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Washington with its magnificent story and real problems of ordinary people. St. Louise awaited me with its big tornado, but the town itself is a ghost town on one side while on the other it is a town of marvelous parks and people. Chicago is – simply great Chicago, Denver reminds you of Dynasty J. Colorado Springs is a nice town with a chapel in which services are done by four different religions, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Buddhist. The mountains surrounding the town are offering a great view, but altitude can literally take a breath away. But by far more impressions I got from the people, from Americans who were not just like passing by lights. Their views and ideas settled in a specific way into me and my way of thinking. But I were able to be opened to them only because I was without any prejudices and stereotypes which usually prevent us from seeing and feeling the state of mind of people, and create in us blind spots, non-empathy and limitation of our own world.

In my opinion, the Americans are individualists, but at the same time closely connected nation in which every individual is being in his own way aware of common challenges and problems. But no matter where are their roots, where they are, what they do, either in high administrative or business positions or selling frozen yoghurt in a coffee-shop – they are people proud of their nation state.

If I were able to take from the US at least five things they would be the following ones:

-pride and emotional respect to one’s own country

-business motivation and conviction that everything is possible

-open communication, a possibility to openly express opinion and feelings, and even that is not in line with some opposite view, there is no offence

-voluntarism which includes talent, time and treasures

-a wish to learn and invent something new.

But what I will definitively bring from the US will be the feeling of close connections with numerous people from the US as well as with the participants of the program from all over the world. Thanks, America, for these wonderful connections. But now Portland is waiting for us and another week of exploring.

But I am already counting down days to meet and to share new ideas with a new, already 3rd generation of AmCham Young Professionals. I therefore invite you to enable them their own network and a sense of connection. A deadline to enroll your participants for a program (which is free for those employed by AmCham members) is May 15th on young@amcham.si

Simply a big hug* across the ocean to all of you! Ajša

*(do not worry my emotions back in Slovenia will be back in ‘on-hold’ mode)