WEDDING TIME!! BODAS, BODAS y más BODAS!

Hola! I’m really excited because it’s my sisters wedding this summer and after skyping with her a couple of days ago, I’ve started to count down the days till I finally get to go back to El Salvador and join in the festivities! I’ve decided to make this blog post about the traditions that take place in a typical Salvadorian wedding to celebrate my culture in preparation for my sister’s big day. So traditionally, in El Salvador we have church weddings with the bride bearing light jewelry but wearing a long, beautiful, white dress making her the most gorgeous girl in the room. The groom wears a tuxedo or suit and other guests also wear dresses and suits/tuxedos but are of course, do not outshine the happy couple. The groom is at the altar and the bride walks down the aisle towards him with her father. They then stand at the altar together and the minister begins the ceremony. One of my favorite parts comes after this when the couple exchanges their vows. Then the ring bearer gives them the rings, which they exchange, followed by the usual “I do’s” and the most awaited part: the first kiss as husband and wife! Then they walk out together, and in some cases, the groom will even pick the bride up as they walk out. I can’t wait till I see my sister and her fiancé perform all these beautiful traditions and be united as husband and wife!

Cultural facts!!!:

The colour white for the dress signifies purity and virginity which is why the bride wears it. The bride and groom need to keep the wedding in a budget, since typically, the couple pays for it. (Sometimes, the parents of the couple will help out with the cost but mostly, the bride and groom need to cover it themselves.)

‘Til next time,

Vilma.

¡Hola! Estoy muy emocionada porque este verano es la boda de mi hermana y luego de haber hablado con ella por Skype, he comenzado la cuenta regresiva para mi regreso a El Salvador donde ¡comenzaran las festividades! He decidido hacer esta publicación en mi blog sobre las tradiciones en una boda tradicional Salvadoreña para celebrar mi cultura para celebrar el gran día de mi hermana. Tradicionalmente, en el Salvador las bodas se celebrar en primer lugar en la Iglesia, con la novia usando pocas joyas con un largo, blanco y hermoso vestido blanco, haciendola la más espléndida mujer en el lugar. El novio usa un esmoquin o un vestido al igual que otros invitados pero, por supuesto, nunca para opacar la belleza de la nueva pareja. El novio espera en el altar y la novia, tomando el brazo de su padre, camina por el corredor hasta llegar al altar. Allí, con la pareja de pie, el sacerdote inicia la ceremonia. Una de mis partes favoritas llega después de la ceremonia en la iglesia cuando la pareja intercambia votos. Luego el paje, entrega los anillos a la pareja y la pareja intercambia anillos, seguido por el usual “acepto” y el momento mas esperado por los espectadores, ¡el primer beso como marido y mujer! Después de esto los dos caminan juntos y, en algunos casos, el novio alza a la novia y así salen de la iglesia. No puedo esperar para ver a mi hermana y su novio realizando todas estas hermosas tradiciones y ¡estar unidos como marido y mujer!

Algunos datos culturales!!!:

El color blanco del vestido simboliza la pureza y virginidad por, eso la novia lo lleva. El novio y la novia deben mantener un presupuesto en mente, ya que tradicionalmente, ellos son los que pagan (aunque aveces los padres ayudan pero en su mayoría este no es el caso!).

Hasta luego,

Vilma 🙂

Long time no see. Hace tiempo no nos vemos. (English, Español)

To be honest, I kinda had forgotten about my blog. This used to be a place where I could just pour out what I felt and it somehow connected me home. But this place doesn’t feel strange any more. More and more this place becomes what I think of familiar and these faces are family. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever in love with my country. In the first place, that’s why I’m even here. But my concept of home becomes more and more distorted as time passes and as the world shows you how you are not only a citizen of the place you were born, but of the whole world.

Long story short, I am already in my second year about to finish my third term. As for future plans, I still don’t know what I’m going to do but it seems like teaching and dancing are the way to go as for now. I’ll try to post more often but can’t make any promises!

