Wow, what a trip! ¡UURica! was an outstanding success in every respect. We did some important work for the community of La Promesa. We bonded emotionally with Costa Ricans of every stripe, from our host families to the people we served to the guides on our boat trip, and we shared each others’ culture and knowledge. We connected deeply with each other in the group, and there were no major conflicts between anyone as far as I could tell. We learned, saw, and experienced a great deal. We lived our UU values and have returned home from a voyage that none of us will ever forget.
I can’t begin to summarize all my thoughts and feelings about the trip, but here are a few comments:
Among the Costa Ricans, I was constantly impressed by what UUs would call respect for the interdependent web. From my host father expounding about global dependence on oil, to the shaman apprentice describing the medicinal uses of every plant, to the excited children who wanted to look for critters under rocks with me, I was constantly reminded of the importance of nature. These enlightened attitudes and values of ordinary ticos are reflected in
I am so proud of all of the youth who went on this trip. I am always amazed by the magnitude of their hearts, brains, and spirits. They stepped out of their comfort zones to interact with both children and adults. We didn’t always have detailed instructions for our construction projects, but the youth always rose to the challenge and figured out what to do, then worked hard to get the job done. They made sure everyone in the group was getting along and having a positive experience.
So many of the people we met have led such inspiring lives. The women of La Promesa who have risen above oppression, family abuse, drug addiction, and a host of other problems to form their increasingly healthy community. Gail, who has dedicated her life to serving the poor, and who seems pulled in all directions by the many commitments she has made, yet keeps her sanity and remains smiling. The indigenous people, who are facing the very difficult task of holding onto their traditional wisdom while joining with modern society. Perhaps most of all, the children such as little Keyla, who have already faced so much injustice, and yet keep their spunk and positive attitude and keep on growing.
The departure scene on Wednesday was touching. It was Mother’s Day in
Finally, as biologist I was overjoyed at the sheer diversity of life in
A few photos:
Heather with toad
Amanda and Emily shoveling
Starting the roof
patting down the dirt
Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip what it was!
Posted by Jacob