Your Pirate Coach & Inner Peeps.

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Many people ask me what kind of coach I am. I can say life coach, business, relationship or communication facilitator; all those are true.

My latest response is, I’m the Pirate coach. Here to stir up the pot, climb around your spars and rigging and sniff out the treasures. To inspire you to take charge, sail your own ship and make your life an adventure. (Not the cutting off limbs and walk the plank kindJ) I’m unconventional, authentic in all my wildness and a relentless seeker of joy.

When living my dream in Northern Nicaragua, I may show up for coaching in shorts, sun bleached and salty tangled hair, tank top, and my dog. While coaching in other parts of the world and in my Canadian home of Canmore Alberta, I can be in anything from jeans to active wear and a toque (wool hat for those of you outside of our boarders). Or dressed up all fancy if I feel like it.

I’m a meat eating beach bum, surfer, rum drinker and angler, bumping around in my sand filled truck. I eat healthy most of the time, but love beer and a burger after surfing two sessions in the am. I suck at Yoga and traditional meditation but that’s ok. It’s not me. I dance to the sunset blasting my IPod, I walk under the stars at 4:30 am, breathe; ponder my life and the world. I stretch what’s tight, train when the waves are flat or just lay in a hammock and bet on what gecko is going to get the big bug first.

We are all such individual universes. Ones crazy is another’s sane.

We each have our own rituals that heal us and guide us, if we allow ourselves to be all that we are, both light and dark. We continually reinvent ourselves throughout our lives, we change, we grow, and we lick our wounds after hitting the rough sections and hopefully celebrate with utter abandon when we are standing on the hilltops.

While leading group coaching workshops, as well as with private clients, a common theme that almost always arises, is the war with the inner self. The insecurity or the lack of self-worth, the inner negative dialogue, the discontent that sometimes rules our lives. Sometimes it’s the ignoring the dark that bubbles just beneath the surface.

We all have inner voices, an inner team if you will. Call them angel and devil, assign them a color, a name, we have parts of ourselves that make up the whole. Oh how they speak, act, and push you in crazy ways!

This subject has a few names in clinical psychology known as Voice Dialogue, Voice work, or Parts Work. During my first foray into this topic, I found the conversation utterly profound. It has given me tools for governing not only my inner world but I also continually introduce the concept with coaching clients, resulting in very cool self awareness and insight.

Who are your inner people? Do they come to mind right away or does the question make you pause and wonder?

I immediately knew that I have 4 inner people that sail my ship. (This may make you laugh, as I am a 42-year-old woman.) At the head of the helm, for random periods of time, is the Pirate. As you can imagine he can cause a bit of a ruckus. He’s wild and loud, says inappropriate things, and gets me into the occasional pickle. He does not like rules.

Yet he is also the adventurer, the fighter, the inner voice that drives what I call my male “grrrr”. He stood by me through many crazy world travels; he provides raw mental strength, passion and is a risk taker.

I used to be ashamed sometimes of when he was sailing my ship, yet when I looked at all he brings to the table I would never try to push him down, just have a different conversation or utilize him in a different way.

Shoulder to shoulder, I have the 18-year old boy. Needless to say they both get into trouble. This hooligan keeps me youthful, adventurous, a decent surfer and athletic accomplishments come from this part of me.

I have the soul on a holiday, a 5-year-old girl. Life is grand and she is here to savor it all and celebrate every day. Not wanting a plan to follow, just needing to play her life away. Not wanting to tidy up, wash her feet or brush her hair. She is the master de-motivator when work is to be done, as she just wants to have fun. But does she ever bring joy and absolute stoke with everything she does.

Last, I have the wise woman. She brings me quiet grace (although that does not seem to come over me much, as she is usually busy wrangling the other three). She can be vulnerable, self-judging, she is calm and reflective. She is intuitive, has her hands in the earth and is filled with nature and sunlight, but can also be a pain in the ass matron when the rest want to get out or she can be the only tether for acting properly in public. Sometimes she is face down in the dirt with the other three sitting on her back, yowling and cackling and planning an adventure.

My point is this. If we can reflect on our own inner light and dark, accept with love the voices that govern us, feed them or don’t, celebrate all that they bring or take away and then learn to harness what you need from them, so makes the inner war easier.

