2011-2012: I Have a Mango

The exchange project is currently in its third version, and we are getting ready to choose the participants for the fourth edition. We wanted to share a little bit about the previous participants and their thoughts about the exchange.

2011–2012: I Have a Mango

We interviewed Alejandra Echeverri, she shared with us her thoughts about the experience.

Why would you recommend this experience to someone else?

Having the opportunity of travelling, working and living in another country that is very different from your own is a very valuable experience. You get to learn a lot about who you are, what your priorities in life are, how to interact and work with other cultures and most importantly you truly learn to work in groups and make decisions together. Having the challenge of making it your own project and deciding on what to do and which direction to take is very valuable for a career in the future. In addition, living and sharing a house with people from other cultures is also a nice experience because you realize that you are different and alike even in the simplest things like the way you eat your breakfast.

What do you believe was the coolest/largest impact you made with the project?

I would say the coolest impact we made with the mango project was to get people thinking about connections they did not know about or considered before. For example, after our workshops we got to make many people realize about how much stuff they buy and the reality behind all that stuff. I am not sure we changed people’s attitudes and behaviours, but the coolest impact was to at least see that by raising awareness people  were shocked and were eager to make a conscious choice for their future regarding many daily things such as the use of water, consumerism, use of energy, etc.

What is the best memory you have from your time in the project?

This project was a very cool experience for me overall. However, my favourite moment was the weekend we spent in Stavanger because I got to live with my mango family and my mango extended family for three full days. During that weekend I got to understand, live and know the norwegian culture. We had lots of delicious norwegian food (even in the ferry) accompanied with many interesting conversations about differences between Colombia and Norway. We also had a taste of the christmas spirit in Norway because we played the game of eating porridge and finding an almond and we baked and decorated cookies to celebrate the first sunday of advent. I really enjoyed spending that weekend with all the hospitality of our mangoes and mango extended family.