I leave with a sense of excitement of seeing my family and friends but with a strong sense that I am leaving my home base on Ometepe. Despite this, I am content in knowing that it will be there when I return.
It has been an amazing 6 months full of challenges and excitement. Margaret Atwood wrote a really interesting article in the Guardian. Here she discusses at some length the balance between what she terms 'the safe cage or the dangerous' . Maintaining status quo, remaining in the cage, she writes, provides a sense of comfort, inertia and boredom. Taking on new challenges of the wild brings us activity, risk and peril. Atwood writes that our life is about each individual finding that balance between numbing boredom and overwhelming risk. There have been times over the past 6 months when I have been energised by newness and excitements and other when I wondered why we had taken on this challenge and the uncomfortable risks it has brought. Yet overall- we have loved it.
In the week before I left, we were fortunate to have three friends visit from Australia. Their visit came at a great time as we were able to see our life and work through their eyes. Things we had started to take for granted were reinterpreted as we saw and heard their responses and reactions. We loved the opportunity to share our favourite spots on the island, but the highlight was seeing then capture the vision of our work with a passion that comes from experiencing something first hand.
Many of you are supporting us financially and emotionally through your continued friendship, and while there is a personal connection with us which we treasure, I can understand that it is difficult to get a deep sense of our passion and vision for the work. As good as my slide shows are, there is nothing equal to seeing the work, talking with the children, and seeing the potential of the farm. We understand that not everyone can visit, but for us it was such a privilege to share our work and to see others gain a deeper understanding of what we are on about and why.
One of the highlights of the visit was a concert of dance and poetry performed by the children who attend Casa Si A La Vida. After the ups and downs of our work during the first 6 months, it was so great to see that we, as part of the Si A La Vida team, have established the new prevention program and that this was demonstrated to our friends.
I am looking forward to catching up with people and get a list of jobs done while in Melbourne. I am also really happy to be heading back to my island home and my new community of friends on Ometepe.
Thanks for your continued support. Should you feel like a tropical holiday with a little risk thrown in, feel free to visit us or we can catch up in the warmth and safety of a Melbourne coffee shop!