From a tiny island in the South Pacific where the temperature never goes below 24 degrees Celsius to an island outside of Spain where the temperature especially during winter, can be as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
I have engaged, in a span of 10 days some life time experiences that would become part of my historical biography, if I become a Prime Minister some day.
Okay I was just joking about the PM stuff, but I am serious, so watch out people, I will (IN MY DREAMS) have a book published as my autobiography. Okay, enough of ‘yoyo’ talk and back to my TENERRIFIC bonanza.
Between the 7th of March and the 20th of March I was:
1. A student boarding at the La Laboral
2. A participant of the Isla CreActiva project
3. A model for one day and most probably the only photo session in my life…
4. A diplomat meeting with heads of divisions such as:
- The director of the Nation youth Agency
- A very important government representative
- Director of the secretariat for international mobility from the university of La Laguna thanks to Santa
5. A tourist experiencing some nightlife of Tenerife!
6. And above all, an islander who was astonished from so much cultural shocks.
Seems like a lot right? And believe me, that was, metaphorically speaking, 6 people in one person, all at once.
As the youngest of all participants, there were times when I felt like I didn’t fit in however; the ice breaking activities were serving their purposes so, in no time I forgot about the age gap. Interestingly everyone, well some, thought that I was at least younger than 20 which only add to the amount of stress I was already having about being the youngest.
Overall, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, in fact it was more than what I had even hoped for.
Therefore, where shall I begin?
Let’s see, well there was the experience of almost freezing to death, like it was extremely cold (for me), even if they say it was actually better than the ‘COLD’ from winter, seeing that spring was about to arrive. Then come the Ice Landers, who said it felt like summer for them and there I was wearing almost 6 layers of clothing, just so I wouldn’t be seen physically shaking from the ‘Welcoming’ cold.
Speaking of welcoming, the Tenerife people were lovely even if I found it difficult to communicate especially when going to the shops, but thanks to sign and body language, I was able to interact perfectly. More importantly it wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of the two ‘bonita chicas’ who were conducting our visibility sessions.
Then comes the way of greeting each other: people huge and give kisses to each other. At first I was contemplating, whether they only did it to their best friends, like really best friends and family members, but then no, it was a general way of being polite. That, for me, was a real shock! Seeing that culturally, it would be seen or interpreted as a totally negative action in the country where I come from. In addition to that it was inevitable not to spot (at times) couples or opposite genders, publicly expressing their inner most feelings physically. Of course people minded their own business (MYOB) which makes it only seem natural generally.
The dressing code was also a major challenge for me personally or maybe it was because of the fact that it was cold, but I had to wear; jeans, leggings, jumpers, coats, boots, hoods, scarves and so much more which I wasn’t prepared for, before arriving in Tenerife. But, I enjoyed it even though I was allergic to the wool; in fact, thanks to the freezing weather I actually had my first snow and glove experience up at mount El Teide.
I could never imagine or fathom riding a bus through the clouds. Yes, beyond the clouds, 2000 – 3000 meters high! For as long as I am breathing that was the most awesome thing I’ve ever done and will always remember. I’ll let the pictures do the talking as the saying goes ‘ pictures tell more than a thousand words’.
On the same note a very big MUCHAS GRACIAS to Santa and the Spanish team for organizing and hosting us.