If I had not extended my fellowship, I would have been packing now. This made me realize that I am almost a year in the US and I startle when I think that time passes so fast.

Although this year I have been learning a lot and continuingly progressing with my work at Points of Light, this post is not about work. This post is about the incredible people I have met in United States and the experiences I have had, most of them quite incredible. After all, isn’t it this the most important part of the Fellowship? The people.

Living with my two other ATLAS Corps fellows, Jonathas Barreto of Brazil and Tito Spinola of Spain was amazing. We shared so many great memories and have supported each other during both difficult and happy moments, faced challenges and celebrated together even when life resembled a crazy, twisted soap opera. Friendship is a process that requires commitment and work and we did that and continue to do that despite our differences and idiosyncrasies.

During this year I also met many other people who left a profound mark on my heart, mind and/or soul. Nigeria, Haiti, China, Brazil, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Colombia, US, Lebanon, Mexico, India and many other countries were mere geography to me a year ago. From now on, when I will hear about these countries, I will forever think of the people I have met (does this ring a bell about the wise words of Blanca Pena’s during a tearful speech in DC last year?). For all of my experience I am eternally grateful.

Even if I had to leave home now, I would have felt accomplished. THANK YOU everyone whom I met. I am sure most of you don’t even realize what an impact you had on me. I wish I could fit you in my suitcase when the time is right. Nevertheless, be sure you will always have a special place in my heart and in my memories.

Sincerely yours,

Cristina

 

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