The Adventures of Peacefull

28 September, Montevarde to San Jose, Costa Rica

I awoke at 9am and was still very tired, so decided to rest until 9.30am.  The rain was pouring outside and I believed I heard strong winds earlier.  I remember hoping no trees would come down as I am catching a bus back to San Jose today.

Suzie came to see me and check the drips.  She sat for a while and I was happy to spend a little time.  I was feeling very tired but that is fine.  I made some beans and then got myself dressed.  Packed the last of my stuff and then did a little emailing before I was due to go at 11.15.   I spoke with Bob, Suzie’s partner and he told me about his trip to help the poor as part of his visa.  Apparently he had to travel to a place that bordered Panama and he said they left at 2.30 in the morning traveled for 5 hours to get to this place.  Then spent a further 6 hours shopping for sheets and other accessories for the poorer people.  Apparently those who are poor are able to get discounts as duties are removed.  So they gathered up sheets and bedding for the people.  He is a Quaker so I am sure he would have felt happy to give service.  I enjoyed talking to him and would have liked to have spent more time, but it wasn’t to be.  He and Suzie kindly helped me move my lump of a bag up the drive.  Bob and I took turns carrying the heavy part.  We finally go to the end of the rocky drive and rolled it to Stella’s Bakery.  I left Suzie with the bag, dropped off the torch for Rowan and Willy to the pre-school and then stood under the awning watching the rain pour down.  People came out, one man had a chat with me and said he would love to travel the world.  He inquired if I was doing it ‘alone’ I said yes.  It is fine.  Many are concerned at women traveling, I am not one of those.  I think it is all good.  Fate is fate.    

I saw Gee Gee who I had met at a birthday party some days before and she was in the front row at the Talent night.   She got on the bus and to my surprise I also so Patricia who I had been with the day before (drama teacher).  Lovely woman, so it was nice to spend a little time with her to say goodbye.    Gee Gee and Patricia helped me with where to put my bag when I get into town, the bus wasn’t due to leave until 2.30pm, so had around 2.5 hours to whittle away.  Gee Gee offered to come to the bank with me and then decided to go for lunch. 

Gee Gee was an interesting character.  At the age of 3 her father got sick and she and her sister were sent to an orphanage.  At 3 years old apparently she attacked the nuns who she said were mean.  They sent her to an Indian reserve.  She said she was given an Indian name and a pinto.  She learned to ride this horse backwards she said.  She said they taught her how to talk to rocks, there are spirits in rocks she said.  She developed an appreciation for wind, water, plants and animals.   She said she remembers at 3 the Indians were given free tickets to the ballet, she was taken along.  She said that she knew she wanted to be a ballerina.  She said I want to do that … that… that…. And from an early age around 12 she became a professional ballerina.   The early years from 3-6 at the Indian reservation really formed her.  When I asked to take a picture she said it would take her soul.  I did joke with her but I did respect that was her wish.  I also asked later her age and she said she doesn’t do ages.  I was curious if this was a New York thing but she said to not mention age.  I thought it probably is irrelevant.     Over lunch she told me she traveled the world 4 times with Ballet and performed in the Whitehouse on 4 occasions and had met Presidents. She said she liked them all.  She was also part of a select group to go to Russia, so she must have been an amazing ballet dancer.  It’s funny when you think of fate she had to go to the reservation at 3 years to become inspired about ballet.  She said she found ballet easy as it was her love.  She said it was very structured and the best ballet dancers were able to find themselves in ballet.  She also critiqued me about the talent night which was good, she noticed the little children coming onto the stage and she felt I should include them (inclusivity) and she noticed I seemed irritated with them as I was getting them off the stage.  I did think they should not be on the stage as I didn’t want to step on them.  But I got her point and thought about it.  I feel she may be right, the kids are so excited and I can give more and incorporate them into what I am doing, it is all spontaneous.  She said she loved my performance and I was pleased to hear this.  She herself is a performer and knew about acting so it was good to get feedback.

She told me of her beautiful son who sounds like a godsend.  He is a kind man and no trouble to her.  She is intensely proud of him and glowed as she spoke of his kindness and that her friends consider him more of their friend then her, she didn’t mind as she adored him to.  Apparently he was visiting his godfather dying and he allowed him to cry in his arms.  I loved her expression ‘he was enough of a man to allow an older man to cry’.  If only men could see that they are more of a man when showing compassion, unfortunately it is seen as motherhood or feminine and not part of manhood, which it surely is.  The disconnection between men and woman is to do with the underdevelopment of emotions and expression of such.  I feel with more education around the importance of feeling feelings and expression many of the misunderstandings and hurt would dissipate. 

