Costa Rica Pilgrimage – Day 2

Second Day in Costa Rica:

Our travel day is behind us. Bernie slept for most of the flight time. I did not. I busied myself with reading, working puzzles, watching a movie.

We met one of our sojourners on the plane, a woman a little younger or near my age, a black activist with dreadlocks, outgoing personality. Clearly full of passion for justice. I told her about my connection with the Quakers and she told me she has worked with AFSC (American Friends Service Committee).

This morning we met our tour guide, Mario Carbello, and had a lecture by a chemistry professor from the University…Therman Thomas. He told the story of Costa Rica via sports and coffee…he was humorous and very informative. I wish I had taken notes. Then we visited the Gold Museum in downtown San Jose. Very interesting tour and history of the early indigineous people. We boarded our van and traveled to Sarapique and checked into the Selva Verde Lodge.

I know I am in the rainforest because of the humidity. I wonder how sleep will go tonight with no air conditioning and open screened windows. On our veranda there are two comfortable wood chairs and a hamock. I could sleep on the hamock but suspect mosquitoes will visit tonight. We’ve been warned about snakes across the path after dark. “Don’t jump over the snakes,” our guide warned. It appears that the snakes have the right-of-way.

This is a lovely place. We will want to take pictures of flowers. So exquisite to this northern Minnesota person. I love the fact that Costa Ricans care so about their land. All act like true natives, true lovers of the land.

To get here we drove through mountains that form a ring around San Jose, through a “cloud forest”, where there was thick, thick foliage hugging the cliffs on either side of the road. Occasional we’d see a spring trickling through the rocks. We saw one plant that had leaves like our rhubarb but even larger.  You could almost lay on them. “They are very poisonous” one sojourner told me.

Now sitting here, I could almost fall asleep. An insect approaches. Hark! Could it be a mosquito? So tiny! Let me tell you about your Minnesota cousin. He could eat your children.

 

Costa Rican Pilgrimage – Day 1

Since retirement, Bernie and I have been on several tours with Road Scholar, formerly Elderhostel. We recently returned from our first tour out of the country. I was the one who wanted to go to Costa Rica because it is a peace country, having abolished its army in 1949 and because the  established a Peace University there which has a commemorative statue of Peace Pilgrim. I thought I’d begin my blog career by sharing some of the journaling I did while on our trip. Following is my first entry written on January 7 while we sat in the Lindberg Terminal, Minneapolis Airport, as I pondered:

“Our adventure is begun. Our destination is still 8.5 hours out, but sitting here I am preparing my heart. I just read the introduction to the book Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words. This trip is for me a pilgimage of peace so I thought it might be a good idea to reread her book which is about her pilgrimage.

“She carried with her on her travels this simple message: “When enough of us find inner peace, our institutions will become more peaceful and there will be no occasion for war.”She was a true pacifist. This reminds me of the hymn we used to sing in church “Let there be peace on earth and let it  begin with me.” I think Peace was trying to say that peace in the world can only be achievd if those who hunger for peace first find peace within.”

I feel Peace’s presence as I begin this journey. I hope to connect ina new way to her beautiful teachings and her life.