I’m on vacation since yesterday, and yet it seems like I’ll never get some rest. In a little less than two weeks, on New Year’s Day, I’ll be joining everyone else in El Salvador for my first PAMSA meeting. It will be my first travel in Latin America: most of my previous trips were in North America and East Asia.
I’m the air-headed type of traveller: it seems like over-preparing yourself for the unexpected ruins the whole experience. As long as I have my plane tickets and my passport, everything should be fine. Since departure is a few days away, I also need to think about the motives that pushed me forward attending this RM.
Friday confession: I was reluctant to apply for the RM delegation at first. January will be a busy month, having a musical to rehearse, and not speaking Spanish made me hesitate. Even though I speak and understand many languages, none of them is close to Spanish. As a fresh IFMSAer, I doubted I could be a valuable asset of the team in an American meeting, my language skills more useful for the MM in March.
For the curious ones, I am fluent in French, English, Vietnamese, and Mandarin Chinese, while I have basic knowledge of Korean, Japanese, Cantonese Chinese, and Norwegian. See ? No Spanish…
Unfortunately, I knew that I could only attend either the RM or the MM, and I had to choose. “Both of them, please.” My Faculty simply said “no”. I had to make up my mind quickly, or the due date for the RM applications would fly by.
El Salvador finally won my heart: the MM in the States is frankly more interesting because of the greater scope of attendees, but the RM would give me the opportunity to discover a country and a language I never got to know.
No habla español ? No hay problema, I’ll learn on the spot. The OC (organizing committee) sent us a delegate manual this morning, and I was actually thrilled to read about all the procedures I’ll need to get through. I even bought a textbook for starters to learn some Spanish during my short winter break !
Now that I don’t regret choosing the RM over the MM anymore, I can now set my goals for the meeting.
As an IFMSA-Quebec delegate, I need to be aware of the main projects of my NMO and to be able to promote them. Also, I will be representing Canada in the eyes of the delegates from other countries. I hope to be able to attend the NMO hour every single day of the RM and to stay in touch with my teammates. I will be blogging diligently to allow other IFMSAers to keep track of my work, and I hope to contribute to the Spring Congress with the new knowledge I’ll get from the RM.
As a SCORA local officer, I will be attending the Standing Committees sessions on sexual health. As a delegate from a fairly new local committee, I’ll share the worries and the woes of starting anew, but also the small projects that made us proud and happy. My main goal is to learn about at least one issue in another country, and to integrate the subject in a local awareness activity. On the side, I’ll keep my fellow teammate Émilie, who will be attending the SCORA sessions with me, updated on sexual health issues. Back in Canada, I will also inform a future SCORA delegate at the MM2013, Mathieu, about current issues in the Americas.
As one of the two delegates of the Sherbrooke campus of the University of Sherbrooke, I want to channel the motivation in my local committees by collaborating with other IFMSA-Quebec’s delegates and by bringing new project ideas back home !
Throughout the ten days of the RM my goals may change, but I’ll keep you posted ! I will meet my national officer and campus coordinator soon in order to be updated on current issues before the RM.