Friday, February 29, 2008

What a week!!!

Well, this has been quite a week!

Awesome things and achievements marked a week that it is memorable. I truly believe that attending IPM in Macedonia for few days and having the chance to see old beloved friends, feeling their energy and share expectations of our future definitely lighted the road for a week full of positive facts.

Also getting to live an amazing 'magic night' during IPM reignited my capacity to surprise myself.
I wanna thank my new soul sharer for that night!!!
Hope to keep in touch with you!
You gave me more that what you can imagine...
I hope you got enough from me as well.
We owe each other the wine dough, so it is not over.

Well, main decision were made at work. After two months of an intensive process, and applying everything I had learned last year in the AIESEC process with TCS and the other potential vendors, I managed to professionally run a process of negotiation to select the best vendor for our Global Venture in Responsible Tourism...
The work is getting shape so fast that i am in constant awe!
Soon I will be able to share more with all of you...

The second main happening of this is week is that tonight I am signing the contract for my new flat. I am moving with a good friend from work into a very cute and cozy flat.

The flat is located in Alcântara in Lisbon.

Alcântara (pron. IPA: [aɫ'kɐ̃tɐɾɐ]) is a civil parish (freguesia) of the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Its name is of Arabic origin, meaning "the bridge", and refers to the Roman bridge that once existed there in the kingdom of Dom João V.

Although today it is quite central, it was once a mere suburb of Lisbon, comprising mostly farms and palaces.

In the 16th century, there was a brook there which the nobles used to promenade in their boats. Through the late 19th century, Alcântara became a popular industrial area, with lots of small factories and warehouses.

Through the centuries, this area has lost all of its charm and old buildings, as well as its brook, and the womenfolk used to go there to do their laundry.

Around the early 1990s, Alcântara started to become a place for pubs and discotheques, mainly because its outer area is mostly commercial, and the noise generated at night, and the "movida", would not disturb its residents.

Today, some of this areas are slowly being taken over by loft developments and new apartments that can profit from its excellent river views and central locality.

As you can imagine, I am extremelly happy...
Everything is shaping as it is supposed to be!

Today I also received a message in facebook from an old friend from AIESEC Venezuela and he asks me:

'What is about that Dey that abandon everything to follow his dreams?

and what is about that Dey that is now living those dreams?'

Thanks Raul for remain me of my capacity to abandon everything and follow my dreams.
I constantly forget that.
I should remember more...

Happy week! Happy Dey!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

My way home

Recently I visited Macedonia and in the way there (14 hours of traveling) I worte the following...

My way home...

I am in Croatia.

I am in the way home, or should I say in the way to where once was home…

I am in my way to Skopje.

It has been a journey of surprises and discoveries since that day in 2003 when I left Venezuela; a journey that has been mined of satisfying memories and experiences.

When I left Venezuela - and for many years in a row before I left - my first value for life was freedom. However and somehow, my journey calmed my thirst for freedom and gave me a new perspective on needs and values.

Today I often repeat ‘I do not need that, I want it!’

In a way, this statement can summarize part of the path I have followed; a path of choices and a path of faith. Together they are complete, together they make me complete.

Today I want a dog, a relationship and a garden.

Today I do not need that to be complete. I contain within myself the things that I like and dislike, and one complements the other to make me who I am.

In my way to Macedonia I recall that my perceptions of life were very different, I recognize that I have grown and how much, that inspires me to breathe long and tender and stop for a while.
I have moved, I have moved on.

It is funny how I wonder if I am a better person now… I wonder if this movement has been in the right direction. And again my new ‘me’ tells me that there is no right or wrong direction; there is just ‘a’ direction, in which I have chosen to move.

Right now I am not trying to make sense of anything. In the here and in the now, I am living. In this very second I am staring at my laptop screen letting my words flow; as they are, as they come out.

I definitely feel rejuvenated. I can feel that freedom I so hardly looked for emerging from every pore in my body.

I do not need to be free, I am. We all are.
Even with excuses, with delays, with pain, with complexes, we are; we definitely are all free. We still and no matter what, can choose. That is freedom for me today.

No matter the state, the conditions, the social reality, the money… at the end of the page, we can have a word to choose, an action to make or not, a thought to have. We can infinitely choose.
I have chosen.

