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 :)

“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 :)
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