Testimony by Solene Moyes
November 28, 2023
It is with tears in my eyes that I write this text. I am a very sensitive girl. But as Caron de Beaumarchais said “if I laugh it's like crazy, if I cry it's to the point of crying. Between the two I just get bored.” That phrase pretty much sums up the storm of emotions that I saw happen during my trip in Malingua Pamba. Between tears, laughter, fears and surprises, this experience filled my soul with colors, and my mind with sweet memories. I start the story. One day, on the other side of the world, a young lady wakes up with the certainty that she wants to explore the world. Tired of dreaming about the world through anthropologists, she wants to travel, know, see, touch and learn. That lady is me, and on April 28, 2023 I set foot in Ecuador, ready to change my destiny.
Two months passed, to the rhythm of activities in the library, theater courses, field work and, above all, many smiles. There would be many memories that I could tell: the parents' party, the concerts on the bus, the Tuesdays with Aunt Celia, the bracelet workshops in the library... But what I want to tell you is that during my trip, I found the flowers of my destiny. Who are the flowers of your destiny? They are all those people who come into our lives to sow a beautiful memory, a lesson, an unforgettable brand...
Elvia, that is the first flower, in every sense of the word. A beautiful, strong, cute and very intelligent woman. There is Paulino, who sowed thousands of tips. I am proud to have had the opportunity to meet such an inspiring and brave person. Bolívar, Roberto, Huguito, Jonhcito... who left me a thousand memories and a thousand laughs. Lucí and Daisy who left images of there beautiful smiles engraved in my mind... Clarita and her limitless optimism...
More tears come to me as I remember those wonderful people to whom I will be grateful for eternity. Thank you thank you and a thousand thanks for everything.
I will leave my story here, for fear of tiring you like the anthropologists tired me. Life is not about dreaming through a computer. Life is about tying your shoes and going to meet the flowers of your destiny.
Thanks to Pamela for giving me the opportunity to take another turn in my life. Thanks Malingua Pamba, I tell you see you soon!
Solene Moya by Pam Gilbert
Volunteer from France
Early in 2023 I was contacted by a young woman from France, age 18. She discovered Centro Educativo La Minga via the website HelpX.com. She communicated with me in Spanish, so I assumed that she had some type of Spanish heritage, but I learned later on that was not the case.
She is/was enrolled in a high school program which involves doing some type of immersion project in another country. Per our email exchanges, we merged two of our passions: hers for theatre and mine for preserving the Kichwa traditions. In her two months in Ecuador, May and June, she formed great friendships with the community of Malingua Pamba. She asked the students if they would be willing to perform in a play featuring Kichwa traditions. Then, together with her volunteers, they picked their favorites and wrote vignettes for the Teatro. The performance was videoed, but unfortunately not with professional equipment. Here is the link to the youtube.com video of her production in which she also put English subtitles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuF4qDvxGgA (Feel free to listen to it and see if you can detect a French accent! I couldn’t.)
Meanwhile, I have learned that she has been taking Kichwa lessons all while enrolled in a university in France.
It has been my pleasure and delight to work with such an amazing young woman. I’m sure that the communities of Malingua Pamba and the surrounding communities would agree.
Solene joined the students on their Field Trip to the Beach of Atacames. Also hiked to the famous Quilatoa Volcano plus did weekend adventures on her own throughout Ecuador! Wow!