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Pooh….it’s really quite useful. March 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kgrader @ 1:13 pm

We just got back from spending a wonderful week on the Caribbean coast, soaking up the sunshine, eating vegetarian, and learning how to live sustainably. We were surrounded by hundreds of different kinds of fruit (two of my favorites tasted like sweet potato cream pie and cream custard), and all kinds of fun animals. The first one we encountered on our hike through the jungle to get to the magical Punta Mona was a spider that doesn’t bite and whose web is being used to design bullet proof vests…SO COOL. So obviously, Erica played with it.

We ran into howler monkeys, a few sloths, lizards, a million evil ants, and many more exciting creatures. This was just on our hike in. The jungle is crazy filled with all kinds of things- one thing to watch out for are the bullet ants though because they bite and it feels like you just got shot in the face 15 times but still won’t die. Perfect. (I think one crawled on the back of my leg, but thankful Taylor swatted at me to remove the little guy). We hiked right near the shore enjoying the black sand and edible plants.

We arrived at Punta Mona and were welcomed with a friendly “Welcome Home!” by the owner, Stephen. He and his wife and the most wonderful, free-spirited, wise people I have ever encountered. I would say that they are only border-line hippie, really just trying to protect God’s creation. Sarah, his wife, cooked every meal for us, 90% of which was grown right around the house. There were hundreds of species of edible plants and we were able to enjoy most of them. Ali and I posted up at the kitchen before every meal time in order to learn about how to eat healthily but also create the most yummy food in the world- whole wheat, garlic, coconut tortilla anyone?

The farm consists of 3 main sustainability systems- a composting toilet. Our pooh and pee is mixed with sawdust to create some of the richest soil that can be found in today’s world. How cool is that! And it doesn’t really smell too bad either! There is the water catching system that catches rain and then purifies it through rocks and sand. And there is the solar panel, electric system that went right over my head, but it sounded cool! Also, they built all of their structures using the wood in the jungle that comes from fallen trees- no deforestation for them! On top of all of that, they rarely have to buy anything to eat because they have created such a distinct ecosystem that can pretty much give them everything they need. All of this and more can be found right on the Caribbean coast. The most lovely place. Oh. One last thing…Anyone see themselves taking a trip to Costa Rica, Punta Mona specifically, for Spring break next year? I do. Join me!

So we spent the week in debriefing mode from Honduras, spending a lot of time just hearing everyone’s stories. It feels like forever ago that I was living with my dear Mirna, but we all have a lot to talk about. It sort of put me in a weird funk for a week while I processed how different my experience had been compared to everyone else’s. It took the entire week and a whole lot of conversation to realize why my experience had been so different: while most people left wonderful relationships in Honduras, I found myself wondering where I had gone wrong to not form any strong bonds. Then it hit me. God didn’t place me where I was to let people get to know me. He placed me where I was to understand what it means to be humbled; to not talk about myself for an entire month. I spent the whole month learning how to be a companion to a woman that needed it and learned how to quiet myself in order to listen and learn from the people around me. He taught me how to live without the need to be heard and the He is the only one I need to have by my side to hear my thoughts and fears. I don’t need to vent or whine, I need to listen and learn. So, although I didn’t form any deep bonds, or feel the need to go straight back and continue living in that community, I learned something that I don’t think many people have the opportunity to learn in the U.S. where life is too busy and too self-involved. I am incredibly blessed to be here and that becomes more apparent each and every day. I still have a month and a half, and I have a feeling there are many wonderful lessons still to come- I simply pray that I am open to the changes despite the busyness of the rest of the journey.

I miss home a lot. I miss my friends and my family. I miss my bed and my milk. But, I am so so excited that I still have a month and a half to explore this part of the world and take you all with me. I hope that you all are getting a little taste of the Latin America that I love. Let’s come back here together.

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