See ya soon,

Para serles honesta, se me había olvidado escribir en mi blog. Aquí era un lugar donde yo podía escribir lo que sea que sentía y de alguna manera eso me conectaba a casa. Pero este lugar ya no se siente tan extraño. Más y más este lugar se convierte en lo que yo veo como familiar y estas caras son familia. No me mal entiendan, estoy por siempre enamorada de mi país. En mi primer lugar, esa es la razón por la cuál estoy aquí. Pero mi concepto de casa se vuelve más y mas distorsionado al pasar del tiempo y a la vez el mundo me muestra que no solo somos ciudadanos del lugar donde nacimos sino del mundo entero.

En resumen, ya estoy en mi segundo año a punto de terminar mi tercer semestre. En cuanto a planes para el futuro, todavía no se que haré pero por el momento enseñar y bailar parece ser el camino ideal. Intentare postear más seguido pero no prometo nada!

Nos vemos pronto,

Vilma 🙂

General Update (English Only)

I have come into conclusion that I suck at updating my blog since I only write like once every couple of months. Since much has happened since I last wrote a blog, I am just going to write a general update of what I have been up to and what will happen in the near future.

So Project Week was last week! I got to go to Cambodia with Project Little Dream. This organization seeks to provide a physical structure where children can go to school. Also, they repair basic things like benches and tables. We arrived to Phnom Penh Saturday noon and went straight to a bus that took us to Ta’keo, a little town two hours from the capital. That saturday we were all excited to go to the market and buy as much snacks for the week as we could. Olga, my PW roomie, and I went on a mission: to find Thai pants. We went pretty inside the market where we saw the most adorable fabrics and dresses. Long story short, we went way too inside and some guy try to buy us. Yes, you heard well, BUY US. I freaked out, off course, and ran desperately to the exit (which was freaking hard to find since we where God knows where). We told our supervisor our little adventure and he advised us to stick with two more people. Off course, we didn’t and off course someone tried to buy us again. This time our supervisor saw with his own eyes what happened. He was a bit mad and disturbed. We were just as disturbed if not more. Anyway the next day we started working on our big project: varnishing the structure of what was going to be a school. One thing I know for sure, that thing was BIG. It took us quite a few days to sort of finish it, but there was so much we could do. Thursday we celebrated our last day in Ta’keo by visiting a school in a village and playing some games with the kids. Friday morning we departed for a free day in Phnom Penh! We visted a couple of museums and spent some time in the market. Our curfew was 10pm, therefore we had the whole night to kill (since curfew isn’t really curfew if you are in Cambodia with your friends he he). That night was pretty interesting, to say the least. We retured to HK saturday afternoon. I bought some McDonalds, caught up with some of my friends’ Project Weeks, and proceeded to bed.

That sunday, Shuhei and I got to go to an organic market in Sai Kung. Pretty cool I must add. We got pita bread, jamón serrano, and tea bags from Teapigs (check their website or FB!). They also had an Australian stall that sold…. VEGIMITE! So gross but so addictive. We didn’t get any, but I was for sure tempted.

This week has been pretty boring, I’ve been catching up with school work and preparing for exams upcoming the next couple weeks. This saturday was the E3 Concert where a lot of people from school and outside of school performed, including myself. Lenten Season started a couple of days ago and my whole church is doing daily devotions from the 5th of March up until Easter Day, I hope I can keep it up! I am also starting to make plans for the summer which are quite bittersweet because I may have to miss my old schoolmates grad, which is obviously a bummer, but service is why I am here on the first place so whatever must be done shall be done. Today was absolutely refreshing, it is always nice to go to church and remind myself that all the work I have done is not in vain.

That’s it for now, I wish you an incredible weekend and much love from HK,

Vilmi.

This is how we fill a tuk-tuk in Cambodia.

This is how we fill a tuk-tuk in Cambodia.

House of Souls, in the genocide museum in Phnom Penh.

House of Souls, in the genocide museum in Phnom Penh.

The LAD girls right after the competition.

The LAD girls right after the competition.

Trust – Confianza

I know I have not been very active these last couple of weeks, but as everyone knows, IB life is extremely demanding. In this post I want to talk to you about something that has really been bothering me lately and I guess you guys should know since these posts are written mostly for those applicants who want a glimpse of the “UWC life”. I bet you already have a clue judging from the title, yes, TRUST. Something so under estimated these days, but I am here to remind you the value of it.

