Sunday, March 23, 2014


Ever have a time when everything freezes?  No future thoughts, no past thoughts but you are frozen in the now and all you can do is take a big deep breath of fresh air....and marvel in God's beauty around you.
 This past week I have had many moments were I just marvel at God's creation and realize what an AWESOME God we serve. The places I have been able to travel are so beautiful and I am simply filled with awe and wonder of what Heaven will look like. Psalm 19:1-6 says it perfectly,
Psalm 19:1-6 
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Life has been packed full of activates lately as the sad realization that the departure date on the return ticket is getting closer. On Tuesday, I had a class field trip with our health professions class visiting the medicine man/shaman at the Quitirisi indigenous reserve. 

I learned about the way of life, culture and the practices that this tribe does. Interesting fact: when the tribe first came to the land, they needed a big rock to crush food (the example he used was bananas), so they went 5km away and found a 5 ton rock, YES 5 TONS! and it took 3 months to roll it back to the land. Just because the details seemed so unlogical, I clarified and the man said the moral of the story was if you have a desire to do something, it CAN be done (but I am still a little confused by the need for a 5 ton rock). Anyways, the man was very knowledgeable about natural medicine and told us when the doctors can't heal people, they come to the tribe to get healed through all different natural medicines.
 We also got to learn and participate in the process of making sugar cane juice. It was much harder than it looks and it defiantly burns all the calories of eating the sugar before you eat it. Sugarcane is actually very healthy (not talking about SUGAR, but sugar cane). It helps stabilize your blood sugar and is a great source of iron...perfect for us iron-deficient vegetarians! (because all our host family ever gives us is the #evil SOYA)
On Friday, I headed out for a hike at 4:45 am with a classmate Sam and my teacher about 2 hours out of San Jose. We went hiking in a beautiful area where my teacher owns land and is working on re-foresting the area through government grants.
The cows farmer Don Juan owned
The riddle of the week: What do you get when you combine giant flying bugs, big rodents and a hike in the woods with a class full of girls?
To say the least you get a lot of funny moments (or so Taylar and I thought they were) but another way to put it is many people had plenty of complaints of the bugs, the food, the beds, the showers but
Simply put, I enjoyed every minute of the weekend and tried to stay positive through it all (even though a rat did chew though my friends bag and we did get many bug bites).
This weekend, my Alternative Health Approaches class had a field trip to Puerto Viejo area. For the class we visited an indigenous tribe, learned about natural herbs and plants and did chi (breathing exercises), acupuncture, and moxibustion on the beach. To get up to the indigenous tribe we were visiting, it took about an hour hike though the woods but we got to learn about all different kids of trees and natural benefits of plants. My favorite was the "moving tree" which moves its roots to get towards more sunlight! 

Once we climbed about 3/4 the way up the hill, we stopped at the reserve to eat a delicous lunch of smoked chicken, lentils, rice, vegetables and fresh mamon chino from the tree. We enjoyed the lunch, took a little "siesta" and then proceeded to hike up to the lookout point. From this point we could see Panama and beyond, it was beautiful.

Alternative Health Class
Alternative Health Class ready to learn
After dinner on Saturday night, a few of us who still had energy headed into town for a night of salsa. The nice thing about Puerto Viejo is the bars are super close so if you get board at one, you just head to the next one. I met the best tico dance instructor who Taylar named "Grandpa" but he was such a nice guy to teach me some new salsa dances.
Sunday we woke up to it raining which is rare here because it is the dry season currently and usually never rains. The rain reminded me of countless camping trips getting rained on but luckily we were in a hostel and not a tent. After the rain stopped, the class headed to beach for our final exam which was to perform a CHI! (I wish final exams could be like this back at Central). After our exam, we got to hang out on the beach for the remaining time, what a hard life! 
My teacher practicing his morning CHI

Mud mask to naturally heal our skin

This week, I have had such a feeling of contentment and I realize God is always in control and the more I surrender my life to him, the more he is able to work. The quote below says it so well:

"Let's not travel to tick things off lists or collect half hearted semi treasures to be placed in dusty drawers in empty rooms. Rather, we'll travel to find grounds and rooftops and tiny hidden parks, where we'll sit and dismiss the passing time, spun in the city's web 'til we've surrendered, content to be spent and consumed. I need to feel a place while I'm in it." -Victoria Erickson

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