1. Pacha Busks

2. Our old surfboards

3. Pacha’s new surfboard

4. With Yani and cousins after her first surf on the best birthday present in the world!

Tomorrow is Pacha’s birthday. Ten years have passed since she came into the world in Cotacachi, Ecuador. For ten years we have shared our lives, travelling, singing, dancing, planting, growing, learning, giving. She has already had so many amazing experiences in her young life; living in the cloud forest of Ecuador with no electricity, fishing for piranha in the Amazon, helping her brother Yani being born at home, performing with her Mum in front of thousands of people…but perhaps one of the best life lessons came just two days ago on the Gold Coast.
We had gone to the Gold Coast as a pre-birthday treat. Pacha’s biggest birthday wish was a surfboard – and I wanted to see if I could find one in the secondhand shops. By coincidence there was a major surfing competition on near my Mum’s house, with the best surfers in the world. We decided to go along (my Mum came along too – she is such a cool Grandma!) to be ‘inspired’. I also mentioned to Pacha that she might be interested in busking there to see if she could raise some money towards buying a surfboard – Pacha was keen and set about making a sign saying: ‘Busking for a Board’.
The surfing was incredible, so beautiful and athletic and in harmony with the ocean. Then Pacha set up the borrowed CD player (thanks Mum!), put up her sign, and started to do what she loves the most – Dance. Passersby smiled and started to put some coins in the old grey felt hat I had lent her for the purpose. Then a gorgious young woman stopped and looked and joined her dancing – it was so much fun.
A little while later that same young woman came back with a surfboard under her arm. It turned out that she was one of the pro surfers in the competition, Laura Enever, and was giving Pacha one of her back up surfboards! (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Enever/290028245065?ref=ts#!/Nike6/posts/10150152947211271)

Laura wrote a message on the board saying: ‘To Dear Pacha, Your the most amazing dancer ever, now have some fun in the surf’. We were absolutely amazed – our emotion welling up as tears in our eyes. What a beautiful life lesson about kindness and generosity and spontaneity…. Laura is doing what she loves and knows that the most important thing is to have fun doing it and share that joy. I hope that Pacha (and I) will meet her again someday, dance together and catch up with the many more wonderful adventures ahead.

Now Pacha, Yani and I go to the beach (Yani is still the best so far) as often as we can, loving the waves and revelling in the ocean. Our old boards (see them in the pictures) were kind of falling apart – having come from the dump shop.

What an incredible 10th birthday for Pacha - that none of us will ever forget.
Our hearts are not big enough to contain all the love (and pride) we have for our children, it spills out to spread to all. And Pacha, in turn, shares her love, her joy, her enthusiasm, her life spirit, it’s infectious…She already has the courage to follow her dreams – who knows what adventures she will have in the next ten years to come…