It is 3:00am local time and Day 2 of the Pre-RM in El Salavador has come to a close. So much has already taken place and everyday there are new discoveries to be made, new wonders to behold and new things to learn.
I am taking part of the “Exchanges” session of the Pre-RM and I have learned many things about the research and professional exchange program that I never knew existed before. We saw some very positive things that certain NMOs and local committees were doing as well as discussed shortcomings that need to be worked on. One striking thing that I learned about was the “Welcome Packages” that helped guide incoming students adjust to life in a new environment and culture. This is a concept something that I have been playing around with in my mind since the beginning of my term. It is something that IFMSA Quebec does not have and would be a very useful tool once established for now as well as future years. Discovering that “Welcome Packages” is a part of many local committees and NMOs has made me think about drafting one for at least the Montreal region. Also, Quebec is in the process of developing a social program for incoming students and during our discussions in the pre-RM sessions, I realized that a social program could be something quite simple to implement and that maybe we are overcomplicating it with our proposed structures that are under development. It only requires a few key reliable people that do not necessarily need to be appointed for a full commitment job. Just a simple document to guide these key people would be sufficient. Some of our discussions and activities also really help open up new perspectives and get you thinking about many things that is often taken for granted especially with respect to equality and subtle, or not so subtle cultural differences that might impact a student’s experience.
On a more leisurely and cultural note, tonight we went dancing and it seems to me that everyone from Latin America knows how to dance, and knows how to dance well. It is only us Canadians who seem to be completely clueless on the dance floor. Tonight, with the help of many PAMSA friends, many of us from IFMSA Quebec have started picking up some Salsa and Bachata. I had so much fun dancing and if it weren’t for my poor legs, and bar closing times, I could have danced all night long. In the last post I wrote resolutions that I had for this Regional Meeting, and tonight, I would like to add one more: I resolve that by the end of the RM, I will have learned some latin dancing to an adequate level.
This RM has been a blast so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our days, nights, and early mornings in El Salvador has in store!