Something Lost and Something Gained

Posted by Apr18, 2013 Comments (0)

Om Mani Padme Hum

A couple of days ago I was helping Mo’e with a surf lesson, a very nice family from Seattle. I was giving the little boy a send off when my beloved bracelet was caught in the leash and torn from my arm. This wasn’t just any bracelet….it was a gift from a dear friend and longtime student back in Denver. He had purchased it in Tibet, it was solid silver and had the Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum inlaid upon it.

The powerful and hungry ocean


I had worn it everyday since he given it to me almost two years ago. I was heartbroken and trying my best to let it go….”svaha” a Sanskrit term, meaning throw it in the fire. What was done was done, yet another thing lost to the powerful and hungry ocean. Where does all that stuff go? There is probably some underwater pawn shop that is killin’ it!



Later that evening, I was talking to Moira, one of our guests, a film producer from Ireland. She is here filming the Irish television show called ” In Your Shoes”, a reality based show, where they pair up two teenage kids, one disabled and one able bodied. They are here with the “Ocean Healing Group”, Shaka’s non profit organization for kids with disabilities.

Surfing and yoga



The kids and crew are touring around the world and have different adventures at each destination. While they are here in Costa Rica, they are surfing, quading and zip lining. The first two days were spent on Playa Hermosa where they all learned to surf! I am continually amazed by the courage and trust these kids have! Imagine surfing blind, or without the use of your legs….I get scared out there myself!! In addition to these more daring activities, the kids also did yoga with me, a wonderful and powerful practice that everyone can benefit from!

The bracelet


So back to Moira, I was telling her how I had lost my bracelet that day and was pretty bummed. She then begins to tell me that she has the exact same bracelet, only not in silver but in bronze and she said she would like to give it to me. I was like….really?!? Wow! Gracias! Not exactly something you see everyday….kind of an obscure piece of jewelry….very interesting. I was then adorned with a new bracelet and a new friend.

The quad tour


The following day the group was heading up toward Manzanillo for a quad tour. The film crew including Moira and myself were waiting for the kids to come by for their first shoot. We were standing on the hillside along the beach road and right after the kids and chaperones passed by….Moira took a bad fall and had appeared to have broken her leg…tibia…fibula?

Emergency response


Frank and Grant, who both have training in emergency response, quickly splinted and iced Moira’s leg. Keep in mind that we are in a very remote location on the Southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula….no cell service….no hospital…the closest clinic is in Playa Carmen, which is about eight kilometers away.



We get Moira ready for transport and I am her driver, Kate her nurse while we make the journey to the clinic. We now have the task of driving on the rocky, bumpy roads to get help. That thirty minute ride seemed to never end….every bump I cringed, as Moira’s pain escalated. Kate was in the back seat, also with emergency response training….she sat with Moira and continued to help us all remain calm and kept a close eye in our patient.

A lifetime

We finally arrived at the clinic after what seemed to be a lifetime. We got Moira in and they began to treat her. One of the other things we don’t have down here is an X-ray machine….and we are still a few hours form the nearest hospital…by car anyway. So, the doc says we need to be airlifted by helicopter to San Jose and get Moira to Cima Hospital.

The football field

Kate and I run back to camp, gather the important items and we race back to the clinic. We make the arrangements to be airlifted to the hospital and I will accompany my new friend on her journey as Kate heads back to camp to care for the kids. We load into the ambulance and drive to the football field where the helicopter lands. The sweet nurse Wendy rides with us to monitor Moira and also to catch a ride back to San Jose, which is where she lives.

The helicopter


Juan Carlos escorts us all onto the helicopter and I am immediately relieved by his calming energy and obvious experience. Our flight from Santa Teresa to Cima Hospital in San Jose takes us about forty minutes. We arrive safely and they quickly admit Moira, take X-rays and determine that she has broken her tibia and her fibula…no bueno…she needs surgery.



I make all the needed arrangements with the help of Frank and Allen and get Moira all set up. She is a tough woman to endure that kind of pain and difficult transport…not to mention selfless…as she was more concerned about her kids, crew and any inconvenience she had caused anyone. I assured her that she was loved and certainly not an inconvenience…there is never a good time for something like this to happen…it’s just life….svaha!



As the were preparing her for surgery I said my goodbyes, as it was getting late and I needed to catch the six am bus to camp. So, here I am on the bus writing this, looking at my new bracelet and wondering about my new friend. I don’t have a phone and no wifi around on my trek back. I am eagerly awaiting to hear how Moira is today. I hope that she is recovering well and throwing this one into the fire….Svaha.
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