A belated post from the yoga farm:

!Buenos Dias familia y amigos!

It’s been another amazing week here in Guatemala. This last Saturday (11/21), we arrived at the Mystical Yoga Farm for a week of reflection, relaxation, and what we like to call, “hippie training”. At a location only accessible by small boat, or “lancha”, this farm settled on the shore of Lago Atitlan can be described as nothing if not mystical.

Each morning started with 6:30am meditation on the dock. I have seen very few sites more beautiful than the sun reflecting on Lago Atitlan’s rippling waves as it rises over the volcanoes.

We would then have morning yoga taught by one of the incredibly talented staff members from 7ish-8:30ish am (We learned never to expect punctuality on Guatemalan time). This week, living with the farm staff and 30 yoga teachers in training, we also learned:

· how to sing chants and prayers in languages we didn’t fully understand

· how to eat delicious meals with only the light of small candles

· that showering isn’t a very popular activity (the lake counts, right?)

· how to laugh our way through difficult yoga poses

· how to release powerful toxins in a traditional Guatemalan steam room called a “temezcal”

· how to worship Mother Earth through a “full moon ceremony”

· how to assist in building a nearby school by digging holes for electric lines

· how to reflect on our opinion on Western education through a conversation-based lesson with Kevin

· that Rachel has the ability to keep a smile on her face even when sick in bed with a stomach parasite <3 · how to connect with our inner truths through a powerful “cacao ceremony” with a chocolate shaman named Keith · and many more But I think the #1 thing we learned is how amazing a week on a secluded yoga farm can make us feel, both physically and emotionally. In an environment without wifi, caffeine, very little electricity or contact with the outside world, it was a great place to reflect on the journey we’ve had and anticipate our last few weeks together. Speaking of being thankful, last Thursday was Thanksgiving! We spent the morning swimming, paddle-boarding on the lake, reading (like always), and then packing into a “lancha” once again to head towards Panajachel to stay for the night. We were excited to be moving into a bigger city because that meant the ability to 1) call home to our families and 2) celebrate together with a night out. Our Thanksgiving dinner out consisted of one traditional Thanksgiving meal for Kevin, burgers, sandwiches, pies, and beniets. Classic. Over dinner, we discussed our “question of the night”, which was to share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions and one thing you’re grateful for. This was one of my favorite meals together throughout the trip because almost all of our answers were the same. We are so incredibly grateful for our family back home, and also for our new family here with Carpe. Tomorrow we begin our Student Directed Travel to Semuc Chempey. !Hasta pronto! XOXO Erin F15_CAM_KevinFloerke20151125-DSCF1059

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