Newsletter No. 431

10 No. 431, 19.1.2014 Please tell us about your birthplace. I was born in Portoviejo, the capital of Manabi, a beautiful province located on the coast of Ecuador. It is famous for its straw hats, delicious seafood, and pretty women. Could you tell us about your experiences outside Ecuador. I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student when I was 18. Later I spent two years on the London campus of the University of Wales, Lampeter, where I studied Business Management, while working part-time at many hotels and luxury residences in London. How did you get from a foreign student to a beauty queen in London? I won the title of Miss Ecuador UK in April 2011. The purpose of the contest was that the winner should mobilize Ecuadorian migrants to work on projects for the improvement of their human rights and relationships with the international community, as well as to promote the tourism of Ecuador and to do social work. But I felt my mission was not only to assist Ecuadorians in England, but also to help vulnerable groups in Ecuador whose needs exceeded those of the former. Could you tell us how you fulfilled your missions? Among other things, I took a 10-day trip, paid out of my own pocket, to Ecuador during which about 30 beauty queens from all the provinces of Ecuador and I attended festivities for Quito’s Independence Day to promote the country’s products, heritage and culture. I also visited Quito’s most dangerous prison which runs a school and workshops for inmates. I sang two songs for the inmates. They showed their appreciation through poems dedicated to me and Ecuadorian souvenirs made by themselves. Is it true you barged into the office of the President of Ecuador without an appointment? I had wanted to meet President Rafael Correa and give him a half-year report of my activities as Miss Ecuador UK. I went to the Palace of Carondelet in Quito, approached security and explained my purpose. They said I needed an official invitation which I didn’t have. But I kept insisting and eventually they let me pass through the first security door. At the second door, I talked to everyone there whom I thought would know the President. A man, who turned out to be one of the President’s personal assistants, said he would help me because he could see how much I loved my country. After waiting for more than three hours, he informed me that the President would like to invite me to an event that evening. A few hours later, I found myself sitting in the first row next to the beauty queen of Quito and the city mayor. When President Correa arrived, he approached me and asked if I was living in London with my family. I said I was living and working there alone, but I would come back to Ecuador one day. The President had stayed in Belgium and the US as a student, so he understands how migrants feel. He hugged me and gave me a beautiful orchid inside a transparent box with his business card. I was speechless. Yet the dream did not finish there. What happened next? The President then went to the balcony of the palace to greet the people, and we went with him. I saw my family 谈谈你的出生地。 我在厄瓜多尔沿海的一个美丽省份—马纳维省的首府波 托维耶霍出生,那里以草帽、美味海鲜和美女驰名。 说说你在厄瓜多尔以外的经历。 我十八岁时在德国当了一年交换生,其后又花两年时间到兰 彼得威尔斯大学伦敦分校修读工商管理,并在那里不同的 酒店和豪宅当兼职。 如何从留学伦敦的学生成为选美冠军? 我在2011年4月赢得厄瓜多尔小姐(英国)衔,那选美的目 的是让得奖人推动厄国移民参与更多关于改善人权和建立 国际关系的工作,并推广厄国旅游业、服务社会。但我觉得 我的使命不应单是协助居英的厄国移民,更应该帮助厄国 弱势社群,他们较前者更需援手。 你如何实践抱负? 我自掏腰包回国十天,与约三十位来自当地各省的选美冠 军出席厄国首都基多的独立日庆典,推广国家的产品、传统 和文化。我又探访基多最危险的监狱,那里为囚犯开办了学 校和工作坊,我献唱了两首歌。为表谢意,他们赠诗予我,又 送我自制的厄瓜多尔纪念品。 你没有预约便闯进厄国总统办公室,这可是真的? 我一直很想与 科雷亚 总统见面,向他报告当选厄瓜多尔小姐 (英国)后这半年的活动。我到基多的总统府,向保安道明 来意。他们说要出示正式邀请,但我没有。我继续坚持,最 后他们让我穿过第一道保安门;到达第二道门,我与那里每 位我认为会认识总统的人谈话,竟然遇上总统的其中一名 私人助手,他说看得出我有爱国之心,愿意协助。 等了三个多小时后,他通知我总统邀我出席当晚活动。几小 时后,我与基多的选美冠军和市长并列坐在首排。当总统 来到,他趋前问我在伦敦是否与家人同住,我答是独自在当 地生活和工作,但将来定会返国。总统曾在比利时和美国 留学,所以很理解留学生的感受,他拥抱我,送我一枝以玻 璃盒盛载的兰花,又给我名片。梦想成真,我高兴得说不出 话来,但这还只是个开始。 跟着怎样? 我们陪同总统站在总统府阳台向国民致意。我看到家 人在下面向我挥手,我很感激科雷亚总统让我有这机 会,给他报告和送他伦敦的纪念品。及后,他邀请我同往 Chimbacalle,即基多首个火车站的所在地,并与总统、其 他嘉宾如国会议员、基多市长等在台上高歌。他又着我代表 居英的厄国侨民向群众说话。随后,众人翩翩起舞,这天可 谓永世难忘。 为什么选择在中大修读可持续旅游? 为令厄国学生有机会到全球首屈一指的大学升学,科雷亚 总统设立了卓越成绩奖学金计划,我希望继续进修,于是申 请了。中大社会科学硕士是唯一入选世界首二十五位的香港 院校课程,是我心仪之选。而且,以旅游为专业的,到各洲 看看是很重要的,而亚洲是我从未踏足的地方。 对香港印象如何? 热!我在8月抵港,留意到温度很高。这里靠填海来增加用 地,也令我佩服。我喜欢岛屿和新界,东平洲、大帽山、长 洲、沙头角等,各有特色。我来港仅数个月,发现这城市除了 是广为人知的购物天堂,其实还有更多。 Lisset Jaramillo Centeno 2011年厄瓜多尔小姐(英国)冠军 可持续旅游硕士课程学生 Miss Ecuador UK 2011 Postgraduate Student in Sustainable Tourism down there. They waved at me. I thanked President Correa for the opportunity to be there and gave him my report and a little souvenir from London. After that, I was invited to go with him to Chimbacalle where the first train station of Quito was built. I ended up singing on stage with him, and the VIPs such as congressmen of the National Assembly of Ecuador and the mayor of Quito. He also asked me to give a message to the people on behalf of the Ecuadorian migrants in the UK. Then we all danced. I will never forget this day. Why did you choose to study Sustainable Tourism at CUHK? Since I wanted to continue my studies, I decided to apply to the Universities of Academic Excellence Scholarship Programme, an initiative of President Correa’s to enable Ecuadorian students to study at the best universities of the world. CUHK was the only university from Hong Kong that was in the top 25 best universities for social science master’s programmes and it has what I was looking for. Moreover, as a tourism professional, I consider it very important to visit all the continents and Asia was one I had not yet set foot on. What are your impressions of Hong Kong? Hot! I came in August and took due note of the temperature. I’m also impressed by how people have created land for themselves through land reclamation. I love the islands and the New Territories. Tung Ping Chau, Tai Mo Shan, Cheung Chau, Sha Tau Kok…. So much variety in those places. I have only been here a few months yet I have seen much more than the shopping paradise that everyone thinks Hong Kong is. 厄瓜多尔总统科雷亚(左) Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa (left)