Villa O’Higgins, a straight story 

16-arielaJust another place on my way to “the end of the world”, my final destination.
A door between rooms. A far-off village so small and with so few people that one labels it straight away as a non-interesting place. Far was I from knowing that this apparently shallow remote village would be the highlight of my trip. That’s how prone we are to judge.
The bus driver that took us there told us of a clean and cheap hostel to stay. That’s how I met Ariela.
30 years old, single mother of 2. Arrived in Villa O’Higgins 2 years ago with 3 coins in her pocket.
Eckart Tolle wrote “The power of now”. Ariela experienced it.
– If I think and dream, why can’t I do it? I’m not afraid of anything so there is nothing I cannot do.
Ariela rented a two story house, fixed it and started her business.
– I don’t want anything, I have everything. Money is like magic in my hands, it materialises dreams and I am able to start any project I think of because I’m always having ideas to make dreams work. I live in magic. I think and things happen. Simply because I believe.
– Why are you writing what I’m saying? You’re wasting your time! – Ariela told me.
– One day is one life. I die every night. Every morning I wake up to a new life. And so I can do everything that I want.
– Everything is being created, always. And there is nothing that is missing. If you know this, you’re always open to receiving.
– It doesn’t matter what people say. Why do you waste time writing what I’m saying?
– So that I’ll remember.
–  Like that you’re not here. You’re distracted. And you miss out on new things that are coming. You’re distracted. Cease the moment.
– My memory often fails me. My heart knows, and remembers, but it helps me to have a note book to bring that knowledge to the conscious mind.
Ariela laughs.
– I dream every night. And I always remember my dreams. Sometimes I take the dream from where it stopped and continue the dream the following night. I live two lives, one in the waking state, the other when I’m dreaming. And both are real.
Dogs in Villa O’Higgins are very friendly. I’ve already met a few and played with them. Ariela explained that this is because in Villa O’Higgins everybody treats them right, with love. When they misbehave and run after the chicken, they tie their leg to the neck. They are grounded. But even so, they play and don’t cease to be happy. It’s all about love.
– I believe God has fun with me. I laugh and make Him laugh. He likes me. That’s probably why I am blessed with everything and magic is all around me. I think and things happen.
Ariela’s presence makes people forget their problems. She smiles and people smile with her.
I’ve recently read that Jesus was not aware of His miracles simply because they were natural to Him, and that was His natural state. I believe that the joy and love Ariela shares so altruistically are also miracles that she is not aware of.
– I enjoy looking on the other side of everything that I see. The other side.
I see a beautiful sunrise. And I try to see what’s on the other side. I do that with everything.
– If I do you a favour, all I ask is for you to return that favour to two other people. Father Ronchi taught me this when I was little.
Ariela met father Ronchi when she was a toddler. He taught her to read and write, like before her he had taught her mom and so many other children. Italian born, Father Antonio Ronchi arrived in Chile at the age of 30 and dedicated his life to work with rural, unreachable and isolated communities in the Aysén Region. He helped communities build small churches, schools, workshops, boats and docks, obtain small water turbines for electricity and installed a considerable number of FM radio antennas to improve communication.
– The most important person in Patagonia. He might have had a woman, she said laughing. That’s what people say, but then again everybody likes to babble and talk idly.
– The person that hurt me the most was the one that taught me the most. I hold no hard feelings. There is a practical intelligence and an emotional intelligence. They are both important for us to counterbalance.
Later that afternoon we went for a walk. She wanted to show me around and introduce me to people, take me to their houses so that I could grasp what it’s like to live in deep Patagonia.
– Women in Patagonia don’t have pretty hands. Here a woman that doesn’t work hard is no good, no man will want her – and she showed me her hands. The old man lowered his head in agreement. I also used to like to dress and polish my nails, but that feels like a lifetime ago. Now in my closet I have a box of nails, a hammer, tools and a chainsaw. And I am happy. I wake up to a new life, everyday.
–  I live life like the food I choose to eat. One can choose bad food and feed in rage, fear, anguish. This person is bitter and unhappy. Or we can choose healthy food, and we feed in happiness, joy, love, truth. And we are happy and blissful. It’s up to us to decide whether we want to be happy or not, despite what we are supposed to experience be already written.
Back at “Hospedage Glaciares” we drank Mate together, ritually.
– El mate no va aprender a hablar.
We laughed.
In deep Patagonia they say that if you eat calafate berries you will return. I ate two mouthful, feeling deeply grateful for having met Ariela.
God bless you. See you soon!
Gonçalo
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