Category Archives: Travelers’ Tales

Update 1 Group

A Long Way From Home

We arrived in Guatemala City on October 2. A staff member from Long Way Home, the local NGO we have spent the last week volunteering at, came to pick us up. We enjoyed a beautiful view of Guatemala on our ride from Guatemala City to Comalapa. On the drive we saw a man dressed in clown gear juggling machetes as well as another man jumping onto and hanging off the back of a moving chicken bus going about 40 MPH. Needless to say that this was only the beginning of our wonderful adventure here so far.

Update 1 Kids

On Sunday, October 4, we had a scavenger hunt to acquaint ourselves with the town. It was our very first experience with the colorful market, as well as our first time practicing our spanish and bartering skills. This exciting downtime gave us some time to immerse ourselves in Comalapa before beginning our work week at Long Way Home where we were plastering, painting, stomping, and shoveling, oh my! One member of the group (Andy) even cut off her hair to donate to Long Way Home, where they use human hair in their plaster. Now a piece of her will always be in Guatemala.Update 1 Emily

That was only Tuesday. Our action packed week also included delicious food prepared by a wonderful woman named Antonia, a culture night with authentic Guatemalan music and a limbo-off that Ryan lost, a beautiful hike up the mountains of Comalapa, a tortilla making demonstration, numerous impromtu dance parties, and meeting so many interesting and friendly people. Oscar, the famous Guatemalan painter; Fleciano, the man whom we are staying with; Roberto, Oscar´s son who gave us a tour and history lesson of Comalapa; Robin, the volunteer coordinator of Longway Home, as well as so many more beautiful humans.
Update 1 Limbo

Before we head to Xela, we have a bonfire and barbecue waiting for us, as well as so many more adventures. Sure, we may be a long way from home, but Longway Home has welcomed into their arms and settled any homesickness that has arisen. We learned so many lessons of gratitude, compassion, and patience in our time in Comalapa and cannot wait to see what else the future has in store for us. We love you Guatemala!

Adios y besos,

LTAM

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Transitioning to Varanasi

Gratitude and beauty abounded in Clement Town and seemed to hang lightly over the heads of all of the group members like the prayer flags fluttering from the top of the World Peace Stupa. The practices with the Tibetan Girls’ Soccer Team were energetic and formed quick friendships, even if the girls laughed at us each time we tried to pronounce their names correctly. Saying goodbye was bittersweet. Each member had something they would miss deeply, whether it be the kids in the school we played with whenever we could, or the deep chanting from the monks that hummed out of the monasteries at all times of the day, but everyone looked forward to our next adventure.

The adventure started with around 24 hours of traveling on trains.

The trains were cramped and relatively awkward to navigate, but we found ways to amuse ourselves by reading, telling stories, decorating each other’s hands with henna and watching the countryside slip by us with each shudder of the tracks.

Varanasi welcomed the group with a rooftop breakfast at our guest-house overlooking the shimmering, morning-grey Ganga river. Many people spent the next several hours saying hello to our new home by passing out on their beds for several hours and catching up on the sleep that was missed on the rocking, groaning train.

Our Varanasi contact, Sangha Mitra, was our guide around the city for the next several days, organizing lectures, temple visits, a sunrise boat ride, and seats to watch the bustling night-time Ganga ceremony called the Ganga Arti.

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The culture and history of Varanasi is stunning. Rearing its head in the form of half-submerged temples sinking into the Ganga water or quietly practicing its faith on street corners with streaks of white paint brushed across its forehead. Each new street has something to offer and we padded the alleys in single file like a line of awestruck American ducklings.

After three days of staying in the guest-house, everyone repacked their bags and, for the first time, split off completely separate to stand in nervous anticipation on the stoops of their home-stay families. Each student was welcomed into a different family with open arms, despite language barriers and cultural differences, and quickly settled into their rooms and the rhythm of living in a house again for the first time in over a month.

IMG_0705One afternoon was spent in the Guria center for children of the Varanasi red light district. Students alternated between playing with the younger children to helping set up Diwali lamps and trying to stay out of the way of everyone else. The evening was closed with an exciting firework performance and a shared meal in the main room of the center.
Days are being spent strolling from classes such as stone carving, fire dancing, classical music, yoga and cooking, and arguing with our home-stay families to actually let us help out with chores. Walks by the Ganga and chai on small rooftop cafes are always a good option as well.

