My Heart Breaks a Little Whenever I Recall How Harsh My Trip to Brazil Was on My Baby Girl Mimi

Before deciding on my volunteering programs in Brazil, I needed to first make sure the host would accept my kid. Leaving her in my parents’ or a friend’s place was not an option.

Preparing my trip and getting everything set and well organized during my absence was anything but smooth. Three days before the due date, and following numerous attempts to confirm my Mimi’s reservation by phone, I decided to visit the airline company’s office.

An unpleasant discovery was waiting for me: the second airplane was not designed to transport pets since lacking an effective aeration system. I had two alternatives:

  • Paying three times the original fees to travel in another airline company’s cargo hold, which required time to be confirmed.
  • Canceling my flight and choosing a company that accepted pets in the airplane cabin.

The latter possibility was generously provided and executed by a responsible who witnessed my sadness— almost despair, who realized that I would not travel without my baby girl. I told them the story of our magical connection. Have you missed it and should it feel worthwhile, you may find the details here. Kindly, he admitted he was inspired by my adoption philosophy whether the kid is a human or an animal! He even shared that he knew many parents who left their kids to whom they gave birth for years without having ever shown any guilt while being convinced that providing them with comfortable material conditions is worth the sacrifice, sadly enough.

It was soul-soothing, to say the least. I felt doubly thankful: first for his efforts in securing my flight after spending 15 min on phone, and second for his beautiful validation. As you might have guessed, my choice was easy! Canceling the other flight was time and energy-consuming. Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to keep the agent’s number who made his best to accelerate the refunding process.

Interestingly, those two incidents were a blessing in disguise. At the end of the day, if the issue with Mimi’s reservation didn’t occur, I would have missed meeting those two beautiful souls, right?

Everything happens for a good reason. Nothing is random. The Universe always knows better is my deepest conviction!

I went to the vet to buy some calming pills for Mimi. The doctor was honest and warned me. She explained that the observed impact would differ from an animal to another. Unluckily, my baby was part of the group resisting the medication.

Saying the long trip was a nightmare would probably be the most accurate description of the reality. We had to wait for 16 hours at Frankfurt airport and I couldn’t have access to a Business lounge due to technical issues. The second flight from Germany to Brazil lasted 12 hours. Mimi was terrified. She miraculously stayed calm for a maximum of 2 hours out of the total period.

I am still not sure how the passengers could sleep. The company staff members were adorable. They stopped by every once in a while to check in on Mimi while showing tons of empathy for the rule to keep her inside the container. Their lovely heart made the pain far more bearable. One of them was so compassionate that he started sharing his love story with his furry and offered some meat to my baby. It was heartwarming!

I reached my temporary destination in Sao Paulo at 8 am, in all likelihood. The host was the sweetest. Our bedroom was ready for use. I had two sleepless nights; hence, tried to have some rest, unsuccessfully.

Consequently, I joined my host in his living room. He has two cats and loves keeping doors and windows open. I was too concerned about my baby as she was extremely confused.

She had been changing the environment several times: from my place to my parents’ place to the airports to my friend’s house. It seemed to me that it was too much for her capacity to cope with novelty. Nonetheless, her curiosity was limitless. She climbed a big tree to the extremity and then jumped to the neighbor’s roof. I was chasing her from a roof to another.

I was hearing my host’s anxious voice repeating over and over again, “be careful!”. When we were back, his face was pale, but he seemed relieved before adding:

“I stopped counting how many times I hid my face while watching you! Are you the spider woman? A secret hero whom I should have heard about?”

“No, I’m just a Mamma!”

She did it again. The second party was less funny. One of the roofs was not strong enough. It broke under my weight and I passed through it. I still don’t know how I didn’t break any bone. I am thankful to my exercising career for my agility. I merely had some scratches!

The icing on the cake? The neighbor was very considerate and didn’t ask for any refunds to fix his very old roof. He said he was planning to, anyway, and expressed his joy for my safety!

We arrived at our first program area. It is in the middle of the forest. It was late and I was exhausted. I greeted everybody and headed to my tent. My baby was tired, too.

The next day, she naturally wanted to explore the surroundings. I was not sure I was a good idea and kept her prisoner. She was outside the tent but I used a long rope to attach her to a tree. I wasn’t satisfied but I couldn’t think of a better solution.

One of the community members suggested setting her free. I listened to her advice while being unsure. She disappeared for more than an hour. To my surprise, I didn’t feel anxious about it. I visualized wholeheartedly that she would come back and trusted the process. I was in peace waiting for my kid to finish the tour and come back, which she eventually did.

I was the happiest Mamma on earth when hearing her voice in front of the tent, our new impermanent home. My heart was dancing. I showered her with big kisses. It was a pure euphoric moment!

My baby is free like a bird and connected to Gaia. I like to believe that our stay in the jungle has contributed to making her forget her traumatic trip.

Appealingly, I thought my first volunteering program was supposed to educate me about environment-friendly projects. The Universe had other plans. I didn’t learn much, but this is a story for another time — stay tuned!

I am realizing, with a heart full of gratitude, that this experience was exclusively benefitting my wild tigress growth and well-being! What a blast!


Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

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