It’s time to leave already. End of the line. Fin. The week flew by and yet it still feels like I just got here yesterday. It’s easy to get carried away in the moment (and boy was I living in a different planet and universe altogether this week), which makes a little post-partem reflection all the more necessary.
I thought I was ready for the cultural shock prior to departure, but living and working day and night with native Latin-Americans can be unsettling. Language is one thing, but there is also that feeling of not belonging, of being the odd man out. I found it hard to overcome that barrier and to integrate the group but once you get over that first hurdle, the interactions and conversations you have with other delegates are incredibly satisfying. There is much to learn from other cultures, and everyone is so nice to you when you open up.
It’s not only the delegates. Every trainer I came across, every regional assistant, every committee director was so helpful, so open to interact with you. They might do so in a manner you are not used to, and it is up to you to accept that sometimes things are done differently. Example: at first I didn’t understand the purpose of “energizers” (short activities designed to keep people interested and focused), I thought they were useless and a waste of time. But over the course of the week, I learned to appreciate their worth and to start enjoying them. People have a different way of approaching topics and it was extremely refreshing to experience that change of pace during the regional meeting.
I’d like to thank the organizing committee for mounting up such a memorable Regional Meeting, as well as the Americas’ regional assistants for guiding us all throughout the week (special shout out to Aline, our own RA!). Thanks Djamila for the excellent work you’ve done as the delegation leader, you were fantastic! Props to Alex for helping us rookies learn the ropes and for making us have a great time in general. Finally, thanks to the IFMSA-Qc without whom none of this would’ve happened. Till next time.