Settling in to Life in Rural Nepal

Week 2-2

At 5:30 in the morning on October 4th we left Kathmandu for the outskirts of Chitwan National Park and our home for the week, Balleram’s farm. The road to get there was beautiful as we drove through a verdant valley with a roaring river; a breath of fresh air after a week in Kathmandu’s urban sprawl.

Compared with where we were, bustling Kathmandu, the farm has been quite the culture shock. The farm is nestled among the rice paddies of rural southern Nepal. We’ve had to deal with the humid heat, glaring sun, close proximity and some more intense waves of home sickness. This led to an excellent discussion on missing home, culture shock and dealing with new environments and circumstances.

We have been busy here at the farm. Under the direction of Balleram, his wife, and two daughters, we cut beans in the fields around the farm (both for sale and consumption), helped in the kitchen, collected eggs from the chicken coop and worked to construct a new addition to the kitchen. The days are sweltering and we had to stop working for a couple of hours in the middle of the day in order to keep our energy. We have been eating very well and most of what we eat was grown on the farm, some of it picked by us just hours before eating it.

Week 2-5Walking down the street we are amazed with how friendly and quick to smile everyone is. The kids especially love to practice their english and get their pictures taken. One in particular, Sudarsaan, invited us to his school, named Motherland. When a group of us showed up we were instantly taken up in a sea of school children. We ran around, did handstands and had a blast. We also spent time in the classroom which was a wonderful cultural exchange opportunity.

Some of the ways we’ve been spending our downtime here has been swinging on a giant bamboo swing, observing a Hindu custom during the lunar eclipse, learning a little Nepali, connecting with the locals and getting refreshing almond milk and fruit drinks in the local village. We have also played a lot of games as a group which led to lots of laughing and group bonding.

Next we head to Chitwan National Park, then on to Aurobindo Ashram!

Nick and Kavian

Arriving in Guatemala

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Buenos Dias, Amigos y Familias!

Skyeler here, one of your trusty trip leaders for the epic 2014 Viva Travel Group in Latin America, aka Team Funny Bone!! Our students will begin updating the Facebook World later this week but my Co-leader, Gigi, and I wanted to take a crack at it and start things off with some heartfelt appreciation for our amazing group of students and our time together thus far in Guatemala.

These last few days have been a whirlwind and we have definitely hit the ground running!! We arrived in Comalapa last Thursday and immediately fell in love with this friendly, open-hearted community tucked away from the tourist traps. Gigi and I were immediately impressed by our group’s willingness to throw themselves into a very different culture and go out on a limb with their varying levels of Spanish. On our first full day, after a second round of safety and cultural briefing, we turned the students loose to complete a challenging scavenger hunt that had them bargaining in the markets and exploring the streets of Comalapa. Friday and Sunday are Market Day here and the Hunt was divided into two to maximize cultural exploration. The students have shown tremendous maturity and engagement with both the program and the new world of Indigenous Guatemala, and have come together as a fantastic team.

One of my highlights of this group in the last few days has been our evening music playing. A couple of us have brought ukuleles, there is a harmonica, and there is always a percussive instrument to be utilized from an empty water jug! There are some stunning beautiful voices in this group, and I think we may just have to start a band! There has been some talk… we’ll keep you posted.

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On Sunday afternoon, we had a wonderful walk up to a special church above town with Feliciano, our host here in Comalapa. He shared with us many important facts about Guatemalan history, answered our questions, and even shared some deep wisdom about the power of acceptance. We left that conversation inspired by his words, and grateful to have the opportunity to interact with such open, kind-hearted folks like Feliciano! Then he took us to his family’s house where we learned about weaving, making tortillas….and of course a dance party erupted!! It was awesome.

Wow, I wrote a lot!! Well, its been a jam-packed few days, and tons of fun with this great group of young people. We’ve started working on the sustainably-built school with the NGO Long Way Home, and our work ethic has impressed the staff!! As I write this, students are swinging plastering cob, carrying gravel, and swinging tools around (safely ! ) I feel SO fortunate to be able to share this incredible experience with such great people!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our future adventures!!

Skyeler

Bringing it Home

A recent update sent in by a member of our LEAPYEAR QUEST group, which finished in 2012.

Oh boy, where to start? Today’s my first day of the summer and it’s in the sixties with light showers and a hazy overcast. I’m not complaining. I’ve been taking it easy and rereading some Hemingway all day.

