Hanna has left Cordoba. My 3-month internship ended this Thursday. It was a very nice day, a bit emotional but it just added to the flavor. I made a Finnish breakfast (porridge, of course) and we had a session where I told them about Finland, the culture, the people, beliefs and habits. They were very enthusiastic in learning about how we (I) saw things and make a lot of question.
In the end came the best part. When thanking me for the time spent at La Ribera, my colleagues said that I had integrated very well into the group. The group my colleagues formed was neither homogenous nor united but I got connected with them. I was one of them. That was the greatest compliment they gave me.
Why was it so wonderful? Because most of my colleagues hadn’t spent time with a foreigner before. When they had heard that a Finnish girl would come to work with them, they had been a bit preoccupied. “Will she be cold and distant? Will we find anything to talk about? Will she be able to do anything here?”. It resulted that all these worries were unnecessary and that we really got along great.
Beside the personal satisfaction, I know that these people will see the world a bit differently now. When they hear somebody talking about Europe, culture shocks, different languages or even sausages, a tiny unconscious part of them will remember me. What an exciting thought that is. My simple existence has permanently changed a fraction of a person’s mindset.
This sounds very grandiose but think about it for a while. You do it every day too. By a simple thing you do or say you influence the other person’s thoughts and create memories that will guide that person’s actions in the future. As people we are fairly insignificant but as individuals we can change the world surrounding us.