or the "Wave Of Optimism" as Project WOO would say.
If you read my last blog I ended it by saying "today I will surf the waves of karma," and "tomorrow I will write about it." Well, here I am. Back from an amazing four days of karmic work in Gigante, Nicaragua. Gigante is a small fishing village sustained by surf tourism an hour up the cost line north of my home in San Juan del Sur. Here, I had the honor and privilege to work with Project Woo and the Reef Redemption pro-surf team on a community initiative driven by Project Woo.
As the vast positivity is still resonating through the universe from last week’s community efforts every one of our Universal Family members, surfer or not, should grab a board and ride these waves of karma because the love behind this swell will be delivering awesome sets for weeks maybe even months to come.
Do-gooder, change-maker, and friend Bo Fox, Project Woo’s Program Manager, and surfer extraordinaire was head of the project. After my time in Gigante, reflecting back, I’m not sure which Bo Fox is better at, surfing big waves or bringing a small community together.
Bo set out this particular week to accomplish a large task of coordinating residents and volunteers to paint a bus. A bus that was identified through a community consensus previously conducted by Project WOO as the top necessity for the residents. This bus is the communities only source of transportation which is valued by the people who use it. The Reef Redemption team donated money and their time to participate during the week along with volunteers traveling through. Together with the residents of Gigante, they prepped the bus for painting, washing and sanding it. They also participated in educational activities at the elementary school and on the last day they all came together to pick up garbage to preserve the beauty and nature of the beach and give the children of Gigante a surf lesson and I was there to witness it all.
I’m still having a hard time comprehending the outcome of all these events with no one getting hurt considering the amount of children that participated. I saw Bo and his team in action all week. Not only did Bo with the help of WOO team members safely oversee and coordinate a series of tasks that involved risky elements, I also witnessed Bo continuously rip 10-12 foot waves at an area just north of Gigante. And when his leash snapped and his board washed onto the rocky shore, I’m not sure how he safely retrieved it. WOO team member Robbie Jackson and myself bobbed helplessly on our surfboards catching our breaths after a clean out set knocked us off our boards and drug Robbie 10 feet under scraping his body onto the reef and someone else’s board almost hit me in the face which sent me tumbling through the wave washing machine. After this incident I was scared to death and reminded by my father’s recent drowning, I wasn’t about to paddle for another wave but I didn’t say a word. Robbie said out loud that he was thankful it was Bo’s leash that broke and not one of ours, a thought so uncomprehendable to me. I climbed back on my board and looked toward the direction of the shore for any site of Bo but I couldn’t see past the 10 feet of white wash every time a wave broke, and after what seemed like a life time, here came Bo paddling back out with a big smile on his face.
Tonino Benson, Reef’s pro riper from Hilo Hawaii once throughout the week referred to Bo as “Bat Man.” I didn’t even ask him what he meant by it but I don’t think Tonino called Bo Batman because Bo gave up the comforts of his California condo to live in a humble concrete Nicaraguan style house, the size of a small bat cave located on a cliff top overlooking the town. Funny enough, it’s like Bo chose to live on this hill so when someone sends out the signal for help he can fly down like Batman and save the day. Maybe Bo really isn’t a superhero but he has qualities of one and if I can add in my two cents, qualities of a yogi. Walking humbly through life with consideration for all beings. Not only did Bo bring the residents of this small fishing community together in spirit to accomplish a series of projects to be carried out with volunteers from all over the world in a matter of four days, he took in a small stray cat, fed it and gave it love. The tasks carried out are a reflection of the spirit in his heart glued together by a million smiles and hugs. As the newly painted sparkly bus picks up the children and residents of this community and delivers them safely to their destination dry and free of mud from the rainy season, the bus will serve as a visual reminder for years to come and the love it carries will fuel it for it’s future purpose. Maybe Bo called on his Bat mobile to rescue him from the rocky shore that day, or maybe it was Karma for all the love he has spread around the community of Gigante. We may never know but I will personally call it karma.
Back to that. Surf spot. Lance’s Left. For all lovers of surf. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ll share the love. Imagine, a forty-five minute boat ride up the beautiful lush green coast line of Nicaragua, destination Lances Left, just north of Popoyo. The outer reef at Popoyo is considered one of the five most dangerous reef breaks in the world. Just past that is a little secret spot called Lance’s Left attainable only by boat. The reef here produces the most consistent ride-able left wave in this area. It’s simple, mother nature sends a swell and as the water hits the reef, it breaks and creates a beautiful consistent left. Sure, I hopped off the boat and paddled over with Bo and the Woo team that day, four days into the project, we were all exhausted from the previous days events and we could see an end in sight but first we were going to enjoy what mother nature gave us.
Throughout the week, many people came out to meet the Reef pro-surf team. Amazing guys, incredible surfers with funny personalities and big hearts - Tonino Benson, Paul Fisher and Sterling Spencer. But personally I watched Bo in amazement bring a small fishing community together in spirit to complete the painting of the bus, a beach clean up and surf lessons for the children. To no surprise, Bo knows every person’s name in this town. He is currently going door to door to see what each family deems as the next necessity for the community residents. Rumor has it, it may be a health clinic. As a community member walks past him at any given moment, he calls out their name, offers up a smile, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, handshake or high-five and speaks to them in perfect Spanish. He even has the Nica slang down pat. “Etonces, dale pues!” (So, do it!)
If you are one of my regular blog readers I have talked about relationships worth cultivating. Well, I mentioned Bo in my Universal Family blog because he is a person that continually inspires me and makes me want to be a better person and give back to our Universal Family. After all, we are the average of the five people we spend our most time with. WOO chose the right man for the job. Choosing the right person for a job and for your friends is not always as easy as one would think. I like to think of Bo as a great teacher, a guru, who has reflected his teachings and actions back to me and this community like a mirror to show us who we truly are and the greatness that is our essential nature. Now it is up to us to set it free and act. I’m thankful and appreciative that I was called to action to document this community project for Project Woo. Normally I have so much to say but this time, i’m going to let the photos I snapped do the talking. After all, pictures say a thousand words ...
~Heidi Parker of Seeking Santosha Nicaragua
Whatever career path you choose for yourself, let it be compatible with your dreams and inner convictions. If you sacrifice what’s in your heart for the sake of money, you will always feel in debt. Let go and be free. When at peace and content with oneself and others (Santosha), supreme joy is celebrated. Embracing reverence and love for all (Ahimsa), we experience oneness. We all know that “money cannot buy happiness,” so why do we often trade our peace and health for material security to sustain our escalating lifestyles?
I'll leave you with my favorite inspirational quotes:
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius
“Service is not possible unless it is rooted in love and compassion. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” -Lord Buddha
Dedicate yourself to anything that elevates and embraces your heart. 1.39 Yoga Sutras
“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” -Lord Buddha
The karma we plant now will bear fruit in the future. “Whatever greatness a person does is followed by others who set their values by her/his example. They will not disturb others who may be still attached to the fruits of their actions. By continuously performing selfless actions, the wise person influences others in all they do.” -Bhagavad-Gita
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead