I went back east for a while over winter break. It was wonderful to be around such familiar people and places. I spent much of my childhood traipsing through the woods along the Hudson River and felt immediately at home there, even in the cool climes of a New York winter. Below are just a few pictures of the family, friends and some sights I encountered over break, in both New York and Costa Rica.
Here is mom. Hard to find words to describe her. She is an amazing woman. I did not realize how much I missed her cooking until I was back and at the dinner table.
I got to catch up with my friend, Chris Raines. Aside from a pirate, he is also a buddhist monk.
Here is Connie Hoggarth, another inspiring friend. It is fair to say that she has committed her life to working toward social justice.
I went on a brisk hike up Breakneck Ridge with friend and climbing partner, Jack. Here he is climbing a semi-technical section on Breakneck.
My dad taking Charlie, his dog, for a walk along the river.
A detail of leaves and branches against a macabre sky. It reminded me of mosaic tiling or a stain glass pattern. A few days later I would fly to Costa Rica, bidding a snowy New York and those I love there adieu.
It is difficult to believe how varied this earth is. Here is the dense vegetation of Costa Rica, near Punta Mona, on the Caribbean side of the country.
My buddy Chris and I were met at the airport in San Jose by Paul, Jan and Maureen. Paul, Chris’ brother, has been living in Costa Rica for two years. Jan and Maureen, their parents, have just moved down there. Here is Maureen, on the left and Chris, on the right.
Here is Paul, showing us the edible forest he has been cultivating. His families’ property sweeps down into a lush valley and is an impressive sight.
This is a fraction of Paul’s work. Even the plot of land in this photograph yields a great amount and variety of fruits and vegetables.
The next day, Paul, Chris and I carried on to the coast of Puerto Viejo.
We stopped first in the capital city, San Jose, to catch our bus to the coast.
From Puerto Viejo, we carried on by boat to Punta Mona for a New Year’s celebration. Above, Chris is walking the plank with Monkey Island in the background.
Punta Mona is kind of an eco-lodge, permaculture college, retreat center, off the grid experiment- founded by this man, Stephen Brooks. What I mean to say is that it is a difficult place to pin down but I cannot recommend visiting enough. More information can be found at http://puntamona.org. You can also find Stephen giving a TedTalk at https://vimeo.com/18572269
Here is the kitchen at Punta Mona. Certainly a place of gathering and where deliscious things are made.
One of several buildings on the property. Inside are several bedrooms.
Kimberly sharing with me a dinosaur egg that she found.
The group of crazy and fun people we shared New Year’s eve with.
The boat preparing for departure. Chris, Paul and I stayed at Punta Mona for another day.
We were given a tour of the farm by Stephen. He pointed out everything that was edible, herbal, medicinal or other. He truly believes in permaculture as a way of life and the ancient wisdom of living in a connected way to the earth. On the right is Paul carrying a Bread Fruit Tree that he would later plant.
Instead of boating back, we chose to hike out through the jungle.
Chris taking a photograph of the light coming through the canopy.
The spectacular light that we hiked through.
We wound our way back to Manzanillo, another coastal town by the outskirts of Puerto Viejo.
Chris and I went back to spend time with Jan and Maureen. Paul stayed another day near Puerto Viejo to attend a meeting with a tribal leader. He wants to help facilitate the planting of thousands of Bread Fruit Trees, which would provide a source of income and food for the indigenous in the area. With my last day in Costa Rica, Chris, Jan, Maureen, Romeo (the dog) and I piled into the car and drove to the coast, this time the Pacific.
Maureen by the ocean.
In a town called Jaco, Chris and I rented surf boards and spent an afternoon kind of riding waves. So much fun, rounded off with a crimson sun setting into the ocean. Early the next morning I flew out of Costa Rica and back to LA. School picks up again in a few days, which I am looking forward to. Needless to say, I miss my dear family and friends and look forward to the next shared adventures ahead!