I say it’s the first day of Summer partly in jest but it is true in a sense. Yesterday I completed the last of my Summer time responsibilities of which there were many and I’m looking forward to ten days of relaxation before the next semester starts up.

Not sure when I last wrote to ya’ll but a lot of unexpected  opportunities have unfolded this year. I started at SUNY Geneseo not intending to matriculate any more than a year there. I wound up doing well and making good connections, however, and even finding myself enjoying the environment. Over winter break I applied for a grant from the college as well, and was awarded it. One stipulation was that I must be a returning student in the fall. The work the grant money would allow me to do was worth the commitment of another 3 months and now as the fall semester approaches I even find myself looking forward to it.

My summer was invested in a few things that kept me more than busy but only the grant work is really exciting so I’ll explain that some.  My proposal for the grant was to invest the money in building a foundation for a new educational non-profit in my home region.  I’ve been meeting with a team of local educators for almost a year and the grant gave me a chance to get it off the ground and watch it evolve.  This past week I held 4 information sessions around the region about our organization, Discover: Self-Directed Teen Learning (facebook.com/DiscoverSDT).  It’s been a really surreal experience, presenting to parents and educators (including my much disliked 5th grade teacher) and having them really respect and appreciate and want to invest in what I’m trying to bring to the community.

The grant also brought me to two conferences over the summer, one on long island and one in western mass.  Both were on alternative education and both were great places to glean new ideas and make new connections.  Now I’m back home and have given the series of market-research/community outreach sessions proposed by the grant.   I’m excited to take the next steps in this entrepreneurial process and see what these seeds grow into. At the same time it’s all very surreal.

I remember having to sit down during first retreat while reciting my Rilke poem. That’s how bad my anxiety was a few years ago. And I remember one time M made a comment about my natural skill as a leader and how I scoffed at her misinterpretation.  But apparently there was something in me that she could detect, despite my own naivety or self-doubt. And it’s just so crazy to think that a few supportive people along the way have given me the chance to sit here, nearly 22 years old, and feel good, finally about who I am and what I’m doing in the world.

There’s still a lot of big questions of course. And sometimes I’m not so enthusiastic about the work that I’m doing and the responsibiity of it and being in western new york so damn always.  Sometimes I get downright blue about it all in fact, and miss the care-free life I had not so long ago. Sometimes I want to mourn my own youth, you know? But then I realize the folly in doing so, eventually anyway, and before long I’m celebrating instead.

I remember writing you all an email from Bolivia that went along the lines of “I want to go back to western new york and bring educational empowerment to teens in my home region.” Well here I am, making it happen. And if that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.

It’s funny how many unsure steps still bring us to our destination.

Playing with Foxes

Fox PupsAnother update from the member of our TERRA group who is working in a mountain raptor sanctuary.

This place has felt like a test on many levels. So many things that I would not normally have thrown myself into I have done. I have been calling places and talking with them about money (something that makes me feel very uncomfortable). I have put myself in an environment where it is assumed that because I have not gone through college I do not know much in regards to the natural world (which felt like a kick in the pants at first), and have to work hard to show that I do actually give a shit about the forest around me and I am dedicating my life to it, not just some young kid who is here because I thought it would be “fun”. The youngest person here next to me is five years older than I am and has a degree of some sorts to show. But I have decided to recommit myself and push forward; Sure, I’m young and don’t have nearly the experience my colleagues do, but I have enthusiasm and heart and I think it’s about time I realized that I can bring that to the party and that that can mean just as much as a degree.

I have had two rather remarkable experiences this past week. I was sitting up at one of the lookouts this past weekend. There was a a very nice couple sitting in front of me looking out for birds too, and I was pointing things out to them like I usually do, and it was the end of the day so most people had left. A boy walked up to me, about a year younger than I was, and asked me how he could “do this” (gesturing to the mountain valley below) for a living. He looked like he was troubled, so I just invited him to talk with me. He told me how his whole family had desk jobs and spent their whole lives indoors. How that was not what he wanted. He showed clear passion and interest in nature, but nobody had ever talked to this boy about what he could do to further that passion. He was going into his local community college this next year, and not a single person had talked to him about his future. He didn’t have any idea how he could get outdoors. I gave him all of the information about programs I had, about LEAPNOW, about the internship I was doing, about primitive skills and guiding. And by the end he was so grateful and happy. The older couple in front of me turned and said “That was really great, he will remember you.” That one really hit me.

