An 8-year old mathematician from Mexico City will represent Mexico at the Aloha International Mental Arithmetic Competition in Guangzhou, China, with the help of a Chinese airline.
Identified only as Samantha, the young girl will have only a few minutes to complete dozens of complicated math problems using only her own mental abilities and a soroban, a small Japanese abacus developed over 500 years ago.
Samantha, who lives in the capital’s Iztacalco borough, had been featured on social media outlets for selling homemade cookies to raise the large amount of money she needed to purchase her airfare to China.
But then China Southern Airlines stepped in. General manager Wu Yingjun gave Samantha a round-trip ticket to the competition, saying,“The happiness I feel in being able to help Samantha comes straight from my heart; she is the future of Mexico as she represents this nation in China.”
To express their gratitude, Samantha and her family in turn gave Wu Yingjun and several other airline representatives several boxes of her homemade cookies.
Seven hundred children from 40 countries will compete at this year’s edition of the competition. Ninety-one Mexicans will participate.