AIESEC, how it completely changed my entire life

Brasil, love it or leave it

“Brasil, love it or leave it” campaign from the 60’s

I’m going to say the truth and not (try to) lie to you. We Brazilians despise our country and if we had the chance we leave it. I met many people with the same thoughts. At first I tried to go to the United States thought my family connections in Panama, but somehow I decided to stay longer in Panama. But my way of thinking changed totally when, at the end of my studies, I was presented with the most awesome student organization the planet Earth has ever seen: AIESEC.

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Crazy Parties, my first impression

AIESEC is an non-profit association that promotes internships experiences abroad and leadership, it has committees all over the world. My first impression was that they were a super crazy party-all-night sect. When I check the conference pictures of my friend I got shocked to see so many craziness and alcohol. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some animal sacrifice involved (but there wasn’t). But to have fun is part of the culture: Work hard and party harder. So I applied because I was interested in doing internships in countries abroad, but…. The first conference I attended kicked ass so freaking much that I decided that my destiny was to be president or something similar. From April 2009 until May 2014, I learned more within this association than in my years in school and university:

  • I took many opportunities;
  • I took many leadership roles;
  • I helped organize big ass events;
  • I was leader of a regional conference;
  • I worked in the exchange department;
  • I worked in the marketing department;
  • I found partnerships for our conferences;
  • I helped redesign our webpages and wikis;
  • I gave a lot of nice lectures on some seminars;
  • I virtually worked for cool countries like Greece;
  • I won awards for best member of my committees;
  • I transmitted my knowledge to the new generation;
  • I attended some amazing international conferences;
  • AIESEC dramatically increased my network of friends;
  • I danced for the first time in my life without being drunk;
  • I influenced my company to get more interns from AIESEC;
  • I influenced member to take leadership roles and internships;
  • I drank too much alcohol and made myself a fool countless times;
  • I created a lot of conflicts, drama and gave headache to my leaders;
  • I applied for vice-president and president of my committee and lost;
  • I dreamed of a structured Information Management area but I failed;
  • I dreamed of being a member of the regional board, but I failed again;
  • I had the crazy dream to bring AIESEC to new countries, but I lost the will;
  • I proposed innovative ideas to our committees, but I was labeled as a lunatic;
  • I encouraged some of my friends to use AIESEC to boost their professional careers;
  •  I laughed, smiled, danced, cried, screamed, tumble, felt down, stood up, got drunk, got sober, got drunk again, raise above and did some epic stuff;

aiesec_peaceThe main goal for an internship was to get our asses out of our country (or comfort zone) and live an experience abroad. Your main goal is to be an ambassador of your culture to other and to learn from them, bringing that knowledge back home. But some of the candidates really want to have fun abroad, make money or party like there is no tomorrow, get a lot of money and fill their CVs with this experience. 2306clayton01

It was time for my internship abroad. I applied for many countries but I decided for Lithuania because the offer of the company was very interesting since they had an expansion project in mind, my return to Brazil and the unique opportunity to open the company in Latin America. It was my chance to give birth to a role model model company in Brazil with an European-AIESEC mindset. I was not longer willing to leave Brazil forever.

Lithuania opened my mind in so many things. I felt in love so much with the culture and people. As you can read in my previews posts regarding the work environment.

Please watch my two minutes video about my five years in AIESEC

London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Amsterdam | Rome-Vatican | My Life In Lithuania

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Vatican, Rome and the Mafia

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Typical mobile Bengali snackbar

Immigrants – If you go around the Vatican city, you will notice a huge amount of immigrants selling Italian food and  guided tours. Most of them are from South Asia (Bangladesh, India, etc). I had the bad luck to go to a Pizza place in which the staff treated clients with rude manners. So sad. But the interesting part were the tour guys. By only looking to our faces the guys said: “We have tour guides to the Sistine Chapel in Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish for you” WOOOOW How would did he know that ?? It was fascinating to see some of the speaking in Portuguese with us directly. Niiiiice !

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My face when eating Raviolis

Food – The pizza was okay, maybe as my friends say we should have gone to Naples to taste the best of Italy. My favorite dish in the whole universe is Raviolis. I think I paid 16 Euros for a plate of Raviolis, but I was disappointed to get only 8 pieces of Raviolis. It is like each bite costs 2 Euros. But it was sooooo goooood and we had the amazing view of the Coliseum.

sistineSistine Chapel – In order to go there you must pass trough a huge maze in the Vatican Museum. There are many beautiful and super amazing things to see and souvenirs to buy. It took us more than 2 hours to reach the Chapel.

