Once upon a time 7 month ago I saw an email saying I was going to Nepal for a YouthMappers Leadership Fellows Initiative 2017, it said that I needed to send my passport number, prepare an essay, and send other documents. I thought to myself, “WAIT! I must have read it wrong, it can’t be right!” So I called my sister and let her know and the first thing she said was “I’ll share the e-mail with a friend to make sure you read it correctly” and her friend confirmed - I had been chosen to participate at the YouthMappers Leadership Fellows Workshop 2017. Now all I needed was a passport because I had never had one before!
I was so nervous for this opportunity that I studied for a long time, learned new vocabulary, and new concepts to better present my topic in my lightening talk. I was going to meet people from everywhere and work with them and wanted to be prepared! I worked on my slides to have them communicate my message effectively.
We had and amazing team, all the teachers and speakers where there for us and cleared our doubts. They reminded us why we were there and what we had to complete. I learned a lot about Kathmandu Living Labs, YouthMappers, and USAID and for a moment forgot about my school responsibilities. We learned about QGIS and Kobo and practiced how to use them and learned new applications.
During the week of the workshop, we formed new working groups and were tasked with creating a Toolkit as a resource for new YouthMappers chapters. We used our skills to work on this assignment and so everybody could actually feel our vision. The final product is due in September and we had three months to work on it.
I am glad I got new friends from this experience. I believe I got the best roommate ever, Zola! This is an experience I will never forget and will have more memories to share. I had such a life-changing week and it was such an adventure and opportunity to join a great group. I am thrilled to be part of this, I am glad for being part of something this big.
YouthMappers has showed me the right path to follow for the things I want to accomplish. Patricia Solís has given me the first push to move. I thank everyone who has been a part of this Disney story. I will always carry you in my heart. African Salsa dancing was one of my favourite part of the trip; I hope Lilly learns to dance it well! Therefore, with this, I finish my story and say good-bye to all the readers. The following is clear - YouthMappers doesn’t just build maps, WE build Mappers. Yes indeed!