The second experience I had this week was one of a different nature. I have been tracking a female fox around here since I got here, and a few weeks ago I realized she was hanging around a den. This week I went to go check the den out, and saw something move. It took me about 45 minutes or so to get close since I had to stalk up, but when I got there I realized what was moving. Three little fox kits were tumbling, playing, pouncing on dead leaves, and periodically taking naps at the entrance. I got to within about six or so feet of the den entrance and stopped. Occasionally they would waddle over in my direction, then get bored and continue tackling each other. It was an incredible experience to have been following the other in March, and be able to watch her babies play in May. Amazing.

 

Finishing the Goat Bank

The most recent update from our LEAPYEAR2 group, who are in India right now working with an organization to set up a goat bank for children of the red light district. For more posts and many more pictures, check out their blog or Facebook Page.

image3A few days have past since I posted all about our adventures in getting the goats to the goat bank, and now its time to share with you all the beautiful conclusion to Passion Project’s direct involvement with Guria and the Goat Bank project.

I left off the story right after we finished milking the goats for the first time as we crashed into a deep and very long sleep. I’ll jump ahead now two days to our final evening in the village. We woke up early to help milk the goats and to take them outside of the bank to let them graze.

I can tell you with certainty that I am not cut out to be a goatherd. I played at it nicely, I even had a staff-like stick, but those clever goats knew that I was no authority to be reckoned with. I just wish that something exciting had happened while we were letting them graze because, “This one time when I was herding goats in India…” sounds like a great way to start a story. Although, depending on how you feel about epicurean adventures, one (exciting, to my way of thinking) thing did happen, we got to eat wild, fresh, raw chickpeas. Delicious, but a lot of work.

Once the goats were well grazed (if that’s not a thing that people say it is now) it was time to load up a few goats for distribution and head from Jakhanian to a very small village about an hour and a half away. Once again we had the pleasure of sharing the back of a truck with the goats, but six goats in the open air is a very different, and much more pleasant, story.

We arrived in the village and waited a while for the chosen women to gather from their respective villages, two from three different villages. When they arrived Ajeet made quick work of numbering the goats and having the women draw numbers to ensure that the distribution was a fair process. And then came the really fun part.

We each took turns presenting the six goats to the women. It was truly an amazing moment, standing under the hot sun, doing the one thing that all our hard work has been focused toward. The while presentation lasted maybe fifteen minutes.

It was not a stately affair, just a happy one. After taking one final group photo it was back to the truck for our journey back to Jakhanian and from there home to Varanasi.

Standing in the back of the truck watching the wheat fields go by provided a beautiful image of our time in India. When we first went out to the Goat Bank the fields of wheat we’re all green. Seeds had been planted and nurtured well before we arrive and were beginning to really show their fruit. Now, as we completed the project the fields were golden and in the process of being harvested. I can’t imagine a more fitting mirror for our time with Passion Project.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and this project. Every donation, kind word, prayer, and thought has helped us make a real difference in one little corner of the world. It feels like a victory, except we can all share in the triumph. It is humbling to take part in bring a project like this to completion, because it helps me understand just how much I can do by saying, “I can’t do this, but together maybe we can.” Thank you.

This is won’t be the last you’ll hear from us. We still have thoughts and stories to share as we head back home to work on perk fulfillment and LEAPYEAR retreats, so stay tuned.

Appreciating Mothers

From a student in our TERRA group working in a birthing clinic in Peru.

photo 1Working with obstetricians in Peru is certainly unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I tried to focus on the process of birth the whole time rather than the logistical aspects that were really hard for me. Over the past few months, I have been present at 15 births. It is something that everyone knows is a part of life, but actually witnessing it is something that I will never forget. First of all, women are freaking amazing. Each and every one freaked out in the beginning stages of their labor and said “no puedo” (I can’t) uncountable times. Of course, each of them did. One second, there is a woman on a chair in agonizing pain, and the next something incredible happens and there is another human in the world. It is not as smooth as that may sound, but I promised no bloody details.

