Thursday, 4 May 2017

Trump’s measures in his recent days of government

By Laura Camila Morón Herrera (1st semester FIGRI student, level 3 English)

Recently, the world has to come to terms with a new American president who makes controversial decisions that have global consequences. One such example is the Immigration reform, introduced last Monday, which forbids entry to the USA to people coming from seven majority Muslim countries, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia; this legislation also reduces the number of permitted refugees and Green Card holders from these countries.

In the first place, this topic has been of great shock for the world because it clearly exposes an order which is prepared to attack fundamental human rights.  It also ends up being unconstitutional; the federal demands have been multiple; however, it is the majority republican congress that makes decisions.

Nevertheless, the most important part of this case are the refugees and immigrants that have been affected by this policy, and the deplorable situation they have been put into. Aside for being a war on refugees, migrating to western countries often results in discomfort and a feeling of unworthiness as a result of culture clash and bigotry, added to this, there is the the process of adopting a new model of society. Looking at it from the point of view of these people, and not forgetting the immigrants that have a green card or even nationality, we are looking at a constitutional problem that violates the rights of the American population and also breaks international treaties such as the Geneva Convention.

Trump has sought to change the image of the USA in front of the world, closing its doors to those he considers an imminent danger to the nation, with his measures being completely the opposite to those his nation professes in its constitution. His objective of fulfilling his campaign promises, and his promise to “make America great again”, have turned into a declaration of war against the vulnerable, but at the same time, this might be an effective fight against terrorism that could possibly lead to Trump becoming an American hero.  

If I had a lot of money

By Harold Andrés Moyano Niño (Level 4 English student)

If I had a lot of money, I would buy a huge house surrounded by tall shrubs. The house would be on the outskirts of the city. Maybe, it could be in Holland. The house wouldn't be located in the city centre because of the traffic and the parking spots, but it wouldn't be situated far from downtown.

My dream house would have two floors with a terrace, a big garage and a blue swimming pool bordered by a garden full of plants and trees, and a path of pebbles that would lead from the main gate to the main door of the house.

Inside the house, there would be huge French windows with long curtains and stylish furniture. On the first floor, there would be four bedrooms with huge beds and spacious wardrobes, and two bathrooms (one of them with a jacuzzi). The kitchen would have a two-door fridge and a stove with an oven. Also, there would be a living room where friends could visit. This would have big sofas and a giant TV where we could watch movies.

On the second floor, there would be a games room where I could play with my friends and my family. There would also be another bathroom, and office where I could work and study, and finally a little room where I could do exercise. This would have several machines and a good stereo to listen to music while I work out.

The terrace would be on top of the house, with shade from the sun and a tanning area.

It would not be a house just for me, but also for my wife and our children.

13 Going on 30

By Estefanía Vargas Galvis (level 4 English)

This film, 13 Going on #0, was directed by Gary Winick. The film has won important nominations and three interesting awards: a Teen Choice Award, a People's Choice Award, and an MTV Movie Award in different categories.

It's a romantic comedy fantasy film. The film was produced by Revolution Studios for Columbia Pictures. It was released in 2003 and the location was LA, California.

Jenna Rink, a girl who wants to be popular, invites the most important people in her school to a party. She promises to do their homework if they all attend. However, they set a trap for her and she feels disappointed with her life.

She wishes to be 30 years old and her dream comes true. In this moment, she starts to return to get back her past life and her best friend.

I strongly recommend 13 Going on 30 because it has an amazing soundtrack and can make you feel that mistakes aren't bad for your life. You need to learn about them!

Why do you have to visit Villavicencio?

By Ana Lucía Jiménez Cañón (1st semester FIGRI student, level 4 English)

Many people that live in Bogotá have visited Villavicencio yet, but they don’t know how is the importance of visit Villavicencio. First I should say that Villavicencio is so near to Bogotá, the weather is hot, but sometimes it’s cold, it’s delicious. Also, Villavicencio is a place that have the commodities of a city, like malls, and the rural commodities too, like ride horses, bathe in rivers and others.

Why Villavicencio is an important city? Villavicencio is known like the plaid door, with many cultural riches, in landscapes and traditions. The importance to visit Villavicencio is to know the culture, learn about to dance Joropo, a beautiful dance of which we do the international Joropo tournament. It riches includes the food, a delicious meet better known as mamona and a soup call sancocho. 

The best experience that Villavicencio can offer you is that is so near to Caño Cristales, the most beautiful river in the world, which has 5 colors, yellow, blue, green, red and black. There you will see plants, rocks and sand. But you must visit it in the appropriate season to enjoy this wonderful place that only offers you the “Llano”.

My invitation to you is to go there, know about the culture and the important places, but also to know that is a city of lovely people that works for you to take the best of our land. 

Never Give Up

By Ricardo Díaz (8th semester FIGRI student, English through Multimedia student)

“So thank you for choosing our futures in your present”. As Michelle concluded, the crowd roars with a big round of applause after such a moving speech. She smiles and wipes the tears off her eyes as she steps down from the podium, reaches her table and sits down after hugging her mother.

Michelle is a 22-year-old girl who had to deal with a traumatic event that changed her life forever: seeing how her family was slowly torn apart by an unjust and broken system. To confront such tragedy, she has taken it upon herself to stop such disgrace to befall others in her situation, the deportation of immigrants from The United States.

She was 13 years old when that fateful event happened. As Michelle was in her English class taking the SRI test, a runner came into her classroom saying that she was needed at the main office. It was weird to her since it was Wednesday morning and the only thing out of the ordinary that she had done was to arrive 40 minutes late to school that day.

“As I arrived to the main office, I saw my aunt standing there with a pale face. She looked at me sternly and said, “I do not know how to say this, but… your family has been taken by immigration and want to pick you up too.” As my aunt finished, I started crying uncontrollably while she hugged me. It was all so fast and hard to take in.”