I choose to move to Barcelona with nothing more than a very powerful memory of the energy that city transferred me every time I was there. I choose to decline job opportunities. I choose to leave Barcelona and follow a hint. I choose to rediscover my roots in Portugal. I choose to postpone a dream and a commitment. I choose to travel 2 hours from and to my office every single day. I choose to forgive. I choose to look for forgiveness. I choose not to go for a desperate search for love, but to wait still making sure I am out there in the market of love, available to be seen. I choose to stop cooking for a while, it has became a drug. I choose to go to the gym three times a week. I choose to wake up every day at 7 am. I choose to give the best of me in everything I do at job. I choose to give time some time.

I choose to choose and that has set me free.

Later today I will arrive to Skopje and will see old very close and beloved friends. Later today I will face the difference between who I was and who I am, or the lie that I am telling myself when I say so and when I write it here. Maybe I have not change at all; maybe I just have expressed in nice words parts of me that did not have the chance to express themselves before.

No matter what the finding will be. I have chosen that the story that I am telling to myself about myself now worth it and I will continue spelling it for a while, until becomes true or until does not make sense anymore.
I have chosen, again.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to save a LIFE!

Somewhere along a road in Turkey I was offered an iPOD with this song playing...

I was told to look at the horizon and listen to the lyrics, nothing else.
I did.

And I pretended nothing else was happening.

An eternal night and a long hug, a night hug, that was all I got. Even dough, when I remember, I smile. Many times we get nothing...
I got something, and I am grateful.

Today I realize how much in love I was. Nice! I am always arriving 20 minutes late. The worst part? I arrive 20 minutes late to someone else's date.

However, time pass by and storms calm down.

I never realized how much the song was singing about me at that particular moment of my life... and his... Today I do. And today I post it here, for him to read and smile, with me.

Hope you have found what you were aiming for. You know you deserve it.
You'll always be part of my dreams and my most romantic tales.
Your tears still water the flowers of our moments together, of our conversations.

Thank you for making me feel loved like a mortal.

This posting is a way to say thank you, I am sorry and good bye.

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Philosophy of Life!

I have just received by post mail a card my mom gave me when I visited her in Venezuela last summer. Unfortunately I forgot the card at home and she gave it to my sister, who send it to me from Canada. So it is pretty much a traveler card...

I just wanted to share with you the message of the card, I think it worth it a lot. It is part of how my mom has always helped me out to be me... And it is a lot about what she always tells me, through little stories that I have shared with a lot of you... That is why I always speak so much about my mother and use her in many of my speeches.

Thanks mom, I love you.

Philosophy of Life!

Think freely, practice patience.
Smile often.
Taste special moments.

Make new friends... discover the old ones.
Tell them that you love them and how much you love them.

Feel deeply. Discard all worries.
Forget all problems. Forgive your enemy.

Keep your promises.
Give yourself more than one chance.
try to reach that chance again.
Have good ideas.

Make some mistakes. Learn from them.
Observe miracles. Make them happen.

Be a little bit crazy.
Watch the sunset.
Listen to the rain.
look at the rainbow and the starts.

Observe beauty all around you.
Smile with your heart.
Give, trust, give yourself to others.

Help someone else to get still.
Wait, wish, grow, work hard, be.

Try to understand.
Cry whenever you feel you need to.
Have faith. Trust life. Enjoy its wonders.

Bring comfort to a friend. Trust yourself.

Be happy.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy, every morning...

Since I started my new job in Lisbon, I have to travel one hour average from home to the office.

At the beginning it was not pleasant to discover i will be spending two hours every day to get from home to work and vice versa, but step by step I have learned to appreciate the trip, enjoy it and make it useful.

I take the metro in the green line (Anjos), change to the blue line (in Baixa-Chiado), get to Marques de Pombal and there take the bus 48 that will take me close to my job crossing the Monsanto Park.

Finally I walk for around 15 minutes and I am in the office.

I have been reading a lot during the trips every day. I have been meeting my goal of four books a month, which is very cool, but started to become very expensive as well, so now I am borrowing books from friends after I realized I am not good at re-reading books... Whatever I read, I most probably will not be able to read again, hard to know why, I just get very bored.

Within the middle of this Odyssey, there is a moment that captures me profoundly.

As in many other countries, in Portugal we have free newspapers, which are actually a summary version of the real newspaper, with short parts of the main stories.

This free newspapers are delivered by people at the exits of the metro stations and on the streets by the traffic lights, as you can see on the picture.

What really strikes me every morning are two people I have got to observe a lot.

At the main exit of the Marques de Pombal station there is a lady between her 60s and 70s.

