Sorry everyone, I announced my blog to the world last week and then went silent. Terrible launch on my part, apologies. But can you believe I had over 1,000 views last week?! Bananas!
So, if you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, this post is for you.
For the last 11 or so days (they all blend together), I have been living at Finca Palmita. I hesitate to translate finca to ‘farm’, because it’s not… It’s more like a little piece of land on the outskirts of San Gil where they grow local medicinal plants. Some of you have suggested I’ve become a “hippy”, that my lifestyle is “Bohemian”, that maybe I’m a “flower child at heart”. Someone even called me a beatnik. Amazing to think that only a year ago I was sorting a 26 tab Excel spreadsheet and fumbling attempts to speak a bit of Czech to a distributor with a blank expressions.
So, what’s life on our finca like? (Yes, I feel like I can say “our”… this little commune is a family). Well, there are 6 of us there are the moment: me, Miguel, Fabio, Peter, Jhonny and Jo (a British chica who lives at the finca part-time). Miguel and his brother Luiz (currently in the US) run the finca as a place to practice clean living and use plants as medicine. It’s completely vegan, with each person taking the task of making meals or cleaning each day. My load is pretty light as I’m the only person paying to stay there (25,000COP/day) as the rest are lifers, but it feels good to chip in when it’s possible.
While it’s easy to get along with everyone, I’ve loved spending time with Jhonny. He’s a 21 year old guy, originally from Bucaramanga. He had a tough and bumpy road in life until getting to the farm, and here he’s found a great place. The last few nights he’s taught me salsa while I’ve introduced him to blues, jazz, funk and country music. I’ve been amazed at the reaction Alan Jackson has received… Everyone seems to love “Livin’ on Love” and Jhonny’s two-step is steadily improving.
Miguel is an ardent lover of his plants, with tons of aloe vera, a hearty coca bush, a sprawling ortiga tree, a baby Ayahuasca vine, new tobacco sprouts, and a flowering scopolamine in the back yard by the river. Each plant has different qualities which can be both healing and dangerous.
Among my other teachers, there is Mikey and his life partner, Lupé. After being attached by a German Shepherd as a kid I’ve always been afraid of dogs. Even when my brain says it’s okay, my body has always reacted with fear to a bark or even a sniff. These two have helped me immensely… While they look scary when they bark at passers by, they are love buckets and the biggest sucks for attention. I’ve spent many happy nights hanging out with these two.
Today I’m off to the Chicamocha Canyon – the second largest in the world (after the Grand Canyon). I’m leaving late this afternoon so the heat might be intense, but I’m happy to just get out for a while… Sunday is the start of my yoga teacher training in Ecuador so time is getting short!
I’ll send an update out again soon. Thank you everyone for all of your well wishes and for reading this. Love you all very much!
*Vice documentary on scopolamine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToQ8PWYnu04 (I haven’t actually watched it and Mom & Dad, I suggest you don’t either.)