I have never been the type of person that gives trust away pretty easily, just because a lot of people have betrayed me in the past and it is easier for me to have very few friends, but all trust worthy. In a UWC, many people will talk to you, be nice to you, and they will try to be your friends just because we are all in the same boat: no friends here and no family. Even in these circumstances, when you need a friend, take your time in evaluating people. Just because you are alone and you need friends does not mean you should give away trust to the first person in front on you because even in here, people WILL betray you. A friend here once told me, and I quote: “I realized a lot of times when you are trying to become friends with other people, we always let people into our hearts too easily, but then we really should learn to differentiate between people who actually care about us and people who are simply curious.” I am not here to play the role of the victim, but to encourage you to smile even when betrayed, even when sad, and to let you know that you have a friend in Jesus, who you can trust full heartedly and who will never ever  let you down.

Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”

Se que no he estado muy activa este par de semanas, pero como todos saben, la vida de IB es muy demandante. En este post les quiero hablar acerca de algo que me ha estado molestando últimamente y pensé que ustedes deberían saber ya que estos posts son escritos en su mayoría para aquellos aplicantes que quieren un destello de la “vida UWC”. Ya han de tener una pista al ver el título del post, si, CONFIANZA. Algo tan dado por sentado en estos días, pero hoy les recordaré el valor de ello.

Nunca he sido el tipo de persona que da confianza tan rápido, porque mucha gente me ha traicionado en el pasado y es más fácil para mi tener pocos amigos pero todos de confianza. En un UWC, mucha gente te va a hablar, van a ser lindos contigo e intentaran ser tus amigos porque todos estamos pasando por lo mismo: estamos sin amigos y sin familia. Aún en estas circunstancias, cuando necesitas un amigo, tomense el tiempo de evaluar a las personas. Solo porque estas solo no significa que le tenés que dar confianza a la primera persona que se te cruze porque aún aquí, la gente te va a traicionar. Una amiga una vez me dijo y cito: ” M he dado cuenta que muchas veces cuando intentas hacerte amigo de otras personas, dejamos entrar a la gente a nuestro corazón muy facilmente, pero ahí es cuando deberíamos aprender a diferenciar entre personas a quienes les importamos y personas que simplemente están curiosas.” No estoy aquí para hacerme la víctima, pero para animarlas a que sonrían aun cuando los han traicionado, aun cuando están tristes, y decirles que tienen un amigo en Jesus, en quien pueden confiar con todo el corazón y que jamás les va a traicionar.

Salmos 52:8 “Pero yo soy como un olivo verde que florece en la casa de Dios; yo confío en el gran amor de Dios eternamente y para siempre.”

Vilmi

Christmas Time – Tiempo de Navidad

I really could not recall the last time I wrote a blog, so that was a sign that a new one had to be written. Much has happened in this time I have been idle. Term 1 ended, which is hard to believe since that marks one fourth of my UWC experience, one fourth of a time I will never get back. Even though it has been a tough term it has been THE term. I will not say much since I am trying to keep what is personal as personal, but it has been an amazing roller-coaster and I have enjoyed its ups as much as its downs. I was lucky enough to come back home for Christmas and I am having an amazing time catching up with friends and family. But, I have been asking myself what I think many of my co-years and second years have asked themselves at one point or another: what is really home? I am “home” where I was born and raised but I miss so much what I left in Hong Kong. So much that my heart longs to go back. Now, I can say I have two homes and I hope I can make many more throughout my life. I am eager to leave bits of me behind even though it is sort of scary to hold on to something you know will not be there forever. For now, I will enjoy my time here and there, but I am anxious about the future and even though I really want to “YOLO it out”, what is to come is always in the back of my mind. It has been a very weird Christmas, but not the least enjoyable. I wish you all Merry Christmas and a happy New Year ❤

