Eliana Sierra: Addicted to butterflies in the stomach

Eliana Sierra: Addicted to butterflies in the stomach

I am blessed to have a friend who is just as much of a dreamer, enterpriser and traveler than me.

Eli, do you remember when we were lining up to take the scholarship’s exam?

You were so agitated and confused because you were late, which I found later was something typical for you, HAHA

At that time our friendship was not as strong as we are now, and when you saw me in line you came to say hello and to introduce yourself. HAHA

When we finished the exam we decided to go for Milkshake Pops and sat down to eat on the steps of The Solitude’s Church.

We compared all of the exam answers we remembered, and with great enthusiasm talked for a couple of hours about how much we wanted to go to China.

And there were 2 dreamers, at that time we were 25 years full of ambition and desire to conquer the world.


A week later we were summoned to interview at the Chinese Embassy in San José, and months later, our names were on the official list of scholarship students.

What we did not know and took us by surprise was that the Chinese government assigned us the same city, and enthusiastically, we started our trip to the spectacular city of Tianjin.


Eli, today is your birthday. The previous years I was at your side with a cake, and this year with love I send you this letter as a thank you postcard for your unconditional friendship.

China would never have been the same without your company!

One year ago you said to me:

-Today I wanna go to the hair salon and straighten my hair.

So, I accompanied you to the salon where we were the most popular customers because we were foreign, and gradually all the staff came to greet us.



However, the visit to the beauty salon was one of the many experiences that we experienced together for 2 years in China.

So here I will recount some anecdotes of living together and that instantly generate a smile on my face when I remember them.

Social Interaction

When I realized that Alexandre Guimaraes was Tianjin’s soccer coach, I contacted him and then made an appointment. When we went for a coffee Alejandro Villegas also was there.

Who would have thought that we were going to meet them in China?


Then they gave us tickets for the final game of the season. Together we went to the stadium to celebrate that first goal… until we realized we were celebrating the opposing team’s goal. HAHA


The first 50 students to ask for tickets at the Reception Residences would have free admission to the Theatre of Tianjin. And there we were!

We both enjoyed that musical event. We wanted to buy the CD… and then you said to me:

– It’s better if we download it. HAHAHA

And in the end we never did anything.


Our trip to South Korea coincided with the premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey. Of course we had to watch the movie!


Costa Rica has always been represented at food festivals at Tianjin Foreign Studies University.

Rice pudding was our specialty. You were the chef and I was your assistant.




When we arrived in our city, we wanted to go to all places. And that was how we visited the famous Tianjin Eye.


And we cannot ignore the great Water Park.


The trip to the Great Wall in Tianjin, our first excursion trip with the university.


The great trip to the cold city of Harbin, we traveled by train for 17 hours in the hard chair seats… The divine youth treasure!

But everything was worth it, because we were happy to see snow.



The city of Datong and the wonderful Yungang Grottoes. On this occasion, we bid farewell to 2014 and received 2015 in this particular city.


Sichuan and its beautiful colors left us enchanted.


Nanjing, the ancient capital of China welcomed us with a lot of crowds of people. Traveling during the Chinese New Year holiday will always be epic.


Gyeongju, Busan and Seoul, the three cities we visited in South Korea. That in itself was a shopping trip. Our luggage almost exploded!




We always had a common passion for traveling, and never had excuses. That was our priority!

We never had any problems buying a 41 hours train ticket round trip. Of course, for this occasion we booked beds. Sichuan waiting for us!

We had so many hours on the wagon train that we started to learn how to use my new camera.


That job interview to which I accompanied you to support you. At the end you did not get the job, but at least we still have the photo. HAHA. I know… you must be thinking that I am a cruel person, I can read your mind.


-Marchessi, I’m happy to go to the airport on time.

You said to me very relaxed when we went on the subway to the Shanghai airport.

Suddenly, you received the email as a reminder that the check-in terminated in 30 minutes, that’s when we realized that the flight was at 9:00 p.m. and it wasn’t at 11:00 p.m. as we thought.

We both ran around the airport that day, and everything to end up sleeping in a chair.


We were on the flight the next day at 8:00 a.m. We were lining up for the wrong flight. Do you remember? HAHA That day we felt proud of learning Mandarin. We identified the correct line for our flight because the airport staff only gave the instructions in Mandarin.


The Chinese New Year in the city of Anhui left me so exhausted that I slept the whole route.


The university and travels around Tianjin with foreign students. And we were always together!


Moments of Madness

Eli, thanks for being there! You’ve always believed in my crazy ideas.


I have always expressed you my love in many ways. Even via the serenades I sang you! I wrote poems to you and invited you to eat. HAHAHA





How long did it take us making the decision to buy Dr. Martens boots? One year? One of the most difficult decisions!

And when at the end we decided to buy them we had to take a picture.


But the craziest moments were when you got to knock on the door of my room with your many characters.

-¿Marchessi, Are you ready to study? Tomorrow we have an exam.


-¡Marchessi, Christmas has arrived!



And finally, the hardest part was saying goodbye. You accompanied me to the door of my train and you left quickly to avoid crying together.


During these years of adventures we shared many stories.

I never wanted to hurt you, loved when I made you laugh, and loved to shine beside you and grow this great friendship.

Ah! And why the title of butterflies in your stomach? Because I know that you’re addicted to love, you are full of God and always radiate joy.

I do not think I’ve forgotten our promise. We’ll celebrate our 30’s in India, whenever God gives us health and work to achieve it.

I love you. Forever your friend!