Saying Goodbye has always been hard for me because it has such a strong impact. How do I portray myself in a way to show that I appreciate everything a person, group of people, or organizations have done for me? That becomes the big question that lingers in my mind. However, I always come back to the first conclusion. It is simply by saying Thank you. Thank you for taking some time out of your days to help me whether it was with my Spanish or recommendations on places to visit in Valencia. Thank you for some incredible stories and letting me into a unknown place with open arms. I really had no idea what I was going to experience when coming to Spain and being able to spend my time at Polibienestar has been ever so delightful. The lessons I have learned to the people I have gotten to know, I will forever be grateful. Therefore, all I can say is Hasta Pronto! I don’t believe in true goodbyes because I see a moment in the future where I can meet all the people that have had an impact on my life. I believe that there will be a time where I return to Valencia and share my life experiences with everyone. So I say once again,
Hasta Pronto mis amigos/amigas!
Polibienestar is the essence of an organization that thrives off the cooperation of others. This applies to in the office as well as outside in society. In the office, I witness co-workers constantly interacting with each other and bouncing ideas off the walls. They collaborate until they have all their thoughts together and return to their stations only to flush out the rest of their ideas. However, they never close themselves off from a conversation. The warm atmosphere and inviting attitudes provide a comfortable environment for any person (especially me, who does not speak the native tongue) to engage. So, how does this relates to the bigger picture of the outside world? Let me tell you!
When I think of reality, I believe in endless opportunities for any person who is willing to apply themselves. It does not matter what a person is trying to pursue, if the time, effort and passion all coincide, then most goals are possible. My favorite example of this would be my parents. They came to the USA because of the Vietnam War. They lost all their possessions and were separated on the boats they were on. In order for them to build a life in a brand new country, they struggled to prove to themselves that there is no such thing as hopelessness. Now we hit the present times, where my brother and I were granted a life full of opportunities. This story is just a small portion but, explains the ideology that nothing is impossible as long as you put your mind to it. There will be times when a person struggles or a person succeeds but it is always necessary to take the best out of it.
This is where Polibienestar plays in the big picture. They may be a small organization out of Valencia however, they work to solve major issues such as immigration healthcare with other organizations across the world. Similar to how my parents put themselves out there, Polibienestar is not afraid to go out to international conferences to present their concerns and collaborate with others. They are always adapting and evolving their ideals to match the social/health concerns in Valencia but, are not neglecting the state of problems outside of their region. They improvise constantly on models and methods that can be applied to any region suffering from the same concerns such as education for refugee children. There is no such thing as the outsider, but rather, the soon to be connection.
This is my third week at my internship and I have integrated myself as part of partial team even if it is only temporary. The organization Polibienestar is a organization that thrives off the individuals within it and prospers when everyone is able to collaborate their thoughts and work together in order to achieve the objectives the company has set out. In terms of leadership, Jorge Garcé is the director of the entire organization and shows his aptitude when the time calls. My interactions with him have been very because he is either out in the field or trying to get proposals approved for his workers. From those interactions I have had with him, he presents himself as a friendly figure who is always willing to help. I do not get the “bossy” attitude from him at all but that may just be because I am just a temporary intern. However, when the time comes for him to take control and facilitate, he does an incredible job. During their monthly group meeting, where they discuss the progress the company has made in terms of projects or proposals, he facilitated the conversations in a way where his employees were able to express what they thought about anything related to the organization without fear. This relates very much to the idea of a focus group where he mediates for others to voice their opinions but, he also puts his own input in as well.
The reason this spoke to me is because one day, I hope to open my own acupuncture clinic where it would involve a collaboration of many specialties including Physical therapy, Massage Therapy, Spa, etc. I want to create an organization that is able to provide all types of services to a patient coming in and have them feel welcomed. Not only the patient, I want all the employees have the “want to be there” mentality rather than dreading everyday. Therefore, I connect strongly with how Director Garcé manages his organization. I hope over the next few weeks, I am able to observe a lot more.
As I enter the third week of this internship, the schedule has settled in and I am eager to put my utmost effort to make the most out of it. When I was coming into the trip, I had no idea what I was going to encounter on this journey. Then as I was introduced to my placement in Polibienestar, everything started to mesh together. This organization has welcomed me with open arms and has been patient and understanding of my circumstances when it comes to overcoming the language barrier. They have adapted to speaking mostly English with some Spanish mixed in to help me along my path to learning the language.
In terms of working as a cohesive group, I have never seen a group of individuals that worked so well together. Rather than just seen as colleagues, the members of the organization seem more like a family who are there to support each other. Back in America, a type of organization like Polibienestar occasionally has set roles where the boss would dictate whose doing what and relationships would be nothing more than work related. The members here however, break those boundaries and are genuine people who enjoy each others companies. That is why when I entered the organization as a temporary intern, they did not shy away from introducing me. I was baffled by how my colleagues got along so well with each other. They are always talking to each other whether it was about work or personal life matters. They are always connecting over certain social issues and how to address them successfully. They are always had their jobs on their mind but never strayed away from a conversation. This is meaningful to me because in the future, I hope to open my own business aka an Acupuncture clinic. I want to create an environment similar to Polibienestar where people are able to express their emotions whether its anger/frustration or happiness. I want people to come to work with a eagerness to seize the day.
I am thankful for this placement and looking forward to learning more!
Monday June 18th 2018,
I arrived to a brand new country with fellow students and our professor. I did not know what to expect in taking this once in a life time opportunity except to make the most out of it. This is the first time I have left the country of the United States let alone the continent of North America.
Now that I have had a couple of days to settle down, I have already come to love the experience. I feel like I am a new-born who has just entered the world with open eyes. I realized that the language barrier is an obstacle that will take time to overcome but, I have put my utmost effort into attempting to understand the bare bones. It became very evident when I tried ordering breakfast in the morning. The key to utilizing the little Spanish skills I have was my hand gestures. I may have looked like a hooligan to the customers behind me but I was able to get my point across. In other’s eyes it may have seemed that I was embarrassed but I enjoyed every second of the interaction. As this journey continues, I will contribute 100% of myself to make meaningful experiences.