"There aren't many things that are universally cool, and it's cool not to litter. I'd never do it.” ~ Matthew McConaughey
The Island Women and Island Men had a very successful fundraiser last weekend, the Missed Pleasure Island Pageant. I had been asked to make a donation for the auction and I was very pleased to give them a pillow I made from an authentic Kuna Mola. I will donate another one to the Island Arts and Culture Alliance fundraiser being held at the Sea Witch on Thursday, February 23rd. Tickets are still available. Making the pillows reminded me of my great adventure six years ago.
As I stepped off the plane in Panama in March of 2011, I was greeted by Matthew McConaughey’s picture hanging above the recycling system in the airport. It gave me such hope for the country. I was with my sister and eighteen other environmentalists, anxious to see for ourselves the abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds in the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin, and to experience firsthand the culture of the Kuna Indians.
After coming in from several different states, members of our group converged at a beautiful hotel downtown Panama City. The amount of litter strewn about the streets was disappointing. Early the next morning we boarded a ferry and began our stay on Taboga Island in the Pacific Ocean. The beauty of the turquoise water lapping upon the beaches showcased a pirate’s bounty of sea glass decorating the sand. It is said, Balboa was the first to land on this island of bountiful fish and flowers. History and legends meld together into romantic myths creating the traditions and folklore of the island. My second disappointment came at the amount of litter including plastic bottles, bags and fishing line that accompanied these treasures.
Our guide taught us to become adept at spotting birds and monkeys, sloths and agouti as we trekked through the jungles and parks. Driving through Colon was a litter nightmare.
My favorite part of the tour was the time spent with the Kuna Indians on the island of Achutupu in the Caribbean Sea. Being flown in by small plane and transported by boat to the island, my first impression of the village was that it had not changed for generations. Thatched roof huts with strung hammocks were comfortable accommodations. Lighting and water was solar powered for westerners. Our meals consisted of coconut, pineapple, papaya, plantains and fresh fish. They added eggs, cheese, hot dogs and salads with dressing for our taste. The dugout canoes looked similar to what it must have looked like a century ago except for one major faux pas. Along the shoreline of the pristine blue green water with coral reefs and brightly colored sea life I was shocked at all the plastic bottles, flip flops and other beached trash. Since we did not drink the water, bottled water was readily available. Unfortunately, the bottles had nowhere to go but into the trash. One afternoon there was white billowing smoke coming from the edge of the jungle. We were told it was the trash from the island being burned which included the plastic bottles. My heart is saddened that such a beautiful part of our planet is taking the brunt of disposable plastics. Matthew….tell them louder…..this is not cool to litter…xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Master FSIA, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products. Her design studio is located in Carolina Beach Furniture, 1021 N. Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC. Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology. Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 25 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success. To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at www.molinquist.com FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-216-0366 local or 330-904-3636 mobile.