Dali paiting that few people noticed

Dali painting that few people noticed

It was interesting to see that there were some super cool Salvador Dali paintings before we get there and almost none was paying attention to it. Aaaarrrrghhh !! Once we got to the real thing, there was a security guy screaming every 10 seconds: “SILENCE PLEASE !!! NO PICTURES !! SILEEENCE !! SHHHHHHH!! MOVE ON MOVE ON !!” The amount of tourist is suffocating but the place itself is magical, Michelangelo was a genius OMG.

St. Peter’s Basilica was also a magical place. We went there during the twilight and made no lines. My family simply loved since we are super Catholics. I was enchanted by all those complex sculptures. It is interesting to see that all the tourism is focused on the Vatican, some Italians were telling us that if it wasn’t for the Vatican, they would be poor.

Everything Destroyed

Everything Destroyed

Ruins of Rome – I feel sad to see all the old monuments and roman gates sooooo destroyed.  In some places I could only find a pillar or half a gate. The forum were almost all empty. This is the remain of an Empire dead long ago that will never ever come back.

sopraThe Mafia still exists and it is pretty active.  Once we took a cab in Rome and the guy was explaining to us how it is easier to get a taxi license through the Mafia than with the government.  That they are involved in a lot parts of the business in all Italy, not only in Sicily. As a matter of fact he told us that the Mafia is more active in Rome than in the south. Also he was telling us all the bad things Berlusconi brought to himself and the country, and that he was involved somehow with the mafia. Really shocking revelations.

Also, watch this amazing video about the origin of the Vatican

Please leave your comment and read my other posts if you want to see some other cool things 🙂
Read my other posts:
London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Amsterdam | Rome-Vatican | My Life In Lithuania | AIESEC

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Amsterdam: Girls, Sex Shops, Bycycles and Rembrant

redlightGirls Girls Girls – Walking in the Red Light District was quite interesting. All those ladies shaking theirs asses to me, sending me kisses and invite me to their houses… made me feel really special (it must be cool to be a PIMP). But I was walking there with my family…. It was funny to see the reaction of my aunt saying: “ooohhh noooo, poor girls. Their mothers must be sooo ashamed of her. Oh nooo, look at that !! Poor girls !! Poor mothers !! Look look, I can see all her ass. Oh no !!” Hahahaha…. There were some places in where actors perform real sex, others simple striptease places, all kind of things you can (or cannot) imagine happens in this amazing city.

Mannequim of a girl with a penis

Mannequin of a girl with a penis

Insane Sex Shops – If you want to buy a female mannequin with a penis, Amsterdam is your place. Seriously, who would buy this kind of things ???? WTF if wrong with society ??? And it is amazing how easy is to find this kind of crazy sex toys (?) in Amsterdam. There is a huge amount of male and females reproductive members souvenirs and toys available in all colors shapes, special add-ons and sizes for you. Also tons of super insane German porn movies.

bike_familyBicycle Paradise – There are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, and this time I’m not kidding. It is really f*cked up to cross the streets, because you have to cross the cars lane and then the bikes lane. My mom got freaked out, because in London we had to look the opposite way to cross the streets and in Amsterdam we had to check also for bikes (we got almost hit countless times). bikes_amstWe heard that they find more bikes drowned in the rivers/channels than fishes. Really amazing. I visited Münster in Germany that is also know for being a paradise for bikes, but Amsterdam is on another level of awesomeness.

weedcloudA Curious Smell – Well, I knew Amsterdam was know for the capital of Marihuana, but DAAAAAAAMN!! The moment we walked to the city center I started to smell weed everywhere. We were eating inside a restaurant and I could smell it. I told my family about the it, but they didn’t know it was marihuana. They started looking at me with a face like “ooohhh your drug addict, how would you know week’s smell”. This is awkward because I never used drugs in my life, but I think my family don’t believe it. I should shut up for the next time =/

selfie

Rembrandt’s duck face selfie

Celebrities – The coolest thing for me about Amsterdam are the celebrities: Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Anne Frank, Erasmus, Vermeer, Johan Cruyff, Van Basten, Gullit, etc. It was pretty cool to visit Rambrandt’s house, specially his super small bed, WTF. He used to sleep with his feet to the air so more blood could run to his brain. I didn’t have time to see any Van Gogh because my aunt got lost in the city and took us two hour to find her. We passed by Anne Frank’s house, it was so sad, poor Anne :(.

bbqLatin Food – Yeah, there are a lot of Argentinian Barbecue and Mexican Tacos restaurant. Unbelievable for me, in a positive way (maybe)

The city is super charming and full of culture. It was also nice to travel by boat trough the canals and rivers. We didn’t have time to see the Windmills in the outskirts of Amsterdam, but as a Lithuanian friend that is in love with this city recommended me, you must visit the outskirts !!

