by Sharon Wee

santiago_milkjugA friend texted me just before I left South America last week and asked how my trip was. I explained that I was such a wonderful trip and that I really needed this experience with the students.

She replied, “We always attract the kind of students we most need at any given time”.

I joked with her that she was so wise but the more I thought about it the more I appreciated how amazing the universe (or god, if you believe) has a way of providing us with what we need when we need it the most.

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This trip to South America was so special in so many ways. Before I left, it was special because South America has been on my bucket list for a very long time. I’ve always dreamed of going but have been a little scared because of some of the stories people tell when they come home.

Igassu Falls - so beautiful!
Igassu Falls – so beautiful!

Nick and I arrived a week early so that we could have a little holiday and it was also going to be the first real holiday we’ve had in almost 2 years. By real holiday I mean one where we actually plan to go a place (instead of squeezing a day of sightseeing there because I had to work) with an agenda and tour…etc

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But as I am writing this, I am on the plane on my way home to Sydney and the trip is now special to me for a whole other reason. I met so many amazing people, who were all so much fun but above all, kind and genuine. My heart feels full and I feel lucky to have met them all.

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It’s hard to explain but I feel almost like my cake soul has been nourished. I guess thinking back to before I left on this trip, I was feeling a little jaded about my business and the industry in general. I’ve been living in some sort of bubble that I didn’t really know how to get out of. The market has grown and so has the competition. Everything was starting to blend into each other and if I am honest, I was getting a little bored and uninspired.

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This teaching trip really surprised me. I can’t really pinpoint exactly what it was that really invigorated me so I can only assume it was due to multiple things. During my time at Sao Paulo and Santiago, it almost felt like I discovered a whole new world. The students told me all about their countries, what the cake industry was like and all about the local brands they use and the style of cakes their clients expected.

Cakes I demoed in Sao Paulo
Cakes I demoed in Sao Paulo

They were extremely enthusiastic, passionate, lovable and appreciative. I found myself transported right back to my first year of teaching and I was reminded of why I really love teaching. But mostly, how satisfying it was to share things I have learnt and for it all to be new and exciting for the students too.

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Above all, they were so kind and helpful to each other. Some who they knew from previous classes and some whom they have just met but everyone treated each other with genuine respect. It’s not like I have not experienced this in other countries I have thought in before, but somehow, this experience just felt different.

So from the bottom of my heart Brazil and Chile, thank you for the most wonderful and soul nourishing time. I have left more inspired than ever to keep doing what I do.

The big wall of Havianas on display at the flagship store in Sao Paulo :) I love the pretty colours!
The big wall of Havianas on display at the flagship store in Sao Paulo 🙂 I love the pretty colours!

Some of Sharon's favourite tools

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