A week ago, last Monday morning, I was sitting in my office and had a moment where I felt the countdown on our departure clock begin to tick down. The pressure was on – develop materials, get them translated, organize your thoughts, and prepare workshops. So much to do, so little time. As we learned the needs of APOT and workshops began to come to life, I tried to envision how everything would operate. A lot of planning was done, but a lot had to be left to the unknown as well. As it turns out, this trip is also going to be an exercise figuring things out as we go, being ok with leaving some things to the unknown and enjoying the adventure of it all along the way. 

And now…. We have arrived! Waking up at 4:15 this morning was not easy. And with daylight savings also going against us… needless to say the wake up call came too soon. South Bend, Indianapolis, Miami, San Jose- a long windy bus ride through the mountains in Costa Rica, then we see it in the distance… Turrialba, or more specifically, CATIE- Our home for the next two weeks. As we pulled in the sun set and our driver slowed down so we could see the dozens of exotic birds perched in trees as its limbs draped over the pond in front of CATIE, I couldn’t help but bask in the beauty of where we are at. I see why the motto here is “pure vida” or “the pure life.” Pristine, breathtaking, simple. It’s already easy to see why the people here have such a strong connection to the land and place the highest value on cultivating the earth in a sustainable way to grow their quality produce. Everything here is so clearly connected.

We unpack in our rooms and I blog (because I failed miserably at getting this done pre-departure). A few minutes of downtime and we are off to get dinner. We are quite literally unplugged- and so far I love it. Not being able to compulsively check my text messages or email is a much needed break. But I also know that I am never too disconnected from the world… when I return to my room I can blog, Facebook, email, Skype… even this tiny little town in the middle of Costa Rica is WiFi connected.

I heard the window off my room over looks a tree where toucans perch and wake up with the sun. That will be a nice change of pace. 

Amanda

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