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My Adventures Around the World

Angelica Garcia
Colombia
From New Beginnings, Vol. 25 No. 5, 2008, p. 15

Stories and books dominated my childhood. My parents read to me daily. I liked those adventures that usually started with "Once upon a time, a man took his bag, waved goodbye, and left to see the world." After this prologue, the character lived a fascinating adventure.

I always wanted to do the same and so, one day, at 27 years of age, I decided to resign from my job and fulfill my dream. The most difficult part was telling my parents. I was not sure how they would react to the idea that I would leave everyone and everything and go on a six-month journey. When I told them, they looked at each other and agreed that it was more important to fulfill my dream than to keep to a work schedule. Immediately we started planning. My father helped me with the routes, the sites, and the maps; and my mother, a La Leche League Leader for 27 years, got in touch with the LLL network of breastfeeding families in South America to look for places where I could stay.

The answers that I received from the families who are LLL friends were impressive! Mothers from all the countries answered offering me their help, their homes, and a place with their families. My travels were a total success thanks to their help. I traveled by bus and hitchhiked from Colombia to Patagonia, Argentina going through Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Chile. Although I traveled alone, I always had a home where I could receive support thanks to these LLL families!

Trying to write something inspiring about breastfeeding and my travels, I think, "How can I help other mothers to breastfeed without having experienced it for myself?" Of course, as my mother has been a breastfeeding counselor for 27 years, the theory of breastfeeding is at my fingertips and I do offer support to all mothers who cross my path. As I still have no children, I cannot speak from practical experience but, on the other hand, I do have a lot of experience: I was that baby who was breastfed for almost three years.

I can best support breastfeeding with this evidence of my life and I believe that the fathers, mothers, and families who welcomed me in their homes, in all the countries that I visited this last year, see in me a little of that which in the future they wish to see in their own children: happiness, security, and independence.

Adapted with permission from www.waba.org.my/whatwedo/gims/english.htm

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