11 March 2019 — Heart, grateful, hammock, friendship, beginnings.

This was our last complete day at El 20. Tomorrow at this time we will be in another kind of reality, far away from our eight hammock room.  

For me, the way that the time goes by in the towns, at least in Mexico, it is completely different from how it passes in the city. These days I woke up earlier than in the last eight months. From the moment I opened my eyes surrounded by colors and roosters alarms until we finished our breakfast, I could swear that four hours had passed. After that, hikes, interviews, sunburns, jokes, Doritos … another four hours at least. A little break in the freshness of la casita, a conversation with people from another part of the world who became my friends or just drawing and playing with Jaimito and Yoselin, also felt like five more hours. After that, eat the tastiest almost vegan food in Mexico, a mini power nap in the hammocks… that also felt like another four hours. Keep working on the plan of the day, with some pauses for coconuts, ice cream, dogs, sunsets, or for being a girl again… six hours more, for sure… But when we checked the clock, it was barely five in the afternoon. It’s funny, the days felt eternal, deep and abysmal with the heat … but at the end of the week, I feel like we arrived a few hours ago at this place.

We measure our lives by time, by feelings, by heart.

But what tells us when something is over or when something it is about to start?

We intuit it, we feel it, or maybe we already have lived something similar before so we may say what is going to happen next. But when something is completely new and the cycle seems to finish, how do we know if we are facing an end or a beginning?

I feel that we are not ending anything, instead of it, I feel that we are just starting something here.

It is clear when something works and when not. After two… ok, three… well, maybe 5 failed workshops, our final presentation in front of the community made me really happy and satisfied. I feel proud with the work that we presented as a team, I feel lucky to have met with labbers and mentors who enjoy what they do, who put their hearts into their work. Seeing Sarita, Manuel, Ofe, Rosa, Guadalupe and  the children smile with our presentation made it worth any sunstroke, mosquito bite, and muscle contracture (because of the beautiful but not that comfortable hammocks) that we may have had.

What do I take with me? I will keep in my memories the breakfasts, the smiles of the children, our collective applause in front of the purple board, the feeling of how the Mexican and the Finn team got merge into one. I take with me the children shouting goodbye from school, the heat at night and the brightest stars I have ever seen. But what do I leave? What do we are leaving in El 20? We leave ideas, projects, friendships, we leave colorful chalks, football matches. We are leaving and we are taking with us love, friendship, and hard work.

After seven days of sharing life with new people and new places, I can say that I found another family.

Happy, excited, tan and grateful.

by Flor



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