Abel Vera's blog

There are two ways to be light, being the candle lighted or being the mirror which reflects it.

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Hello guys!

As you know, the last week was characterized because it was a free week, it means days off… yes, it was spring break at Univerity of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. Maybe most of you traveled outside, close or far from Champaign-Urbana. In my case, I stayed here because I had some responsabilities to comply, but it does not mean that such time was sort of boring. Do you know why? Ok, I never told you but I have been working in Peru since 2008. Why do I mention it? Because precisely since 2014 I didn’t take a whole week just for relaxing. I’ve been working hard without vacation time. In my country, specially in my field, construction engineering, it is quiet different because the company pays you in advance for vacation time, it means that you don’t have a real “vacation” because you’re still working. Even before coming to the United States I’ve been working until January 13, 2017. So, after three years I can say that it was the first week I have enough time for me and I enjoyed it so much.

Okay so, how was my spring break? Well, I decided to stay at home because I had a TOEFL test on March 25th, but it didn’t imply that I got bored. For sure, I was studying every day specially during morning and part of the afternoon. Also, I have to say that the most amazing thing is that I learned to cook! – Peruvian food is so delicious –  besides I started going to ARC to work out as I used to do it in Peru. There, I met new people and friends who as me, stayed on campus for this spring break. I looked up my cardio skills to run during 30 minutes. Also, I played volleyball – my favorite sport – and tried to do new sports like basketball, swimming, badmington and climbing. I was calling my family and friends in Peru every day, I remembered that I also spoke Spanish, yeah!. I was watching lot of movies and documental episodes of my interest on Netflix. I was walking a lot and doing shopping. I’m catholic so, for me go to mass is very important and I did it. I tried twice English masses, of course, I felt like lost at the first attempt because the Gospel and everything was in English but I really enjoyed. I discovered my essence again and I got connected with myself. It’s something that I was missing because during January and February my lifestyle was totally conversed. 

I think, one of the most spectacular things in the educational american system is that this period of vacation called “spring break” helps the student to take a breath and get a boost. It exactly happened with me. So, I hope you have got an wonderful time wherever you spent your days off. It’s nice to see you again guys. Let’s go for the second part of the semester.

Good Luck,

– Abel.


This morning I was thinking, what makes a moment or situation special? The first idea that came out to my mind was “happiness”… and there’s an explanation to find happiness at every step and situation, because if you don’t feel happy for every step you do, even if this is the smallest one, there’s no reason to keep working on something. In my case, I feel happiness because I closed a mid term semester with lot of experiences as well as personal and academic accomplishments that for sure, will be strengthened at the second part of this fabulous semester.

Firstly, I have to tell you that I came here with rather expectations as fears. Expectations were related to education, people, culture, lifestyle and wow… I wasn’t wrong. I met teachers who love their work, to give the best explanations and are open to receive some suggestions and feedback. Also, they’re great for their teachings such as lectures and feedback. Besides, I’m glad to know great people from all over the world. For example to learn about the Asian and Arabic culture – because of most of my classmates come from these countries – enhance my knowledge to understand how people, if they are joined, could achieve wonderful things. Such wonderful things are well called friendship and understanding. Now I know that even if we don’t have the same religion, we can share the same expectations for building an better world. The lifestyle is quite different from my country, here dinner is the main meal, so make some changes to your lifestyle usually turn into something positive. These experiences have come up with positive messages that I’ve decided to describe as my positive experiences in the US.

Also, I had fears before coming. These were related to deal with a new culture, to live alone, to arrange my own times, to take care of myself and of course, to get along with my English classes. So, I feel happy because I’m getting adapted to this new culture progressively. To use my email account for everything and to get support on technology to take a bus or to order a request to fix something wrong in my room have an important value for me. In addition, I’m almost living two months here and I got enough time clean up my room, to use the laundry service weekly, to do shopping for eating and even to cook occasionally represent an extra motivation to feel personally accomplished. Of course, we must mention the main objective for being here, it is to get along with English. If we go back to January, I must confess that I have looked up enormously my English skills. I feel more confident when I have to talk to native English speakers,  my vocabulary has increased. In most of audios and videos, I don’t require to close caption help. And also, writing and email or even this post doesn’t take me too much time as it was at the beginning. Entirely, my English capabilities have been strengthened. I will be happier if I can get great scores on Toefl and GRE, but I know that I still need to keep working because greatest achieves require greatest efforts. This is the reason what I am here.

I hope you were enjoyed as me this occasional post and that your mid term ending have been full of accomplishments like mine!.. see you in the next time!






Tips to deal with overwhelming situations

My Blog!!!


It is Abel. Fulbrighter & Civil Engineer. Peru is my birth place. Currently studying at the IEI at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, US.

Simple life makes me happy. I like practicing cardio sports and volleyball. Follow me to find out more about me and hopefully discuss many ideas.

See you next time!


My Family

When I think about my family positive reminders come out to my mind. It is because when you are 30 years old there are more things to remember than when you were only 16. So, if  you are interested to find out how a Peruvian family is mainly compounded and how is their typical  lifestyle, you will get engaged with the following lines.

Although there are different types of families, my family could be framed such as traditional one. It is formed by parental figures. My mom is Deysi and my dad is Abel. They fell in love around 36 years ago. As a result of their lovely history, my sister Deysi was born in 1981 succeeded by this writer in 1986 and our little brother Joaquin in 2000. Probably are you asking about the broad difference between my last brother and I? Well, summarizing it was a real miracle for the whole  family because after many years mom got pregnant roughly at her 40 year old.

In Peru is usual that either father and mother work to support their family. My father is a policeman whereas my mother is a teacher in elementary school. They enjoy working in their fields. As expected in my country, when a teacher is within a family, the well-educated the children should grow. In this line my sister is an accountant. She is married and has three beautiful girls: Ana Lucia, Ana Liliana and Ana Larissa. She loves summer time and spend time together. Usually when I need some advice I call her and we spend lot of time talking and talking and talking. Diametrically I decided to study civil engineering because of the inherent preference for math and numbers. Our little brother is beginning college this spring. He decided to study Business and Marketing Engineering in Peru and hopefully he will do it so well.

As all the families we had problems and difficulties, but always our parents taught us to get the energy and the mental ability to overcome adversities. I consider that specially these circunstancies remind me the real value of having a family and its implications into a society wherever it were.

Nowadays, my parents use to spend their time together by enjoying every second as the first day they found each other. And I am following their example as a real proof that a family  strengthens your spirit and expands your world, even when several kilometers separate you from home.

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