About SALVE, Team Uganda and Ethan

For over 7 years I have helped non native speakers to improve their Spanish, that has given me the opportunity to meet people all over the globe but mostly Americans and British. I met Ethan less than a year ago, this cute Briton wanted to practice his Spanish with me and since I have a weakness for the Manchester accent I quickly agreed.

A month or two ago he told me he had been accepted to be part of a volunteering project in Uganda #ProudFriend but I didn’t know much of the details. He is this guy who gets involved in so many things that sometimes is hard for me to keep up, we both have busy schedules between our masters, private lives and personal projects.

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Saturday night he messaged me to remind me about me making decisions for him, I was truly confused, in the audio is me asking a lot of questions and then he would explain me what the whole thing was about, needless to say I was excited to be part of this project. I am a woman, I am Hispanic, I am a minority, and most of the time I get to feel powerless. I couldn’t do Sunday shift because I was leaving on a school trip, so I was assigned Tuesday.

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Like I just said I was booked to make decisions for him on Tuesday, besides the fact I had to call the shots on the big things, I also was supposed to set some rules, and as requested I would do my best to portrait a true chauvinist male Peruvian, although just for fun I asked two female friends to give me some extra ideas, theirs are in red. The rules:

  1. You can’t talk to other girls.
  2. You have to update me your location/activities every time.
  3. When you go to the bathroom you have to sit to pee. 
  4. If you decide to participate in class, you have to second guess yourself every time you talk. IMG_20180423_134749

On Monday during a class and while thinking about the rules I had to give him, I got this message from him, I was puzzled and therefore had to know why the sudden rush to express his feelings. Disclaimer: given the amount of time we have talked since we started this language exchange, we are really close friends but we are not in any way romantically involved, neither of us is interested in a long distance relationship. End of disclaimer. 

His sudden affection was because of the rules Monday girl had given him. He had been told to “openly tell his female friends how he feels” and to see if he feels embarrassed or not and why. Also, he had to ask his male friends how are they feeling since there is a stigma about men not talking bout their feelings. Funny rule, he had to be vegetarian. On Monday there was a British carnivore dying.

 

I am bossy by nature, but portraying a typical Hispanic chauvinist dude was super hard. Disclaimer: Not all Hispanic dudes are as bad as I pretended to be, I was just being extreme for Ethan’s cause! End of disclaimer.  I learned a bit about myself, I truly enjoy being Ana the friend, chill about life, than Ana the ruler, who was controlling every step Ethan would take.

Many women around the world, specially those living in the third world, struggle with the lack of empowerment. They struggle with their own cultures imposing them certain ways of living, the idea that a woman might be just an object and has no will. I have not taken for granted that despite coming from a known chauvinist country, I’m constantly empowered to keep growing as a person. Many girls don’t have this. Many.

I have many more things to say regarding this subject, but today is about Ethan standing up for me and for every woman, girl and female kid in the world. If after reading this you feel like donating to Ethan’s cause, click here, if you also want to learn more about what he’s doing, click here

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