Archive for OHG Adaptive Surfing


Costa Rica JAWS 15

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Ocean Healing Group JAW’s (Just Add Water)

Hola, I have to say, things are amazing here at Shaka! I have been having quite the adventure getting to know this beautiful place and trying my best to learn the language! I have been meeting so many great people and thoroughly enjoying every exchange! My first week at Shaka, the Ocean Healing Group arrived. This is a non profit foundation for disabled children and their families. The gang here at Shaka host these folks and provide them with adaptive surf lessons, zip line tours, yoga, and a variety of other sweet offerings. I was grateful to be a part of such a heart warming experience!

Montezuma Waterfalls


The group comes together, owners, volunteers, kids and their families. All with the intention of allowing the kids to experience physical activities, like surfing and yoga. Also, an opportunity for the families to have a break from being the primary caregivers. There were many activities during the week, including a zip line tour through the waterfalls in Montezuma. This was an amazing adventure for the kids and also a kind act on the part of the volunteers who carried them up and down steep slippery stairs in between rides.


The group had also rented some quads to cruise around on which were a big help to bring the kids to and from the beach. A few evenings we were lucky enough to experience marine phosphorescence, which is apparently a type of algae that actually glows In the dark! Seriously, the waves were lit up like yellow glow sticks! I was drawing in the sand and everywhere you walked your feet lit up below you! It was truly a sight to see!

Mama Sea Turtle Sighting

Just when I thought I had met the quota of a pretty freaking rad night….there was more! We also witnessed a big sea turtle mama laying her eggs right there in the glowing sand! I hope that her attempt was a success and that the eggs will be safe until the time is right for them to hatch and make their way back to the ocean. Such amazing creatures, prehistoric…also endangered…it seems that they are making a comeback right here in Playa Hermosa!

A Vast Ever Changing Moving Target

Of course, the highlight of the week was seeing the kids out in the ocean surfing the waves! I have been here for two weeks now, and been surfing quite a few times. It’s not easy…actually one of the more difficult things I’ve attempted…even with great instruction! More difficult than snow boarding down some of Colorado’s finest and makes my yoga practice seem like a walk in the park! My point being….the ocean is a vast, ever changing moving target…imagine attempting it without total use of your legs! Thats what Mercy and Christian did, with the help of Larry, Frank, and the volunteers.

You Guys Rock!!

They have have a system, where they have what you would call the “pitchers”. A few of the guys handle the back of the board and one rides along with them and helps them catch the wave. They are also surrounded by volunteers in a V-line formation prepared to assist if needed. Then you have the “catchers” a team awaiting for their arrival. My hats off to the kids for their bravery and eagerness to step out of their comfort zone, also to the volunteers who assist them in this process. And of course the kindness and generosity of the Shaka crew who make this all happen…Larry, Frank, Mo’e and Krista..keep up the good work…you guys rock!! Until next time….

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Greetings from Shaka, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about what we are doing and hope to be doing in the comming months leading to 2012.

Its currently the rainy season so its nice to have a slow down. It lets us refresh ourselves, reflect on the past year and do some maintenance, as well as dream and imagine possible new things and ideas that we would like to implement in the near future. Here is a summary of  things recently or in the near future

1. First off we had a good year so far. It was ou busiest year even in this down economy. Shaka as well as OHG is maturing and improving. We are excited to head into the new season right around the corner.

2. In August We started fixing and repairing surfboards, Our surfboard fleet was getting a bit dinged up and a our broken board pile was adding up. Shaka invested in the proper equipment and material to do proffesional board repair. The hassle, expense and delay of paying board fixers is now behind us. We now have Alejandro who has shown an instinctive talent in board repair and painting keeping us sharp

3. Ted a Volunteer with OHG has launched a campaign to get Shaka a SWIMMING POOL. You told me to hold you to it Ted, so here it is. I hear that he has already raised over half the money, so hopefully any one who visits shaka in 2012 will be able to enjoy this addition.

4. We plan on launching a project to turn the Rancho common area into a work of art incorporating Mayan, Polynesian and tribal style artwork. Headed By Chris. More info on this comming soon.

5. Our next OHG group is planned to take place in November just before the upcomming 2011 season.

6. Krista is putting together a yoga adventure package. All inclusive 7 day packages based at Shaka but daily yoga excursions to all the world class studios in the Montezuma, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Hermosa areas.


