27 September, Montevarde, Clown workshops at Friends School
I have been busy working out how to get a flight out of San Jose. I tried to book an airline on the local Central American airline Taca. I was also told that Machu Picchu had just opened in September. I had some concerns that I may not be able to get in as demand may be high. I spoke with a lady Sarah on the phone who suggested just go to Peru, she said there is Inca ruins everywhere and it is worth it. She advised to go to lake Tahachua which I have heard of and she said it is not far into Bolivia from there. I am aware there are sacred sites around La Paz. So I decided to suck it and see. I was told about a multiple search engine so through lowfares.com I was able to find cheaper fares. I was worried as Taca went up from US$600 to $914 in 2 days. I nearly had a heart attack as I don’t have the budget for that much. I am winging this trip so I have to work it out as I go and I do need to have free accommodation to make it workable. So I ended up finding a flight by American Airlines at $640 that takes me to Lima via Miami. This means flying over Central America again and over the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. I am hoping to have a look again at the oil spill and I want to look at the environment, percentage forest coverage. So it is a good opportunity. I will leave San Jose, Costa Rica at 7am and then arrive in Lima around 8.55pm. I have a couch surfing host for a few days who will meet me at the airport. Then I will work out how to get to Cusco and then a train up to Macchu Picchu. So that is good. I was worried I may have mud slides to deal with in Costa Rica and become trapped in Montevarde. The rainfall has been unbelievable. Just like a shower turned on all night and through the day. So loads of water.
Anyway, this morning I organized to do some clowning/juggling workshops with Grade 4. This expanded fast to Grades 5-6 and Grade 11. So it was a great morning. I really liked meeting Patricia the drama teacher. She tells me she is 44 and planning a 6 month trip and is very excited. She is an excellent musician and turns out she paints, sings and does drama. We talked a little about the ancient buffoons who were able to challenge society. It was really interesting talking to her. She is also interested in Theatre of the Oppressed, so as she travels she will make contacts. I advised her that it is hard to plan, much depends on where you are going. She said she will buy tickets as she travels. I bought a world ticket and that worked for me.
The teachers were happy with the workshops which varied by class. I spent time explaining to grade 4 the art of clowning and some drama and movement lessons. The Grade 5-6 were more interested in learning how to juggle and spent a lot of time practicing. Some were very good. The Grade 11 were a smaller group and more laid back. Did a formal workshop then it was just mucking around for the last 30 minutes. I chatted with them as we went and felt at peace. I really liked the determination of one girl. She didn’t give up and I asked her if she is like that normally, she said ‘yes’. Other kids had good juggling ability and much enthusiasm. What I notice with kids they are all bulls at a gate (me too), we like to start before the explanation has stopped and we just focus so fast without learning slowly. In many ways it is good to have the patience to observe. Perhaps learning observation skills first may be the key.
The teacher and I went for coffee afterwards, it was nice to meet another like mind. I have met many American people here and it has been fun to chat to the wide range of people, each unique in their way. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and was glad for the opportunity to run workshops, teach peace and give talks. So my time has concentrated on offering my skills. I do this work for free as it is a gift I have. I no longer even think about money. I love that as I wish to contribute to society.
So I will organize for leaving tomorrow and visit the University of Peace in San Jose. So that will be interesting. I understand a statue of Peace Pilgrim is there. For those who don’t know her she was an awakened person who talked to everyone about peace. She walked 25,000 miles for peace, she had nothing other than the clothes on her back. She said she put her life in alignment with love, right thinking, right eating and living where need equals want. She said she was lead and every place she went she was meant to be. I am also learning to live this way, yet I have not fully awakened by I am beginning to slowly understand the peace in living in the flow of life understanding that yes, there is a higher intelligence leading us if we let go of control and the struggle.
So overtime I will work on it. Life is good. No, life is great and I am grateful for the privilege of sharing my talents with others and seeing theirs. I will remember the community here at Montevarde.
After the internet café I went to see my friends Willy and Rowan. They are an extraordinary couple. They assisted me in finding accommodation in San Jose. I was booked into the Peace Centre. This is a Quaker Centre and the rooms are dedicated to peacemakers. So it is the perfect place for me. I understand Patch Adams went to this place 2 weeks ago.
I asked Willy and Rowan to interview them. Both of them are passionate and committed to peace and environmental matters. So I spent the evening with them. I gave them some of my videos and poetry to inspire them. We also talked about Australia and I discovered that Rowan worked for the Queensland Government in the natural resources area. It was interesting to note much work had been done in conservation. On my walk in the forest I thought about protection of the forest and then immediately thought of harmony. I saw that as more integrated and effective. We are not going to protect the forest whilst still living in an economic system that promotes greed and consumption. However, if we choose to live in harmony then we may consider learning more about nature and examining the complexity of the web of life which is intricate. I have chosen the latter and that will be part of my peace work next year – to make peace with nature.
I do have a positive outlook and feel no grief about the future. I do believe there are many realities and those levels include physical and spiritual. The latter has given me peace that is expanding within. Had I not had my own personal experiences I would have felt despair about the planet, economic decline and political corruption. As I have come to understand, there is a purpose beyond what we are perceiving in the world. My advice is not to read the news and assume this is the state of the world. I do trust my inner feeling and I feel joy and I am looking on the world with kindness. I feel the joy ad also feel inspired to learn sustainability and permaculture, I feel I need to learn to live off the land. I do have perceptions that there will be a collapse. To me that is understandable given that we haven’t changed our patterns of behaviour and the earth is not unlimited. So inevitably limits are hit. Denial just means that the consequences may be more dramatic but this is the reality chosen. If we want to live through changes with lesser disruptions than it may be wise to notice what is happening on the planet. My work is love and peace combined with humour. So for me I see opening the heart as central. Many have blocked off love given the fear they believe in the world. So I will lead by example and open my own heart.
I had a great night with them and felt their friendship. I love the diversity of people and whilst I felt a pessimistic feeling in Rowan I could understand her underlying compassion and I respected that. We are all experiencing life in different ways and who is to say who is right or wrong. I can only go with what I resonate with. Perhaps I am a born optimist but I do see transformation after collapse.
I walked back to the house in the pouring rain and darkness. I kept turning the torch off to feel the pitch black. I had no fear just curiosity about the moment. I really took in the moment as I heard my feet crunch on the sand and rocks. I really felt the cold, wet grass touch my legs. I heard the garbage bag rustle (my make shift raincoat). I looked at the lights of the small village behind me. I have my umbrella and I dip under the chain to walk along the tree covered track which is pitch black. I just feel this aliveness pervading my spirit, I am loving the adventure, the newness and the expanding horizons through the many faces coming into my life and leaving. I feel the connectedness to people and the kindness they have offered and my time here has been so full of joy and peace.
I am living for the moment and this is where life happens. It is a gift and I am indeed grateful. I go home and pack and then slip into bed and listen to the endless tapping on the roof of rain drops. It feels warm and cozy and I am grateful again for a place to stay, to be dry and to feel the love that is always around me. This is what I feel it means to be blessed.
Was it not Jesus who said ‘blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth’. I think the meek are just those who feel humble. I definitely feel that. Sweet dreams.