ICE arrived and picked her up to take her and her family to Miami to be processed. “We were treated like criminals the whole time we were under custody. We were not allowed to go to the bathroom alone and were constantly watched by somebody. It was humiliating and horrible.”

At the end of the day Michelle’s family was released under two conditions: Every member of the family was forced to sign a document saying they had to eventually leave the country and one of the members had to stay with the immigration police to be deported immediately. “My father offered himself for our sake. That was the first member I saw being taken from me. I was heartbroken.” she said, as calmly as she could muster.

Michelle’s family lived in fear and constant hiding for years after that until the time arrived for another member of her family to be taken from her: it was her two older brothers who made the choice to leave. “They had both graduated already and with no opportunity to progress as people because of the document they signed years earlier, they did not see the point of lingering any longer. I was fortunate to be young enough during the signing of the papers that I was not forced to sign them.”

As only her mother and Elizabeth remained, feelings of sadness and depression began creeping in. “It was awful because I continued on with my life being known as a loner trying to get by when my whole life I had been associated with two other individuals who were always there for me.”

Although Michelle dealt with a rough teenage, she did not let these hard times get to her. As a matter of fact, she turned these into strengths. She eventually got a job and kept going from there where she made it possible to juggle 3 jobs while at the same time paving her way to college. “It was really hard to deal with all 4 things at once, but I did the best I could. Still, I felt that there was more I could do.”

During her college application process, Michelle met an individual who was part of a group called “Global Education”. “Due to my circumstances as an immigrant and everything I was doing I was offered a scholarship to reward my hard work. This person was also a member of a club called EQUAL, who gets involved in dealing with and making awareness of issues that plague our community on a daily basis.”

Among the many topics that EQUAL dealt with, there was the one about immigration. They delve into the subject from basic human rights being violated to immigrant families being torn apart because of a fragmented U.S. political system. “When I saw that this club was involved in this matter, something deep within me urged me to join. I knew I could not do anything for my family, but I could try to give a voice to those that are currently going through what I was going through and lend them a hand in some way.”

With this conviction fueling her, Michelle joined EQUAL and has been going around different states where a good portion of the population are immigrants to share her story in conferences set up by the club and let them know that they are not alone, they should not give up, that they matter and above all else that it is possible to triumph even if the world seems to be against you. “This journey has not been easy. However, knowing that there are others with a story similar to mine out there that could use a few words of encouragement and guidance to keep going is something I cannot deny them. If someone would have done the same for me, to inform me of what I can do and what I can become, my family would still be together today.”

Yoga + Body + Mind

By María Jose Barón Valverde (3rd semester Hotel administration student, level 4 English)

Currently, more than a simple trend, practicing yoga has become a lifestyle that can be seen as mystical, maybe because it belongs to a far-away traditional culture very different from our current western world. Nonetheless, with the diverse types of yoga that exist today, anyone can do it.

Doing yoga can be a good idea since it has been shown to bring both physical and emotional benefits. One can say that doing yoga improves people’s brain skills, given that it encourages mental relaxation and changes our feelings. Besides, yoga methods generate positive effects for health problems, so it lets people achieve a necessary balance between soul and body. Each semester at Externado brings you a lot of work and stress, and yoga can help you to survive university life. It is important to dedicate time to yourself, so you can do some exercises at home or, if you prefer, at the university. If you are a beginner, you can follow these steps to enjoy the experience.

1-     Find a calm and well-lit place
2-     Turn off all gadgets
3-     Make sure you have time
4-     Be in a quiet place
5-     Wear comfortable clothes and get a mat

Here are some “asanas” (special postures) to practice yoga.

Goat: with your face down, stretch out your legs. Fold your arms and rest them on the floor. Raising your chest, keep your legs on the floor and lift your chin (for 30 secs).

Tree: stand up with straight legs and put your hands together over your head, folding your elbows. Lift up one leg and rest your sole on the opposite thigh (for 30 secs).

Triangle: spread your legs and raise your arms to shoulder-level. Inhale and forward until you can touch your feet with your fingers. Then repeat on the other side (for 30 secs).

Wild Magic in the Amazon

By Jhon Milton Arévalo Locarno (3rd semester Economics student, Level 4 English)

If you are Colombian or a foreigner with plans to visit this incredible country, you cannot say that you have been to Colombia if you have not visited this charming place.

Colombia has grown in recent years, and now its cities, towns and villages have a personality that attracts more and more tourists. Nevertheless, sometimes not even Colombian people know many wonderful places in the country.

Now the star is Leticia, an unexplored place with strange and delicious food, extreme activities for everyone and many secrets for adventurers. If you like to dance and you always wanted to learn how to do the “samba” maybe this small city could be the best place in Colombia to learn.

Leticia is amazing but the real charm of the Amazon is its river, its skies and its people. Just because of these things, I am sure that Leticia will leave you speechless, particularly if you are young because every night the music, food, dance and a magical show of stars take over the streets and bridges. On the other hand, if you enjoy something more mature and easy-going, the city also offers some places to learn more about the culture.

You can enjoy the beautiful landscapes in the morning, eat delicious traditional food for lunch and go to look at the sky at night. You can be sure of one thing: Leticia always has something for you.
In this paradise, you can always visit the river and see piranhas and pink dolphins but if you want something more extreme, I recommend you pay for a tour of Monkey Island. This is an incredible island with thousands of monkeys. Take care though, because they can steal everything you carry!

This city is not always on the top lists of places in Colombia, but you are invited to swim with dolphins, drink carambola juice and live the first great day of the rest of your life here!

I am sure that if you take my advice you will experience a great moment in your life. Just give this city a chance, and try other flavours, other experiences, and another life.