Here’s some more highlights of the superstars that are my WorldSmart August 2005 crew:
Eli is from Ecuador but is based in Jordan now. She, like Myoungshin and Elizabeth, is also working with the United Nations, and I think she too is developing leadership programs. She’s very passionate with world issues, especially international conflict: lately, she’s been sending in her thoughts about the Lebanon-Israel crisis and how the Middle East is coping with it from her point of view. She’s also a very talented dancer, and has a very strong sense of grace.
Reuben pretty much named our group. Halfway through the tour, he taught us a Singaporean cheer, the crux of it being “Solid Solid We So Solid” (we’re reliable). Somehow he singlehandedly managed to get people from 27 countries all singing in Singlish. Thanks to him, we are now the WeSoSolid crew. The name isn’t his only contribution though; he has an amazing talent of turning even the simplest moment into a life lesson. Whenever he is City Coordinator (handling the morning meetings) he will always close off with some bits of philosophy he gathered from watching a waterfall, or something. Such a sweet guy.
Andrea is from Puerto Rico (but is based in the US now) and seemed to be the quitest person in our group. She would often sit alone, listening to her iPod in solitude, instead of hanging out with others. I suppose being one of the youngest people in the crew had a bit of a toll on her. However, she is making quite an impact her own way. She’s very interested in modelling, and last we heard she won a modelling contest organized by Seventeen magazine. I think she’ll be the one person who will take us completely by surprise by our next reunion in 2010.
Sammy is one girl that took us all completely by surprise during the program. She started off being very quiet and shy; she found a best friend in Rie, and hung on to her a lot. By about a couple of months she slowly came out of her shell and became more involved; she was getting into the spirit of the program. When we were in Japan, we added “Shima Uta” to our songlist, and she becamse our lead singer for that – which boosted her confidence some, especially since she joined Up With People for the music. When we were in Osaka, she took the week off and went home; she came back and she was a changed person. Her tight curls were now sleek straight hair, and her confidence and self-esteem went through the roof. Such a transformation! We got to see the real her – fun, funny, energetic, sweet, enthusiastic. Who know someone could change so much in such relatively little time!
Miho is someone I’d call a “cili padi” (a type of chilli). They may be small, but they pack quite the punch! Her aim in life is to combine the best of business and non-profits and find ways of bringing them together, to find the methods that work and share them with each other. She was in the process of taking tests for a business job during our tour and passed them all – go girl! She’s very friendly and enthusiastic and has a very strong sense of spirit. I think she will save the world someday with her business methods.