Siddel Ramkissoon, 2012 Youth Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago
This entire experience has been one that is definitely cast under the heading “learning experience” - Learning about oneself, one’s peers, about group dynamics and finally about a new culture. Although I cannot say the trip changed me as an individual it did in fact act to strengthen the ideals that I’ve come to appreciate, giving me a forum to exam them and refine them or maybe to truly understand them.
If we focus on the visit to Washington we recognize that Washington DC lives up to its suit and tie name of being the capital of the United States, fast paced and business oriented. The experience for me was one I definitely enjoyed, early mornings, late nights, tired limbs and productive days, a glimpse maybe into my future. Washington was where we focused on the “prim and proper” aspects of the trip, that is, meetings, workshops and formal visits. Nonetheless from when we first arrived on the night of September 4th till our early morning flight on September 8th I had a blast; it was all very enjoyable.
One of the key visits and probably more prestigious events that we were able to take part in was a visit with Liliana Ayalde, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean. We were able to have an interactive session with someone of considerable rank in the Department of State, which was encouraging and definitely empowering. This meeting was enlightening, as Ms. Ayalde encouraged us to do our best in whatever we did, because by doing so we give ourselves every opportunity to reach our highest potential, and be where we are SUPPOSED to be in our lives. Considering the magnitude of the event, at no time did I feel uncomfortable, simply because all the staff members, at the Department of State, were accommodating, always willing to smile and engage the sometimes shy participants in conversation.