Wednesday, 5 December 2007

::Vafka:: Colombia

Without any asking, here we are the main three points that summerize why I am in Colombia and what I got from this internship:
  • I came here to overcome all of the prejudice about Colombia and at the same time to challenge my cultural sensitivity

  • I have been learning Spanish and discovering the beauty of a Latin American country
  • I feel that I have contributed to education in a third world country
When I finished my studies at the university last summer, I was facing huge „question mark.“ I was holding my diploma in my hands and thinking about all of the possibilities that life offers. I picked the one that would mean significant change for more than only one person. From all of the internships that you can choose in AIESEC, I decided to choose an educational one in Colombia.

Yeah, my parents worried a lot when they heard about my decision. However, I wanted to challenge all of the prejudice that exists about Colombia. I have already spent 11 months teaching kids and adolescents English, learning Spanish, visiting beautiful places which look like paradise, dancing salsa, eating exotic fruit and drinking world famous coffee. I have also been writing about my experience on my blog to let Slovak speaking world know that there was not a reason to worry. At the same time, I have had several opportunities to do a presentation about Slovakia.

As a participant in a project called Medellin Going Global, I understood why multiculturalism and internationalism are important issues for Colombia. Living in a fear from the past, many Colombians don’t travel at all and don’t see the importance of learning foreign languages. I did not realize how big impact one teacher could have, until one of my little students approached me, hugged me and told me: -Teacher, I want to be like you! I want to travel to other countries just like you.-
I am happy that the aim of the project came true.

This great Colombian experience has encouraged me to look for another opportunity with AIESEC internship. Let's see what will be the next...

Thursday, 1 November 2007

::SuE:: Bank Party

Saturday, 13th October

One week after the football match, we experienced another fancy event, a bank party. It started with short reception and went on in a marvellous hall designed as a central sqaure of a small town creating thereby an enjoyable atmosphere.

With Kristine, Alexander and Pedro at one table.

Me enjoying the party :)
It was really nice to see some of my colleagues relaxed, dancing...

On a picture with Alexander,
another trainee at ABN AMRO Antwerp from Serbia.
Actually, he was a trainer at my OPS 2007 in Slovakia :)

Monday, 22 October 2007

::SuE:: My Home

9th October, Tuesday

Yupiii! I have got accommodation!

During the weekend I met a Slovak trainee, Tomas, who lives in Slovenian house, where mostly Slovenian trainees working at European Parliament or Commission live. He helped me to arrange everything, so that I moved in on Tuesday.

This is what you see when you open the door...

... and then make a few steps further in... :)

... and this view I can get from my window :)

::SuE:: UEFA Cup in Amsterdam

4th October, Thursday
Our company coach, Boris, arranged one-day team-building for us. On Thursday morning we gathered at one place in Brussels and and one of our colleagues, An, picked us up and drove us straight to Amsterdam.

I met Ploci and Saska!!! Unbelievable... I just arrived to Amsterdam and suddenly I met two Slovaks and we had lunch together:)

Afterwards we visited ABN AMRO Headquarters - very interesting visit. I only regret that it was not allowed to take pictures of the dealing room. It looks like in a movie, everybody sitting in front of 3-4 constantly changing screens and the largest screens showing the whole world were hanging on the wall.

In the evening, we met AIESEC - actually, his name is Izak, but he likes to pronounce it as AIESEC because it makes people gaze at him with open mouth ;) and together we went to the football match Amsterdam Ajax against Dinamo Zagreb. This is how it looked like:

Ajax fans :)

Izak, me and Pedro

An and Boris

To our big surprise, Ajax lost.
It was losing 0:3, when they finally woke up
and shot other 2 goals.

(I'm sorry to say that, but I don't remember the final score...
However, I distinctly remember the reception afterwards)

Saturday, 6 October 2007

::SuE:: Remarkable observations

Men kiss each other in this country for greeting. Strange...

In Brussels, there are mindbogglingly many ex-MC members doing their internships... Amazing!

Looking for accommodation in Brussels is statistically one the most hated tasks that new trainees are facing.
(I meet every day at least one trainee that complaints. AIESEC helped only very few of them. I feel sorry to say that, as I am an AIESECer as well, but I am experiencing the same.)

::SuE:: Arrival to Brussel

On Monday, 24th September 4:00am I arrived to Brussel. The same day I started my career at ABN AMRO Bank together with Kristine from Latvia and Pedro from Mexico :) See the happy faces below? The picture was taken right after we were told about all the fringe benefits from the company. Quite impressive...

Pedro, SuE and Kristine - The first day at work

Since my arrival, I am staying at Pedro's flat, in common room (see picture). It is very nice. Unfortunately, all rooms in that flat are taken, so I have to find another place to live. Although it seems to be very easy, it's not. First problem is the language barrier (French and Flemish) , then the price and overall conditions of the flat. Surprisingly, many flats here are ugly and dirty. Sometimes I think about our MC flat, how good it was...

This is the room where I'm living and these are the people I'm meeting :)
Do you recognize any of them?

Friday, 5 October 2007

::SuE:: Before Arrival

Two days before I've left Slovakia, I bought a webcam. I checked it and it's really gorgeous! I've never seen such a good picture of mine. Look!
Me and Vladko - what a beautiful couple! ;)