By Aichurok Muktarova, Greenheart Work and Travel Participant

A month ago, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a friendly community in a small but very hospitable city in Colorado. The United States met me with warm weather and people with big smiles. During my first month in Colorado, I made good friends who helped me discover new experiences every day. We have shared our cultures and so many interesting times together. One exciting event we attended together was an Open Mic Night, which included cozy gatherings around the fire, meeting new people, and, of course, an indescribable pleasure from listening to live music.

At an Open Mic Night, anyone is welcome to sing and play guitar, or any other instrument, they desire. I was surprised by the number of people who knew how to play the guitar and sang their hearts out. It was interesting to listen to the performances of different songs, voices, and musical techniques. The bonfire flickering in time with the music, combined with the smell of fresh coffee, made this evening even cozier. The clear night sky was illuminated with light from the glowing moon and beautiful Milky Way.

I grew up in a country where the performance of music is not a liberating activity. On this night, everyone seemed very confident as they took the stage and shared their music with us. At the end of each performance, the friendly audience supported each performer with thunderous applause. I enjoyed every minute of this experience because it taught me the importance of music and confidence, and has inspired me to develop my own confidence. I hope one day I will learn how to play the guitar as well as these wonderful people!

If you want a magical musical evening like Aichurok’s, look into our Work and Travel program and follow us on Instagram to see the adventures our participants are having across the country.