Day 1: Costa Rica Tikkun Olam and Adventure Program

Bienvenidos (“Welcome”) to the 2012-13 True Nature Season and our first program of the year, The Costa Rica Tikkun Olam (“Service”) and Adventure Program!

Today was Day 1 of our journey through Costa Rica with our group of 12 from Asheville, New York, and California. The theme of the day was “Going with the Flow.” The day began waking up at the Orchideas (“Orchid”) Inn where we took part in a morning meditation under a beautiful Seibo Tree which set the tone for our day of travel. Our first stop was Synagogue Beit Menechem, in the city of Escazu. At the synagogue we had the opportunity to meet with Rabbi Hersch Spalter, the first Chabad Rabbi in Costa Rica. The Rabbi shared fascinating stories to us about the history of the Jewish Community in Costa Rica and the 5000 current Jews in the country. The visit was culminated with a wonderful meal that was offered to our group.
We headed south from there until we made an unexpected turn towards the north. Luckily our fearless tour guide convinced our bus driver we were actually going the wrong direction 🙂 Wait, were we still in the flow? Yes, because later in the day we had an incredible once in a lifetime encounter with a flock of  Lapa Rios ("scarlet macaws"). If we didn’t make the wrong turn would we have seen them? Peter Oppenheimer shared, “It was like a scene out of Avatar!” This was followed by the always impressive crocodile bridge where we marveled over crocodiles that were as big as our group all put together. And, guess what? They were also in the flow, in a beautiful river (that we chose not to swim in 🙂 We continued to flow down the road where at this point we were not far from our final destination. We arrived at Mono Azul ("The Blue Monkey") around sunset, just in time to flow into the pool and share a wonderful dinner together. We completed our first full day in a candlelit gratitude circle giving thanks for the blessings of this day and the flow which provided so many special moments that we share with you. Stay tuned for more updates from Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

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