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A sacred appreciation for the exchange of knowledge, whether between friends or strangers, is a central theme in Juliana Troll Trujillo’s life. So, after moving to Canada from Brazil last Christmas, it was only natural for her to acknowledge the moments that led her to write her first book, Helio meets Luna – Luna meets Helio.
Troll Trujillo is a first-year student studying Advanced Communications at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, and she is no stranger to education. With a bachelor’s degree from Brazil in medical physics and years of working in the Waldorf school system, she knows the value of learning.
Her decision to write Helio meets Luna – Luna meets Helio came from a moment of inspiration, driving her two daughters home after a long day.
“They were tired and started to scream in the car and I knew I had to do something to calm them down,” she says. “I saw the sun setting, so I thought I’d tell a story about the sun and the moon. After that, I had the whole story written down within a week and started on the illustrations.”
Then, in her Advanced Communication Issues class this fall, she was tasked with completing a coaching project. Designed for two people to coach each other in something they desire to change in their lives, whether that be writing a book or learning a new workout regime, Troll Trujillo knew this was her chance to take her idea from dream to reality.
Her book focuses on the meeting of two characters, Helio representing the sun and Luna representing the moon. Through an interactive and colourful display of art and poetry, it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.
Troll Trujillo describes the moment her family first touched down in Canada, on Christmas Day of 2018:
“We arrived and it was magical. My daughters were filled with so much wonder, especially with the snow.”
Troll Trujillo has always been a consistent creative, participating in hand-craft instruction in community centres in Brazil, and now an active participant in her children’s own education. After completing her first bachelor’s degree, she had a curiosity for physical processes and how they tied into creativity. Fast forward through part of a music production diploma, time spent in video production and Troll Trujillo found herself as an administrative assistant in a Waldorf school.
“I discovered myself there, and realized it was the kind of education I wanted for my kids,” she says.
The book then created an opportunity for her to connect her personal mosaic of education, motherhood and creativity. Having lived through a variety of careers, and moving countries, Troll Trujillo says it’s worth the time to notice the moments that build to something greater.
“If we hadn’t moved to Canada, I wouldn’t have taken this course and wouldn’t have published my book.”
The colour-filled pages give subtle nods to her educational values, with characters and scenes drawn with soft watercolours. The landscape and characters without facial expressions encourage readers to insert their own emotion into the story, following along as the characters meet in the middle of the book.
Her professor, Marc Arellano notes that the end goal of the class project wasn’t necessarily even to finish the project but instead to learn practices of coaching and mentoring. For Juliana, the finished book came as an added bonus.
“By working on coaching competencies and best practices, the students learn to communicate openly and honestly, which is no easy task,” he says. “In Juliana’s case, she treated the course material with respect and integrity. She was quite ambitious in producing all the content, narrative and illustrations.”
Troll Trujillo dreams of hosting read-aloud story times at local libraries, and also hopes to sell copies of her book so others can read the meaningful story of Helio and Luna.
“This project has shown me what is possible to do as a student, and is something that the College has allowed me to do,” she says, “I hope other students can go out for their dreams and do what they wish to do. It’s possible when we decide simply to start.”
You can purchase Helio meets Luna – Luna meets Helio here.