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Hello to all!

Well, actually I do not know how many people will read this post, but I hope to reach many ears.

I was born in Ecuador, and have lived most of my live here in Quito, the capital city.

I studied law, and have done many things in life. Have travelled extensively, specially between 1999 and 2003.

In 2004 my daughter Sofia arrived to my life, and she changed me - and my life - completely. For the best, of course.

I still enjoy traveling and meeting new friends, but must admit that I have reduced my annual trips to the minimum.

I consider myself a good person, and open minded individual, a courageous woman (as most women are), and a leader.

Of course, it is not easy to be an independent professional, a courageous woman, a single mom, and a leader, at the same time, but I manage.

This year has been tremendously difficult, but also valuable, for my personal and professional growth.

I have also developed a special like for Women issues, and the empowerment of women.

I truly believe that education makes a huge difference between empowered and non-empowered individuals, and this is even more dramatic with women.

I am happy to have joined this valuable virtual platform, and am ready to the exchange and sharing that will occur in the coming years.

Hugs from the Middle of the World, in Ecuador.

MARIA SARA
Skype: msjijon

http://www.linkedin.com/in/msjijon

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Comments

sallyreb's picture

Welcome!

Hello Maria,

Welcome, welcome - I'm so glad that you have joined this community!

I also believe that education can make a huge difference in building confidence and a sense of self. I believe that educating and empowering girls and women is important and serves to strengthen communities.

I will look forward to reading more about your thoughts on education for women, your travels, and your daughter.

Welcome!
Sally

msjijon's picture

Education for girls and women

Dear Sally,

Thanks for your welcome note.

Will try to write more about my ideas and experience with education, and training, specially with women.

Now that Sofia, my daughter, is big enough, I hope to be able to travel also with her.

Hugs, Maria-Sara :)

Ms. Maria-Sara Jijon
President
WAM-Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Mobile: +593.8.706-1211
http://www.linkedin.com/in/msjijon

Jensine's picture

Bienvenidos!

Hola Maria-Sara -

What a joy to welcome you to PulseWire! Ecuador is close to my heart as I have traveled the mountains, coast y la selva in your beautiful country. One day you must come to Portland, Oregon so we can tour you and Sofia in the mountains and ocean here.

I look forward to hearing your strong, courageous voice and your visions for Ecuador, the world and your life and your daughters
's life. Please reach out for what you need & use our bulletin board to post any needs you have, mingle and enjoy the community!

Looking forward to our journey together.

Love & hugs,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

msjijon's picture

Thanks

Dear Jensine,

Thanks for your kind words, and for your "invitation" to visit Portland. I had once been in Portland (though, only in the airpot, on my way from Atlanta to Tokyo, and this was back in January 1989). I have seen beautiful pictures and postcards of your home town, and it certainly seems to me a great city.

I am glad you liked Ecuador. This is a very nice country, full of sooo many great things to offers, to both local and foreign tourists: mountains, beaches, the Jungle, and - of course - the famous Galapagos Islands.

I must admit that I have not been that courageous in writing. I am normally courageous (and outspoken) when I teach, and when I participate in verbal debates. But I am rather lazy and sometimes I panic in front of a "blank paper".

I hope that using this "virtual" community, I am able to share my thoughts, ideas, dreams, and frustrations with all of your, powerful women.

Again, I am certain that when Women decide to make possitive changes, only the SKY is the limit.

I hope to be able to raise my daughter Sofia with much pride, and even more courage.

Hugs to you, and too all your great TEAM.

Maria-Sara

Ms. Maria-Sara Jijon
President
WAM-Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Mobile: +593.8.706-1211

http://www.linkedin.com/in/msjijon

JMKELLAM's picture

An another welcome

Maria Sara,

You offered us such positive words, I wanted to reach out as well. As I hope you can tell, many will read your journal here so I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us.

I saw the links you offered us on your profile page and I want to thank you for sharing. I hope everyone here gets a chance to explore those sites.

You mentioned that you recently came to care deeply about woman's issues, did Sofia instill that in you? What is it like to raise a child and be such a strong independent woman in Ecudor? From the very little I know about you, I can already see you working wonders.

In friendship,

Jenna Kellam

msjijon's picture

Another answer :)

Dear Jenna,

Thanks for your kind note.

I am glad that you found the links I included of help. I will share some more in the near future.

About your question ..............

Well, of course the arrival of Sofia made me a stronger person. Even when I was pregnant, I had this very special feeling and strength, that made me feel like a "protector" of the baby I had inside.

I must admit that I had another strong woman besides me, helping me with the last week of pregnancy, the D-day (when Sofia was born), and all these years that Sofia has lightened our lives. I refer to my mother, SARA.

My mom is already an old lady, she turned 80 years old last year. She is, of course, a very much old fashioned lady in many senses, and still, with me and Sofia surrounding her, she has learned to appreciate women even more than before. She has seen my courage, of advancing from a personal and professional point of view, despite the "rare" circumstances (being a single mother is very rare down here in Ecuador, specially for an educated professional). In fact, most highly educated women either remain single-no-kids, or end up in a divorce.

