Day 3 & 4: The Tikkun Olam Retreat Journey Continues…

Day 3: Toucan Olam
We began our day of Toucan Olam (yes we have renamed it Toucan Olam 🙂 driving through the palm plantations to the Blue Banyan Inn, and the Kids Saving the Rainforest Animal Sanctuary, the site of our day of service. We were met by Tiki, the blue macaw, the first official resident at the sanctuary. Tiki showed off for us by spreading his wings and dancing to Elvis “Nothing but a Houndog.”  Barbara (aka “The Monkey Lady” or “Jane Goodall of Costa Rica”) introduced us to her children, the monkeys. We saw Marmosets, Spider Monkeys, Titi’s, Tamarin’s, and White-Faced Monkey’s.

We later split into two groups, “The Play Group” and “The Rock Stars." The Play Group created entertaining enrichment for the monkeys, as we learned it is very important for the monkeys to have stimulation, especially when they are rescued and unable to return to their native environment.

The Rock Stars built a stairway to the new multi-species complex, which will be built soon. “It was hard but fulfilling work," shared Janet Oppenheimer. "Through serving and completing a project it really help solidify the oneness and unity of our group.”

We were joined during the project and for the remainder of the day by the Eastman family, a Jewish family from Palo Alto, California, who were “inspired by the mission and energy of our group.” Ethan and Daniel Eastman (age 9) helped pour the last shovel of rock to complete our 30th and final stair.

During lunch we were visited by Barbara and the Marmosets, the highlight of the day for many. After lunch and a refreshing swim we went back to work for a couple of hours. We completed our day with a powerful walking meditation through a labyrinth, which Beverly Harris called, “a deeply spiritual experience.”

Day 4: Spiritual Sailing
We began our day by saying our farewell to Mono Azul, our home for 3 days, and headed to the pier. We spent the morning on the great Pacific Ocean, exploring Manuel Antonio National Park in a Trimaran.

After checking out some islands off-shore and catching some serious rays we spotted a pod of dolphins. The dolphins swam with our boat for a while until we stopped where they proceeded to show off with some incredible  jumps and spins.

We followed our dolphin meeting by meeting some fish while we snorkeled in the bay of Manuel Antonio. We sailed back to shore where we met our shuttle and began our journey north.

This evening we arrived at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge where we will spend the next three nights. It feels so nice to be deep in nature, surrounded by only the sounds of the jungle, the bright full moon, and our wonderful groups which continues to grow closer each day. Buenas Noches...

Today's blog was written by guest bloggers and retreat attendants Beth Eckstein and Beverly Harris.

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