A warm hug,

Vilmi

La verdad no me recuerdo la última vez que escribí un blog, así que esa fue la señal que debía escribir uno pronto. Muchas cosas han pasado desde la última vez que escribí. Mi primer semestre ya terminó, lo cual es muy difícil de creer ya que esto marca un cuarto de mi experiencia en UWC, un cuarto de un tiempo que jamás recuperaré. Y aunque ha sido un semestre muy duro ha sido un GRAN semestre. No diré mucho porque quiero que mi vida personal siga siendo personal, pero ha sido una montaña rusa increíble y he disfrutado tanto sus altos como sus bajos. Tuve la fortuna de venir a casa para Navidad y estoy pasandola muy bien disfrutando a mi familia y amigos. Pero, me he estado preguntando algo que supongo que mis co-años y segundos años se han preguntado en algún momento u otro: que es verdaderamente hogar? Estoy en mi “hogar” donde nací y me criaron, pero extraño muchísimo lo que dejé en Hong Kong. Tanto que mi corazón desea regresar. Ahora, puedo decir que tengo dos hogares y espero hacer muchos más en lo que resta de mi vida. Estoy ansiosa por dejar pedacitos mios atrás aunque me da un poco de miedo aferrarme a algo que se que no estará allí para siempre. Por ahorita, disfrutaré mi tiempo aquí y allá, pero estoy ansiosa por el futuro, y aunque quiero “vivir el momento”, siempre me preocupa lo que vendrá. Ha sido una navidad extraña pero he disfrutado. Les deseo a todos una feliz navidad y un próspero año nuevo ❤

Un abrazo cálido,

Vilmi

“Home is where the heart is”…

… and binds up their wounds. (English Only)

A girl’s heart can be broken in many many ways and many many times, and I don’t think many people realise this fact. Lately, bits of my heart have been broken by different reasons. Sometimes it is academics, sometimes I miss home, sometimes I hate Hong Kong, although sometimes it breaks cause I don’t ever wanna leave my second home. Bits of my heart break and I might never get them back. I think of it this way: Little by little, piece by piece, it breaks completely apart until, at one point, there is nothing left but a soul-less body. Quite deep and extremely sad, but it might just be true. And I ought to protect mine because I don’t want to end up that way. A girl’s heart is fragile. One rude word can mark it for a long time. It might be days, years, and if you are a drama queen, it might mark you for life. For me it is usually a matter of hours, but this time, even though I slept on it, I feel just the same as yesterday. A tiny bit of my heart broke and I just can’t find a way to put it back in its place. And the mere idea of having my heart broken just adds up to breaking it another bit. Can you see the vicious cycle? If you can, then you know what I am so afraid of.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3 (NIV)

BIRTHDAY!!! (English) (Español)

Pues el día de hoy es mi cumpleaños. Si bien recuerdo, es la primera vez que celebro mi cumpleaños fuera de casa. Extraño a todos y todo de El Salvador pero sin lugar a duda la he pasado muy bien. El día de ayer, mi compañera de cuarto me organizó una sorpresa a las 12 de la noche. Me secuestraron de mi cuarto (literalmente, con sábana y todo) y me llevaron a la sala de estar de el bloque residencial y me cantaron las mañanitas y hasta me partieron pastel.

Fue algo muy dulce aunque lo veía venir pero no de esa manera jaja.

El día aun no ha terminado. Es más, en El Salvador ni si quiera ha empezado! Pero los planes son: ir a comer Paisano’s (la mejor pizzería del mundo a mi parecer) y descansar un poco ya que recibí el día con un examen de Biología lo cual no fue muy lindo que digamos. Les comparto unas fotos y me despido.

Con amor,

Vilma. 

Well today is my birthday. If I remember well, this is the first time I celebrate my birthday outside of home. I miss everyone and everything about El Salvador, but without a doubt, I’ve had a lot of fun. Last night, my roommate organized a surprise for me at midnight. I was kidnapped from my room (literally, blanket and all) and they took me to the dorms’ common room. They sang happy birthday to me and they even had cake! 

It was really sweet even though I saw it coming but not in that specific way haha

The day has not finished yet. In fact, it hasn’t even started in El Salvador! But today’s plans are: go to Paisano’s (best pizzeria on earth if you ask for my opinion) and rest a little since I greeted the day with a Biology test which wasn’t that nice. I share some pictures with you as I say goodbye.

