Over a year ago I met a like-minded soul and amazing person that I can easily name a Whattawowperson. Today he’s my very dear friend who also happens to share similar dreams and a big amount of creativity – so we two have quite exciting chats together. I want to share a small story about him because it is just inspiring.
Miguel lives in Colombia in a midsized city called Bucaramanga. Life there is pretty nice – the weather is warm all year round and as a member of a middle-class family he has had a very fortune life. Life doesn’t necessarily go smooth with everyone in Colombia. Money rules the world. And it affects the path of life whether you, for instance, get to study or not.
Before we met in our travels on Kauai Miguel had been studying mechanical engineering at a private university of the church where he had 80% scholarship. He did six semesters out of 10 failing some courses, but then he felt like going for an adventure and left for travels. During the trip he realized something – and now he is studying carpentry/woodworking in a technician education institute.
He considers himself still half an engineer but Uni didn’t give the chance to the hands-on work that he enjoys the most – Miguel loves working with tools and making things with his own hands and fixing machines. He was happy to figure out the carpentry and now as a woodworker, he always gets to work with tools and keeps in a constant movement. “I don’t think I could do an office job,” he tells me, and I hear him – I’m getting sick of sitting in front of the computer. I want to find a new insight too!
That is why I’m so amazed what Miguel is doing now. And that he actually listened to himself, made a change and is now actualizing himself – and strongly believing in his thing. You can see that – the passion shines through. And why he is an incredible friend is because he always convinces me that I could do anything: just be positive and do it! But there’s so much work… I chafe against – and that’s when I realize this guy here has already made tens of his own products, and I get motivated! Even being younger, he’s like a role model to me – how you should view this life and just be rolling ahead doing things you enjoy the most!
He’s saying that the best thing in carpentry work is that you are only limited by your imagination. You can create basically anything out of wood. “Wood is so noble material. There is all kind of wood, different colors, and textures. Ones are harder than others and ones softer… Having discovered them all is amazing. And all that I can do with this knowledge and this creativity, I feel like being a sculptor in some way.”
Miguel is usually working on several projects at the time. One of the latest things he did was an acoustic wooden speaker for a mobile phone. “The coolest thing is that it doesn’t need batteries or anything – you just place the phone on the speaker, and it maximizes the volume.”
What he really likes to do is unique longboards. He does skateboarding himself, so he decided to start making his own pieces: boards that have beautiful combinations of colors, smooth lines and that are nicely shaped. What I’m so proud of is how Miguel has created such a wow branding to his work – Arigato woodwork! I like that. Looks good, sounds good. I’m waiting to see the Whattawowworld-piece he kind of promised to make…
One thing Miguel wants to work with in future is housing: “I’d like to build amazing houses with recycled materials that are friendly with the Earth and completely off the grid energetically. And also, the water collection works for all needs and for drinking.”
This is one big thing we have in common: world loving. I feel good to have a friend telling me: “My dream would be to help somehow in changing humanity, to create awareness and raise consciousness. Show people that we humans are acting crazy and stupid, destroying the environment and the planet we live, destroying life, polluting everything we get close to. The people aren’t conscious that we are driving this world towards self-destruction. I want to show people that we could just change the way we are living and start caring for the planet and each other. If I could change anything, I would end selfishness within everyone.”
This is entitlement enough to be a Whattawowperson. When I’m asking him, why he think I named him, he starts recalling our connection. On that evening on Kauai, we talked about everything from the life existence to future plans. Besides making earnings on his beloved woodwork Miguel’s plans include traveling and chasing happiness by living the life full of love, emotions, and excitement! That sounds like enjoying the moment, way to go.
At the end, I asked Miguel to tell why Colombia is a Whattawowcountry and why we all should be traveling there. He goes: “My dear Henna and Readers. Colombia is a Whattawowcountry because it has in an amazing collection of astonishing places and landscaping everything gathered in one country, it is difficult to put into words exactly what it is that makes this country so special, but I assure you that when you come here, you will find out.”
When I’m mentioning my favorite TV-series, he’s telling me that Narcos and other Columbia related films might do Columbia’s harm today. “Pablo Escobar… Of course, he’s part of the Colombian history sadly. However everyone down here is absolutely over it, I think it’s been more than 20 years that he was shot down by the police forces. I think these series and movies (there are plenty) that mention Colombia in relation to drugs lords and cocaine are a pretty bad and misleading for Colombia image outside in the world. But I’m sure it will change over time. Therefore, myself I don’t like to watch these series.”
He just wants to be positive. That’s my very talented friend Miguel. So good and friendly he surely gives his hand to anyone heading to Columbia or willing to order a cool piece of unique wood something! You name it, Arigato does it!
(All the pictures from Miguel)
Whattawowperson is a recurring set of articles, where I’m giving this honorary title to a wonderful person that I respect and that lives exceptionally in this world. I also share her/his story shortly.