I have had a few times in my life when the Pirate and 18 year old were taking over. Then I realized I needed more ground, grace, and stability. So I mentally asked them to be my crew, as hey – they are great at that. I put the soul on a holiday and the wise woman at the helm. This helped me reel in a bit of the wild and harness the positive qualities to achieve certain goals in my life.

When I ride my short board surfing and its overhead high, I take the 18-year-old boy and pirate with me. When I ride my long board on a small wave and sunny afternoon, I take the wise woman or the soul. My body moves differently, my language changes, my cloths change. This results in a different experience in my world and in interactions with others.

Leading up to a tough conversation at work or with a loved one, I may take the pirate and the wise woman, for they bring different strengths to the table. One calm and reasonable, one with a strength and fire, who is not going to be pushed around.

Loving and accepting everything within you does not mean you have to accept and never change the dark parts of your personality or never toss the things you want to get rid of, but harness all parts of you, to live a more balanced and self-governed life.

I love hearing what comes up with clients when they ponder their people. Who needs to drive the bus for a while? Who needs some quiet time?

I had my own epiphany recently when a client asked me what the inner people were doing now? I realized for perhaps the first time in my life they all had one hand on the helm and are having a quiet rum together, balanced and all taking part.

Who are your inner people and what strengths or challenges do they bring? How can you use them differently, or put a different one in the drivers seat? What would change for you?

The Return

 

Traveling is sometimes easy and sometimes a complicated dance ranging in varied levels of difficulty. From the minor headaches to the challenges that leave you shaking your head while marching for the nearest beer to slug down, followed very quickly by another one.

Our return south was challenging, yet after a few cold ones and a night panting in front of the fan blowing an inch from our faces it feels as though we had never left!

In our latest stint away from our heart home of Nicaragua, we had been to Canmore Canada, Spokane WA, Cache creek BC, Pennsylvania, New York City, Washington DC, Holland, back to DC to pick up the dog we had left on her own short vacay, threw her on a plane to go south. Dragged ourselves onto our flights and in what felt like the blink of an eye we found ourselves enjoying a rum cocktail while floating on paddle boards on a lake. The setting sun leaving brilliant streaks of pink and gold across the sky, content in the company of lifelong friends.

I keep shaking my head at how time can seem so irrelevant, as well as how much a person can fit in a short period of time if motivated. I enjoy a peaceful morning at the keyboard, savoring the moments while others still sleep. The first few days in a new location have me way too excited to sleep for long. Picture the hyperactive and overexcited five year old that ate too much sugar, minus the meltdowns.

Morning in the historic city of Granada, is filled with tropical birdsong, the breeze off the lake rustles the leaves on the mango trees above. Roosters announce the new day, although I am curious where they actually live, now that I think about it. A massive iguana blinks at me from the roof above, as the dogs pant at me feet; tongues as wide as they can go, and bellies pressed into cool tiles.

Heat and humidity opens the pores wide, allowing a person to sweat profusely from strange places like ones scalp. I recommend a cloth handkerchief or in a pinch a folded piece of paper towel to dab the upper lip and occasionally make a full swipe of the forehead, under the breasts or the classic sternum or belly wipe catching the rivulets making their way to the belt line.

During the acclimation phase little is worn in the home, shirts are off and shade with a bit of a breeze is a coveted piece of real estate.

Time slows down, as it just seems too hot to complete anything at a fast pace. Already I have slid into the lazy flip-flop walking pace of the tropics. Time in town is fun, but the sea murmurs in the back of our minds.

We heed the surfer’s call for the salt on our skin and waves beneath our feet.

Our return to the beach is filled with warm smiles, and many days of bumping down the dusty back roads at 5 kms an hour to greet old friends after almost 9 months away.

For the first time we truly feel home. All errands that used to be arduous due to lack of translation, extreme heat, and figuring out the ropes, now are performed as old pros.

We know where to go, how to keep cool, how to negotiate the chaotic streets in the city filled with bike taxis, horse and cart, and a plethora of wild dogs and people.

We retrieve our stored car, that although has a coating of dust and bird droppings, needs air in the tires and new paperwork, runs like a dream, and has us mobile once more.

Coquita Muneca, our Nica dog/world traveller, has arrived safe and sound and has slotted into beach life with few hitches. She has quickly learned the ropes of how to guard the house, fit in with the other dog packs in the area and has become a swimming fiend; a fun way to cool off in the afternoons.

Our own adaptation is to the surfer’s life. Needing to drop Canadian winter weight and go through the beat up feeling of the first two weeks, groaning with exhausted shoulders, sore ribs and taking lots of siestas.

