Ahhh.. Internet. My long lost friend. It feels so good to run my fingers across your cool familiar keyboard and gaze longingly into your fluorescent light and feel the sting in my retina. Alright, maybe I haven’t missed you all that much. But I have missed connecting to my loved ones and friends back home.
To explain myself a little, let me take a few steps back.
Mike and I arrived in Panama almost two weeks ago. I apologize for not keeping you up to date… It seems like this all happened so fast. For the most part, this trip was a long time coming… Mike and I have been talking about it since mid-summer. I just didn’t know if it was actually going to happen or what to really expect. Funny how life throws you these things. Everything seemed to pull together so that we could make this work. We sublet our house in DC, booked our tickets and voila! here we sit. Waking up to a beach at an eco-lodge in Bastimentos, Panama, an incredible oasis island paradise off of the eastern coast.
We are staying with the lovely Kristin and Chris, who own and run Palmar Tent eco Lodge. Kristin’s younger sister Lauren is here with her boyfriend Ben, who is Mike’s best friend, who also visited him in Ethiopia for a few months. We are helping them run the whole shindig, which includes making dinners and entertaining the guests and Bartending during the day. We also pull together to use our professional skills, like making virtual panoramas for the lodge and starting a blog to keep viewers up-to-date. Mike has volunteered for this awesome organization called Give and Surf, which gathers volunteers to help rebuild dilapidated indigenous schools. Then we get to surf, take pictures, paint, play guitar, and make friends with world travelers. Not a bad gig, huh?
And I have to say that my very favorite part of all of it… There is no Internet. When people gather in the guest house, no one’s attention is diverted to another time zone/life/game. No one is talking to someone who isnt sitting right next to you. It’s all here and now and present whether we are comfortable with it or not. And it’s SO AWESOME.
I used to go through withdrawals without it, instead I find myself with all of this amazing time. Time to paint and draw and swim and talk to guests about their dreams and pasts and jobs. Time to learn how to make a paper crane. Time to make glasses out of recycled wine bottles and then etch designs into them. Time to learn how to play my first song on the guitar (Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”) And it’s only been two weeks! This Internet diet is really turning into something beautiful. Who knew there was so much cool stuff to do right this very second? :]