I leave tomorrow to be with a beauty that hurts - the land, people, and birds of Guatemala. I’ll be gone for a month and will attempt to blog here when we come in from the field. Most of my time will be spent working out of Flores, El Peten with the Scarlet Macaw Conservation Project – offering what I can to ARCAS, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and to a country that for many years I called my home. My prayer is that my return there will be a time of welcoming:
I add my breath to their breath, that our days may be long on this earth.
That the days of all beings may belong.
I will also visit the terrain of the Guatemala Psittacine Project, FUNDAVES, and Mariana Aviaries – the first two conservation projects I directed, and with all three I served as veterinarian. This time I go too as a healer, spreading my wings to heal human hearts as well (including most definitely my own). Weaving throughout this trip I am setting up contacts and asking questions about how as minister, veterinarian, and Director of Lafeber Conservation I can support the birds and people of Guatemala. Part of this includes an ethno-ornithology research project with ties to the University of Florida Department, Religion and Nature. Ultimately it all comes down to these basic questions:
What does it mean to be human in our communities of mixed species?
What is our response to being human?
With deep thanks for this opportunity and for the equipment and supplies I celebrate the gifts from the following:
- Dr. Juan Pablo Sagastume – in-country organizing
- Scott McKnight (Mariana Aviarios) – in-country organizing
- Roan McNab, Rony Garcia, Gabriela Ponce Santizo, Merlina Barnes (Wildlife Conservation Society) - in-country organizing and conservation support
- Dr. Ted Lafeber (Lafeber Company) – heart and financial support
- Carol Gamble – financial support
- Joyce Shayne Gad – financial support
- Dr. Dave McRuer (Wildlife Center of Virginia) - veterinary medical supplies
- Rev. Dr. Meredith Garmon (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville) – fulfilling my responsibilities of minister while I am gone
- Members Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville – for supporting me spiritually and with my coministry leave
In hopes of liberation of all beings,