As I wander down the beach in the early morning light, Coco chasing pigs and horses, I am mesmerized by the artistic hand of the tide. The sea is a master at sculpting sand twice a day on the endless beach. The San Cristobal volcano commands the horizon, salt and pepper smells of the tropics mingle with the ever present smoke in the air of burning cane fields. We are home.

Nica life. Sometimes for us “ex-pats” it’s a bit complicated.

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Stop signs and no street names in Chinandega (our closest city). Complicated. Locals who grew up there know where the stolen stop signs used to be, or what street is what. The rest of us have to have a hair raising guess as carts being pulled by horses, sugar cane trucks, taxis, took-tooks, dogs and locals giving you the finger wag of “wrong choice” make you second guess any decision you were about to make.

Or when you have super explosive diaharea belly and need to find a bathroom that is not a plastic wall in front of a bunch of people at a bus stop, soccer game, or in a bikini at the beach. This situation often leads to jumping over barbwire fences and hiding behind a cow, tree or just your own self-disgust.

Internet or cell phone function. Always complicated. Everything is pay as you go or “saldo” that can be sold at any grass roof, mud hut with a sign outside. Often includes pigs, chickens, and smiling yet slang speaking locals, who are a bit challenging to understand. Then you have to send in a text or sms, all with different terms of conditions. So you send 10 different texts hoping one will work.

That paired with dust covered, salt encrusted electronics, it’s really a hit or miss. Coming from plugged in North America, and friends who are addicted to Facebook and phones, they wonder why we have dropped off the face of the earth. It also becomes less complicated because we just stop caring. The give a #@!$ factor drops to absolute 0.

Vehicles are another never ending delight. Feels more like owning a money pit boat than a car. Driving washboard at best dirt roads, and sand beaches jars your vehicle parts to a state of loose or fallen off. Driving in our car “Juanita” the other day, we are happily pulling off boards to go for a surf. Suddenly the electronic window does not want to roll up. After pulling off the door panel and wiggling some wires EJ was successful in getting it closed. Yet once returning to our car, now the door would not open. The stereo decides to stop working and just as we get one thing fixed, the windshield wiper falls off mid swipe. All you can do is laugh, give “Juanita” a little pat on the dusty dash and put it on the manana list.

We used to have a saying on surf trips. If you have a job to do it takes 4 days.

Day1 – You think about it

2- You push it to manana

3- Come up with a plan

4- Finally tick it off the list.

Here it’s dragged out to more like a week. I am the queen of making excuses not to go to town for another day, and am willing to gum down a bag of refried beans for dinner not to have to go. Then once you pump your self up and declare to make it fun, you get the Chinandega beat down. Inevitably 3 jobs turn into 8 or 10, and we limp out of town covered in sweat and city grime with our tails between our legs.

All that said, most of our complications are from our own white boy and girl “chele” problem of just not knowing. It takes time to get to know a country, and it’s quirks. To adapt, and learn the way things roll. Just like a Nicaraguan would have to get used to being in Canada or the US.

You either learn to adapt a relaxed attitude or survival is unlikely. All these things are endearments of the passion we have for this country and the adventure of adopting another country to be our home.

And you know what’s not complicated? The wonderful routine in-between the complicated, of wake up, beach walk, surf, eat, surf, nap, go adventuring, eat, sleep. I sign off with that oh so satisfying feeling of having a full fridge (most importantly cheese), and most of our job list done.  The ones not? Refer to the above formula.

Your not afraid of snakes are ya?

As the afternoon wanes it is always with a sigh of relief that you made it through the heat of the day. I begin to stir and stretch out of my panting, and sweat covered nap. I pull on some shorts and as I walk out onto the deck, gulping from my bottle of water, I turn the corner and run into my husband looking sweaty, frazzled and pale. With wild eyes, the only words out of his mouth are, “I need a fucking beer.”

He turns on his heel and begins walking up to the restaurant in search of a calming and cold beverage. I’m to be filled in as he slugs back his first beer and begins to relax with the second.

“So how do feel about snakes?” Kim asks, as he and EJ stand outside a bodega full of piled and drying wood. Both of them stand relaxed, arms crossed, clad in board shorts and unshaven faces. EJ shrugs, and makes a non-committal sound.

“Ok cool, cause our caretaker said there was a really big snake living in here, but I haven’t seen it.”