So we had a lovely time chatting and I was so glad to spend my last few hours with Gee Gee.  She took me to the optometrist where she showed the lady at the counter how she could do a head stand.  That was when I asked her age.  She was unbelievable the way her legs went up straight and those ballet toes were pointing.   Very strong and supple, she said she could put her legs behind her ears, mate if I did that I would be cramped and in need of hospital treatment.  So very impressive lady.

She walked me to the bus in the pouring rain and we did mime through the window of heart to heart and big thank you’s.  I was grateful to have this time with another angel.

The bus departed and I looked through the smogged up glass to see the mountains and mist hanging over everything.   I listened to my Ipod and started to think of the past.  I tried to remember the mountains and their foliage as Costa Rica is a beautiful country.   I thought about filming and pictures but the weather wasn’t that good.  I closed my eyes and enjoyed the bus.  As we wound our way down the mountain I notice the driver very carefully pass over parts of the road.  You could feel the soggy mud under the tires it felt like waves of water.   I thought they have to be good drivers, there are plenty of mud slides, landslides so it can be dangerous.  They also have to navigate other drivers and the road is not that wide.  It is rocky and muddy.  When we got to the Pan Pacific highway he picked up speed and the trip went pretty quickly.

As we got close to San Jose a girl from the Netherlands made a point to come up to me.  She said hello and asked where I was staying.  I said at the ‘peace centre ‘do you want the number’.  She said no she is staying at the hostel.  She said she was worried about he danger of catching taxi’s.  I said I have been through 17 countries alone and I don’t worry about catching taxi’s.  At the end of the day you have to catch it, there is no point worrying.  I said if anything happens worry at the time.  Just enjoy your holiday and trust yourself, you will get a funny feeling.  If you feel uncomfortable don’t get in. she said she felt safe in Central America, I said follow that.  There is really no point.  If someone warns you not to walk in a certain area, probably wise to follow that advice.  But life is for living and I have no intention of living in fear.  It could have rattled me but I thought don’t worry about it.  All is fine. 

We get to the bus station a taxi driver asks ‘taxi’ I choose to ignore him, another comes up says ‘taxi’ I said yes, it felt right.  He gave me a lovely old guy as a driver and he was honest and I was even told how much before the taxi left 3,000 colonas which is US$6.  So I was happy.  He took me to the peace centre.  As soon as I got there I met Mowanna and American girl with Spanish skills.   She interpreted for me at the reception.  She also paid the taxi for me as I couldn’t get change.  I said I will get her change.  She was going for dinner so I went with her.   We then had some dinner and chatted about her work.  Turns out she is a scientist studying dry rainforests in Costa Rica.  Apparently there are different species in dry forests compared to rain forests.  Very interesting.  Yet these forests are more under threat because they are drier people live there and there is more deforesting and landuse.  So her project is to map the geographical area, species mapping, look at the ownership and she will also explore socio factors such as demographics, family size, income etc.  I thought environmental beliefs might be interesting and whether they are aware of Kyoto.  Do they feel a link to the land, are they making money off it or protecting it.  The issue of protection is a big one and my conversation with Rowan and Willy ventured into the area of investing in forests.  To give people ownership may make them feel responsible for the land.  The key is to connect people in reality to the natural world.  The problem today is the massive disconnection and addiction to consumerist life.   I also mentioned to Mowanna that we need to investigate values as if people are not in alignment with values of oneness, peace, harmony, truth they are unlikely to see themselves as part of nature.  If we value success, careers, big houses and consumption then clearly we will continue to use up resources and see ourselves as separate from nature.  These are key issues. So her work will look at the ecology and the social/community connections to the tropical forests.  Very interesting work and very important. 

We discussed the collapse.  She brought it up and she feels if things do not change it will collapse.  Rowan last night thought the same.  I also concur.  I know there are limits and we must live in the natural order.  So we either learn it easily or the hard way.  Mowanna painted a picture of devastation and the importance of a small footprint, Rowan also mentioned the population must be shrunk for it to be sustainable.  We are currently around 6 billion on the planet.  I do know that if china lives like the united states 1.3 billion, we will need another 3 earths to supply the demand.   So the ecological limits are real and the reality of this doesn’t seem to really sink in.  I told Mowanna about my Rotary contact in Australia who believed that climate change was erroneous.  He was part of the energy industry so I wondered about vested interests there.  I find the skeptics hard to understand especially when large chunks of ice are breaking off Antarctica and the wild weather patterns are evident around the world.  Even blind freddy can see changes are a coming ecologically, economically and spiritually.   Yet there will always be people in denial. 

Anyway, it was a great chat.  We came back to the peace centre and I spent the night writing, uploading to Youtube and speaking to my friend Bob who helps me with my website. 

So all is well.  I will have a look at the peace library tomorrow and the university of Peace.  Have to go there. 

Peace is who we are, it is just a case of remembering our true nature….

I will upload a poem after this… just felt the inspiration to do so. 

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Random video from the Gallery

Gandhi Ashram