Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Reflecting on a Year of Change

26 Oct

I’ve found myself in a moment of flying solo and I am at a loss of what to do. Where is Kai? Where is K? Where are Venus, Isis, Zeus, Tico, and Luna? I have an endless list of To Dos for work but I can’t bring myself “to do” them at this precise moment. So here I am FLYING SOLO at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. Its been nearly 8 months since I’ve posted here. I’m not sure which adventure to share with you, since there have been so many. So this may have to be a mash-up.

The past 11 months of our new life have been wonderful in so many ways. We love our little place in paradise. Long walks on dirt roads down to the river gorge below our house. Planting lots of lush ginger, heliconias, fruit trees, herbs, and flowers at our Finca Tolomuca. We’ve been going lots of little adventures whenever we can. Fridays at the Farmers Market. Saturdays at the beach. Sundays in the rainforest. Not exactly like that all the time but you get the gist. Life here is quite simply WHOLE. Its not perfect. Its not a utopia. Because life is just not perfect. We laugh more. We play more. We work hard. And we are genuinely happy.

I truly feel as though we are giving Kai the best childhood a kid could have. He has a community at Arco Iris that just adore him. He talks about his friends all the time. He spends quality time with K and I everyday. He gets to run free outside below the magical higueron trees everyday, feel the sun touch his cheeks. He’s found his love for painting, playing music, signing, and dancing. He discovered a passion for cooking yummy treats like pancakes and muffins. We live life in ways we couldn’t before. This is what childhood is all about.

Home Sweet Home! Atenas

I love where we live and I love the place we now call home. Atenas is genuine. It is simply beautiful and an amazing place to just be.

Tapanti

Imagine yourself completely enrobed in pristine tropical rainforests as far at the eye can see. Land that no man has ever stepped foot on. Water so pure and fresh. A single tree exploding with life on each branch and each life. The earthy aroma of fresh rain. Waterfalls that caress the rocks. Rain drops that cleans you from the inside even in the dry season. Embrace nature, purity, and peace. Embrace Tapanti.

 

Punta Leona

This is our go-to place to escape and decompress, and become one with the ocean. Nothing says meditation in motion better than a long run at sunrise under the rainforest canopy. And then there are the afternoon rains by Playa Mantas, heaven on earth for a toddler! Nothing symbolizes happiness for us then the place we got married. Then you sip a freshly made pina colada and start singing that song, if you like pina coladas getting caught in the rain… Oh yes we do! And that sums up Punta Leona in a nutshell.

Rio Celeste

Misty clouds envelope the lush green mountainscape surrounding the notorious Rio Celeste (or Sky Blue River). You’ve heard the stories about the endangered Tapirs that roam these rain forests, and you think that you just might see one creeping between the palms and clouds in the distance. Ops my imagination has gotten then best of me once again! Then there are the absolutely divine French-Tico fusion cuisine at one of my favorite mountain lodges of all time, Celeste Mountain Lodge, which is by far the BEST food I’ve ever had in Costa Rica. Kai just loved running free through the gardens and playing with the other kids. After that its off to Parque Nacional Vulcan Tenorio to see and experience the splendor of Rio Celeste and the pristine jungle that keeps it pure and beautiful. We hired a guide for our 5 hour jungle hike to learn about nature, and so glad that we did!

Playa Langosta

Want open ocean and white sand beaches on the Pacific that extend as far as the eye can see? Then Playa Langosta is the place for you. Nothing quite compares to rolling around in the waves and sand for a couple of days, playing in a river that flows to the ocean with your toddler, or taking walks along a trail to search out Iguanas. Then there is the all-you-can-eat buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Indulgent best describes a getaway to Playa Langosta!

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Last but certainly not least is the one and only La Paz Waterfall Gardens! Want to trek through untouched cloud forest? Do you yearn to feel the cool mist of pure mountain water cascade down rocks in the rain forest? Then this is the place for you. To top it off you will have the opportunity to play with rescued Toucans and have them rest on your arm. How cool is that? We love this place, especially for kids and whenever we have friends and family visiting. It is a place we can come back to again and again just for a fun day in nature and for a reminder of Costa Rican traditions.