Read my other posts:
London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Vatican&Rome | My Life In Lithuania | AIESEC

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Eurotrip #3 :: London: Diversity, costly, the Queen, look left, fish & chips

olympicUK

Diversity of the Olympic Great Britain Team

Cultural diversity – We arrive at the hotel, and the manager and main staff were Indians, but the room service staff were blond girls (not sure if british or eastern europeans). My mom, who doesn’t speak english, went to buy some food in a fast food restaurant. She tried to use body language with the staff, but the suddenly one of them realized she was brazilian, so as their cashier !! india_in_londonWTF !! She order everything in portuguese. Also, the staff were [what I believe] to be indonesian Muslims. The city itself is not so super populated of immigrants as I expected, but it is full of tourist (a lot of brazilians). I met a Lithuanian friend in the chinatown (more like asiantown) that said there is even a little Lithuanian neighborhood with a lot of marozai. There is little India and little everything in London.

funnydriverBest coach(bus) system on Earth – We arrived in Stansted airport and took a bus to London. The price was cheap. Once in the bus, before departure, the driver started to give instruction, details of the journey, and strict safety measures (like in an airplane, wow!) and tell funny joked so everyone could start their journey in a good moood. This part astonished me, because not even in my 20 hours trip in Perú from Lima to Cuzco, we received so many instructions. At the end the driver asked for our feedback and he was super helpful with our luggage. WOOW !! The only way to beat this service would be that our seats give us free massages.

shutup2014-11-23_15-45-35Bloody expensive transport price – We were running out of time and my mom and aunt wanted to visit Harrolds store. The fastest way was by metro/subway/underground. I had to pay almost 30 pounds (38 euros/46 dollars) for the whole trip. This is more than I pay for a whole month for transportation in Vilnius. My credit card started to bleed after the transaction.  WOW! In Brasil I watched a TV show about the London Underground, and some trips are so expensive that the customer says the cashier “Seven pounds !!?? Bloody hell, fuck me sideways, what kind of bollock would pay for this shite?“…. But at least my mom and aunt LOVED Harrolds and now they love me forever for taking them in such a rush to this famous store. It was worth it.

darkDarkness – It was strange for me to see how extremely dark are the surrounding of the Buckingham Palace. Also many parts of the city are super dark. Strange for the city that has so much surveillance cameras.

leftCrossing the streets – If you don’t know, British drive vehicles the opposite way. You have no idea how difficult it is. I started to have headaches after three days. I was always giving hands with my mom before crossing the streets because I was so afraid of her being hit by a car.  Yes, it is written on the road which way to look, but still. [And our next destination was Amsterdam, where we have to look for cars and bicycles. My mom freaked out]

2014-11-23_15-51-22Beautiful Classical architecture – In the outskirts of London, you can notice some very cozy classical houses with designs from centuries ago. In the city itself there are a lot of Georgian and Victorian era stylish buildings that take you back in time, even though if you are inside a Starbucks. Of course there are a lot of modern and contemporary buildings, but the classical ones are the best.

Food – Fish and chips and one million international cuisine restaurants. You can easily find even random things like Thai beer.

2014-11-23_15-54-33Royal Empire – My family was like children in Disneyland. My mom and my whole brazilian family used to be the number one fan of Princess Diana and LOVED the royalty of Europe.church I was so happy to see her enjoying every single moment of the trip (She is also a fan of Mister Bean and everytime we saw his face in a picture we couldn’t stop laughing). We witnessed the change of royal guard at Buckingham Palace. It was disappointed to see that most of the people were taking pictures or recording the thing than actually living it. They also visited the churches in where Diana got married and other Diana places. My family also took some picture with royal guards, royal horses and other royal stuffs. I was more interested in the statues of Birtish Army soldiers, generals and prime ministers, but I didn’t have enough time to enjoy.

coloniesThe “American dream” of Eastern Europeans – Before I arrive in Europe I had no idea London was the equivalent for the so called “American Dream”. The “dream” of many young Lithuanians is to emigrate to London. Many of them work during summer on any random job. Other decide to try their luck, by studying and working there. The emigration of lithuanians grew almost 65% when they enter European Union. It also happens with many other countries, specially with former UK colonies.

