April 13: One day with Josefina Mena Abraham, by Naye

Monday 13th was a very special day because we actually got to meet almost all the Aalto Lab 2015 members. We first had a nice breakfast in California’s restaurant; we were trying to spend a little time just to meet the expected Josefina. We had heard a lot of her, and her entrepreneurship in finding a good and useful way to manage our organic matter.

There was a woman that stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow in her direction, she adjusted the sails. This woman was Josefina. At first we didn’t know what to expect. We were suddenly in a really nice condominium in the street of Arenal, but we weren’t sure who were we meeting. Suddenly a very smiley person waved us from a big truck, there she was, a mass of energy came through, she said hi and she was laughing all the way. In my mind I couldn’t stop thinking “Wow, this woman is over 70 years old and she has more energy at this hour than almost all of us.

Josefina started sharing her story, talking about how she started to implement Chinampas methodology and Xochimilcas knowledge to make her treatment system, even though she was an architect and she hadn’t any clue of what she was doing at that time. She really thought it was worth to keep on working and making research to make better projects. She shared that in those times, it was difficult to find people that where actually interested in these type of research. She traveled to different places showing her findings, of actually 8 types of new bacteria that were actually in our waste. So, she thought in the seventies that, even though the world didn’t seemed to care, she felt deep in her heart that it was worth keeping on, so she trusted in her idea and beliefs. So with the mentality that motivation determines what you do and attitude influences how well you do it, among the years she has continued making our organic wastes into Fertilizer Gold. We know that this world is ruled by economic growth and making it all around money, so what could be a better idea than to make some money with our shit?

I could only think about the greatness Josefina has. So here I’ll write the most amazing advices she shared with us.

1.-She told us the importance to do something useful for people

2.- Motivation as a fundamental element for doing things

3.-Always make a better place with our ideas

4.-The importance of recognizing that our elders had really cool stuff to teach us

5.- Admire what people have done very well

6.-It is essential to know the details

7.-It is even more necessary to observe with different eyes

8.-Do what we like and feel like doing

9.-Always share what we have learned

10.- ALWAYS FIND A GOOD HUMOR. AND KEEP BEING A BETTER PERSON, BECAUSE YOU CAN

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