Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"You've got to find what you love!"

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."


A snapshots of the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
A good one! Found it on Filipe's blog :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Trainees in Sao Paulo

A really great bunch of people! Fun!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

One week after & intro to SP

It's been a week since I arrived here in Sao Paulo, but really feels as I have been here for a while already. I feel at home in our house, the other guys that live here - the national team of AIESEC in Brazil and Filipe and Piret from the regional board - are great, I know already a little bit around the city. The basic places like my work place, local AIESEC office (AIESEC Getulio Vargas), way home, where to buy food etc.

Today I even managed to find my way to the Ibirapuera park alone; met up with other trainees and enjoyed a jazz concert there. Finding the place was fun :D...I had the directions and bus numbers and everything, but still I had to practice some Portunol (the mix of Spanish and Portugese) to find the right bus stop, to take the bus to the right direction, to get off at a right place...etc...I could make myself more or less clear to the person I was talking to, but the challenge was to understand the response...was funny :D, I enjoyed :D:D

A few words about Sao Paulo:
It's grreattt!!
It is huge cosmopolitan city, with more than 10 million (probably a way more) people from all shapes and sizes - you can see here people with roots from Europe, Africa, Asia, Americas.

While in Ecuador I stood out as blond European, here's not much of a significance - you can see many blond people here as well as people from all other places!! Mixture of nationalities!! One can never know if a random person on the street is Brazilian or not, because their looks vary greatly and even I myself could pass for a Brasileira (IF I spoke Portugese...with proper accent of course!!).

Everyone seems to love it here - the trainees, the AIESEC people, everyone else I've talked to.
They say it's the best place in terms of food: you can find better Italian food here than in Italy (no offence Italians, that's what I have heard)!

Life never stops here, one has enormous opportunities here in terms of entertainment, going out to clubs, museums, shopping etc.
It's the heart of business of Brasil, and maybe even in the whole South America. It surely is the largest city in South America.
People say that SP is not Brasil :) - it's soooo huge, diverse, cosmopolitan...like a NYC...and people here have respective life style.

Paulista Avenue is one of the main streets - they even call it the Wall Street of SP -, and that's were I am also going to work. Most other trainees also work in the neighbourhood. Imagine, how the surroundings of my work look like at day time: endless number of skyscrapers, 4 lines of cars on the streets (at least, or maybe 6, havent counted actually), businessmen and -women on their daily tasks rushing somewhere, holding a briefcase/laptop, wearing nice suits, dresses...I guess you can imagine!
Banco Real office is 17 storeyed building on Paulista, they say there's around 4-5000 people working in this building alone!!! Beats the largest companies in Estonia.
Earlier I thought I'd like to try living in a huge city like SP, and here it is - all open for me to discover. I am happy that I ended up in Latin America, so far (Ecuador, Colombia, a bit of Panama and now Brasil) I love it!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How to change the world?

How to change the world?
It´s a book that tells the stories of people around the globe who are solving many of the world's most intractable problems. Full of hope and energy, exciting solutions and compelling characters, this book shows how a growing wave of "social entrepreneurs"- individuals with initiative, creativity, savvy and determination- are reshaping the world for the better.

Amazing things related to social entrepreneurship are happening all around the world, in Brazil, Estonia etc etc.

Yesterday I had an opportunity to go to an event held by Artemisia foundation, a platform for social entrepreneurs. It was one of many activities that they run withing their young entrepreneurs program. Exciting exciting stuffs!! Hub of amazing people and mindblowing ideas and actions. Felt very much like back home where people with similar thoughts, passions and drive were around me! Pirru, Kairi, Artur, Margo and others, I need to get back to you related to that!!

PS. the book How to Change the World by David Bornstein is available in English, Spanish, Estonian (!!), Portugese and probably many other languages! Do check it out if you haven´t yet!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Leaving home, coming home

Just now finished my second day in Sao Paulo, my new home city for the next one year at least.
By the end of today I already feel settled in at home, kinda... quick adaptation :), at least to the immediate surroundings here.
I know I have loooootttsss to learn about the city, the people, the life styles and tradtions, the language (!!!!) etc etc...and I am excited!! I think I've kept telling that to all the people I have met today :))), my new collegues at work, AIESEC members in the LC office etc etc. That's cos I really feel that, I am soooooo excited!!!

I am living with Piret, another Estonian girl who is working in AIESEC here. We share an apartment in the MC house: 3 storeyed house in a neighbourhood called Vila Mariana, nice peacful place just about 30 minutes from my work (by metro of course :).

First impressions of SP, you ask - whohoooo whatta metropol!!! was what came to my mind when I first saw the area, where I am going to work: Paulista Avenue. It's one of the high avenues in SP, one skyscraper after another...read from somewhere it's called NY of Latin America. No doubt it seems to be that, but with a Latin touch ;)...compared to Guayaquil, it's like another world.

Yet, I cant continue without expressing my gratitude to the people that made my stay in Ecuador just so great!! Meeli, Tommaso, Aga, Aneta and Ina, the ATAMI family, David, Jorge, Carlos and many many others from AIESEC, Thanks!! I had super good time!
And I've got all the pics!! That was funny :D:D - burnig CDs in the airport lobby from Tommaso's laptop so that the airlines officials were already looking for me and I was the last person to run to the plane!! (But at least I got the pics :D)

Leaving Ecuador felt weird, I was emotionally confused as I was having this empty creepy feeling of leaving behind the people that I had met, lived with, and become good friends with - the people that were already part of my living abroad experience -; instead of being excited for the new start awaiting ahead in Brazil...in a sense it was different from when I left Estonia in the end of June. Then, after saying the good-byes, I pretty much focused only on what was waiting for me ahead, no looking back then.
Leaving Ecuador...had to look back :))), so again, thanks guys, we'll keep in touch! And remember, now it's your turn to visit me in SP ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Last days in Ecuador

I still have 10 more days in Ecuador.
By the end I will have spent 1,5 months here in this unexpectedly nice country. Regarding the last notion, a comment. I've read some other people's blogs about Ecuador and their experiences here and not all of them are so pleasant.

Although I like the nature here (the mountains, the playas!), I think for me the main difference comes from actually knowing people who live here (not all locals, but who at least stay here for longer time like the AIESEC trainees), and enjoying the usual everyday moments being part of a great bunch of people. Feeling like in a family :)), that usually doesn't happen if one is a tourist in any country.

What's amazing is that AIESEC has enabled me (and shall do that in the future as well) to create such a network that I'd have an opportunity to feel quite like at home in any place I go. Amazing!! Makes the world really small, in spite of the fact that distances are sometimes wayyyy tooo long.

Just a few days ago I was e-mailing with my old friends from Rotary, other exchange students that were in USA in 1996-97 - a year that I spent in high school in Illinois. They are Brazilians living in Sao Paulo and one will be almost my neighbour there!!! How cool is that!!!!

But back to my life here...Meeli has a vacation right now, so we are both taking it rather easy: wake up at 9-10, take bakeries, yoghurt, milk from across the street, check e-mails in a nearby internet cafe, go to the city for a little while or to the AIESEC office.
Then meet the others coming from work and see what happens, usally something for sure!!
Monday night we enjoyed a nice cafe in Las Penas until past midnight, called Arthur's (or smth). Very nice place on the hill with a romanitic view to the river, especially so at night!
Yesterday had Luigi's B-day dinner (an Italian dude working for AIESEC here) at Roxanas, and today...who knows :))

We plan to see a butterfly exhibition with Meeli now :D

Here some pics of the ATAMI family: