PASEO Program Adventure- Day 1: Flying to Lima, Peru

For anyone who stuck around throughout my hiatus, you probably realize that it’s been a while since I last posted on here, aside from following through with my Simple Quote Sunday challenge. A lot can happen in such a short span of time, but I won’t bore you with minute details. I’ll save those for a rainy day. 

Having recently graduated from a three-year master’s program in clinical mental health counseling and vocational rehabilitation counseling, I’ve found myself stuck between choosing what the next step will entail- pursuing a doctorate degree or joining the workforce. Before making a final decision, I was fortunate enough to come across an exciting opportunity that truly sparked my interest (and helped me postpone my decision making for the time being). 

About a year ago, I was informed about PASEO (Psychology and Spanish Elective Opportunity)- a Spanish for Mental Health Immersion program that focuses on global mental health. This immersion-based language training program is designed to build Spanish skills for use in mental health settings. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the program last summer due to classes and internships, but things seem to have a way of working themselves out. Now that I’ve graduated, the timing couldn’t be better. Besides, I couldn’t think of a greater opportunity, given the fact that there is such a large Spanish speaking population in Miami, and an immense need for mental health services in so many underserved Spanish-speaking countries. 

So, for the next month, I will be living in Huanchaco, Peru, and working in Trujillo, Peru. I’ll be sure to provide information about both cities throughout the upcoming weeks. During this trip, I’ll be taking intensive Spanish classes- mainly focusing on use for the mental health setting. I will also be practicing under a licensed clinician at a site of my choosing. 

I decided to work for the court’s Juvenile Restorative Justice Program (Justicia Juvenil Restaurativa). Again, I’ll be sure to include more information about this program as my time in the program progresses. 

I’d like to think that we should always be open to new adventures, and I’m glad to say that the time has come for me to embark on my newest adventure. I look forward to sharing this exciting journey with you, each step of the way. Cheers to new adventures for all of us. And for now, it’s time to get to Lima!

Cheers From The Fountain of Youth

Having spent the last two days in St. Augustine, I did some touring around the city and made sure to stop at the Fountain of Youth. I’m not going to give you a history lesson about the historical site, because frankly I don’t want to bore you. Don’t get me wrong; It’s not a bad read, but I’ll let you check out the historical facts a different time. So once I got to the fountain and checked out the site, I was given a small cup of water taken from the spring by one of the employees there. Naturally, I drank it, hoping that the myth of being forever young would in fact come true. (If you’re wondering where I’m going with this blog post, stay tuned because I promise there’s a point to be made soon!)

Here’s the thing… Often times in life, we dread our birthdays, because, well, it means we’re one year older. There are certain birthdays to be celebrated such as the twelfth or thirteenth birthday (depending on your gender in the Jewish religion), your fifteenth birthday (a time when many Latin American girls have a QuinceƱera), your eighteenth birthday (since you can legally smoke cigarettes, buy lottery tickets, and play poker… oh where did society go wrong?), and of course the big twenty first where you can legally drink. (Some people also celebrate their twenty fifth birthday for being able to rent cars, but to each his/her own). It’s incredible though because when you’re young, you can’t wait to be older, and when you’re older, you would give anything to be younger.

Having just celebrated my twentieth birthday a few days ago, I found it to be quite bitter-sweet. Of course I was thankful to have been able to make it another year with my friends and family members in good health, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit saddened by the number. Twenty years old… This means I am no longer a teenager, which means I can no longer be able to market myself as a “young teen” to literary agents and publishers for my book. (I know… You must be thinking, “Why does he always have to bring everything back to this damn book?” I apologize, but hey you can’t please everyone). I promised myself that I would publish my book before the time had come where I was no longer a teenager. Well, things happen, and hopes and dreams sometimes get pushed aside to a later day, but in the quest of becoming a writer, while juggling school, an internship, campus organizations, etc. I still ask myself every single day how I am going to publish my book; or if it’s going to get published; or if I should self-publish it; or if I should put it aside and begin working on a new project. There are so many questions I continue to ask myself on a daily basis, and this late-night pondering sure doesn’t help answer any of these thoughts.

People would love to be twenty years old again; young, wild, and free, so I really should look at it in a positive manner rather than a pessimistic one. There’s no point in looking back at the past, wishing I had completed my book earlier so it could have already been published before I reached this age. Instead, I will have to alter my goal and work with what I have. I’ll enjoy my small cup of water from the Fountain of Youth and end with this:

Here’s to another year, hopefully a successful one, and of course a healthy one as well, for me, for you, and for the ones we love. May we accomplish all our hopes, goals, and dreams, and never lose sight of them; regardless of whether or not they must be put on a temporary hold. We can and will accomplish all that we wish to. Cheers šŸ™‚