Exciting Update from Shaka!!

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I have been pretty busy here at Shaka:  getting ready for the invasion of Ocean Healing Group, doing laundry, and pumping our camp dog, Lady up for her new wheelchair!

For those of you don’t know, Lady is our camp dog.  She adopted us years ago and is the queen of our Rancho here at camp.  A few months ago some guests found Lady laying on the path to the beach crying and within 30 minutes of them finding here she was paralyzed from the waist down.  No one really knows what happened but she has a lesion on her spine that prevents her from using her back legs. 

Lucky for Lady, Shaka is the best place in possibly the world for this to happen!!  Our friend, Judy Fridono and the amazing people at Eddie’s Wheels, donated a wheelchair that was custom made for Lady!! 

With the invasion of Ocean Healing Group, a non-profit that brings disabled individuals and their families to Shaka for an adaptive surfing camp, came Lady’s wheelchair!!

Lady is being cheered on by the crowd here at Shaka!!

I am happy to report that Lady is adjusting well to her new mobility!  I have gotten to know Lady very well over the past year as a guest at Shaka and a volunteer for OHG.  The first three weeks of my visit were a little tough in regard to Lady.  It was so sad to see this once energetic, fully mobile, quad chasing puppy just laying around the Rancho–moving a little as possible.

Finally…. Lady is improving her quality of life.  Her back is straigtening out and she is getting stronger every time we put her in her new chair!  We are currently  building up her endurance, leaving her in the chair for slightly longer periods of time through out the day.  

Welike to bribe Lady with food to get her moving!!

Lady is getting her GROOVE back on!! 

That’s all for now!  Just a little update for you Life at the Shaka Front followers about little Lady Bird.  Time to get breakfast ready for our guests and hit the beach!

I want to leave you with the best image I’ve seen in weeks… the happiest Little Lady Bird I think I’ve ever seen….

Can't beat this smile!!!!

Pura Vida my friends,


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Brainstorming in the Rancho!

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Pura Vida!!  It’s an amazing day here at Shaka!  The sky is clear, the sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing, and it is muy tranquilo. 

In between surf sessions and quad expeditions, Krista, Mo’e and I have been busy brainstorming and tossing around new ideas for vacation packages to offer on Shaka Beach Retreat Website!  Inspired by an old friend, Mo’e, a certified personal trainer, is totally stoked on the idea of putting together a Fitness Adventure package.  it’s going to be amazing: early morning yoga on the beach, beach boot camps, hiking and zip-line tours in Montezuma, surf lessons, healthy meals, and so much more!  It’s going to be killer and designed for the vacationers who are interested in getting in shape while enjoying all of the adventure that the Nicoya Peninsula has to offer.

In addition, I’m working on writing a biography for our camp dog, Lady, that we will have posted on the website and a write up to submit to Zoom! Nicoya Peninsula- a local magazine with news and tourist information.  It’s a pretty exciting time here.

I’m totally excited and working ferociously to get camp ready for 2 weeks of adaptive surf camps with Ocean Healing Group!!  It’s going to be great to see all of my old friends, meet some new people, and bring some excitement to our injured campers.  Ahhh…  it makes my heart feel so good when the camps are here.  The experience of being involved with OHG camps is hard to put into words:  emotional, inspiring, soul-soothing, and magical.  I have met some of the most incredible people in my life here at Shaka!!

Mo’e will be here soon to take me out for an instructional surf session…  I’m stoked!  Gotta go wax my board, liberally apply that sunscreen, and hit the beach!

Keep checking back for more news, updates, and stories about my volunteer  experience on The Shaka Front!



Good week all in all

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Well we had a very educational week. We learned a lot and now we will definately have to hit the drawing board, but that is exactly what we hoped for. Our guest of honor Vijay will be exiting tomorrow so we had a party tonight. In fact i am still buzzing from the rounds of Pilsen and Imperial from earlier. We will post some video and audio content as soon as we get a little editing help done.

 But i will end with this. Since i have been hanging out with adaptive surfers and the like, It has realy helped progress my thinking as well as my apreciation for many  other things. I will always hold these experiences deer to my heart

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Adaptive surfing session today with Vijay

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There is no good exuse to not try itMy partner arrived yesterday with our second disabled guest (our first being Christiaan Bailey from Life Rolls On). Vijay is a paraplegic with only partial use of his upper abdominals and up. His accident involved repelling Read More→

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