UNREAL. I am already completely, 100 % in love with it here.
Best way to describe it here: similar to Camp Wapiyapi (but on steroids and very rural), laid back, hippie, loving, respectful & fun. I am taking pictures of absolutely everything.... everywhere you look, there is something even more colorful & cheerful than the last thing you photographed. I will try to document things to show you all back home... but I know nothing will compare to actually being here. The internet here is too slow to upload photos (or so I'm told), and I'm not willing to test it and become responsible for the internet crashing. Until I can slip away into town, I won't be uploading any photos (truly wish I could though!)
today... we did a bit more orientation stuff, but the staff has living as a community down to an art. These folks have perfected how to live harmoniously with very diverse groups of people and they have a gift of blessing the place with a welcoming presence. We did a walking tour of the land and the buildings-- currently I am staying in the dacha, which is the biggest building of residence here. They have two yurts as well, for a few of the more adventurous people. I offered- but ended up inside anyway. Not complaining- because it has been wicked cold. Multiple layers of clothing under my winter coat, boots, and scarves! Bundling already...
a few laid back lessons today- one in yoga & shamanism, the other a writing exercise. completely different than some things I've seen before, but awesome to learn new approaches to medicine. we have an beautiful, intelligent & outgoing M.D here , named Sarah, and she talked some about how helpful it is to learn techniques in alternative care, even as an M.D. Helpful to be able to provide care--and healing-- on any level comfortable to the patient! She's a pathologist & very interesting to learn from. yoga was fun-- and our lovely instructor makes a very wonderful point-- she stressed the importance of healing as a provider. often times we forget that as a healer, we are most useful when we are cautious of taking the time to heal ourselves. what a concept, right? seems really basic, but some thought and discussion took place for me, centered around healing- what a wonderful thing to remember. be good to yourself before you can be good to others (make time for both!)
we all share chores, cooking, and cleaning-- since they really stress the importance of community health and function. I'm excited to learn from some of their ideas for my experiences in Guatemala in the Peace Corps-- such great concepts. we each have to help cook meals, and tonight I helped with dinner. everything is vegan (wahoo!) and incredibly delicious. I learned to make lemon tahini salad dressing and tofu stir fry tonight.. yum! Emma, our chef, has been vegan for over a decade, lives in Portland, OR, and pours all of her love and compassion into her cooking- you can taste it.
to finish up the evening- we watched clown in Kabul. although I am the crier, I think anyone would be moved by the movie. it showed the clown trips they take to other countries and how the people in distress respond to them. love and laughter are truly universal & sometimes.. the very best medicine.
Being here is a dream come true-- and a perfect reminder that there are good people who want to change health care. their love and compassion is contagious-- so fair warning, I may never shut up about this. after 24 hours, I can already tell this experience will stay in my heart forever. <3
Love & Light,