109 Social Mission Trip – Day 4

Inhale deeply and return your breath back home to your body. 

Day 4 begins early. The crew meets at breakfast. No yoga today, we go straight to work. The group splits into two again. The first works on gluing and covering the buried water pipes and the second focuses the efforts on town and beach clean up. Today we are joined by another group of yogis. Meghan Currie is leading a 200 hour yoga teaching certification, so we have an addition 25 beautiful souls to help out.

We spend a few hours picking up an endless array of plastic bottles, wrappers, cans, and bottle caps, among other things littered throughout the town of Gigante. We try not to disturb the animal residents of the community including a momma pig and her 3 little piglets. After about an hour we make our way down the dirt road and then continue onto the beach. The strand of beach is stunning but is filled with litter along the slope towards the road. Not complaining, we do get to enjoy the view and go for a quick swim when it gets too hot. We are able to fill 50 large sacks with trash; and they are full to the brim. There is so much more to pick up that our efforts feel kind of small, but hey it’s a start. As I said in yesterday’s blog post, picking up trash could be it’s own social mission trip. There is a lot of it and it feels endless.

After a morning of work, we are shuttled back to the resort for some lunch and free time. All this labor works up an appetite. Lucky for us the kitchen offers up a delicious array of vegetarian cuisine inclusive of wood-fired pizza! I immediately head to the dining room overlooking the ocean to eat and get some work done. I am fortunate that I get to experience this retreat but I still have deliverables and customer emails to answer. (A sincere thank you for your patience!)

As I sit, engrossed in my emails, Paola one of the employees at Aqua Wellness Resort approaches me smiling. I think she can sense my sense of urgency to get shit done. She quietly stands by my side for a moment then politely smiles and says hello. She speaks about the breeze that blows through the dining area and how refreshing it is. The winds have been fluid today. She reminds me to breathe. She tells me to respect these winds and take time to absorb them and to really feel them. She explains the fresh air does great things for clearing space in our lungs and in our bodies. So take time to acknowledge them. I tell her in English we call this mindful breathing. She repeats it back to me – “mindful breathing”? I nod my head. She smiles and reminds me not to take it for granted. Then continues on her with her day.

After a few hours of work, I regroup with my fellow change-makers to end the day with a sunset meditation led by Rachel. We sit on the yoga deck overlooking the Pacific and she asks us to settle in and feel the ground beneath us. She invites us to connect with our surroundings – feel the caress of the ocean breeze, listen to the sound of the swell of the waves, notice the noises the animals perched in the trees are making. We then focus on uniting our breath with these surroundings. Within the expanse of the wind, within the pauses of the ocean waves, within the inhales and exhales of our breathe, there is space. It is expansive. It is harmonious. It is Universal.


Photo by Soda/Lime

We sit in silence for…well I don’t really know for how long. Long enough for my legs to fall asleep. But enough time to disconnect from my perceived urgencies and respect the winds that surround me. I notice the wind is much softer today and I allow myself to absorb it. We ease out of our mediation just as the sun is setting.

Mindful, we enjoy some drinks and dinner with our new community of friends. Afterwards, I head to my room, get ready to write, and put some music on. I take a deep inhale and allow the breath to return back home to my body. Namaste Paola. Namaste Rachel. Namaste 109 souls. Namaste Nicaraguan winds. Namaste.

With Kindness,

Maxine

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