Jungle and Meeting Marco

Hi friends!

I´m trying to type really fast so I dont have to pay so much at the cabinas, though it´s relatively cheap. First of all, I´m alive! I have mosquito bites but I am happy and well. The other day I got to meet Marco and his family, as well as visit a church project. There were so many kids, they were all super adorable. I wanted to cry when Marco gave me a hug, he loved the scrapbook and gifts I brought him. Especially, the ninjas I bought from my friend who makes them. He carried the plush toys when we went to the zoo together. He is currently 10 years old and his family is struggling financially.

We went to visit his house and he had a monito, monkey as a pet. On my lap is the monito.

My friend, that is a real monkey. It tried to bite me, but after awhile it fell asleep on my lap. Sorry about the botellia in the picture, haha.

Then, I went to the jungle…let´s say, it was one strange thing after another.The lights went out in the lodge, I had some dark dreams, and it was super hot and humid. But within 3 days I had made more than 5 friends that I can say, I´ll now be friends forever with. Ecuadorians are so helpful, they will take time out of their day to help you. They are not driven by money only, they value famillia more than anything.

Yesterday, after riding with a tour guide, a worker and their boss (it just so happened they were at the lodge visiting and they were nice enough to give me a ride back with them), I had to pee SO BAD. Necessito el bano so bad. Well, my friend told me I had to get on a certain bus, when the black market taxi stopped, it just so happened the bus was right across the street. So with my backpack, I jumped out the taxi, ran across the trafficked street and jumped onto a moving bus, yes it started moving.

Somehow God is protecting me and giving me rides everywhere. I can´t tell you how amazing I´ve felt meeting the people here, they really humble me and help me to see the valuable things in life. I´m so glad I came, I wish everyone could experience this.

Forgiving The Silence, A Trip Called “Coming of Age”

“I just missed my flight…there’s no way I can get to New York”- I thought.

My cousin said, well I’m also going there at 1pm, why don’t you stay over and we’ll go over together.

Suddenly, I woke up startled. It was 2 am in the morning. My head hurt from the dream, it felt like I was traveling in my sleep and reminded me of my 3 flights going to Ecuador. Each of my flight consists of layovers, 2 in Panama and 1 in Chicago. My internal being had been semi- processing and stressed out about my upcoming trip.

For some reason, an epiphany hit me.

I’m doing this trip for me. This was not for Marco. As much as it seems like it is for Marco, this trip is for me.

I know it might sound selfish, but selfish can actually be a good thing.

I was thinking about how the trip takes place beginning on Mother’s Day, a birth, a renewal, nurturing of a kid all the way in Ecuador. I also thought about how much I cared for a kid I hardly know. Why did I care so much?

Because a kid deserves to be known, a kid deserves for someone to buy a flight ticket to see him or her. This is something I never experienced. My own father never bought a flight ticket to visit me in America. I am not saying this to evoke your sympathy nor am I blaming my father. Lying in my bed yesterday night, I realize why this trip was so important to me. It wasn’t simply an act of compassion, some moral virtue or guilt trip to help the poor, this trip was FOR ME; this trip somehow symbolizes reconciliation, healing, an act of letting go and living a life different from my parents, different from any circumstances or people that may have hurt me. 

This trip WILL change me. This trip is another Rebekka’s coming of age. I realize my whole life is a story of healing, of power, of passion….someday it will be such an inspirational story of hope. People will read my blog, my book, my memoir and attain healing and inspiration to go on.

Doing things for YOURSELF can actually be doing good to others. Being selfish, reconciling, healing…

Whatever you do is a projection of your inner being. What you complain about is the very thing that pricks you, for a certain reason. What you complain about others may be the very thing you’re scared to become or the very thing that seeks to limit your freedom to be you.

My drawing “Forgiving The Silence” is about my journey to well, forgive the silence. I believe that I’m not the only one. Probably half of all Americans grow up without one parent, or both. Some have never met their dads or moms. I encourage you to be the ones to bridge the gap of silence…or learn to become a parent to someone you never met.

You can purchase the print for $20 @ MY ETSY STORE! 

Or you can also make a direct donation for my trip! $25 gets me one night @ a hostel, $200 covers cost of seeing Marco. $100 covers food & water for a week.

Preparing For Ecuador: Allow PEOPLE To Interrupt Your Travel Plans

Plans are great.

But they never go the way you expect them to. Something always goes “wrong”.

But perhaps the universe is guiding you to something even better, beyond your wildest dreams.

I got approved to meet Andi Marco today! I’ve been sponsoring since 2009 and will be going to Ecuador to visit him and do some GOOD in the world. His dad is a farmer. He is going to school because I’ve sent him! This is one of the greatest thing you can do for someone- give them education. Education is the first step to opening up a world of possibilities. Join me!

So even though a part of me is freaking about logistics, finance, fundraising, planning my return flight, itinerary, rent, work…

A still small voice says to “calm down and I’ll take care of you”.

This has been true for 6 of my overseas trips. I started going on international volunteer trips when I was 18. I went to Taiwan at 18, Japan at 19, Germany at 20, Taiwan at 21, China/Hong Kong at 22, Australia at 23. At first I went on very structured trips, consisting of waking up at 6 am and sleeping at 12 am. The day was filled to the  brim with ACTIVITIES. Then I went with other organizations that allowed you to have freedom to be, to explore, to engage. Pretty soon, I learned to allow time and space for the PEOPLE of the land to be priority on my trips. It’s unfortunate that people travel only for the sights and scenes.

What makes a country what it is- is it’s culture, it’s people. People are the ones that make the culture.

From my experience, I believe PLANS limit us from the most pleasant surprises that make our trip meaningful. It’s those divine connections, those moments in space that two people meet. That one person you meet, that you could NOT have if you weren’t there. That person will forever change the course of your life, as small as the encounter was. Vice versa.

This is true of our own lives. We can plan when we want to graduate, to work, to marry. We can plan our stability to the detail, but in the end, it’s people that makes our lives what it is.

Thus, allow PEOPLE to interrupt you, not all the time of course. Let people become important in your daily routine, work and life.

Be unconditional, forgive easily, and be offended minimally. Know that people are different and accept their differences; cherish their upbringing and background. Let their hearts be nurtured by who you are.

Note: this is coming from someone who used to plan to the minute, if you are ultra opposite, please take these advice lightly. All that I write about is from my experience, not an ultimatum of law.

The friends I can always count on when I’m back in LA. LA will always be my home!

Taiwan

Switzerland- became friends with a airplane buddy

As I embark on another journey of love- check out my campaign, join me, support me or give! 

I am at $150 and am aiming to raise $4,500 ($5,000 minus website fees) in 20 days. Believe in me and trust that every journey I take, I am making a difference in someones’ life. Our world is interconnected, not one person is an isolated individual. Thus when you support me, you are making a difference in areas of this earth that you may never go to yourself. Thanks for your constant support!