May Newsletter – Recharging the batteries in Ecuador

Recharging the batteries

We live in a crazy busy world. Our minds never slow down, we are used to doing three things at the same time, and when we get too stressed out, accidents happen or we become sick. That is why, with just a few weeks left until the 5th Annual Unfuck The World Day, UTW creator Maike is taking a vacation. You may think that sounds crazy with so much still to do, but often, stepping back from a project for a while will lead to being more productive in the long run.

“I am currently in Ecuador, recharging the batteries. Here, time moves slower, people seem to appreciate life more than we do in the USA. I wonder, is that because they have less? Back home, we take so much for granted. Everything is available at the snap of a finger. But are we content? We never seem to be happy in the moment, always wanting more.”

UTW creator Maike with two of the kids

“I was lucky to be invited to visit Santa Maria de la Esperanza, an orphanage/foster house near Montañita, a small cluster of buildings nestled on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The place is home to sixty children. They live there in the care of five women who have dedicated their lives to being “tías’. The kids’ ages range from three months to seventeen years; they have all experienced severe mental and/or physical abuse.”

Santa Maria de la Esperanza

“When I went the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect.Would they be reserved towards me, a stranger? Would I see sadness and fear in the children’s eyes? I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I don’t think I have ever experienced more love and joy. I barely stepped into the beautiful courtyard, when I already had kids all over me. One little boy literally jump into my arms, directing me around  and telling me stories. The fact that my Spanish is basic didn’t seem to matter. I met the staff, consisting of the tías, a cook and two child therapists, and all the children, and each one welcomed me with a big smile and a hug.”

Celebrating one of the girls’ birthday

“I’ve been back several times since, attending one of their weekly music classes and a birthday party. I got the chance to get to know the kids a little better, and all I can say is that these children are happy and full of hope for the future. And without talking about it, they are teaching me to be content and appreciate the moment.”

Perhaps this has made you think about wanting to support a foster child in your area. There are many ways to do that, i.e. by being a mentor. Please reach out to local organizations to find out more. In the USA, you can visit the Foster Coalition’s website.

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For stories and pictures from the global events on UTW Day 2016, please visit our home page!

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