In-flight origami workshop, from Santiago to Patagonia

March 25, 2011 5 comments

I have an idea…how great it would be if airlines could offer origami workshops to children during long flights. Well, at least that was sort of our luck on the 4hours trip between Santiago and Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile (real far! the southernmost city on earth!).  Not a flight attendant, but Marcelo’s very sweet and origami-talented seat-neighbour: Marcela (obviously, I loved her name to start with).

Marcelo and Marcela making origamis in the plane:

They used the food tray paper mats to make the origamis

Really, sometimes you go to places and you see wonders. And ultimately, you meet people and they touch your heart more than all the beauties around. Marcela is a school teacher for under-privileged children in a small town near Chiloe, an island off the Pacific coast in South Chile. The children in her class are all very poor, she was telling me. Not poor as we commonly think of it as they all have enough to eat. They are terribly poor because they desperately lack material to learn, to be stimulated, to broaden their horizons. Marcela learnt from a young age how to make origami, from a little Taiwanese girl who was in her class in Santiago. Since then, she has been improving her skills and passing on her knowledge to the children that she teaches to at school.

She was so kind and patient with Marcelo. I could only imagine her at school with her 30 pupils (a class from 5 until 14 all together) making red and green origami stars for the Christmas tree. Then Marcela told me her personal story, that 2 years ago she was hit by a car as she was leaving for Spain for a post-graduate degree in education. The accident was so bad that she’s had 10 operations since then, including one this week. Hence her flying with us today. Luckily she has recovered all of her very kind smile, and more. A strong woman indeed. I am sure that Marcelo will remember Marcela more than all the penguins we have seen this afternoon in Sono Otway.

Marcela, esa flor es para usted de parte de Marcelo. Gracias!


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