Read my other posts:
London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Amsterdam | Rome-Vatican | My Life In Lithuania | AIESEC

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Eurotrip :: #2 :: Portugal: Naval Empire, bacalhau, marijuana and tiles

rosa_dos_ventos

Portugal: conquerors of the seven seas

After Madrid, we took a flight to Porto because the price was cheaper than the one to Lisboa. The next day we took a train to Lisboa, my family also went to Fatima; but this are my impressions of our Motherland.

not-crackMarijuana – Walking alone at night, in a touristic square in the center of Lisboa, I found an high amount of people offering me drugs. What the f*ck with that ???? Every street block I walked there was a strange dude asking me if I want some drugs, sometimes it was a group of people offering me marijuana. Most of them looked like from India. My father experienced the same. Really sad. And f*ucked up !

2014-10-29_22-45-38Immigrants that don’t speak Portuguese – [In case you don’t know, in Brasil we speak Portuguese; and I am not surprised to meet people that think we speak Brazilian or Spanish] // I went with my mom (Brazilian) to buy some tickets for the tour bus. She stops in a touristic kiosk offering Bus tickets and asks the guy for the prices. The guys was from India. It was difficult to communicate with the guys because he could not understand Portuguese, even speaking slowly….. Seriously ???  I almost started speaking English to him. Well…. interesting. Late at night, my mom went to a souvenirs shop to buy a T-shirt. Again she found an Indian guy that could barely speak Portuguese with her. It took her a lot of time to buy that T-shirt. How can run you a business in which you have to communicate with tourist everyday and most of them are from Brasil, and you don’t manage the language ???? Brazilian portuguese is so easy to understand that even a parrot that speak Spanish can understand. So that could not be an excuse.

bacalhauFood – The famous bacalhau wasn’t as good as I expected (but it was good), but the fisher fingers were tastier. My mom liked Bacalhau so much that see look like a Shark swallowing  fishes. I was also impressed to see a lot of Brazilian food, drinks everywhere. The portuguese beer and soft drinks were really good.

portugues

Sixth most widely spoken language in the World

Language – The accent of portuguese from Portugal is difficult for Brazilians to understand. It was difficult for me to understand them sometimes, specially when they speak super fast. Sometimes I only understood the key words as when the hotel guy spoke to me: “You ███ not █████ to ████ lot ████ noise ████ after 10:00 PM” …. I also discovered new words; we call buses “ônibus” they say “autocarros”; we call breakfast “café da manhã” they say “pequeno almoço”. LOL

portuguseShip

Freaking Awesome Portuguese Ship

The Naval Empire – Portuguese are super proud of their lost Empire. I learned a lot of facts I didn’t know about the glorious imperial fabulous  naval era. Portugal actually had colonies all over the world and their influence cannot be ignored. I had no idea of the importance of Dom Henrique to era of discoveries and his influence.  Vasco Da Gama and Marquês de Pombal are more popular than Coca-Cola in Portugal. They have a lot of building and monuments around Lisbon celebrating this time of glory and discoveries.

AmaliaBeautiful and Depressive music – I also learned about the local folk music named Fado. It impressed me to see my mom recognizing some of the portuguese songs. They might have been popular a million years ago. But the lyrics are sad, dark, depressive, nostalgic, pessimistic, melancholic, hurting, heartbreaking, despairing, mournful, full of sorrow, etc.  Totally recommended if you are having a bad day. Just look at the singer expression in the picture. MY GOD, I think she is dying of sadness !! =(

igrejaTile Art – Now I understand why there are so many Tile Arts in Brazil, it is because Portuguese freaking love it. Even the tunnels are full of them. There is a church in Porto in which the external walls are covered with Tile blue art. MY GOSH THIS IS BEAUTIFUL !!! I wish my house was like that.

Portugal was my favorite part of our Eurotrip. Maybe because I found so many things familiar to Brasil and I could understand more where we came from. The naval pride is really something interesting. The weather was perfect, the streets full of life. The only odd thing was to see Cristiano Ronaldo everywhere, LOL: Too bad I couldn’t visit the museums since we were in a rush, but I will definitely plan a longer trip to Lisboa.

