Stories from the Field

An Insider’s Look Into The “Raise The Bar” Video

10333413_879369348754888_1023145054228296822_oI’ve probably watched the Pacha Soap “Raise the Bar” video a couple hundred times, but I still get emotional when I watch it. The people we met are so dear to me and I cannot wait until we see them again. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the video, here is the link: https://vimeo.com/101928797. Each piece of footage brings back so many memories, but I’ve noted some of the most special moments below, so maybe you too can feel even closer to the joy and inspiration we received from these people.

  • The song in the first 15 seconds of the video is sung by Adarina, a beautiful young Rwandan woman. She translated it to me later as “I love you my honey, I love you my shining… Whenever you are near, I will never forget you.” I felt she was singing it to me. Even as I write this my eyes fill with tears; I cannot wait to see her again.
  • At around 1:20 (1min. 20 secs.) in the video, you see a bunch of kids passing a ball down the line. The ball was coated in Vaseline and sprinkled with glitter; the glitter represented germs. It’s a great way to help kids visualize germs and how they can spread. Anyway, this school was special because, as you can see, they got really really excited about the game! The clothes they are wearing are all made by their mothers, by hand. How beautiful.
  • At 2:18, Andrew is teaching a little girl proper hand washing techniques and saying “Frota, frota bien,” which is loosely translated as “Scrub, scrub well,” in Spanish. However, in some places we visited, the children mostly spoke Quechua. Quechua is the ancient language of the indigenous Peruvian people. This culture is so ancient and magical… I’ve fallen in love with Peru. The word “Pacha” is actually a Quechua word meaning “earth.”
  • Almost every clip after the “We Share Love” part, brings back special memories. At 2:27, Andrew is playing with kids from Tambohuaylla (tom-bo-EYE-ya), a small village in Peru. We did the usual hand washing lessons and gave each child a bar soap, but at this school, we had a little bit of extra time, so what did we get to do? We played and played and PLAYED! The giggling girls at 3:19 are also from that school 🙂 They most certainly gave us more than we gave them. They have a special place in my heart.
  • The precious baby at 2:45 was at the Noel Orphanage in Rwanda, Africa. He sure is happy, isn’t he?? I got to hold these little gems and even got to carry these babies around in the traditional way, strapped to my back! Very practical, if you ask me.
  • 3:05… WHITE. HAIRY. LEGS. A truly rare occurrence in central Africa. Andrew’s, by the way 🙂
  • Probably the most special person I met was Mariya. At 3:08 you can see her skirt flaring as she spins freely. Every single day, she wore that same skirt. She has nothing, and is the happiest girl I have met. Our second to last day at the orphanage, I had someone tell her that tomorrow would be our last day. The next day, she gave me a handwritten letter that said that she loved me. I love her too, so much.
  • The very short clip at 3:47 is of Andrew talking with Jean, a 23 year-old college graduate, living at the orphanage. He was able to get a degree in biochemistry at a college there in Rwanda through donations, but was not able to find work. He was incredibly intelligent and when Andrew mentioned that we are looking to start micro soap enterprises around the globe to employ local people, he said “Soap, I know soap.” (He also knew English very well.) He then proceeded to write the entire chemical equation for the saponification formula! It’s people like this that show us that these people do not want handouts or aid; they want employment, a true solution to the poverty cycle. And it is Pacha Soap’s mission to make it happen.

For everyone who has so lovingly supported Pacha Soap these past couple of years, we hope this video gives you as much joy as it did for us to make it. Thank you so much for joining with us to Raise the Bar! Share with your friends, and enjoy!