As Kim says these words he is simultaneously climbing up onto the woodpile and jumping up and down, making a general clamour. Meanwhile in EJ’s mind he is thinking, “Is this guy nuts?”

Kim steps off with a last glance and a point, “Your boards are at the back, I have to take off. Good luck!” Leaving EJ staring at the boards and beginning to sweat.

Yes it’s hot, but that’s not the issue at hand. The one thing in the world EJ is not of fan of, is snakes. More like scared shitless, but since the move south he’s trying to come to a peace with interacting with them, let’s say a wary and respectful co-existence.

“The caretaker is a local Nicaraguan, and he thinks it’s really big… What the hell does that mean?” EJ wonders as he sizes up the pile. Images of a giant man-eating Anaconda conjured up in his mind.

He breathes deep, thinking, “They are so close yet so very, very far away.”

Being a project manager, as well as a climber and mountaineer, has taught EJ to fine tune the art of assessing risk.

“OK so the car radiator is acting up and if I get bitten how the hell am I going to get help.” He wonders.

Walking across the yard he jumps in the front seat of our beaten up car, turns it facing down hill and directly in the dirt track. He sizes it up, and then decides to go fill up a jug from the rain barrel to top up the water in the radiator.

Feeling like he’s done all he can to prepare for the worst, he steels himself at the entrance. Taking a good look around the inside he spots a broom, and quickly grabs it for his defence. He glances at the ceiling beams, and thinks if it came to it, he could jump up to hide above and out of reach of gaping jaws.

With a few more deep breaths, he slinks inside and slowly climbs onto the woodpile. He reaches toward the board bag but can’t pull it without letting go of the broom. Deciding to slide the bag towards him slowly and as gently as he can, he tosses the broom, jerks the bag full of four boards and gear, and makes a run for it. Mid escape he is glancing over his shoulder imagining a slithering, fanged beast chasing him out.

With nerves frayed, he watches the entrance until feeling safe enough to turn his back and load the surfboards onto our car. As he drives away shaking his head and wiping sweat off his face with his t-shirt he mutters, “Only 6 months more of this crap to go.”

Truths

Truths.

I have dirty feet. For real. And I am the kind of person that if I’ve been at a killer beach party, or chillin’ around my outdoor/indoor house and am tired, I AM NOT WASHING MY FEET before getting into bed. I know so many of you will think this is disgusting, but too bad It’s not happening. So, new plan for our future Nica house? No white fluffy bath mats or mats of any kind near a white or beige hue. Foot baths (to rinse sand and perhaps keep the black feet a trifle at bay) at entrances to every door, followed by a DARK towel wipe off. And lastly have a good supply of nail polish remover on standby. For I have realized I’m not going to clean the sand under any nails 50 times a day. So really it’s just easier to paint all nail growth some fun and bright color that distracts people from the fact I do not have a mani or pedi and hides my true beach bum lack of much personal grooming.

I also just hit an all time new low of travel living.

I have a bag for the beach, with some hair product that occasionally tames my irate frizzy, matted surf hair into a surfy yet somewhat beachy doo, that is not too scary. I have a change of cloths to put on after we rinse off either with our beach bottle of water to get the salt off, or under a hose at our friends local restaurant. We were planning a nice dinner after surfing sunset, so I thought I was all prepared until I found myself without any brushing paraphernalia. Usually I can use my fingers but my hair was having a bit more than a few unruly days. So being the resourceful woman that I am, I dug through my bag, and found a solution. All time low? Brushing my hair with a plastic fork I had saved from a take out stand, as I did not want to throw the plastic away. Did a not bad job actually, I will keep it for other emergencies.

Shaving thy face. When it happens, and that can be weeks, EJ’s latest trick is to use the worlds slowest and dullest electric razor to shave his face in odd locations. Flaked out on the bed talking to an adopted cat, in a hammock, or overlooking a sunset. Takes 30 min but looks very relaxing.

Living in an open concept house. Creatures inevitably come and very thankfully go. We have had a bat dive-bombing us daily in the palm frond roof of our palapa, until EJ was worried of getting a mouthful of hairy, smelly, salty bat. Like the two turtle doves, it found it’s way out eventually.

