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Feeling like a bird in a cage…. Again

bird in a cage

Picture taken from Internet

Have you ever felt like a bird in a cage?

Time to time, I like to wonder about what I have been doing in my life so far. Nothing can be perfect, I am aware of that, but maybe in my ideal world (From the bottom of my imagination and brain) I like to think that things can be done so much better.

In this last year, I have been pursuing my postgraduate studies abroad (Specifically, in Germany) in Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Protection. I decided this after quitting my job in pesticide industry and starting over in another city.  (Sounds exciting, isn’t it??) Well, I committed to myself to get this short-term life project; but how was I supposed to pull it through?

A good friend of mine shared with me once this interesting video about all those “unknown aspects about getting a scholarship to study abroad” (Just in case, I share it with you, but sorry it’s in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlEekPxaEWY). It was an hour or so well spent. I could remove from myself all those clichés about getting scholarships, such as, being a “brainy” and perfect grades. From that moment, I decided to each task or project I was going to achieve was in order to get my main goal: “Studying my Master in Germany in 2015”.

Some decisions don’t have any turning back and I have to admit some of my own are exactly like that. Resign to chemical plants for a chemical engineer is like, in one way or another, a curse. And since I have not had any experience in environmental projects, getting a job related in Colombia was virtually impossible (Sorry, but things work like this in so-called paradise). In this order of ideas, I started looking for volunteering opportunities in order to get some related experience and I have to admit has been a hard but at the same time, wonderful.

Making the story shorter, currently after almost a year in the capital monster (Bogotá :D) I work in two NGOs and still some volunteering job. And yes, I applied to several scholarships abroad after getting my admission to the Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany (And also for other 4 Universities abroad). Even though, I did not get any of those, I did not quit my dream and decided to apply to a Colombian loan-scholarship scheme) and guess what?? I became a beneficiary to be financed by this Colombian Institution (So, so great, Don’t you think?) I was finally thrilled about it when I got the news on that Saturday night. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware about all the rules of that scheme: You need two guarantors with properties in Colombia (They cannot be family properties since this Institution cannot take possession in case you do not pay the loan back), besides a good salary and other conditions (Pretty similar to a bank, If I may mention).

In any case, it is very common that one of the guarantors is one of your parents (Cannot be both of them). But in the real world, many of us, we do not have any parental support and family members are reduced to good comments in social and that’s it. Well, that’s pretty much my current situation. I had to look for one guarantor that could support my loan (Thankfully, I have a sister with the required characteristics); when the time started running up I looked for others back-up solutions like another Colombian Institution that loans money for studies (As minimum 60% in fees and 40% for living expenses for studies abroad). When I found about this loan characteristics I wanted, for the first time in months, to cry. I just thought how a person like me that wants to study in a country with lower fees that actual fees in Colombia could take this loan (My fees in Hohenheim are around 155 Euros/ semester).

Today is a new day and people have told me you cannot always get what you want at the time you want. But I wonder myself what if I have enough money (like most people apply to those Colombian schemes to study abroad do) I could get at the exact time I want. This case is not about not enough effort or commitment or lack of passion, this case is about how unfair life can be in a country like this, but meanwhile these organizations brag about their support “the best Colombian professionals” in their studies abroad.

I am not a person who loves to complain about life actually. I prefer to take action over my problems and difficult situations life hit on me; Although I do not have a that clear solution of what I am going to do in this exact moment, I want to make an stop and reflect on the journey I have walked so far.

I still feel like a bird in a cage with no apparent exit in such place where ideas and passion are not enough to meet your goals, just money. I do not want to cause pity with this text (That is not the ultimate purpose with it actually), but using this to speak out all the things I felt in these last months and convince myself after writing this that I am able to meet my goals and life despite the lack of support of your country and people you considered “friends” because I have learnt in this process of the actual people I can truly rely on and all the abilities I have on my own to keep walking in this journey.

I know for sure no matter that I do not have financial and parental support nor have born in a wealthy family makes me less valuable or capable of getting my dreams and goals. Even though, today I have less money that I used to have when I worked as “a regular chemical engineer”, I finally get to know what I want in my life: Be a real change maker by doing social entrepreneurship and find my real place in this world together with others Changemakers!

Despite I still feel like a bird in a cage, I am making my own keys to freedom. What about you?

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