Location: Central Valley Costa Rica
When we think of home we imagine a cozy neighborhood filled with smiling, helpful neighbors, a car tucked away in the garage, a warm, fluffy bed to crawl into and doze off to sleep in, food stocked pleasantly into the cupboards to fill our empty bellies the minute they begin to empty, a place where we can relax and be ourselves without the judgment of other human beings. It’s a place we can go to feel at ease and let out that breath we’ve been holding in all day. All the stresses seem to Danish in the comforts of home. But what if home took another form? One where we lived outside, in tune with nature. Listening to the trees as the wind whispers through them, or watching as a train of ants finds food for their colony, their strength overlooked by their tiny stature, things that make you forget the trivial things like a lack of cosmetics and electronic access. Home for the indigenous tribe we visited today is all about living in balance and harmony with the environment around them. Facing trials and tribulations throughout the centuries that we can only attempt to grasp at through vivid imagining and history books. Once one of the greatest and most respected tribes in Costa Rica, their fall from grace was a difficult one. They have come a long way to finally be allowed to a reserve where they can practice their age-old traditions in peace. It is their home. Being able to step into their lives and learn about their culture was truly an amazing experience. Through our views on the world may vary a great deal, we can certainly appreciate and come to respect their lifestyle. We were lucky enough to be able to participate in a spiritual ritual. Even though awkward smiles and misplaced laughter could be caught around the circle, it is a memory I am sure none of us will soon forget. With so many sights, smells and feelings to take in, we will surely have much to think about and even more to look forward to.