“To smile, to make a difference, to be happy” is one of the quotes that I have on the wall close to my desk. It is also the answer that I give every time someone asks me why I came to this place. It does not summarize all the reasons why I came here, but it does summarize the main ones. The path has not been easy; it has been challenging, but, mostly, worth it. If someone would ask me to describe my experience here so far with a word, I would say mountains. They symbolize the ups and downs of this experience; moments where I felt that I was on top of the mountain, and moments where the opposite happened.
In this place I have grown as a person. I have learned so much about many things that I would not be able to mention them all. I would summarize everything by saying that I have learned so much about the world today. This place has given me memories, experiences, and knowledge, but mostly, friends. Special friends. These people are the ones who have made this experience worth it for me.
Coming to this place gave turned my life around 180 degrees in terms of geographic location and life. This place taught me how unfair this world is, but it also reminded me the importance of keeping my values and culture, and fighting for what I believe in, for my rights and for the others. All of the personal and common experiences that I have had in this place with people from all over the world have made me a global citizen.
I believe that there are experiences that are difficult to describe with words like the ones that I have had here, these are indeed ineffable experiences. However, if there is one thing to mention it is that these experiences helped me and shaped my life. And now that there are four three left, I look back and it seems that I came to this place for the first time only yesterday. And although the goodbye will definitely be really sad and nostalgic, and people will take different paths around the world, I believe that we will always be a big family, no matter what. I have to say that it will be exciting to tell people that I know, or that I will meet in the future, about the amazing people that I met, and the wonderful experiences that I had with them for two years in the Middle East. Special people and experiences that will be always in my heart and soul, and memories that will be immortalized.
This experience is indeed made of those happy and sad days, of those study nights with zero sleep, of those hard and amazing moments, of those conversations about life, local and global issues, or about random topics at any time of the day or night, of those moments where I felt lucky to say that I have a second family, of those unforgettable memories that I had with my closest friends, of those who had always been there no matter the situation, but mostly, of those moments when “I smiled, where I made differences, when I was happy”.
Written by: Danilo José Angulo Molina.
Edited by: Shy Zvouloun and Keren Sneh