Seven years ago, on a Saturday morning, I was reading the paper. A usual action, repeated almost exactly the same every Saturday morning, only that particular day it brought something different. I saw a piece of news about a project called Lingua. The headline made my eyes go directly to the text, and there I learned what was Lingua and what its mission was.
I couldn't be more interested.
And then I saw a small box on a corner of a page: “If you want to be part of Lingua, please e-mail us.”
Ten minutes later, my e-mail had been sent. That same afternoon, I got an answer from Juan Arellano, introducing himself as Lingua Spanish editor and asking me three simple questions:
– Do you have an Internet connection available?
– Do you have some time you can spare?
– Are you familiar with blogs?
The answer for the first two questions was “yes”, the third one got an emphatic “no”. So, he created an account with my name and asked me to translate a short text, after giving me some instructions of how to accomplish that all-so-new-for-me task. It was so exciting to see that translation published the next day.
Then it came the idea of starting a blog. The eternal question: what will I write about? What's the topic I know more about? Me, myself, what goes around me. And so my blog was born, bearing a very personal name, Seis de enero, Sixth of January, which as some people can guess, it's my birthday. That is other element that made that 2007 simply memorable.
Translations came in and went off from that day. Every country, every topic, everything was very well welcomed. It was impossible not to remember those childhood days, when I used to read over my older brother's shoulder the endless lists with names of exotic countries he loved to write and rewrite. It was like I was reading those names with him again, while he taught me about demonyms and capitals and main cities. How could I not love Global Voices, when it made me live again those cherished moments?
Seven years have passed, many stories can be shared about that period. Many people, many new names, many friends, many adventures. Many exciting moments, but the paramount excitement came on my first Global Voices Summit, in Santiago de Chile in May 2010. And two years later, the adventure took me to Africa, directly to Nairobi, Kenya.
I can't simply be thankful enough for all I've got since the day I started to be part of Global Voices. It was a decision that really changed my life. As TV reports use to say, I could have never imagined it when I decided to send that very first e-mail. Or paraphrasing Rick Blaine, I could have never imagined it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Seven years… and counting.