Death of Perfectionism – Boats, Rum, Life & Liberty

My kids are starting to figure out that “hey,  we’re taking a boat ride” doesn’t mean the smooth, fun, and enjoyable sailing one might encounter on our many beautiful Southern Oregon lakes. Their eager enthusiasm has now been replaced with inquisitive observation.

Traveling to Ko Kut, a small island in Southern Thailand, we all enthusiastically boarded the large high powered ferry. Thirty minutes later we were regretting having just eaten lunch. We were experiencing some serious waves and many on the ship had become ill. We gained a new understanding and respect for boats that day. “Keep your eyes on the horizon, take a deep breath…”

This past month we took another boat trip, crossing the beautiful and enormous Lake Atitlan. Lake Atitlan is located in Guatemala’s southwestern highlands. Ringed by steep, verdant hills, it’s known for its Mayan villages and volcanoes with striking pointed cones. The boat was small and jam packed with travelers. Despite the strong winds, we crossed the lake smoothly and I was greatfull for the uneventful voyage.

Throughout the day I had been receiving messages via WhatsApp from Dan Shulters. He was also traveling on his way to Malawi. Some grueling 30 or 40  hours later he had arrived. Big thanks to OSF For housing all the boxes that are now somewhere on a boat making their way to Malawi. The boxes hold the well rig which will be setup to deliver fresh water to the nearby village. Dan asked me to thank everyone who has helped and contributed to his mission. Steps4Malawi will continue to sell African items at Dan’s Shoe Repair in Ashland. At this point we still need to raise $5000 dollars to purchase the actual piping that will deliver the water from the well rig to the village. If you would be interested in helping contribute to this cause please email Dan directly. Djshulters@yahoo.com and THANK YOU!

Back to Guatemala. At the lake we rented a beautiful home from an expat, musician, and entrepreneur originally from Asheville, North Carolina. One evening we sat on the porch together talking about life and liberty and he said something that really struck me.

“You know that bullsh** about following your dreams and that they will all come true? Well, the thing they don’t tell you is that it actually takes balls to follow your dreams and it’s not always easy! Sometimes you fail.”

It was a good reminder to hear this. There are no guarantees in life. Boat trips are not always fun… in fact sometimes they are awful. Not all taxis have seatbelts. Not all bathrooms have toilet seats. Not all dreams come true and you push on anyways. It’s a good lesson for our kids and they have really come so far. Heck, they hardly even bat an eye anymore and I love seeing this adaptability and resilience. You do your best and make the most with what you have. If you’re lucky you get some gifts along the way. Perfectionism dies quickly in the third world and gives birth to simple pleasures like running water.

From the lake we traveled to Antigua. Renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings, we explored for days enjoying the amazing colors, great coffee, and fresh tortillas. And If you happen to be sitting in Case Coffee drinking some of their Guatemalan roast you can thank Tim and Kati Case for traveling here to Antigua. They have brought back some of the finest coffee on earth! The high altitude and rich volcanic soil make for extraordinary flavors that Case so masterfully captures.

We concluded our evening at Sobremesa Helados Exoticos known for its world class and one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors. I had the Cubano – Rum, Tobacco, and Fig. Wawaweewa… I swear 90% of that ice cream had to be just straight rum. Heck, you would need to be 21 in the states just to taste the stuff… Ahh… L I B E R T Y!

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