Read my other posts:
London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Amsterdam | Rome-Vatican | My Life In Lithuania | AIESEC

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Eurotrip :: #1 Madrid :: Gays, whores, ham, football and the crisis

I lived in Madrid for almost two months, so I will resume the things my family and I found shocking and interesting about the city.

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Super Gay Colors In Madrid

Gays –  There is a region of the city that is full of gays and you can notice by the huge amount of gay pride flags everywhere. It was the first time in my life I saw two guys kissing each other. Most of them were man with man. It took me one month to see two girls kissing, and they were hot. It was summer and the guys were walking half naked and sometimes with a small puddle. It was interesting to see how people accept this 2014-10-15_23-48-50behavior. One group of homosexuals dressing very tight leather pants asked me: “- Hey sweetie, are you gay ? Wanna join of for a drink” I just ran away from them, I guess it was because the short pants I was using. I never used them again 😀 Also there is a huge group of alternatives that confuses everyone, you never know if it is a man or a woman. Interesting place indeed.

Prostitutes in the middle of the street

Prostitutes in the middle of the street

Whores – Well… You can easily find prostitutes in the streets during daylight near one of the most busy streets of Madrid. WOW WTF !! They are dressed with super shirt and tight dresses calling the attention of everyone. I got even more shocked to see people talking with them in order to pay for their services  in the middle of a huge crowd of people. WOW!! That is not all. There are even girls selling sex services in parts of the highway !!! CRAZY !!!

Condom Machines – There are even machines in the middle of the streets selling preservatives, but what impressed me the most was to see a dude dressed as a business man buying some in the middle of the busiest place in Madrid. The mindset in Spain is really something interesting hehehe

HamFood – Is freaking amazing !!! I never imagined such a variety  of ham was possible. Spain is all about ham, you can find it everywhere, some taste like heaven and other taste like lettuce. My favorite food is Ravioli and they have a huuuuuge diversity in the supermarkets, loved it !! The toasted bread with olive oil and tomato sauce is the best invention since french fries !!! I just though Paella would taste really fucking awesome, but somehow I got disapointed, maybe because I am not a big fan of sea food.

2014-10-15_23-11-58Crisis – The unemployment rate in Spain is 21%. You can see a lot of people asking for money in the streets or public transport, and some displaying their musical talent in order to get some money. But what bothered me the most was seeing people stealing food. At a supermarket I saw how a guy ran away with a lot of food without paying, the employees tried to catch him, but he was too fast. Five days later I witnessed a homeless guy stealing a Big Mac from a customer. It also impressed me the amount of immigrants.

Protest – I was walking around with some friends in Madrid. We take a Metro to the Reina Sofia Museum, and when we leave the station we find ourselves in the middle of more than 300,000 Spaniards from all parts of Spain. Holy shit OMG WTF BBQ !!! Not only that, but I’ve seen many protest daily. People from all ages go to the streets and even elderly people wanting justice from dictatorships crimes.

Prostet in MAdrid

A lot of communist and separatist flags. Even some USSR flag

Football – Going to the Real Madrid stadium is really an experience. The amount of foreigners watching the games is astonishing. By my side, there were five male fans of Cristiano Ronaldo that were holding his poster and a flag of Palestine during the whole game. A lot of asians, latin americans and even families of scandinavians that have the skin so white that they looked naked wearing the Real Madrid home jersey.

Real Madrid vs Schalke 04; yeah, I took this picture

Real Madrid vs Schalke 04; yeah, I took this picture

Weather – IT IS PERFECT DURING SUMMER !!! Dry hot weather. AWESOME !!! It is so good that there is no need for a fan or air conditioner at all. There might be some heaters in houses; but I assume people use it during winter when the temperature could be as cold as 25°C 🙂

More about Spain when I write about Barcelona and Valencia.

Read my other posts:
London | Madrid | Lisbon-Oporto | Amsterdam | Rome-Vatican | My Life In Lithuania | AIESEC

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Eurotrip, coming soon

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Berlin, Germany

Currently I’m on an Eurotrip and will come back next month. I will write about this too. Last year I visited some Eatern European cities, but now Western Europe. Right now I’m in Rome but I must say that my favorite place so far was Berlin, which I visited last year. I loved the museum and history.
I still need a lot of things to say about Lithuania, and I will focus a little bit more on things I missed, like Basketball and things I don’t like.
Also I will write about my trips to Europe and my life in Madrid. I will be coming back to Lithuania to experience the autumn once again, the best beers of the world and give a second chance to the pink soup.

River Douro in Porto

River Douro in Porto

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