Many days have passed since my last yak. Within all those days came a plethora of lessons that I never knew I would cross paths with until I did. In the past year, I have found meaning and happiness in feeling gratitude for everything that I may face. Whether it is a crabbing trip with grandpa, a treacherous hike in scorching heat, or even a school assembly, gratitude can be found anywhere if one sees the good in every situation presented to them.
Understanding this has helped me on many levels, but I never knew how to show my appreciation or who to show it to. Growing up without a religion meant (for me) that there were no gods to pray to; therefore, I know I am not grateful towards “Him.” However, this trip to Bolivia has shown me WHO to be grateful to and how important it is to SHOW it as well.
So, thank you to Tintín for demonstrating the despacho ceremony. Thank you to Luis for playing Martín’s talk in which he mentioned stopping at every body of water to thank the spirits. Thank you to Frodo and Tanya for the sweat lodge ceremony and the pedir por permiso ceremony on the way to Mururata. Thank you to Alan for showing me how to be grateful for life in general and showing me the power of a smile and a laugh. Thank you Ana for showing me to be grateful for those who are still with us on this earth and for the ability to partake in our passions such as dance, theatre, or politics. And thank you to my fellow dragons for teaching me about WAM (water appreciation moment), BAM (body appreciation moment), LAM (land appreciation moment), and of course CLAM (clem appreciation moment).