Love of Friends, Family, and Horses!
AUTHOR: Beth Sylver
After living full-time in Costa Rica for more than seven years, traveling back to the United States is like culture shock in reverse. Recently, my husband and I made a 2-week journey with three intentions in mind:
- Visit my husband’s 95-year-old Grandpa and family in Arizona.
- Rent a truck and drive to California to empty our last remaining objects in a storage container and see a few friends.
- I was looking forward to attending a Natural Lifemanship (NL) Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy training with wild mustangs and a dear friend.
Part 1, after a short three days with our Arizona family, we hopped in our rental truck and headed to Northern California. It was a long 13 hours on the road. It felt crazy to us how fast people drive on the highways, being used to the lower Costa Rica speed limits and the slower pace. We also had a hard time adjusting to the extreme dryness and heat in the deserts of Arizona. We felt like a fish out of water! Even when we arrived in California, with cooler temperatures, the lack of water was shocking. We’re so accustomed to living with plenty of water in Costa Rica, which reminded me just how fortunate we are.
Part 2 of this adventure was challenging, with lots of blessings. A meaningful overnight stay with dear friends was just the break we needed. Next stop: the storage container. We hadn’t seen the items inside this container for nearly six years. Opening it was like a time capsule of memories and treasures. For the next day and a half, we dedicated as much time as possible, so I could go through my belongings and feel good about leaving my husband to go through the rest of the boxes. Everything had to find a home; be donated to charity, gifted to friends, thrown away, or separated into new containers and shipped to Costa Rica.
Part 3 is where my heart found a new equine love named Baci at The Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, CA.
While my hero husband took on the daunting task of emptying the container, I had the privilege of finally meeting my mentors from Natural Lifemanship. I’ve worked online towards certification with this organization for over two years. This was my first face-to-face interaction. Meeting the trainers and everyone who participated in this training was unbelievable. Working with and gentling an unbroken mustang for four days was beyond my wildest dreams. The purpose of having a group like NL build relationships with these mustangs is so that hopefully, someday, they will be adopted. This happened with one of the beautiful horses in this training!
Our final journey was driving back to Arizona, sneaking in a surprise hug with Grandpa before getting on a red-eye flight back to Costa Rica. We left the storage container empty, and my heart was full.
It was quite an adventure, and there’s no place like home in Southern Costa Rica!
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