Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tranquila(ity)

I sit here with a break from cramming Costa Rican economics and endless conversations in a language other than my native tongue, and I ponder my future. Nothing dramatic; pretty simple concepts. These are almost incomprehensible thoughts because I am not leaving the beautiful land of Pura Vida for some time, but already, with a light glimpse into the life of others, I contemplate what my own future will entail.

I imagine I’m a bird – flying from home to home with tunes of sunshine. I see my future self in a garden amongst an abundance of flowers. There’s stargazers, birds of paradise, Lilly’s, carnations, and soft pink bundles of roses with their petals graciously spread amongst the freshest of green grass. I’m so happy. Humming along in sunshine with the birds I call my friends. A place for the birds to visit and me to call home.

The simplicity is vast and unattainable at the same time. Like vapor – waving my tiny fingers to savor even just a piece, but it leaves me with only a moment of memory. I’m back to the predecessor. The ideas of the unnecessary but so urgently craved.

Take me back to my rocking chair in my garden that blinds the eye with it’s ever lasting beauty and undeniable scent. Where your ears burst with life by only the sounds of the flapping wing’s of butterflies. There is life. There is death. There is rebirth. There is pureness. Everything is there.

I contemplate my desire with seeing every inch of the world when I escape to my garden of tangled vines and endless trees to climb. A grassy knoll for siestas and a nicely placed stump to rest my fresh brewed coffee. After all of the instability I will be experiencing the next 2 years, am I going to easily exchange living day by day out of a suitcase for a floral tranquility?

My pressing thought for the day.

May your days be filled with joy and flowers

Miss and love you all.

P.s. my garden would definitely have a pug or two running around!!

Xo Aim

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Mailing address update

PCT Aimee DeBacker
Cuerpo de Paz
PO Box 1266-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica

This is much easier than the previous one. Keep in mind boxes might get stopped at customs. Letters and pictures and funny stories ect would be much appreciated!!! xoxoxoxox

Poco a poco – the first couple days

The past couple days have been eventful to say the least. It was pretty difficult to leave the training facility where we spent 6 days bonding and getting a basic, yet slightly tedious overview of what we can KIND OF expect for the next 3 months. There are a total of 42 volunteers, which to me seems like an exceptionally large number.

I swear these people seem so familiar to me. Like I’ve met them before. Maybe I saw them in my dreams passing me by on the streets, or maybe it’s from a past life. But some how, I feel like I’ve known them my whole life and reality, it’s been 1 week. It’s probably due to the fact that we’ve finally found others that are just like us. People who didn’t listen to everyone who said “I can’t believe you’re joining the peace corps, I could never do that!” Well, we did it. We found each other on that unbeaten path.

Saturday was a pretty exciting day. I honestly wasn’t nervous to meet my family because there wasn’t much other choice. We piled our bags into a truck and started driving to make the dumps. And by dumps I mean they literally dumped us off at a stop where our host families were told to meet us. And off we went.

I got to my “stop” and was let off with four others in my novice high Spanish speaking group and basically stood in the plaza looking at families waving to us while we smiled with confusion clearly plastered on our faces. After everyone found their families, the one woman left was for me! Mi mama! 

I was embarrassed to go to the truck where all of our luggage was thrown into because there she would discover how much luggage I had. In u.s. standards, I did pretty dang well for packing my life into 2 suitcases including toiletries and personal items like pictures etc, but in Latin American standards, I might as well have introduced myself as Paris Hilton. We wheeled my entire life away together, not understanding anything the other said. I heard her say taxi and that is about all I got.

We arrived to an adorable house in San Isidro where i met my host brother. I sat down to have cafecito with mi mama and her mama (or Tita). We laughed together over the confusion and I immediately felt better about not understanding a majority of what was being said. I’m not sure what we were talking about but I’m pretty sure I asked if they were going to request another volunteer after me (I’m their second), and she explained something to me and tita started crying. I grabbed her hand and we sat there. I’m not sure if I’ll ever know what was said in that conversation.

mi papa got home and we chatted over dinner. He knew some English so we shared some words and he helped me with some questions I had. Life saver! My host family has 5 dogs. I asked mi mama what kind of dogs she had and she told me French bull dogs. I was so excited to see the french bull dogs so she took me outside where I discovered that French bull dog was really a shitzou poodle type mut 😦 they said their house is like a zoo with 5 dogs, a cat, 3 birds, one chicken, one Tortuga and one fish, and I told them they now have an Aimee and they couldn’t stop laughing.

After dinner we went on a walk to get their daughter. She is 17 and besides the fact she knows no English, we hit it off. We got back to the house and turned on the under 17 women’s world cup to watch Costa Rica vs Venezuela. Costa Rica sadly lost 3-0. Mi hermana and I sat there talking in Spanish about music. She likes Taylor swift and Katy Perry. Her dad put on music to show me all different types of music they listen to in Costa Rica. Him and his daughter got up to show me the bachata and the menerengue. A situation like this would normally fill my heart with sadness but I could not stop smiling at the simple love between a father and his daughter. No matter the country, culture, or anything in between, a dad and his daughter have a special bond.

I’ve felt a lot things these past few days and as I’m laying here in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar country where I’ve spent the past nights speaking an unfamiliar language with unfamiliar people, I feel so familiar with myself. No questions. No doubts. I am in the right place. I’m not going to lie, there are things I am in a bit of a culture shock about and definitely already can see how different my life is in the states. BUT My life is already forever changed.