Or the monster spiders that decided to live in our electronics bag that is filled with ipod chords, batteries, and chargers. They were helped out with a broom. The baby skunk that was sitting mesmerized in our living room having a stare off with EJ, contemplating to spray or not to spray? It turned tail up and trotted off thankfully taking it’s ripe scent with it. Or the termites that moved onto one of the supporting poles in the bathroom, quickly (like overnight quickly) making what we fancy as a poo tunnel to hide in, that reaches from ceiling to the bathroom sink.

Washing cloths? It does not really happen much unless really needed. EJ’s new trick is pick the stinkiest shirt and go surfing in it, rinse, and throw it in the sun to dry. Voila clean! If it still does not smell perfect, smear on some clear deodorant and your good to go. That’s almost as bad as taking our dirty cloths for a swim in the neighbors pool.

Life down here becomes so slow and simple that you begin to see the clear reality of life back in Canada or the US. Gone are checking phones every minute or sending needless texts. We are happy to be able to work from here, check emails occasionally, and have a local crap phone that you do not want to text much on because it’s too much work.  Facebook is good to keep in touch but we go days or weeks without logging in, and when we do find ourselves on it, sending a quick hello or pics. People come to our house if they need us, the rule being if the stereo is loud and we are not seen, wait half an hour or come back later.

One thing that is very similar to home is that our place seems to be a hub of BBQs or sunset antics. New friends that feel like old ones, both local and expats, filter in with a bottle of rum or fresh fish for the BBQ. Someone is always coming or leaving and there seem to be endless reasons to get together. But as we flow with the days, we seem busier than ever as we accept cool opportunities or make our own.

Truth: I really love my new machete and slingshot.

Nica Life

 

Just like at home, driving to the big city to get groceries feels like a mission and my tactics of talking EJ out of going for another day only work so much. So as the tides change and we can surf later in the day, we have an extra cup of coffee and pump ourselves up to go, with loud music and our usual banter.

Breakfast was eaten in the colourful square in the centre of town. Beans and rice, eggs and local cheese, and of course it would not be complete without a coke. Yes I did say that. I never drink pop at home, but down here you can only drink beer and water so much, and hell the pure sugar cane just makes it taste so darn good.

With bellies full, and hands on our pockets protecting cash from sneaky hands, we enter sensory overload of the market. The fresh and colorful veggies are piled rows high, live crabs rustle in oversized baskets. Raw meat hangs from hooks, and spices are sold in fragrent bundles. Police roam through the narrow isles, offering nods here and there. We seek machetes and sling shots, and really just a good look around in the organized chaos.

Nicaraguans have a wonderful sense of humor and as we buy four slingshots for four dollars, a local woman and I entertain all of those within earshot, saying I will only use them “occasionally” on my husband.

We shop at the gringo store for most of other food as it is way easier to get everything in one place rather than sweating and dealing with raw meat smells from the chicken bin. And after spending numerous quiet days at the beach you only really have so much energy to spend shopping. Besides if you have one of the inevitable belly bugs here, they have one of the cleanest toilets in town and air conditioning.

Ej’s new idea is to start an app for an Iphone or GPS, that has toilet comfort ratings so that in an emergency you can hit a button and go destroy the nearest clean toilet in comfort. There have been some scary ones used in times of need, and it’s a circus act to try to not touch any surface. God help you if you forgot the toilet paper that sits mandatorily in the front of the car.

We take out money from the local ATM, well looked over by guards with shotguns. There are no services around the beach area, so as time passes and we get lazier, we begin to start bar and food tabs at all the local joints until we can make a money run.

It always feels so good once the city trip is over, because then you have days upon days of going with the flow, melting into country and beach living.

As we wake each day I wonder what interesting people will come into our lives, or animals we will see.  This morning slowly making it’s way across the dusty road was a turtle, it’s wee tail poking out of the back of it’s shell as it disappeared into a wall of sugar cane. Inevitable cow jams fill the road in the early hours of day, as young boys move the herds from pasture to pasture. They are beautiful and patient beasts, that slowly lumber to the side as you drive your car though them all. I keep telling EJ one day, they might get pissed off with all the early bird surfers and lift their tales and cover the windshield.

We saw a skunk, newly born horses that were figuring out their legs and tails, one of whom I am in love with and may purchase instead of a dog. Our friends here said you can buy a horse for twenty-five dollars, and a decent one for a hundred.  I think the family will take me to the cleaners if I ask, as they see me stop the car and watch him with longing everyday.

