Tribute to Elyn Hu
GRF Remembers: Elyn Hu
As GRF relies on the help of the global organization, AIESEC in order to recruit new interns from around the world, GRF has had the pleasure of getting to know those from within AIESEC, and in particular the former president, Elyn Hu, who tragically perished in the recent bus accident in Soreze, Mauritius. While I did not personally know her, I felt a special obligation to get to know and honor the person that provided the opportunity for me to come to work for the GRF and stay in the beautiful country of Mauritus. In order to be able to get the best picture of person behind the name, I interviewed one of her colleagues and closest friends, Lilian Arruda, director of communication for AIESEC Mauritius:
What was your first impression of Elyn?
“My first contact with Elyn was during my selection process. I was always impressed by her kind way of contacting me. Once the team was formed, even though we were still in different parts of the word, she would send caring e-mails. I remember a strong impression was from one of our first team e-mails in which she took the time to go into each team member’s profile and find similarities to point out – such as our birthday dates, countries we had been, etc.
She would sign the e-mail with this tone as she was not giving us orders but serving us as a leader.”
What were some of her particular personality traits/characteristics?
I believe if I could describe Elyn in words I’d say: caring, humble, and loving.
For me, she was always a role model of how to be strong but also connect and empathize with people. She would never state judgments of right or wrong, but always question us in order to present our ideas in a concrete form. She would give us the freedom to go through it and never have a superior attitude.
“She had this loud and funny laugh, special weird dance moves, a special way to shout ‘TREAT TREAT!!’ every time someone achieved something. Once in Mauritius she decided to learn how to cook; after several trials I can say that I myself learned to like eggplant and find out how to turn instant noodles in a fancy dish because of her.”
How will you remember her?
“Elyn was one of those rare stars, sometimes socially awkward in how to behave among so much new cultural information, but always eager to learn and tried to fit in. She believed in love in such a naive and beautiful way that it became part of her dream – to fall in love, to understand and feel how it is. I don’t know whether in this search she ended up not realizing how much she made people think about it and brought it closer to them.
“She always had this thing about touching – every time we tried to tease or hug her, she would run away saying “ayoo”. But even with the time she got used to it. In March I went to a conference in Panama, by the time I came back the girls picked me up at the airport. While we were returning home, Elyn was sitting next to me and sunddenly put her arms around my back and lay her head on my shoulder. She kept like this a big part of the way, I even poked her but she didn’t say ayoo that time.
I guess this is the strongest memory I keep in my mind all the time, and that’s the Elyn I want to remember always.”
What legacy did she leave?
“For me, Elyn’s legacy is about resilience and change. With her I learned that whenever you feel afraid of something, that’s exactly when you should go for it. For me legacy is not about just words of intentions – but by seeing her efforts and work in order to always improve, to connect and adapt. That caring was the key of that – that she cared enough to change not just the world, but even herself if necessary. There are no excuses, just a path ahead and our choice of never settling.”
A word from Mr. Parsuramen:
“Elyn’s death was very sudden and tragic for all those who knew her. She was of the rare caliber of people who cared to change the world not simply by thought, but by action. She is also the main reason GRF is able to build our vision of a worldwide organization with international interns able to carry our mission to all corners of the world. Her presence will truly be missed, but like any great person, she left an extraordinary legacy that will reverberate throughout the entire AIESEC community for many, many years to come.”