I guess more than anything I felt confused. Confused how life in the states seems so simple but so different. Today the water was turned off for a majority of the day (which is a normal thing when it’s hot out). Showers are taken by saved buckets of cold water. This would be an outrage in the States, but its every day life in San Isidro. Peace Corps pays families monthly to host us volunteers and by no means is it much. Despite all of this, my host dad still wouldn’t let me pay for my dinner when we went out to “Chinese food” (fried chicken and French fries).

I hope some day in the future I am able to make sense of the way I’m feeling. It’s not a longing for the states, or an unhappiness with what I’m experiencing. More than anything it’s a confusion about my own perception of what happiness is in life. Family is the basis to everything here in Costa Rica. As long as they have family, esta bien.

My mailing address is as follows:
Aimee DeBacker, PCT
Boulevard Rohrmoser
300 m. Oeste de la Farmacia Fischel
El Triangula Costado Oeste del Parque La Loma
LA Favorita, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica

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42 of the most ambitious kindhearted people I’ve ever met

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Backyard of my new home.

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View from Peace Corps classes in downtown San Jose

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LA iglesea in my town

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Estamos aqui!

I honestly felt like this day would never come. It has been almost 2 years to the date since I submitted my application. Here I am now, with the most excitement I’ve had in a long time. And more importantly, beyond confident that I am in the right place and following the right path.

After 3 long days of traveling across the United states and south to Costa Rica, we finally made it to our retreat just 60 minutes north of San Jose. The place is absolutely amazing. Our days for the rest of the week will be spent in the classroom training. However, they sure do give us plenty of coffee breaks…and that isn’t just a term. We have literally been loading up on cups and cups of Costa Rican coffee.

The energy at the retreat is so amazing. 42 eager souls ready to make a difference in the world. Ready to sacrifice everything they know to immerse into something completely unknown. We are all so different in so many ways but all so similar. I can tell we are going to make an impact.

So far, a majority of my experience has been extremely ambiguous. And this dates back to initial application process. Now, the ambiguity seems so normal. If the Peace Corps all of a sudden filled me in with a plethora of information, I would think they were crazy.

For now, I will just sit back and practice my broken Spanish while getting used to the luke warm showers. I already fell in love with a stray dog at our retreat and the security man told me the perrito could be my gift. I’m not sure if he was joking or not? He was so excited to say “dog” in English to me!

I apologize for this entry not flowing so great. I have not slept for 36 hours and not sure how my brain is functioning but I just wanted to let everyone know I’m alive and bursting with excitement. I’ll try and post soon!!!

Xoxox

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Some of the girls soaking up the sun on a coffee break

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Taking in the view .

Be pure. Have intent. Conquer fear.

I feel as though things are pure when I am right here. And they are. But then when I step away, my mind withers. My intent lowers. I get lost in the clouds and I lose the fire. 

A grain of sand has traveled so far to this point. Starting as a boulder. Falling down mountain sides. Thrashed in rough waters along the way. Losing its edge amongst the battle. Chipping away slowly bit by bit. At times I am that boulder. Constantly and effortlessly losing to the known. But here, today, I will be opposite. I will start as grain and work up to boulder. Picking up matter through my struggles along my journey. Everything will stick to my being and become constant in my mind. I will not lose.

 rocks 

The wind may want to drift me in directions I’ve seen before. Gently guide me with an ariel tour of the discovered. However, I will politely decline. I’m sorry wind, I trust you, I do, But I am ready for what is next. What is beyond these horizons. I am chasing the moon who is chasing the sun, who ultimately is life right now. My guidance. She rises, I rise. But again, I apologize to her as well, because at times I must disobey her lead. 

Facing the ocean, my hair blows violently in the wind. I can hear you wind, I can feel you pulling. Pulling me somewhere or pushing me back. But I pull you forwards and push you even harder back. I listen to you and I respond to you because I am ready, not because I don’t trust you. Remember, I do not have fear anymore. I am ready for today. keiki

The development of fear lays heavy in my mind. Is it an innate emotion or a created illusion influenced by the pressures and nonsense of society? Are we injected with tiny ounces of fear in the womb? Naturally afraid of the unknown. Or, is fear the result of the tiny strings society (and media) is able to control. I will no longer let the pressures detour me. I am the king, conquering each element of fear with my army of forceful intent. The amplified pressures should not change those who are hatching. Hatching with eagerness and vibrance. Hatching with no fear inside of them, but fire beneath them; breaking through the shell with the strength of a bull.20140220_074116 

It is so easy to get caught in the whirlwind of a tornado. Spinning out of our control and into the undesired. Instead, we must lead the tornado to the epicenter of our dreams. The creator of our futures. We must make fear ignite us versus hinder us. 

 

Today, I sit here and feel pure. I feel emotion. I have deserted my feeling of comfortability of the small island of Maui. But I am feeding off of my excitement. I feel the warmth that the happiness is brewing. I sometimes have to touch the grass beside me or dig my toes into the earth to remind myself this is real. Where the ocean meets the sand, reality meets the unknown. Solid meets liquid. We can only make so much of it. Don’t over think the simplicity of it. Swim against the waves if you need, because it is part of the struggle, but once you reach a state of calmness in the water, it will guide you back in, but drift you out even farther if you let it. 

It has power. The distractions have power. Fear has power. The wind has power. The waves exude power. But those elements that guide you, they all have purpose. The purpose will reveal itself only in the pureness of intent. Defy the odds if you must. Fight the waves if you must. Battle the wind if you have to. But stay pure. And then guide. 
haleakala