Portrait: The First Meeting

Posted on mai 28th, by Paul R. in Meeting greatings, Once upon a time, Portraits. No Comments

Paul Mariuzzo-Raynaud told us the story of his first E-180 meeting, which just happened to be the first E-180 peer-to-peer meeting. Ever!

« With a passion for hobbies and learning all kinds of new things,I made journey through the educational institution before realizing that the biggest lessons you learn, you learn through living. And I’m counting on you to share the bench with me! »

Just as officially, Élodie took the first ‘step’ with E-180 in meeting Paul M. Her chalk slate will give you a clue as to where that first step was taken… « I’m going to India. »

Active, curious and food lover!

Not knowing what to offer, the lightbulb only went on after seeing her demand. The gears were in motion…

So then came November 6th, Paul M. was ready, full of questions and excited to embark on this totally new experience. The meeting point was the Jean-Talon metro station, at noon on the nose. « Wow, the metro station is huge, » he thought to himself, not having known. It was his first time there since he had come to Montreal. Without much of a worry, he decided to make a phone call. Eager not to miss what might be a life changing acquaintance, he found a phone booth and called Élodie. (He had had no cell phone at the time, since paying for school was enough of an expense to contend with). It rang… it rang… no answer. He almost started to worry. He called a second time, and as it rang, he realized that, with no more change left, this was his last chance.

Eternal student, journalist, traveler, accountant and dreamer.

« Hello! » she answered. Success!

Paul M. describes the encounter:

« We were so excited to get started once we met, we weren’t even sure where to begin. The walk to our meeting place, « Parc-Ex », the Indian district of town, where we ate, gave us some time to get to know each other before diving into a conversation about chicken and curry recipes. That’s where everything started.


« Before beginning to explain my own experiences in India, where I spent eight months between 2009 and 2010, I needed to know why she wanted to go there. India is no trivial vacation destination, and presents any traveler with many surprises and challenges. It gave me joy to realize her need to travel, it was clear in her eyes. An eagerness that I myself had two years ago. The need comes from the feeling of wanting to see something, to challenge yourself, and to witness everything first hand (a good reason for anyone to go traveling).

Paul M. and Élodie

« Knowing that Élodie was fully aware of what she was about to embark upon, I threw myself into the subject. I had planned, before hand, about how to approach all of the aspects of India, including the romanticized and the practical. In hind sight, I immersed myself so thoroughly, that I’m sure I appeared as the Indian’s did when I visited: chaotic, and jumping from thing to thing without notice. Even thought my teaching skills might not have been up to snuff, I know that I at least gave her a good feeling for it. There are so many details to include when discussing such a trip, and it was important not to let the whole conversation be about practical tips. I worried that I might accidentally frustrate her desire to explore a whole new world, by describing everyday life in India. She had such enthusiasm, I answered all of her questions, which often lead to other anecdotes and so on. Time sped by, and before we knew it, three hours had passed. I still have tons of things to tell her.

« There you have it. Thanks to E-180, I made this contact. And, after digesting everything that happened, I’ll return to E-180, and help it prepare for launch. For me, learning is watching the student become the master!

« As a future ‘student’ I hope to learn how to make sushi and take the opportunity to share it with the E-180 team. I don’t think I’ll every be short of new things I’d like to learn! »

E-180 is happy to confirm that Paul M. now makes sushi like a pro! Thanks to Anne-Laure Putigny and Alexandre Spaeth for being great teachers!


A Reminder: E-180 is coming to a city near you! Get yourself to E-180.com and register on our English platform. You could have just such an encounter and experience in the future!


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