She is there every morning; happy, with a wide wide smile, delivering the newspapers. It is a tough job, not everyone wants the newspaper, some people are arrogant or even aggressive.

Despite everything she is there, still, calm, happy... with her wide smile, fulfilling her job... enjoying what she does.

There is another guy, around his middle 20s.

He does give away the newspapers in the street, to the people in the cars that pass by. He is also so happy, and so full of energy, always singing and smiling and running... I do not know what his dreams are, I do not know what his plans for life are... The only thing I can think about when I see him is how easily he surrender to the power of enjoying what he does... and how he can transmit that around.

People do not know the names of my two friends (I have decided they are my friends), me neither. But we all say hi to them every morning, we will miss them if one day one of them will not be there.

We will miss not only their faces, but the encouragement they give us with their attitude.

Today, I enjoy what I am doing, I truly love my work, that is the reason I moved to Lisbon, if not I will still be in Barcelona. Step by step I am getting to love this city, step by step I am finding a way to call 'here' home and not just 'here' anymore.

Thanks to my two newest friends, I am also discovering how powerful is to be grateful for the job I have; to surrender to the power of being one with what I do...

When I forget about that, I just have to do my every day routine and there, in Marques de Pombal, when I leave the metro and wait for my bus, I am remembered...

Thank you.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Let's help! >>

I have been hearing about Kiva from different friends. Today, as part of my job, i was sent to their website to check out how it works and take some ideas...

Well, I took some ideas, but most importantly I got caught by the power of holding each other. I couldn't resist and I joined in, lending to two different entrepreneurs in countries where I had lived in the past.

See one of Kiva's real stories:

Basically, with Kiva you become a lender and you can lend money to people that really needs it. As simple as that. Here you have the flow of how it works:

It is very simple, just go to their website and check it out, it is very comprehensive!!

At this moment I have invited tons of my friends to join in, please do the same, there are people outside there that really need our help, 25$ is nothing for most of us, but it can make a huge difference from many of those entrepreneurs around the world...

Here you have the stories of the two women to who I decided to lend 25UDS each...

Ciria Perea

Ciria is 50 years old, single, and works selling clothing in outlying neighborhoods and to friends.

Ciria began her business with the help of her sister, who loaned her the merchandise to begin her own business.

At the beginning she only sold underwear and clothing. With her first loan from Mifex and Kiva she invested in stuffed animals, gifts, costume jewelry and cosmetics.

After attending a course offered by Mifex on craft-making, she started making party favors to sell for children's parties.

She uses some of her profit for travel expenses and goes to other cities to sell. Ciria is a hard worker, and she depends on her business to support her family and to save for the future. Working as an ambulatory saleswoman is not only difficult work but also dangerous in certain neighborhoods.

Safety is a great concern of Ciria's, and she is requesting a second loan to help her improve her home so she can use part of it for her business and conduct her sales from home.

Miriam Josefina Herrera Rodriguez

Mrs. Josefina has always been a hard worker, a few years ago an unfortunate and tragic accident occurred and she lost her husband in a transportation accident. This cause her much pain because her three lovely daughters were very small.

Since then they have given her enough strength for her to obtain various occupations and convert herself into both mother and father for her children, always looking out for their well-being, security and education.

Presently, this adorable mother lives in a family home where she works from very early in the morning producing ducts/gutters for roofs of homes.

This occupation of manual labor that she realizes with her skills and working hands enables her to provide an education for her lovely daughters.

Additionally, she sells candy, American clothes and vegetables, among others.

Her wish is to expand the production of ducts/gutters and it is for this reason that she is soliciting your help in order to acquire the necessary materials to realize this goal.

Josefina and her lovely daughters are appreciative of your hear and your kind collaboration.


Who is not moved after reading such stories? They are real stories, and we have in our hands the chance to do more than just be moved by them.

How many of us think that we have too many problems? This is a slap in the face and a door to do something about it.

Yes our problems are also real, and they are ours; I am not taking that away. It is also true that we have more opportunities to go through them and solve them, we have education, some income, an amazing network of talented friends... That brings with it a responsibility, a responsibility to care and do something about it.

In Kiva I found a way to make a difference while doing mostly nothing, just make a couple of euros available for who really need it. It seems like I am lying to myself and using this opportunity to compensate for all things that I could do and I am not doing...

Well this is better than nothing, and it really means a lot for Ciria and Miriam and many others like them in Kiva.

Take some minutes, login, take your credit card and lend. Simple. Needed. Useful. Good!

Visit Kiva

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