Much love,

Vilma.

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¡Aniversario de primer mes! (solo Español)

Hoy día cumplo exactamente un mes de estar en LPC. Es un poco agridulce la verdad. Hay días que quisiera tener una vida fuera del colegio. Otros solo quiero regresar a mi casa por el fin de semana ver a mi familia, a Fer, a mis amigos, etc.. Otros días siento que LPC es lo mejor que me ha pasado y no me dan ganas de regresar en lo absoluto. Hoy es uno de esos días que solo quiero frijoles. Llevo una semana cumplida con tos y gripe deseando que mi mami me de Viro-Grip pero aquí lo único que hay es una medicina china que ni sirve y mi compañera de cuarto que cuando me oye toser me dice que tome agua jaja.

Cosas que he aprendido este mes:

Dios es mi roca.

Si que me gustan los frijoles.

Tomo a mi familia por sentado.

Te extraño.

El tiempo pasa volando.

Facebook es un virus.

No me gusta química tanto como pensaba.

La comida de la Reina es como que ultra deliciosa.

Mid-Autumn Festival (english only)

Long time, no post. I am about to start the third week of academics and fourth week of being in Hong Kong. LPC is starting to feel like home already and it is so weird how at the end of the day you long to come home, here to LPC. This thursday, mid-autumn festival started. We got extensions and overnights for the first time starting thursday night. An extension means you get to come to campus until 1am and an overnight means that you get to come to campus until the day after. For thursday night, I got an extension so I could go to Victoria Park where they celebrate Mid-Autumn the traditional way. That same night I went to LKF in Central. A lot of partying takes place there and it is EXTREMELY international, meaning that there are more overseas than actual locals.  For friday, I had an overnight and was invited by one of my second years, Ally, to go on a boat with some friends and her family. I had the best time. I felt more than welcomed by their family and it felt like I was now home. In my second home. Friday night, we just went to a beach in Discovery Bay for drinks and bonding. I came back to campus saturday evening and got ready for a beach fiesta that some of our second years planned. It was a fail to say the least. One of my co-years and I ended up in a sports pub at TST watching Liverpool’s soccer match. That was actually the highlight of my night haha. As some of you may know, a typhoon is suppose to hit HK this evening (sunday). We are doing just fine right now and some of us are actually hoping it hits tonight so we won’t have to go to school tomorrow. Anyway, that was my weekend pretty much. For academics, I’m doing great, math is a bit of a pain but I know it’ll get better.

Hug,

Vilma.

at the Junk Boat the day after mid-autumn.

at the Junk Boat the day after mid-autumn.

Agustina and I at the MTR

Agustina and I at the MTR

Lanterns in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.

Lanterns in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.

 

 

Primer Día de Clases – First Day of School

Ahora tuve mi primer día de clases. Las materias que elegí fueron Biología, Química y Español en nivel alto y Geografía, Matemática y Francés en nivel estándar. Ahora solo tuve cuatro materias por que en todo el día solo tenes 5 bloques aunque aveces tenes bloques libres. Por ejemplo, ahora, mi primer bloque fue libre así que tuve solamente 4 clases. Hasta tengo un día que en todo el día solo tengo 3 clases de una hora cada una. En cuanto a mi semana, este fin de semana pasado le llame por primera vez a mi colegio “casa”. Mi cuarto y mis compañeras de cuarto no podrían estar mejor. En general, la pasé muy bien pero estoy cansadísima. Les dejo fotos de cosas interesantes de Semana de Orientación…

Today I had my first day of school. The subjects I’m taking are Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish in higher level and Geography, Maths and French in standard level. Today, I only had 4 subjects because in the whole day you only have 5 class blocks though you have free blocks sometimes. For example, today, my first block was free so I only had for classes. I even have a day where I only have three one-hour classes in the whole day. In terms of how my week has been, this weekend for the first time I called school “home”. My room and roomies couldn’t be any better. Overall, I had a great time but I am SO tired. I posted some interesting pictures from O-Week.Image

 

Magical Mystery Tour

 

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Going up to Victoria Peak