Living the Spirit of Service with a Long-Lasting Memory

Yesterday I went to my first ever photography workshop. I went with the same feeling which I went with to my first day of kindergarten (many, many years ago); learning something new is always exciting, but this workshop would be extra special because it will help me to keep memories forever.

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Traveling is one of my passions. Over the years, I have found out the real reason for my fascination with traveling: I love the feeling of being “amazed.” When I find a place that “amazes” me, I have to take my “moment.” What I do is try to find a spot where I can be alone, meditate about my journey, what I learned, and how this will help me to be a better person. Then I take a visual picture of my surroundings, trying to remember everything… the color of the sky, the shape of the trees, the sound of the water, the warm sensation of the wind on my skin, and how this place makes me feel. I close my eyes, and try to remember every detail of the picture in my mind. This will take, as much time as I need… it can be a few minutes, half an hour, or even more.

 

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I live in Costa Rica and my name is Cristina… I feel blessed to live here! Another one of my passions is my work; I work as the Community Service Director for Chill Expeditions. I have the joy of being in contact with people around the country who care about their communities and work hard to make changes in the community possible. We work hand in hand with local coordinators – community leaders, local entrepreneurs, young leaders, active parents – who better know the reality of their own communities and can help us to fulfill their needs. We express the s
ame values and commitment of our communities to our students, and we share with them the value of hard work from the people who believe in a better world. This job has given me invaluable “moments” and has been able to create a lifetime of “moments” for our students. Their hopeful reflections after a long day of shoveling under the sun, hand in hand with a local, makes my work worth it.

 

 

When I’m in a difficult situation I go back to my memories. I remember the first time I planted a tree: For “Tree Day,” our teacher requested that each of us bring a small tree to plant by a creek nearby. We took a long walk to get to the spot, and it was a very hot day. For me, it felt like miles and miles away (now I realize that actually was a short distance.) Despite the hard walk and heat, I kept walking, holding the tree. I still remember where I planted the tree and the excitement of having dirt on my hands. That day I learned that every small action counts, and when something costs that much to us we place more value upon it. We want our students to live those same experiences!

 

IMG_0987Every visual picture I took will be in my mind as long as life allows me, but it is inevitable to forget certain details. I can keep the picture in my mind but, also, I can have a back-up with a printed or digital photo. So, photography workshop, here I go!

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Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 10.30.10 AM — Cristina Solis, Chill Expeditions Director of Community Service

 

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