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21 dec201721

One step closer to moving my world

Medellin, ColombiaMedellin, Colombia
I have been trying to tell myself that my decision to leave UK has been a long process but truthfully days after I came back from Nepal I knew and sensed that my future is about to change drastically. Those who know me will not be surprised when I say that I needed a bit of a plan. For some reason I just can't travel for the sake of travelling and taking pictures 16h a day, don't get me wrong I like taking pictures but it can't be the main goal. Of course the reason has its name workaholism. In the past it would be very negatively charged behaviour that cost me social life, friends, girlfriends, and in general living my life as I should. 

It became obvious that if I ever want to make it to the non-profit sector professionally, not only do I have to transform my skills but also gain knowledge about how that sector works and experience in working in it. My initial plan, based on all the data and variabes was simple: volunteer as much as you can, but with a purpose of using your skills, with the deadling being 1.5-2 years, and within that timeframe find paid job. 

After mixed results in Honduras I spent very positive three months in Cusco where my professional skills poinetd me towards an opportunity on MovingWorlds for MovingWorlds. This is the website of a B-Corp that helped me find HCA and LAFF in the first place. After having received my "Opportunity of the week" email with that offer I decided to reply and explain what I've been doing here in Cusco for the last few months (Salesforce, Data etc.). They liked the idea so we got talking. 

Two months and few advisory calls later I was invited to show up in Medellin office in person to meet the team, talk about the future, and present Salesforce to the whole team. 

I have only spent 4 days in Medellin but I can't wait when I finally make a move there. Avianca has "kindly" robbed me of one full day with the team by cancelling my flight, which made me stranded in Lima for 24h, story I have told here.

First impression on my way from the airport, once we got the the boundary of the city? Shit, there's a lot of traffic here, where was the last time I saw that much traffic? Not even New York, I think it has to be A1 between Durham and Newcastle on Saturday morning when everybody goes to Metrocentre to spend their hard-earned quid. Oh and the lack of street dogs was kind of a nice change too!
This does not really prove my point but that is because the picture was taken on Sunday afternoon
I arrived at the end of the week, which MovingWorlds team spent plannig and brainstorming the future of the company, for this purpose temporarily we had an office in a house. On Friday, after part of the team left, I got to see the main office, probably the first and last time as we have to find a new place anyway before the end of February. Sharing space with a coffee-making company has its advantages - for cofee lovers, but for coffee-Idon'tlikeitssmell-ers it's not the best ;) The office has to be changed by the end of February, so hopefully when I arrive it will be a new open space. But sharing it with another company (or few) is another reminder that when you're a startup you have to do all it takes. 
When I realised that there would be a possibilty to experteer/work for MovingWorlds my heart skipped numerous beats. It hasn't even been a year since I left ({days_on_the_road}), so I would be well within my plan timeline. Even after few hours talking and discussing different topics with the whole team it reminded me of 2012. Eulogio, Jude, Lisa, David, Matthew, Darryn, Dom, Matt, Mark, Andrew, Sarah, Sophie, Tim - we would all talk about everything that was happening with the company, even if it wasn't our expertise - you never know where the next big thing will come from.. In other words I created this new motto of mine when it comes to work, something we used to follow all those years ago: "The business is everybody's business"

The rest of the weekend went by under a sign of constant techy brainstorming with Mariusz who is the main guy when it comes to all things technical at the moment. We talked, researched, and tested different intnegrations and ideas we had in relation to how to make current platforms and experiences more user-friendly, nicer, and easier to manage by the staff. 

If you can imagine a kid on halloween that goes to another, random house but it turns out he gets to take half of the candy bowl because the owner liked his outfit. Not the greatest metaphore but the excitement was at least equal! There was a lot of idea-bouncing, head-pounding, wall-hitting, problem-solving, brain-storming, beer-drinking, obstacle-removing, future-talking, and most of all: team-bonding experiences.

After a whole day of the above I could not leave the city without trying to play pool. Unfortunately it's never the same as my table nr 6 at Spot White with Ann and others trying to get me drunk haha but I usually have to settle for American 8-ball. But it's better than nothing!
By Milleigh Vo
As you can see I'm not just work, work, work! Though to be honest even in between the pool shots I wasn't thinking as much about the angles or how much English I want to apply but rather how to best connect Salesforce and MW platforms. 

On Sunday afternoon, after Mariusz had left for the airport I decided to go and explore on my own a bit. Since I managed 10km in Lima I knew my body is back to its almost-best shape, and I couldn't live without seeing at least a little bit of it. The greatest thing about walking around a city on Sunday is the fact that most of people are either away, or at homes, or at some parties/barbecues, which means the streets are emptier, quieter, and better to explore.
Poblado Metro Station and Medellín River
The main difference I noticed was how different the two sides of the river are.  On the left side of the picture is the East Side, lots of tall buildings belonging to El Poblado - one of 14 communes in Medellín, which is apprently not the most accurate way to judge what the city is like, mostly because it's full of toruists and gringos (like San Blas in Cusco), and the life doesn't represent a life of a regular citizen. On the right side, at least at the stretch of two bridges I walked in between, I saw lots of factories (Foton, Colombia Tobacco) but even looking further onto the West side it's not really the same landscape.
I did not want to risk getting too tried, hence no exploration of that side happened and I stayed on the East side, which has its own interesting points. You can see a lot of street artists performing tricks with basically anything you humanly can and it's not a bad entertainment when you're stuck in traffic. I had a pleasure of seeing a guy who juggled some sticks on fire and then balance a stool on his chin. Hats off!
One can not forget that Christmas is around the corner and despite high temperatures in Medellín and literally no chance of snow, people don't lack christmas spirit. The area near my hostel, especially the parks, were amazingly decorated. I liked the frogs especially, and this smiling chap is a perfect resemblance of how I felt that whole time..
One big question still remains open: What comes next? I'm waiting for details of my work in Medellín and frankly I can not bloody wait. I want to go there regardless but it's always better to know what is expected of me, what I need to deliver, what I am going to focus on, what timeline, and all those things that will make this adventure awesome and most of all it will be a great learning experience. If somebody came to me three months ago and told me that I would have a chance to experteer with the company that I found my previous experteering trips in the first place, I would have laughed at them repeatedly and probably a little bit contempuously. Why? Over the years, don't know how, I developed this sense that when something bad happens to me - I usually know exactly why, karma always catches up with you, but when good things happen - I question them and overthink possible reasons. That's something to work on next year - appreciate the good things happening to you and the fact that they CAN happen to you.
 
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People's voice...
3rd January 2018
22:01:52
I knew you could do it, I'm so happy that you believed in yourself enough to really go for it, live your dream and make a difference! One day I will get you drunk and when you come back to visit us we still need to try the vegan pizza at bohemian.
You are a good man with the best of intentions and the determination to make anything happen.
Ann
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