With a new year, comes a new beginning, where joys and achievements are more wonderful, and hardships become acceptable; this is what Epoch Times reporters from Spain to Pakistan discovered when they asked locals: “How is 2011 so far?”
Angela Bueno Rodriguez, 53, Business Manager, Network Marketing
Spectacular and wonderful! You can imagine the joy that I can have, starting a new year with health, projects, friends, prosperity, and my kids increasingly focused on their personal and professional development; a new year providing support to others and receiving support. A beginning focused on an immense gratitude to God for all the things that I have received, in all the instances of my life. Today I can say that life is beautiful as it is.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Robert Chung, 22, University Student
Pretty banging! We’re in a time when everything is becoming more accessible, with Facebook, Twitter—almost so much that all the things you don’t want to know about are right there. Once 2010 happened, everyone reflected; now we just keep moving forward. The rate we’re moving [at] is getting quicker and quicker. 2011 has also been great thanks to [friends] Adam Lyons, Amanda, Alex, and Zach. They’re the reason I’m in New York this early in the year.
Sunshine Coast, Australia
Steve Davis 38, Landscaper
So far, so good, for this year! A bit wet, but get that. I’m having a holiday because it’s flooding everywhere, and hopefully it dries out in the next few weeks, and I can get back to work. With the road closures I can’t go far. Other than that, it’s all good.
Thomas Marklund, 39, CEO
Very good! Recently new opportunities for my company have emerged. I work with Microfinance in Africa.
Ana Huallpa, 52, Trader
For now, with a lot of will and strength, since I consider myself a very positive person and even though I may be standing on thorns, I put my mind on the positive, and that is why the new year is beginning almost perfectly.
Ahmed Ayad, 35, Cashier
Year 2011 has started out well for our business. We have started the year with good sales. Mr. Books is the oldest bookstore in Islamabad and has been around for 30 years. We have seen good times and not so good times. Recently, we have expanded, but we have always attracted foreigners and diplomats to our store because we have a huge variety, and because of our locality. The recent period has been peaceful in terms of political activity and so we keep a steady flow of business. When things are disruptive, then we see a small lull in business for a few days.
Jorge Fuentes, 54, Self-employed
From the beginning, it has been very busy, given that in the first few minutes I had to run to catch up to greet my family as much as I could. After that, I prepared for my holiday trip! And here I am, in the south … appreciating its lush beauty.
Alexandra Sádecká, 45, Dentist
Since I am still on a vacation, it was all about visiting relatives and friends, cooking, baking, long walks, spa, travel, and relaxing, so it was a very pleasant beginning of the year. I also think about the financial issues in my business, and plan new activities and possibilities in my work.
Carmen Ramírez Carmona, 56, Telemarketing Phone Operator
The entry to the year was very quiet. … I spent it with part of my family. On New Year's Eve we ate the 12 grapes, toasting the New Year to bring us health and peace. Shortly after, I returned home, while young people were going to celebrate the New Year.
NOTE: In Spain, the special tradition is to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds as the clock bells mark the final 12 hours of the year!
Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “What subjects in your country are taboo to discuss with someone you don’t know well?”