Every reaction and situation is different. Some women are 45 and having their 7th child, others are 15 and having their first. Some sob and clutch their child to their chest, others tell the doctors to take it away because they don’t want to see it. In hospitals and clinics in Peru, the women aren’t allowed to have their husbands, boyfriends, mothers, friends, or any other loved ones in the room during the process. There is always an anxious crowd outside of the building mostly made up of mothers and husbands and I guess I’ve felt guilty at times for being allowed to attend the births when the most important people in their lives aren’t. The part that made my heart absolutely sing is when the women wanted comfort and reached out to me to provide it. The photo of me holding the woman’s hand is one that I sneakily took so that I would never forget the feelings that I felt when I was even a small part of comforting someone doing one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Appreciate your mothers, people. No matter how you got here, whether it was through a birth canal or a c-section or even another woman’s body, I can guarantee you that it was the most special and challenging day of her life.

Bringing the Goats Home

The most recent update from our LEAPYEAR2 group, who are in India right now working with an organization to set up a goat bank for children of the red light district. For more posts and many more pictures, check out their blog or Facebook Page.

we-adore-the-babiesWell, I think this is the post that we have all been waiting for, the one where I can officially confirm that there is indeed a small herd of goats inhabiting our goat bank! It was quite a limit-testing adventure to get them there, but it feels so amazing to look at them grazing and think back on when Passion Project 2014 was just a dream. But before I get into the nitty-gritty details I have a few pictures for you that I’ve been promising for a while. I’ll have a few more of the other section of the indoor mural in a day or two, but for now, here’s a glimpse of the finished murals  (for pictures, visit the Passion Project Blog).

With that out of the way I am happy to get down to the business of sharing our adventure.

Our day started out much like any other day would, aside from the fact that we knew today was the day we were heading to the goat fair. The funny thing was, we had no idea where exactly we were going, just that we’d be going there by overnight train and arriving in the early morning.

The first surprise of the day came when we found out that we would be responsible for carrying the money for the goat purchasing, along with the Guria employee, Umashankar, who was going with us. Now, five thousand dollars is a lot of money, but when its converted into Indian Rupees it becomes 300,000 rupees. With that much money, the only safe place to carry it is on your body somewhere. For those in the group with a money belt this was a little awkward, but doable. But let me be the first to tell you, girls, never leave home without your money belt, because no matter how it might sound, fifty thousand rupees tucked in your bra is NOT comfortable.

So with money in our undergarments, and an adventurous spirit in our smiles we set off for the train station with Umashankar and our goat expert (I must confess, we never learned his name, he was always referred to by ‘goat expert’ whenever anyone mentioned him to us). When we arrived at the station, I was a bundle of nerves and excitement. It was really happening and I just didn’t want to mess anything up! We had been given very specific instructions, to see everything and enjoy it, hand over the money when needed, hold the goats as they are purchased, tie ribbons on the mama and baby sets so they don’t get confused when we arrive, and above all don’t let people figure out who you are with or the prices will skyrocket.

While I was stressing about that, our train departure time had come and gone, and we were still standing outside the train station, waiting. We waited and waited until Amit, another Guria staff member arrived, and then we ran. We ran into the station, up the stairs, over the tracks down to our platform where they began arguing with the train officials. You see, our tickets hadn’t been purchased much in advance, and so we never made it off the waiting list. They kept arguing until the train started to pull out of the station at which point we were just told, “Run”. And again we ran and hopped right on to the moving train.

Since we were still on the waiting list we had no seats, but after some searching and quite a bit of arguing with the police on the train, Umashankar found one sleeper berth for the four of us and someplace in another car for him and Goat Expert. This is where the fun really begins.

We napped on and off (but mostly off), and played road trip games until two am when our train was supposed to arrive at whatever station it was that we were getting off at. We still didn’t know where that was, but we were awake because we’d received a phone call at midnight telling us our  train was (miraculously) on time. We needn’t have bothered though, the minutes and the miles ticked by until we could scarcely keep our eyes open and finally, at four in the morning we disembarked.

After a short nap on the train station floor we were off in a rickshaw to the goat fair, and finally we found out where we were, Etawah, for those of you interested in tracking our journey on a map. After a quick breakfast of subjipori (stewed veggies and fried bread) we were settled a little ways off from the fair to watch the goats come in from the surrounding areas while Umashankar and Goat Expert set off to buy goats. This was the most action we saw all day, but we were glad to be out of the way. Above all else we wanted this day to be great for the goat bank.

Soon however, even our presence outside in the town was causing problems, so we spent the rest of our day in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, trying to stay out of the way.