Dicho del Domingo – New Day

15 Sep

Sunset at Playa Langosta

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make and manifest the glory of god that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

Growth, Growing, and Community

10 Sep

Color photo of horizon landscape after the rain

 

Today was one of those days that inspired me to “travel back in time”.  Not literally of course, but mentally.  I had a chance to catch-up with a close friend that I don’t get the opportunity to spend much time with anymore since we live almost 1,000 miles away.   There is something very special about friends who knew you “back then”, who know about the skeletons in your closet, who love you unconditionally, and when you talk its like hardly any time has passed – even if its been a few years or more.  That was today.  And while the conversation and news we shared was not all roses, it reminded me of how grateful I am to have such amazing friends.  We grow apart to grow together in some mysterious way.

It also made me slip back in time and think about the challenges I have faced in my life’s “chapters” thus far – and what growing means to me.   The life I live today is one that I am responsible for, it is the product of my own decision making (good & bad), relentless determination, and hard work.  And I can tell you that I am truly happy with where my life has taken me… though the road has not easy in the least.  I think back to the “chapter of life” called high school and I can’t even begin to express how I never want to go back to those days at any level.  Many people yearn to “go back to the good ol days of high school when they had no worries” – that is not me! For me high school was largely characterized by family conflicts, chronic health issues, and major  financial insecurity.  I recall very clearly just how painful growing was during that time.  The challenges seemed impossible to overcome, and at the time they were.   Those issues aside, you can always find kindred spirits anywhere in the world, and those years also brought some incredible lifelong friendships that I’ll cherish forever.

College on the other hand was a wonderful chapter in my book of life.  I continued to deal with all of the same issues as I had in high school, though they were less pervasive since I was a “few states away” from some of them.  And with each passing year of College I became a little bit more in control of my destiny.  It was empowering.  And in the process I uncovered many of my passions in life.  It wasn’t the physical place of going to college – it was the people, community, and learning (and growing) environment that was such a positive experience for me.  It was exactly what my soul needed to get beyond the dark years of my childhood and learn to follow my heart.  I can’t say enough good things about my experience at Colby-Sawyer College.  It was really the beginning of my life.  The day I graduated, I knew at that moment that I now own this life – and it was up to me what I made of it.  I now had the power to experience both personal failures and successes. It wasn’t that I had “grown-up” – I don’t believe we ever “grow-up” because we should never stop growing.

Then there were all the years, places, communities, and friends in between those great College days and the current chapter in my life.  They too were wonderful, not without their challenges of course.  I spent several years living and working in Costa Rica.  What an incredible experience.  The community I was a part of was so inspiring at many levels.  I also met the wonderful person who is my forever partner in this life.  Then there was grad school at UPEACE – another amazing part of my life.  And another community I am forever grateful for. I have to add here, the “Costa Rica” chapter in my book of life is not finished yet, I’m convinced that we’ll move back there someday in the foreseeable future.

After a few years of living in the land of pura vida, I felt ready & charged to take on the world’s biggest problems – pervasive poverty, injustice, deadly conflicts, environmental degradation, oppressive regimes, domestic apathy & greed.  My mind was spinning and I was determined to solve all of the issues plaguing the world.  Lets stop here for a moment… how the hell did I go from battling a chronic disease in high school to attempt to take on the world?  It’s all a part of the journey through life I suppose.  Then I made the move to Washington DC, and it was a reality check of sorts – I was suddenly a tiny fish in a very big pond.  I had to create a community where there was none.  And I had to find a place to harness my passions, put them to use, and make a living in the process.  All this in a city where success is predicated on “family” connections, which I didn’t have any of.  Now this is when I learned that changing the world begins with bite sized pieces.  I resisted these facts of life.  I was frustrated by how difficult it was to “make change” vis-a-vis public policy.  I came to Washington DC – with utopian ideals for how democracy works.  Oh I had so much to learn yet…

What is the point of this glazed-over monologue of a few years of my life?  There are a bazillion incredible little stories in there that really reveal the essence of life.  This “big picture” gives a reminder of just how valuable growth is.  It may mean something slightly different to each of us and that is a-okay… that is a goal of this blog “vive y deja vivir“.  Life – and growth – is both happy go-lucky and painfully challenging at the same time.  We are constantly growing and changing and should continue to do so as long as we still wake up each day.  I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I do have some good ideas of what I’d like to make of what I see coming along in the journey.  For now I’ll continue to productively harness my passions towards changemaking and allow the universe to work its magic.

There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.  – Ronald Reagan

Tribute to Earth Day

22 Apr

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual matters. – Jane Goodall

Color photo of a giant fern tree in the rainforest

Essence of the Earth (Monteverda, Costa Rica - Rebecca Harned 2005)


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