THE NINTH MONTH OF THE YEAR…
by Carlos Ojeda Castro, IVLP Mexico.
September is the ninth month of the year, and certainly marks an important date for all IANA members, also is an important date to the writer of these lines, and I will explain the reason. In September I celebrate my birthday and the anniversary of IANA is conjugated with my date of birth in the ninth month of the year. September 23rd, marks the date of my birthday and I clearly remember that day back in 2011, I gave a small party for close friends at my home, then the next day I was preparing my luggage, materials and everything I need to take that wonderful flight to Argentina on September 25th, starting very early in my hometown airport and culminating on 26th at 10 am at the airport in Buenos Aires. As you can see were highly interlinked events, almost one followed the other and therefore they will always be in my mind but especially in my heart. Being a State Alumni, has been one of the greatest prides that I had on my professional career, and also it allowed me to participate in the integration of a group as IANA, that strengthen the pride of being part of a global network of individuals who seek to improve our homelands, our communities and our countries.
Of course IVLP Hemispheric Conference in Buenos Aires marked the beginning of this international network, but there was not only a project that took place in 2011, IANA is a living project, constantly growing and with excellent development prospects in the years ahead. It is definitely a common space where 22 nations can exchange ideas, express opinions and propose solutions to common problems in this globalized world. I remember the working days of the meeting in the “Capital Porteña”, the exchanges, expressions, agreements, disagreements but especially the ability of understanding of all participants, even with the cultural, contextual and language differences, and particularly in this area, where I could bring some points of view and experiences about the significant work we have done in Mexico in the field of teaching English (TEFL), as well as I could improve my vision with experiences and expertise of colleagues from other nations. I believe sincerely that the values of respect and tolerance played a major role in the development and performance of the IANA roundtables.
Talk about the participants is joyful; a great group of hemispheric leaders who enriched each of their working groups, but more than that, they enriched the mind and heart of every member of IANA.
Special mention to our friend Ricardo Vanella, whose charisma and leadership allow the integration of the right people to participate in this project created by him, which won the competition in the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. Ricardo is an agent of change, not only in Argentina, but in all the Americas and the consolidation of partnerships as REAL are a sign of the dynamism and leadership of our dear friend.
A great team support Ricardo to make a success of this project, the Argentinean experts staff, officials of the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, led by the Honorable Ambassador Vilma Socorro Martinez and the wonderful staff of this diplomatic representation and the distinguished State Department officials who traveled to Argentina for this special occasion and the Argentinean Alumni Association. To them all, our thanks for their splendid hospitality during our stay in Buenos Aires.
Now that I mention the “Capital Federal” (Buenos Aires City), come to mind wonderful memories of that beautiful city, with its majestic buildings and wonderful architecture, its neighborhoods of Recoleta, Palermo and Belgrano, just to name a few of them, the stunning Puerto Madero and his nightlife, but mostly its people, the “Porteños”, splendid and warm people always cordial and friendly with visitors.
IANA has its first anniversary this month, the first of many no doubt, and it is time that all members renew their commitment to this important project. A greeting to all IANA members, to IANA as an institution and to IANA leaders and managers.
Go IANA!!!, lets celebrate this ninth month of the year, that marks our anniversary.
Prof. Carlos Ojeda, IVLP Mexico, September 2012.