We recently acquired four new roommates at Elizabeth’s Hospedaje. They are from all over the world–from Germany to England, Alaska to Switzerland. They all came here together from their former home of Ometepe Island. They met each other while living and volunteering in a spiritual community on a farm located on this volcanic island. The first night they stayed with us here, they kindly invited us to eat dinner with them.
We were sitting on the couch waiting for dinner to be prepared, when one of the guys asked us to stand with them in a circle around the table. We got up and all held hands. We were instructed to make sure that we placed our right hand facing up so that we could receive the energy from the person to the right and place our left hand facing down in the other person’s hand so that we could pass our energy on to him/her. We were then directed to close our eyes and reflect on what we were thankful for that day. After about 45 seconds of deep breaths and conscious focus, one girl spoke up and told us all what she was thankful for. Another person in the circle did the same and eventually we all shared what we were thankful for that day. Several of the people told us both that they were thankful to have met such beautiful people and that they loved us. It was a very new and impacting experience for us both to have new friends, whom we’d only known for a day, to tell us that. We also found the experience of taking a moment to reflect on our lives to be beneficial.
At the conclusion of the gratitude circle, we all ate spaghetti with lots of veggies and garlic bread which was made by a couple of the group members. The vegan meal was flavorful and very healthy. After dinner, everyone rolled organic tobacco and went outside to indulge in a community smoke session before eating desert. For dessert we had banana and mango crumble with vanilla ice cream. Everyone was very joyful in the moment–both captivated and grateful by the good food and the company. After dessert, we talked together for a few hours about where everyone was going next and how they were feeling about the evening. Some were traveling back to the farm, others were heading back home to Europe and some were going up north in Nicaragua. We enjoyed talking with everyone as each person was very different. Quinn enjoyed speaking with one girl from Germany who spoke 5 languages and was finishing an internship in Leon for a company that manages micro-loans in Nicaragua. She and many others in the group told us that San Juan del Sur was a bit like Disneyland compared to the rest of Nicaragua. That there was a lot of poverty in Nicaragua that does not exist here and it almost made them feel guilty for being here. We learned a lot from them about what the major issues are in Nicaragua.
Overall, it was very a interesting event to be a part of. Our new friends taught us how beneficial self reflection is. The moment of reflection can really give one a sometimes needed, deeper perspective on life. We both learned a lot that evening and are thankful to have met kind yet very different individuals.