1 October, Costa Rica to Peru
I awoke at 3.45am to get organised to go to the airport. The guy on reception woke up and made sure I got my taxi. He waited until I was safe inside. I drove to the airport and watched the silent streets go by. I saw a group of 3 prostitutes on a street corner laughing together. Looked at young men driving I assume home. I looked at Costa Rica for the last time. I felt ready to go.
I got to the airport exchanged my money into $US and went through customs to get on the American Airlines Flight to Miami. The reason i was heading north then south was that the ticket was much cheaper. I got on the plane at 7am and two other people sat next to me. It was a 2.5 hour flight to Miami. I was interested to see the geography as I flew over.
I took a few photo´s out of the plane, however we were flying around 35,000 feet and at times above the cloud or over the ocean so i wasn´t able to get a good look at the environment from the sky. I did get a chance to see Cuba briefly as we flew over and key West. As we flew into Miami I took lots of photo´s of backyards with pools, freeways and built up area. It was interesting given that the land was very flat and it looked like some sort of delta with considerable water on the surface. So when Miami emerged I was surprised to think they built on this type of land. As the plane banked over the city you could see the skyscrapers. Quite a large city and developed. I find the contrasts with Central and South America very interesting.
The plane landed and to my surprise there was no transit. I was told by security since September 11 that all flights through US had to go through customs and every person was finger printed with both four fingers on the left and right hand and the thumb. Very much brave new world.
Myself and a woman talked about the American fear and the possibility of a internal conspiracy as was raised by Michael Moore in his movie Fareinheit 911. She also mentioned Bowling for Columbine in hushed tones. I find the issue of Bin Laden´s family members being allowed to leave during a flight ban very concerning. As I am discovering on my trip so many governments are corrupt and the issue of values I feel is central. I was reflecting as i stood in line for security that if the money they spent on security was invested into peace education and indeed education around the world, they would have their security. You can´t create a fortress to keep out the so called bad guys, you have to address issues directly and find solutions to ensure peace and security. These two terms go hand in hand, they cannot just be negotiations but dedication to creating a Culture of Peace. So far I have seen no evidence of real commitment to peace. However, i will discuss Obama in another blog, I do feel he is actually a genuine leader and I have read with interest comments from the business community and their allienation from the White House is a good sign. You don´t have to go past Goldman Sacs and the financial crisis or BP and the oil spill to understand corporations are not leading the world to stability. They operate within a lawless framework internationally and they are dictatorial in management hierarchy. They are not democratic, and when one thinks society is supposed to be democratic, yet most people work in a dictatorship, there is somewhat of a clear division between living the values that are espoused. I will go into detail in another blog dealing with economics.
I hung around the airport and looked at the children´s art on the walls. I also am taking more pictures of advertising to gain a feelng for the real signs. There are more signs about drugs, nature and health. These are good signs. I went and had some lunch at a cafe run by a columbian. I had a nice vegetarian pastry type dish and i felt like a beer. I sat and read the newspaper. At the end of the meal I went to pay. The girl didn´t have the exact change out of $20, she owed me $4.12. She offered to give me $3 as she didn´t have the change. I said no, I need my money. She went off and got $4 but not the 12 cents. I just didn´t feel right about not receiving accurate change. I asked for the manager. I explained to him I teach values and I don´t feel it is ok to force a tip because of not having exact change. I said the 12 cents doesn´t matter but I expect to get 100% back. I am Australian and we don´t tip, so for me it is not honest. He understood my point and said he would talk to the girl. I said just take the opportunity to speak to all of them about values. I then went on to talk more about values in the world and the type of society we have. I then told him about my trip to sacred sites, being a peace clown and the importance of peace. I also mentioned the Mayans and 2012. He is Columbian and he was aware of 2012. He didn´t feel it was the end of the world, I agreed. We did agree that changes are coming. I said a love consciousness will arise in humanity. He seemed very open and by the end of the conversation he warmly shook my hand. I suppose for me it doesn´t matter if people agree with me or not, I feel they recognise I am genuine and I actually care about humanity and where we are going. For me, values are central. You cannot change the environmental situation unless you feel love for nature and a sense of oneness with it. It is not redesigning, manipulating to look green but actually understanding we are embedded in nature and we cannot carbon trade, we have to actually change our behaviour and change our needs and wants towards higher level ones that take into account social benefit, health, wellbeing and purpose. So far we just focus on security, safety and busyness with ourselves in mind or those we value. We don´t see ourselves as part of a common humanity that is responsible for all of it.
I went to Gate 3 via the skytrain and waited for boarding. I sat on the floor with my coffee and read the paper some more. Eventually we boarded. I was interested to see who I sat next to as i had changed my seat to 38 and wondered who I would meet. As soon as I sat down I met Patricia a woman from Portugal. Very intelligent and an architect. I could see she was switched on. She loved Peru and told me about the poverty there but said the people do the best they can with what they´ve got. She said she had been there 6 months and loved the people. We had great conversations about peace, her life and what she was doing. She let me read her Economist which was a very interesting edition. Will report some key issues in the following blog. The flight was really nice and i stared glued to the window at the night sky and the pockets of lights as I flew over countries. I loved looking at the stars. We have a beautiful planet. The sunset was very spectacular a rich ruby red and gold hue on the horizon.
We landed in Lima, Peru and 8.55pm. Got off the plane, somehow i got in the wrong queue and ended up getting my back pack checked again and realised I was going towards a connecting flight. I was pointed in the area of passport control and went and had my passport checked and i was allowed through. I came out and went to the coffee shop and met another nice lady, we sat chatting as Enzo turned up. Enzo is my couch surfing host for Lima. Lovely guy very warm eyes. He came up and helped me take my things to the car.
My first experience of Lima is the traffic and tooting. This was nothing like India. Long streets and middle sized buildings, square type buildings little like Central America. We arrived at the house and I met his family. I was extremely tired, very little sleep really in 4 days. So he showed me the couch, got out the blankets, put in my ear plugs and went to sleep. Heaven and happiness… still smiling as i drifted off.