I would be inconsiderate of the wholesomely awesome experience I have had the opportunity to witness this past week to attempt to summarize all the beautifully crafted soul orientating, searching, them jumbling back together of the self. These people I have the pleasure to embark on this journey with come from all over the world including Germany, Asia, and all stretches of the US, bringing diverse and distinctly unique perspectives and love to all we have done. I have never felt so much acceptance and nurturing in such a short amount of time with individuals brought together by complete happen chance. Including the vibrantly affectionate locals that consistently see the best in everyone they meet and feel as if they have a deep seated sense of appreciation of the human experience no matter the context. The first travel day consisted on 15 hours of on an off planes to first JFK from humble minneapolis, then a 6 hour luxurious flight to Guayaquil. After we arrived in Guayaquil, we took a short 50 minute puddle jumper filled with delectable caramels and marvelous sleeps to Quito. After arriving in Quito, we met our local constituent with the education sector of Ecuador called ELT, which is the organization that we take spanish classes and will be teaching 8th-10th grade English in a town called San Jose De Minas. We were greeted by the town of Mindo, the city we had orientation in, by deeply carpeted mountains of dense forest and what looked like green moss hugging the mountain sides. We debarked the bus and had our first interaction with the local engineering consisting of this wonderful Indiana Jones type carriage to carry us across the river, which we would later learn our Peter Pan of a living corridor was situated upon. As I journaled the first night, I truly believe I found out the reason Gentleman obtain morning wood because of how excited I was to wake up in the morning and watch as the sun illuminated the forest hiding a plethora of secrets we would never truly understand as the sun inched across the mountain until it reached us and the peacefully tranquil roaring river. Some of the highlights so far have been the numerous seminars about the self, how we identify our lives with similarities spanning across the human experience as well as what we view development as along with the assumptions we hold as result of our personal upbringing. We had a “Salsa-size” (Ecuadorian Jazzercise) immersion with an incredibly gifted man named Patricio who resembled the Ecuadorian Matthew Mcconaughey. The way he danced couldn’t help but leave us with the looming question of how he is able to talk with his hips and chest in such a way by gyrating and popping in ways I didn’t know possible. Another highlight was a majestic waterfall hike that took around an hour of sheer scrambling up the face of the rain forest, then back down the side following a river ending in a 35 foot waterfall. As a group we participated in an extremely symbolic jump down the waterfall although not everyone did it for themselves, but rather for one another. There is so much more I would absolutely love to express about how incredible of a love filled spiritually, physically, and mentally stimulating journey and it has only been one week. I can not accurately demonstrate how grateful I am to have this opportunity to be on this train with all these people that have one important thing in common, that we all are in flux flying through our own migration pattern of life, but are able to use each others drafting technique to own our personal gain, all in the vision that we will we land in different places, but knowing we have gained something special no one else will be able to appreciate, in the best and most beneficial way possible.
As I embark on my three month trip into the countries of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, I thought it would be cool to have a public platform of information sharing. I will hopefully be able to come to this blog to post fun pictures and recount some of the interactions and experiences that are soon to come to reality! I will also be documenting the various stages of hair growth on my body as I am exposed to differing regions of elevation hoping to change the dynamic, and if I can bargain for it, shape, of my natural foliage.
I am amounting more and more beautiful excitement and fantastical anticipation as the departure date grows near, as I have the incredible opportunity to converse with multiple individuals about their own personal experiences, I hope to share one with you I will hold close and dear for the rest of my life.
Peace and Love until I cross the border!
Wish me luck Donald.