Dec 29, 2009
Yesterday we had our first seminar. The learning experience is very different from the traditional college or university pedagogy. Today we had two sessions. The readings were about fair trade, Shamanism, biocultural regeneration, and other indigenous topics.
Last night we were visited by a youth group who performed an indigenous dance for us, with musicians, and then showed us a wrestling exercise. The dress for both the women and the men was very colorful, meant to represent the colors of the forest. One musician played both the flute and the drum at the same time. I’m very glad that we have had the opportunity to meet and greet so many people from the community.
Before I continue I want to clarify a statement I made in my first journal entry. Casa Sangapilla is not a resort by any means. And if it was a resort it would be horrible. But I was so shocked by the beauty and the natural elegance that I did not know how to express myself when I first sat down to write.
The energy of this place is incredible. I feel much more aware of energy in general and I have had very interesting and challenging conversations with other students on the trip. Our first Shamanic ritual is tonight.
The food is great. I’ve tasted so many fruits and vegetables and all kinds of beans and rice. The juice is fresh, made right here, and the coffee and chocolate put any brand from America to shame.
I wish I could describe the weather effectively. It’s almost like being at the beach without the salt air. Yes, it is warm and noon time is hot and the sun is brutal if you are exposed for long periods of time. But the breeze is cooling and the shade is plentiful. The smell from all the flowers and the cooking adds flavor. The humidity has not been strong at all. We have only had a sprinkling of rain, although we’ve been told that rain storms will certainly happen at some time.
Every morning I wake up to a gorgeous view of the Andes. The mountains and the green is spectacular. The plants and the trees are so unlike anything in the US. Overall, it feels like I’ve been here for weeks. I hope the time moves slowly; I have no desire to leave.