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Amy Messersmith

Albany, NY, United States

Not Accepting Guests

Last login about 1 month ago

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Overview

  • 39 Positive References
  • Fluent in English, Spanish; learning Chinese, English, French
  • 36, Female
  • Member since 2008
  • Teacher, Coach
  • Neverending
  • From Albany, NY
  • Profile 65% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

Bringing CS to light for new people, Dancing and Rowing wherever I go

ABOUT ME

I like to read, write in my journal, travel, dance salsa and bachata, and row. I've also joined the RC community, and possibly the Toastmasters club. (I'm not a great public speaker - but I can be pretty hilarious in small groups!)

I tend to be both clean/messy, alone/with people, quiet/loud, fun/..less fun, plan/last minute, etc.... all in good balance. Depends on the context.

PHILOSOPHY

Everything has an element of risk, "life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping, if it were not." ralph waldo emerson.
If you don't try you've already failed.
Invest in people and in relationships. The rest will fall into its place.

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

CS get togethers and trips together. I would like to surf a bit in the states, knowing that it is seen differently than in Europe or other countries.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

(Feb 2013 Austin TX) Starting Spanish nights up again. Who doesn't love pictionary en español! Spanish from all over the world, even some arabic in there...

(August 2012) French film night in Austin, Texas. First CS meeting was fun; listened to French music, picked up some words, ate some olives, cheese, bread, grapes and cherries, chicken.. but most importantly met some great people.
(December 2011) Introduced my coaching partner to CS on a trip to Hartford for a conference - and our hosts didn't try to kill us! Some people are so skeptical...and turned out he and her fiancee had a common friend! Lo and Max were great to us, even when we came in late. Love their dog. She made dinner, we took them to a firehouse breakfast before leaving. Such great conversation. I learned about sitting volleyball. It amazes me how people overcome obstacles. And we're both teachers! And language lovers.. it was a great experience. And I was glad to share the CS world with someone new. (October 2011) Not as active in Capital Region CS as I'd like, but did get to help out Debra getting to her hotel at the airport. Great conversation over coffee. She reminded me that I can't force things in life, that I will get to my next step when it's right. I loved that she travels to see the leaves change color. (July 2011) Couched with brothers Andrew and Ed in northern Vermont. They reminded me the value of listening, and they had so many stories to share. We laughed and walked a lot. Couched with an old high school friend and her husband and introduced them to the CS mission, they even let David stay with us. It's not too hard to get meetings together in Austin! Went to a Spanish language night, a rockabilly music night and going salsa dancing. (June 2010) Couched in New Paltz. A domestic experience! Went out with Olga to a great restaurant and sunbathed on a creek. Next time I go I'm bringing my suit. CSing in the states is a different animal, but I still love it. And I'm passing the word to my new friends here, while keeping in touch with friends back in Spain. (Dec 2008) Barcelona for a night, seafood like it was in Puerto.. and learning about Jordi's Castellar group and I wrote down in my journal this phrase after he told me where he is in the group, the base, "You can't climb if there is no one holding you." (keeping a travel journal is a good idea - I would have never remembered this had I not written it down)Last minute Germans travelers came over and we went to La Carbonería and they saw Sevilla by night, which is more comfortable but less stores are open. Normally I like to host people who have profiles, but these three were great.

Interests

travel! dancing salsa and bachata, rowing, languages, movies - movie night, card games and games in general -game night, frisbee in the park, or at the beach, or in the mountains, or off the ancient Mexican ruins... bike riding, animals.
Cooking is a new hobby...more like edible experimenting.

Music, Movies & Books

I'm pretty open to any kind of music, movies or books. I like to read in Spanish, listen to music and movies in Spanish.
I like country music, too.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

The bats flying over the trees in Austin, from the other side of the river after rowing. I met George, who was walking across America. His story had everyone quiet and amazed. I met Lo.

Teach, Learn, Share

Mike L: Life is too short to settle.
Patty K: Invest in people and in relationships.
(my old house mates in Texas)

Dennis: I think you always carry home with you no matter where you are.

During Semana Santa the hermandades wear caps called Capirotes, that many Americans recognize as and mistake for KKK hoods. These caps represent the arrepentimiento (regret) that the people are supposed to show during Easter and all that, and comes from the same idea as what we call a dunce cap, what you wore when you were bad and had to sit in the corner. Interesting.

Most recently learned thing about France is that they are more similar to USA than I thought, for one example regarding children who go to bed early like us vs staying out late in the street with everyone and that they have babysitters too. I got to babysit twice in my Sevillana life - Italian mom, Spanish dad, American babysitter..what could be confusing about that?

As you participate more in CS in one place (versus being the visitor) you learn more about the intricasies of CS, how deep it really is and how serious it is taken, the personal relationships and how to try to handle conflicts without ignoring them and then move on with optimism. It's a family, para bien o para mal, and not everything is rosy, and you really _don't_ know these people, their history or their true personalities aside from their profiles at first, (remember the original Real World??) and then after you might continue the friendship and get to know them - the only thing I try to assume with a degree of hesitation is that the majority of people here or visiting share the same basic CS belief, of being honest, considerate, open and friendly, respectful - and if you come to realize other conclusiones, good or bad, that they don't take away from the group's objectives. and _not_ to judge anyone based on anything but my own experience with them, hard to do, I know. In Sevilla, you rarely heard people contando sus penas (talking about their issues), they love life and it would be great if they didn't have worries or conflicts, although I know everyone does (my moment of pesimism slash realism) On the upside, no hay mal que por bien no venga, o que por bien haya para encontrar. Every cloud has a silver lining.

What I Can Share With Hosts

Don't be afraid of being very clear with how you want your hosting/hosted experience to be - it's your place!

Countries I've Visited

France, Guatemala, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, United Kingdom

Countries I've Lived In

Spain, United States

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