Around three o’clock in the afternoon we finally got to meet our newly acquired herd and set off on our journey. At first they tried to keep us all crammed into the upper rack of the truck or the cab, but with only men allowed on the top of the truck it soon became too cramped and we got our wish, to ride in the bed with the goats. I hope the pictures I’ve included give you a sense of the back of the truck, unfortunately it was already dark outside and the truck was covered by tarps, so those were the best we could do (for pictures, visit the Passion Project Blog).

I’ve been struggling with how to accurately describe this experience without coming off as whiny or sugarcoating it and I’m not sure that I’ll find the balance so I’ll begin with a disclaimer: This may have been one of the hardest things I’ve done and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. However, much of it was not at all pleasant (and in retrospect quite a bit humorous). So please, as I describe our journey in the back of the truck please know that I write this all with a smile and a grateful heart.

We began our journey at 4:30 in the afternoon. At 6:30 we made our transition to the back of the truck with the goats. We arrived in Jakhanian at 8:30 the next morning. Here are some of my thoughts on those fourteen hours:

I feel like I understand goats on a very deep level. The first couple hours I remember feeling some fear about these creatures that could bite me or hit me with their horns, but that soon melted away into annoyance at the stubborn ones, empathy for the small scared ones, hope that the pregnant ones wouldn’t give birth, more annoyance at the pushy ones, and a wish that they would all just lay down.

Goats + Long Drive + Covered Truck = Getting peed on, pooped on, stepped on, and headbutted, but also cuddled with.

If anyone would like me to expound on the olfactory pleasure of our time, feel free to email me, otherwise let me just say that it will be too soon if I ever smell a goat again.

Goats seem eerily human at times with the noises they make, their little teeth, and their penetrating stares.

I could go on (and on and on), but those are the highlights, so I’ll jump back into the more human elements of the story.

Around 1 am or so we went through a police checkpoint. Our instinct was to get down and hide, and it turns out our instinct was right. Unfortunately, Sarah Rose was riding in the cab of the truck, and there was nothing she could do to hide. So, seeing a white person they stopped the truck. It was a long time before anyone made it back to where we were, but we could see Umashankar arguing with a police officer. It was very stressful, and maybe this is fanciful, but I think the goats felt it too because they were completely still and silent.

Eventually some men who spoke English came and demanded we remove the top slat of the tailgate so they could talk to us. They gave us the third degree about who we were, where we had come from, where we were going, and who the men were who we were with. They said that they were just worried that we had been kidnapped. I don’t know if that’s the truth, or if its because of the small bribe that Umashankar slipped them that they let us go, but I’m going to believe that the police really would have helped us if we had indeed been kidnapped, even if that’s wishful thinking.

At about three am we made a stop for a bathroom break at a small roadside restaurant. Even though we had no money, the proprietor (who was surprisingly busy for three am) sat us down and proceeded to fill us with chai, rice pudding and papadum. It was bizarre, but the kindness was a welcome feeling after our unnerving encounter with the police. I can only imagine that it was pretty bizarre for him too, to have four dirty, white travelers appear out of the night, use the bathroom, and disappear again.

After that our trip was fairly uneventful until we finally reached our destination, Jakhanian, and we could finally show the goats their new home.

After the unloading it was time to milk the goats, and get them their medicine to get rid of any stomach problems (I didn’t grasp a more specific reason, though I’m sure there was one). And then we finally got to head for bed. After being awake for at least 50 of the last 55 hours, bed seemed like a distant memory. It was so nice to sleep, if a little torturous, because for some reason I could only dream of goats.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll fill you all in on the adventures of the next few days, including the first distribution of goats from the bank, very soon.

Scuba Certification in Honduras

The following update was sent by a member of the TERRA group who is pursuing his Master Scuba Certification in Útila, Honduras.

SCUBAEverything is going excellent here on Utila. I’m almost a week into the Instructor course and next Sunday is the end of the course, then Tuesday and Wednesday an examiner from the States comes in and evaluates us on all the skills and presentations we have been learning about. So hopefully a week from this Wednesday I will be a certified instructor with an active teaching license! Then from there I will start my master scuba diver training internship. This is where I was start getting certified to teach specialty certifications. So I am very excited to begin that. All the work for the Instructor course is pretty stressful, everyday I have to prepare skill and knowledge presentations. Everyday I wake up at 5 and don’t stop working until 9 or 10. So it’s taxing, but it’s an incredible experience. Hope everyone is loving life and soaking in everything that surrounds you.

You’re only lost if you’re not where you wish!