“Adán y sobre todo Eva, tienen el mérito original de habernos liberado del paraíso,

 nuestro pecado es que anhelamos regresar a él”.

Estanislao Zuleta. Elogio de la dificultad.

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There was a day in the past when all of us, Atlas Corps fellows, received wonderful news. I am talking about the email that confirmed we had been accepted by our host organizations; and in a few months we will be traveling from our home countries to the United States to serve for several months. In my personal experience, I could not be happier and a lot of expectations crossed my mind: from all the professional experience that I would gain, to all the new people that I would meet.  However, along with the expectations came the fears of  living in a country with a different language, different weather, and getting adapted to a new work environment. These were the main challenges I faced.

The wonderful day came. It was August 26, 2014 and I was landing in Washington, DC at 11:05pm. I had my orientation week where I met fifteen fellows -amazing professionals and leaders from all over the world-. Later the Global Leadership Lab came for a week and then the time to face, what would be the rest of my year, started.  I was so amazed by having this experience, however, as expected, the time passed by and here I was, facing some difficulties.

Unfortunately, it seems like by default, (even if we try to be mindful of it) we are expecting everything to be perfect, and life has taught me that’s such a big mistake. If we don’t learn that lesson, we will be struggling with disappointments over and over.

Encountering so many difficulties, I decided to see them as a challenges that I needed overcome in order to strengthen myself. I remembered the lyrics to a song: “what does not kill you makes you stronger” and brought up a saying very common in my country “if you get lemons from the sky, learn know to make lemonade”.

I decided to get the best of this wonderful experience, living it with the best attitude and learned that it is important to have expectations, but without getting rid of reality… The brighter you draw the paradise, the more disappointments you may have. So far, even with the ups and downs, I could not be more blessed for having this experience.

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