My mother has given me all the necessary support to be able to cope with the many responsibilities of being a mother, specially of a toddler that had just stared Pre-School.

Now, you ask me, how is it like to raise a child and be a strong independent woman in Ecuador ???? My answer is: I guess no different that in other parts of the World. Of course, part of the reason why it is not more difficult for me is that (1) I am a professional, (2) I decided to have and raise my child because I already acquired my financial independence, (3) My personality allows me to continue (advance) no matter what others think (or say) about me. In fact, I have been like this since early childhood.

Now, it is a difficult task to be a mother. I love being a mother, but sometimes I have difficulties in offering love and discipline at the same time. As an working mother, I want to give my daughter quality time, but sometimes we tend to confuse this with being too kind, or too soft with our kids.

Well, I guess, I will continue this later, as now I am a bit tired (it is already 1:13 am).

Hugs to you, MSJ

Ms. Maria-Sara Jijon
President
WAM-Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Mobile: +593.8.706-1211

http://www.linkedin.com/in/msjijon

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

One more!

Welcome Maria Sara! It is such a joy to have you on PulseWire.

I had a baby boy last December. Jonah has brought so much joy to my life. Here are some older pictures of him. He's still as cute!

I am looking forward to getting to know you better here.

Warmly,
Jennifer

Dave Alexander's picture

Parenting and Being a Professional

Welcome Maria-Sara,

A most beautiful posting is yours. Congratulations on your daughter and the exciting, exhausting, and penetratingly beautiful partnership that is parenting. My daughter is now 15 years old. Like everyone else, we went through extraordinary times together, some troubled and others overwhelmingly beautiful. Balancing a professional career, commitment to making our world a better place, and parenting is daunting for most. It is clear to me from your writing, that you are in the dynamic balancing act with plenty of heart and energy -- very beautiful.

My daughter and I were talking the other day when she asked me, "What is your favorite memory from our lfe together so far?" It was the time when she was about Sofia's age and we were playing hide-and-go-seek in the forest near our home. At that age, children often believe that if they cannot see you, then you cannot see them. She would walk a few meters into the woods, place her hands over eyes, and ask me to come find her. Of course for me she was standing in plane sight. So I would shuffle around, saying "Where are you? Are you still safe? You haven't gone to far have you? Gosh, you really found a place to hide this time." All the while she is right in front of me giggling and keeping her beautiful little hands over her eyes. It still brings tears of joy to me even now.

Before my daughter was born, I read a book called The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost by Jean Leidloff. It became the foundation to my parenting style, that we lived life together as equals on the journey of life. She was with me as much as possible. We lived and live life together. We have our own lives too, of course, but the focus always was and remains today one of: "When we are together, how do we live life together really well?" Last year we spent six weeks traveling to Portland, Oregon together. We had a fabulous time.

I hear the wisdom of the ages in your words. I believe that Sofia is already a tremendous gift to our world. Thank you for having her and commiting to the beautiful gift of growing another Soul from seed to contribution. Sofia is in good heart and hands!

In Friendship, Dave...

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

msjijon's picture

Thanks a lot :)

Dear Dave,

I cannot thank you enough for the time and the soul you put in the posting you sent to me.

Thanks for sharing with me your ideas and experience about parenting.

Being a single mom makes it sometimes harder, as I am also the only bearer. But I guess that this is the case nowadays with many people, men and women alike.

I will try - as much as I can - to interiorize some of your words, and to learn to live in practice what you shared with me. "When we are together, how do we live life together really well."

Sometimes women (mothers), we have the tendency to be too heavy with discipline with our kids. When the only real way of teaching anything to our kids is with "love" and "example."

I hope to be able to visit Oregon, and particularly Portland, soon.

Maybe 2009 would be the year.

This year, I will go to DC in November, to attend the WAM Annual Forum, the SEEP Annual Conference.

Lots of hugs, and light from the South of the Americas.

MSJ

Ms. Maria-Sara Jijon
President
WAM-Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Mobile: +593.8.706-1211

http://www.linkedin.com/in/msjijon

Dave Alexander's picture

Discipline and Time

Hello Maria-Sara,

For a time, I too was the single bearer. For a time, I worked only part time and spent my savings from before becoming a parent. One time, I spent all my savings to be a stay-at-home, single bearing parent because I believed that my daughter needed to know that I was there for her, always. Through these times I learned that discipline is generally used to replace lost time. When we have time to parent, in the way I believe that Spirit/God intended for us to grow our children, everything becomes learning, negotiating, respecting, understanding, and honoring. We learn and grow together with our children. When our world demands our time in a way that separates us from our children, we create rules and apply discipline to enforce those rules. (And we create "keep them busy" distractions, like television, for them too.)

Because I was such an active father, I have spent hundreds of hours with mothers. Each and every one knew in their hearts, no matter how many rules and disciplines they used, that growing children is about living and growing together. It is this inner knowing that will save our world, and women carry it more naturally than do men. I could see this knowledge clearly in your writing, and I support and honor you in discovering the balance which will be uniquely yours and Sofia's.

In Friendship, Dave...

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

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