes que estoy a un Click de distancia

Hasta siempre señorita Ciolpan
"

Another friend left ... after so many months together and so many memories shared another member or our team left ... A person I loved and cared more than anything even though it was for a short period of time ... a person that brought me the passion for Colombia and its people ... one unique person! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

....



Sometimes we are incredibly fortunate to have by our side people that can simply surprise us each moment, that can bring us that glitter in the eyes and smile on our face ... that motivate us to strive for more and more in order to become greater :)

Definitely grateful for AIESEC and the incredibly special people we get in contact with ... friends for a lifetime that leave you without words ...

Thank you! :*

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dora MCP of AIESEC Denmark 0910!

I have no words to express how proud I can be of you my dear Dora for your achievement!!! :) I have the same feeling I had when I found out I am coming to Dominican Republic for one year!!! Very very happy and excited!!! :D

I wish you to enjoy this year with all your heart, to give your best and never to give up your dreams!!! Happy we were together these almost 4 years and I still not believe the level we both got to ... I have so clear in my mind the imagine of finance team buildings, your application for team leader and presentation, NPS and all the challenges, "FINEST honey in town", your LCVP Finance year and now your MCVP Finance experience .... lovely moments I will keep in my heart forever and that make me even more proud :)

Happy moments ahead my dear!!!!

Everything .... about everything ....

A hard day just finished ... a hard month just finished ... things happened one after the other with such a fast passe that I could not even stop and think about them ... stop and analyze them ... I was just waking up morning after morning determined to make things happen, that sometimes I had the feeling my soul and mind are not feeling anything, just doing!!! Good, hard, illogical, lovely, motivating moments and people ... made me feel happy, tired, excited ... Still I felt sometimes I am so strong and determined that I don't feel any emotion, that I am not impressed neither by the good or bad things around me ... that I manage everything with big amounts of cold blood like a murder ... strange feeling ....

I have 8 months in Dominican Republic ... results are beginning to appear, we are more and more independent and strong, challenges bigger and bigger, I miss more my country, my family and my friends, my heart is beating incredibly hard thinking about my next step ... and my feelings are so different from one period to the other ... I would definitely say a hard month :)

I started the year motivated to have the most challenging year of my life, in which to be ready to take all the challenges I would have never taken otherwise ... all good until now ... managed to do that ... still on the way I am getting tired ... changing my working environment (moving to the other LC Santiago), managing both very operational and strategic activities (doubled the work in the same period of time) ... and getting more and more demotivated when I realize I can not do my best and I can not do everything with the same level of professionalism ... long time since that happened ...

... and everything ended last week when I felt totally empty inside, facing situations that I had never imagined I will face at a personal level, pushed to my limits and having the feeling people are "entering with their shoes in my heart" (in Romanian "intra cu bocancii in inima mea")... made me think a lot about the relationship with my friends and people around me ... If I am really transmitting what I am feeling? If I am saying NO why people can not understand? And yesterday was another clear example that I have to be more categorical and strong, that people benefit from your good will and diplomacy.

... so professionally and personally I could say I was exhausted and similar with a stone you through in the water ... still some special people to my heart built the plan of "rescuing Mali" from the state of mind I was in :) and I thank them so much for that!!! :*

The ingredients: well structured plan (thank you my dear M ;); a movie so much similar with my image upon the future; 2 great days far from everything, at the beach; one incredibly nice email to receive me back home in my reality ... I recovered myself and my energy ... my dreams and motivation!!! :)

And today I faced the test of actually seeing if I recovered :P ... no electricity and water half of the day, going to the bank and finding out that part of the money we need in order to pay the debt to AI and our salaries for the last two months can not enter in our account earlier than March (bank restrictions due to the crises), I have no ticket to IPM just yet, one of the Colombian trainees got sick and we've spent 5 hours in the hospital together with him, report to be done and no internet, etc. ..... and I realize I am close of going crazy but I am smiling :)

I realize I am so proud of me and Pato and how we are managing the situations together, how we can be there one for the other and get us up, how to think about solutions (going to miss her so much in 4 months from now!!!) ... I realize I am so much stronger after these 8 months ... I realize one thing that really makes me happy is the impact I can have in people and situations around me :)

I feel challenged but at peace! I feel everything is going to be GREAT in the end! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Start!

I started the year with my heart beating so hard I thought is going to get out of my chest ... the biggest adventure of my life ... the biggest limit I ever had, was over passed ... my fear of heights :) I jumped in waterfalls!!! In the middle of the jungle, blue crystal water, rocks ... I jumped in waterfalls ... more or less 27 of them!!! The words in my head at that point ... and what if I die? The answer I received ... you are going to die smiling :)



That was the point when I realize 2009 is my year of taking risks and breaking all my fears ... of taking the most challenging experiences of my life, close my eyes and JUMP! This is my year of saying YES and making changes in my life ... changes that will get me far out of my traditional and safe way of thinking and acting ... changes that will smile back at me in the future!


But still why now and how come?

Well as everything has an explanation and a starting point ... my starting point was this experience I am passing though and a special person to me ... a person with whom I shared good and bad, crazy and normal, soft and hard, loud and quiet, love and hate ... a person that challenged me the most and that made me think more about myself that I have ever did until now. Is so strange how one person can change you in so many ways even if you don't realize it in the beginning, even though you want to be strong and think ... "I am always right and my life philosophy is the best".

I am thinking now with a smile of my face ... of all those fights we had about the way we see life, influencing people, love, future, dreams, empathy ... of each challenge he was bringing up front ... of his stupid laugh in the middle of the night ... of our philosophical lunches and dinners ... of all the things we learned ... of team days and us being sincere with each other ... of us four sharing the incredible moments together ... of us crying like crazy when he left ... of us looking at his table and wondering what is he doing right now ...

Is strange to loose a friend after 6 months of intense experience but is a great feeling knowing that he is happy right now, following his dreams :)


For sure he left a mark deep inside our hearts ... 3 passionate hearts that right now are beating even more powerful thinking about their dreams ... Pato with her passion for music, desire to learn English and live for some time in Europe ... Javi with his passion for learning and gathering information, motivation to think more about himself and his happiness ... and me, Mali, with breaking my limits, smile and look for happiness in each second!

Can be big or small ... it doesn't matter ... what matters is that we are better now, we are better going to great due to these 6 months spent together! :D

Friends do really come and go but for sure you, our dear Raga, are the precious one we are always going to hold on :)
 
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