Those experiences that revolt you, make your beliefs collapse and open your mind, heart, doors.
Only the idea gives you fear and excitement at the same time, and you know that it is one of just to try. As those worthy, it seems that time has flown but on the other hand I have the feeling of being here for much more than five months. Must say that before leaving I did not have so many expectations, I wanted to let me surprise. And so it was, in an ascending climax of emotions and lessons of life.
In the last period I had English classes with children and adults and together we organized a final presentation, I was dealing with the library and I held art workshops where the kids had fun with tempers and easels.
We also held courses in a kichwa community, where they offered us maito and chicha and they were very hospitable; the night in the hammock in their hut is one of the most lively memories I have.
During the absence of my colleague in charge of eco-agriculture tasks, I took care of the garden. One of the youngest kids in the center was enthusiastic about the idea and every morning he was waiting for me to water the plants, carrying his bucket full of water, with bare feet on the humid and warm ground.
Contact with nature and its rhythms and transformations, the rite of taking care and respect of times have been fundamental to my growth. I’ve been thinking a lot about time for things to be picked up, to be ready.
During this time we also met with a kind lady who showed us typical recipes that we prepared together. In addition to having really delicious dishes, cooking is one of the best ways to get in touch with a culture, create bonds and knowledge.
There are plenty of anecdotes: my fall in the river while rafting and consequent heroic rescue, the epic race after the presence of a snake a few inches from my feet, the rise of a volcano with snow in my face and anemia.I have experienced as many sad moments as many full of so much joy. I bring so much in and with me. I trained assertiveness, critical thinking, organization and time management, socio-cultural awareness.
I have deeply understood the value of recycling, the figured one I mean, of beauty of imperfection, as “there’s a crack in everything but it’s where light comes in”, someone would say.
I have I learned so much. Gradually demolishing the wall of defenses, relying and resizing, putting limits, trusting my intuition, the change of perspective, the value of time and building something.
I have learned to rest, to be less impatient and that waiting is maturation.
I learned the courage to know how to stay, to accommodate my limits and my shadows, not fleeing for places to “divert”.
I have learned the importance of the care of myself, of things, of others, to let it flow, let it go, which implies incorporating an experience, making space and being ready for a new one.
I’m learning to forgive myself. I have become more and more conscious of the lifetime-death-rebirth cycle, which is the rule of the world.
I knew myself better and let me be inspired. I imagined a lot. I think the images are underrated, they have a significant power of chance. They are connected with desires and inspiration from deep desires, by etymology, means that we are ready to bridge the distance between us and the stars. I had new images for my life. I feel stimulated, comforted, encouraged and I leave myself actively transported.
Now I am writing it is the last day I spend here and I have so many memories. I have met people who struggle in everyday life. I have seen the children growing, moving the first steps, learning new words. I witnessed the change of teenagers, after we created familiarity. We accompanied each other for a short time. Emotion takes me to the thought of their lack.
It was an intense experience. Those beautiful things that makes you feel good. And some might even say, “Did you need to go to Ecuador to understand that?” Maybe no, maybe yes. Or probably yes, for my particular and specific life path, I needed this country, these people, just this. I bring everything away with me, as it is said, into the baggage of the soul. I conclude with a thought that I had collected one of the first days.
“Later in the afternoon I was playing football with the kids in the big square in front of the dorm. They laughed, all sweaty and happy. Dogs and hens walking around, the neighbor washing their clothes in the well, in the background cumbia and parrots. The sun was falling and the trees were shining with a bright green light. There was such a beautiful light I thought I would run in to take my camera to make that postcard immortal. But it was a fleeting thought since I was totally in, and interrupting that moment would have changed its energy. It was perfect.”