[Humans of Columbus] Whitney Amuchastegui

The Humans of Columbus blog posts are a collaboration with the Council for Youth Department for Maya Federle's senior project. The goal for these stories is to open the eyes of those who read them to the incredibly diverse patchwork of stories that makes up the community of Columbus.


Whitney Amuchastegui - Su Casa

“When I was 25 I went to a birthday party of a person that I didn’t even know; I knew his friend. I was living in New York at the time, and I didn’t expect anything of that event, but I actually ended up meeting my husband there. My husband is from Argentina, I’m from Canada, and he was just finishing his MBA. That started a long distance relationship, which I didn’t know at the time would end up being the relationship of my life. But it brought me to move to Argentina.  I don’t think I treated it with the correct amount of reverence that I should have when I did it. I felt like it was just this adventure that I was excited about. I think my naivety probably worked in my favor. But my stubbornness and my determination to succeed won out in the long run. There are lots of times when you move to a new place that you just feel like “I can’t. I want to go home.” It takes a lot to let it all go, even for the most prepared person. I mean sure I was in love and it was great, but the practicality of it, learning to work in another culture, and the nuances of a language. I didn’t know the language when I moved there. Before, I thought of language as more of an equation. But really it’s something that’s constantly evolving. At one point I remember, I reached a point in my learning where I knew what I was saying was correct. I knew it. But I could not seem to communicate myself to this person that I was interacting with. One day I said exactly what I needed to say in exactly the right way and ended it with “Ta“ which there is sort of a very colloquial way of saying “Got it?” and being more confident. So between the use of that colloquialism and the feeling that you are confident, suddenly, for that person, it was like the light went on. Like, “Okay, I got it”. I could tell that I had communicated myself. And understanding that piece of language, that it’s not necessarily an equation, it’s a combination of what you say, the words you use, the tone you use, the confidence you say it with- that sets the stage for your success as a person.” (4.5 years in Columbus)

Written by: Maya Federle, BCSC senior project
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