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Published on May 1st, 2017 | by NAC Youth

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Sunday Night and Swiss Emabassy

On the last night of their stay, a farewell party for the Swiss youth was held on the 30th of April at West Tower Condominium. The theme of the gathering was “YOUTH WITHOUT BORDERS”. It is another chance get to know them better after our Tagaytay activities, especially for some youth such as myself who hasn’t gotten the chance to talk to them yet. The venue is surrounded by skyscrapers and glowing city lights that added to the picturesque view of the place. You can smell the appetizing aroma of the sausages, roesti and kebab being prepared. There was also mini pool for adults and kids which added to the party atmosphere of the place.

Cheerful hellos can be heard as the Swiss youth arrived. We helped ourselves with beverage and food while starting conversations. I can overhear some of my co-Makati youth asking the Swiss about their experience in Bohol and their activities. I can see the enthusiasm and awe on their faces as they share their experiences.

As the party goes on, some of the youth remain indulged in conversations, with music blasting in the background. Other youth were dancing and singing to the beat. Even Ss. Lucienne and Ss. Mabelle joined the dance floor. Some of the youth are very energetic and their booming laughter can be heard as they run around without their slippers. Those who are tired of dancing were sitting beside the pool with a guitar. They are jamming to the songs of their favourite band that shows music can also be a factor to easily break the borders. Others were just enjoying the view with a drink in hand.

The farewell party is a success and all of us were enjoying each other’s company. We thank all the ministers who have overseen the event and made the party possible and memorable for all the youth who attended. According to T.S. Elliot, “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

Truly, as we ended this farewell party for our Swiss brothers and sisters in Christ, I realized that all of the days we spent together and the memories we made with them are just the beginning of a friendship that is borderless. As Bishop Samuel said after the Divine service in Tagaytay, it is not goodbye but see you later. So see you later, Swiss brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

VISITING THE SWISS EMBASSY

We are informed that the Makati youth will be visiting the Swiss embassy together with the Swiss youth to share what they have experienced during their visit here in the Philippines.

Our interest grew for most of us has never been visited an embassy before. Curiosity overcame us. In our minds, there were thoughts of what it is like to be there, what does the ambassador do, how to become a consulate, what are their duties, and more.

Our questions have been answered as we arrive at the embassy. Ambassador Andrea Reichlin discussed the role of the embassy, and she explains that an embassy is the diplomatic representation of a country’s government in another country. Primarily representing the sending state, protecting citizens of the sending state, negotiating with the receiving state, ascertaining conditions of receiving state and promote friendly relation between both states. Overall it represents the interest of the country, may it be in terms of political, social and economical even in military and other events in the host country. They also prepare international treaties and official state visits recognizing each other (each state) as a legal entity in international system. Many embassies have consular section exercising the function of the consulate.

The ambassador also explained what the task of a consulate and their duties are. Consulate is the representation of the public administration of a country in a foreign town, it is responsible for its own fellow-citizens living or travelling in the host country. Their duties includes establish entry visas to foreign citizens and to inform them about immigration-residence and working permits, renew passport, provide lost passport and other official document, report births, deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions happened in the host country to the authorities home and it informs its own citizen living abroad about social security situation. Help its own citizen in distress those who are robbed and lost their belongings or other emergency situations, they look after those who are in detention or arrest and watch over the rule of law and fair trials. The ambassadress and consulates also share their experiences working in different countries with many factors that need to be considered in order to succeed in representing the Swiss embassy affecting them and their families as well.

After lunch we are told to divide ourselves into six groups (group names are the same from our previous group activities in Tagaytay) answering the questions prepared for each group.  The first presenter is the Mateo group who are task to answer, “what are the borders?” Jonathan is the representative of the group and answered. Borders that can be overcome are the following: nationality, racism/race, languages, culture, skin colour, constructions, politics, country, economical status, prejudges and religion. Borders that cannot be overcome are gender, natural laws (physical changes, age, and nature).

Next is Marcos group that answers the question, “what do borders mean?” Vanessa presented the consequences of borders, it could be a separation/division; (it involves shyness, languages, communication, culture and personality), differences, restrictions, misunderstandings, problems/conflicts, isolation that causes loneliness. Borders can be shape by the environment like those challenges that cannot be overcome or accepted, weaknesses and sometimes being controlling to others.

Lukas answers “what is the meaning life without borders?” Natalie explained the possibilities of life without borders: harmony in diversity, respect each other, mutual understanding. They can travel without limitation, being open-minded in every situation, freedom from speeches, choices and action. She also added having equal chances in different opportunities and may experience eternal life with no borders.

Self-imposed borders of Juan group were presented by Saphira and Franz. Regarding learning process, culture, social conventions and moral attitudes are the answers they have shared and discuss. Pablo Group concluded that in order to overcome you first need to know and identify what are the borders. Raphael explained the following ways to overcome borders: Don’t accept any borders, education, positive attitude, strong connection to god, respect and understanding to each differences, love, role model and leaders, know your identity and your limits.

Lastly, Pedro group presented how the future will look like without borders, Tanja and Darwin shows representation of the people unite as one nation with one faith. After the reporting, we gained new knowledge and experiences. We also received a simple token and souvenirs from the Embassy.

Before the time we need to say goodbye to each other, Our Swiss brothers and sisters prepared a song “Ewigi Liebe” that touched our heart and we felt that we will really miss them all. For the last time, we sang together the song that we will always remember as the start of breaking the border together, “This Little light of mine”.

The Embassy also prepared a presentation that made us smile. It was a great performance of the Ambassador and her group.. We end up by giving a big hug to each other and saying Thank you/Maraming Salamat/Danke Shoen. See you later my dear Swiss brothers and sisters in Christ.


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