The Extras: New York + Model UN

 

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Hello, Brunonian family! I’m Jacklyne Vargas, nice to meet you all *insert imaginary handshakes here*! I’m here to be your compass (well, that sounds heavy, doesn’t it?) in everything extracurricular here at Brown. If you’re reading this, send help you are a magnetic force of your own and I’m simply helping you figure out what attracts you. In all The Extras, in all the magnetic forces here at Brown, you can easily be pulled in countless directions, but I’m here to help! If anything, we’ll go crazy together…

This weekend was a weekend of somewhat terrifying, but overall exhilarating, firsts.

If you read my last post, you’ll know that this past weekend, I was privileged enough to travel to New York to participate in Columbia University’s collegiate Model United Nations conference, CMUNNY 9.

It was my first:

  1. Trip to New York City
  2. Collegiate MUN conference
  3. Crisis Committee

(Among others that you’ll note later on.)

Some background info: I was portraying the delegate from Mexico in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (aka CITES).

The following is a breakdown of each day in New York (WARNING tons of pictures up ahead):

Day One:

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Downtown Providence, where we (the Brown Model UN delegation) waited to board a bus to New York yay for 4 hour bus rides. We were on schedule to arrive in New York on time, until we encountered *dun dun dun* the much dreaded NY traffic. We were stuck in traffic for ONE AND A HALF HOURS.

After we arrived at the hotel, we were delayed for about another hour because of problems with our reservation. Once we got that sorted out, we dashed to the conference. (Everything was CLEARLY working in our favor that day…)

Needless to say, we arrived at the conference one hour after the first committee session began, and were quite flustered when we got there. Hence my somewhat blurry photo while speed-walking to the subway (also a first).

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Thankfully, the Chair of my committee was super kind (and hilarious!) and filled me in on everything that had transpired before I got there. I was too shy to speak during the first committee session, but the next day would prove to be a brighter day!

Day Two:

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The subway station we boarded to get to Columbia. When I arrived at the second committee session, I was surprised to see a parrot flying around in the room.

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Meet Kira, everyone! He (yes, Kira is a male) is the CITES Chair’s (Taylor, who’s photo-bombing in the corner) pet parrot. As the committee discussed, and grew divided upon, the legalization of the rhino horn trade, Kira landed on delegates’ heads, bit Taylor’s hand, and just generally squawked about. He made committee sessions infinitely more memorable.

For lunch, while eating sushi (another first), I bonded with the other delegates (who came from great schools all over the United States) in the CITES committee by discussing schoolwork stress, our cultural heritage, and even our favorite ice cream flavors, which really helped to create a more friendly and amiable atmosphere after the tension during session.

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After our third committee session concluded, we decided to head to Times Square and act like total tourists (other firsts). We were pushed and shoved by hoards of strangers everywhere but that didn’t diminish our excitement at being in the very epicenter of the city that never sleeps.

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Just look at our excited faces!

Day Three:

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The next day was filled with 2 four hour long committee sessions where we, the beautiful CITES committee, had much to deliberate! We discussed restrictions on illegal whaling, the adding of endangered fish species to the CITES appendices, combating terrorist groups (such as the fictional Green Terror and Blue Terror-which later combined to form Turquoise Terror), the kidnapping of two of our delegates, corrupt delegations, and the murder of one of our delegates.

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With all these scandals going on, three of our delegates were put on trial by these very eclectic judges (with great fashion sense, I might add). Though we took our job as a committee very seriously, we also took time to enjoy ourselves during sessions, clearly.

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Later that night, all of us Brown delegates ended an already fantastic, exciting day with dinner at a restaurant in Times Square.

Day Four:

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During the very last CITES committee session, we all added our Facebook profiles to a FB group created solely for those of us CITES delegates at CMUNNY 9, and just generally reminisced on the fun, and quite entertaining times we had. It’s an awesome way to keep in touch with all of the amazing individuals I met at CMUNNY!

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After the CMUNNY 9 Closing Ceremonies, the Brown MUN delegation decided to explore the stunning Central Park (yet another first).

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While we lounged on the grass, and looked up at the nature surrounding us, we couldn’t help but be filled with gratitude at the unforgettable experience we shared not only in New York and at CMUNNY 9, but with each other.

Brown Model United Nations gave me the tremendous opportunity to make new friends from all over the U.S., travel and explore, reflect on world issues and problems, fortify connections with my fellow Brown MUN delegates, and experience all these firsts.

I only hope you are now encouraged to experience some of your own firsts as well.

All my love,

Jackie

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions, comments, frustrations, tirades, rants, chocolates, inquiries or suggestions (I’d love your input) either below or in my email,  jacklyne_vargas@brown.edu! I’m seriously excited to interact with you all… Seriously. Have a delightful day!

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