In August of 2009, I was given what I consider, so far, as the biggest break in my career. I was given the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and train the leadership team of the site that we were about to launch then. It was what opened so many other adventures for me – enjoy the country (even the layovers) , taste the food, experience a new culture, and most of all, meet the beautiful people of Nicaragua.
Right after the Leadership Team, I was given another class who is part of their pioneering batch. We were together for almost a month and have been to so many places together. Most of them are still my good friends now. When our class was about to end and I was about to leave, they gave me a gift – a hammock chair with my name on it.
They say that hammocks are common take-home gifts travelers buy from Nicaragua. I could understand why, it is a household signature, maybe not just in Nicaragua, but even in its neighboring countries. It is a good proof of how Spanish culture values the importance of taking a break and slowing down every now and then.
Hammocks are usually handwoven using enormous amount of cotton resulting to a very sturdy and comfortable experience when you use them. They come in different sizes, colors, and designs. It was one of the many things that catches my eyes first. Now that I am talking about it, I decided to go back to my old photos and check if I have a few to show you. I have two. The rest are either not good shots or I look horrible that the hammocks might not get the justice they deserve.
Grateful for the appreciation my class has given me, I told them that the hammock chair would look so beautiful in a beach setting. Putting it in my tiny studio type apartment will not give it justice so I told them to wait for my own beach house or pool. But years have passed and I, still, don’t have a beach house or even a small pool to use it for.
Last June, I found a better use for it. It’s not going to be for my beach or pool house but it is going to be in a much better place. Am sure my class wouldn’t mind.
Donated it to one of my favorite communities, Aeta Children’s Home – a community that gives a temporary home and a school for the indigent young people in the mountains of Zambales. It is the kids’ favorite place during a break or play time. I took this photo below from my room, when I visited them for a weekend. It made me smile so wide.
Here are other photos I would like to share with you.
Lying on my hammock chair in front of a beach in my own rest house would have been a very good dream to reach. I bet it will give me both peace of mind and a memory of the good people who gave it to me. But ain’t this better? Why? Because this is peace of mind and kindness multiplied. It reminds me of the kindness of my closest friends in Nicaragua and the kindness of the kids who deserve to find peace of mind while away from their own families. These kids can build their own memories with their friends as they spend their afternoons here while exchanging stories.
To all my trainees (who are now my friends) who gave this to me, THANK YOU. Your kindness is in my heart and no one can take it away from me. But I want your kindness to go farther than where my heart is.