Our best recent find for afternoon antics has been a tide pool that someone took the time to make bigger wit pick axes. As the tide marches out each day a natural rock shelf is revealed with a large square of clear water, sand filled bottom, and striped small fish that swim around your legs. Add a small speaker, beer, and afternoon sunshine and you have a coveted destination for all within the area.

We have been working on our land, hand surveying it with a spool of marked rope, a tape measure and level, trying to get a more accurate view of it so we can begin planning our future buildings. Armed with long socks, hats and bug spray we only have a few operational hours in the morning before it is too hot, or in the late afternoon when the land begins to cool. We wander around the now dry brush, day dreaming of our time to come when we can be here for extended periods of time, living the simple and savored life of a surfer settling in Central America.

 

Footprints

We lay in our mosquito net looking at blue paneled walls, surf boards leaning against all corners, and an adopted cat nicknamed Finca (Farm cat in Spanish) is licking herself clean in her self claimed chair by the window. We play the gecko TV game of betting what gecko will eat the most bugs on the lamp above. The fan blows humid, slightly cooler air through the net. Beyond the porch, the night is filled with an orchestra of sounds, bugs of the tropics, locals blasting tunes and the odd cat yowling. Above stretches a canopy of stars that reach horizon to horizon, palms whispering and dancing In the shadows.

How do we explain days that drift by here in Nicaragua? For many the reality is a harsh existence of hand to mouth living, yet these beautiful people have an eye-shining sense of humor, a resourceful and proud spirit, and pride for their stunning country.

As time rolls by we begin to see the inevitable balance of good and ill within a country. Our car was broken into and pilfered the other day at the beach, leaving us with a broken window and a stolen IPhone and local cell.

Or when I wake one morning to a tale of my husband helping protect some local boys from a bad fight, driving a truck with two big guys armed with guns in the back, all having a stand off in the street in the midnight hours the night before.

Yet…this afternoon we had lunch with some of the highest connected politicians and family in Central America. An afternoon filled with laughter in many languages, heart felt talks and discussions on the fine balance.

We witness so many different ways of life, like a guy with a full wedding cake riding second on a motor cycle facing backwards, no hands on anything but the cake. Oh how we wanted to get him to wave! Or rush hour on the streets around our place, consists of a major cow jam; these beautiful beasts being moved from pasture to pasture in the early hours of day.

Time is spent surfing and laying in hammocks or going to hang in the VIP section or the total opposite locals floor seats of the most rowdy Central American top baseball league.

Drinking cokes out of bags, or sipping rums on an incredible patio.  Eating chips and drinking beers on the beach with locals, Latin tunes blasting out of the trunk of a car, or buying homemade cowboy boots and dancing in an affluent Tabaco town.

Showering with spiders, scorpions and frogs, or laying in clean linen sheets in a fancy hotel. This place is such a crazy cross section of life.

Hand dug water wells lifted with bike tires, to the best rums in the world. The opposites are endless, yet the beauty is unparalleled. From dry stretching farm lands to lush cloud forests, to amazing marine and surf culture. This country has captured our hearts and our future.

Mornings are an orchestra of music. A plethora of birds greet the day, as peach hues bleed across the dawn. Farms sounds fill the air, cows, and horses call to one another. Our adopted cat anticipates our awakening and trolls the outside of the mosquito net, mewling and clawing, wanting to play. The sky lightens and the kiss of offshore wind breathes downslope across the hills to the sea.

We often paddle out at sunrise. Pelicans skim the glassy water, as frigates catch thermals building high above. The tide ebbs and flows, and dogs frolic and tussle on the shore, harrying the approaching passerby. Pigs snuffle, chickens peck and new chicks peep behind their mothers along the dusty roads. San Cristobal, one of the prominent volcanos in the area, reaches up adding to the perfect backdrop of the rising rising sun.

I have taken to watering my favourite tree as we drive to the surf each morning, which happens to be the national flower. My hopes in getting the tree to bloom long into the dry season is working. As we pass by I harvest blooms that have fallen on the ground and tell my trees to “Grow grow grow!”

To our grateful surprise when we went to hang in a very rustic and thrashed cop shop on the advice of everyone we asked, we were received with sincerity and concern for our stolen things and broken into car. This morning the troubled kid and his whole slew of males in the family showed up to give us back our stuff and make an apology. A rare site to see in a third world country.

We have surfed less on this trip than any other but our time has been filled with getting to know our new community, to improve our language skills and fall deeply in love with this incredible country.