Say Whaaaat?!


It’s another Hump Day, Y’all!

One of the things I enjoy doing in my “free time” is going through my knowledge of history and noting where things began to deviate.  I was a teacher in public schools so I had occasion to look up a few facts myself.  In fact, I had done an ISP (Independent Study Project) at St. Paul’s my senior year on “African Empires: Ghana, Mali and Songhai”.  I learned some Swahili words, one of which I chose to name my daughter, “Ayanna”.  I learned some other facts about the prevalence of education and medicine in particular in places in Africa like Egypt.  If you decide that Egypt is not in Africa then “you” are beginning to tell yourself some lies that, once perpetuated, would lead “you” to believe the “body of knowledge” we hold to be true regarding humanity and its development over a long period of time!  I was never too lazy to look up the “true facts” and I never believe what anyone says “hook, line and sinker” … just because they said it.  I look for proof and information for my SELF!

The current president of the United States is a professional at “altering facts”, mainly through his ignorance of the truth.  Yet, America is not the only place where “history” has been altered to fit the needs of the “ruling people” (notice, I didn’t say party) and the paradigm for reality that they choose to set forth!  One book I read at Princeton was “How to Lie With Statistics”.  I read this in conjunction with other books for my senior thesis which was “A Critique of Studies on The Black Family”.  There was an awful lot of information that I plowed through to get this done.  I also learned a lot about how “authors” alter facts to keep the populace brainwashed to believe what they want them to believe and maximize the population’s work output!  I have learned that some of the first educational institutions were founded by Moors … first in Africa (Timbuktu) and later in Spain at the University of Salamanca, one of the oldest “universities” in the world!  We don’t learn that in American History text books, nor Afro-Asian text books nor any other books in public school … unless you know what you are looking for and where to go to find it.  The average teacher doesn’t know either!  Did you know that the “colon” or currency of Costa Rica was named after Italian explorer “Cristobal Colon”?  Did you know that Hippocrates was NOT the founder of “medicine” and the concept of doctors?

I have met some very interesting people here in Costa Rica where the saying is “Pura Vida” and the emphasis is on the “One Love” culture concept.  I feel free … the people here are a blend of all cultures, and people come here from all over the world to experience “pura vida” – fresh (pure) life.  While they have a public school here in Cahuita and a university in San Jose, life flows according to a more natural rhythm.  There are not clocks on every wall in every restaurant or shop.  People are not pushing by each other each day to get to their next activity.  Most take a moment to say hello and/or “pura vida”.  There are darker skinned Costa Ricans in this area called “Limon”.  Yesterday, one woman asked me if I was from Puerto Viejo because I looked like a family she knows!!  Imagine that, as well as her face when I said that I am from New York!  One day, I was chatting with a woman who had authored a book while living on Witherspoon Street in Princeton in an abandoned house with the African American population circa 1976.  Her book had to do with some concepts that are now employed in the medical system to connect patients with doctors and insurance companies.  She has built a house with no walls but natural (trees) foliage serves as the sides of her house!  She is about 70-something, wears no shoes, rides a bicycle everywhere, swims in the Caribbean Sea there once a day or a few times a week … and claims that urine … yes, “pee”, clears up many of our illnesses!!  I am still not sold on soaking my hips in urine!!

In Cahuita, I usually hang around most of the day, checking my e-mails and staying up to date with “what matters to me”.  Otherwise, I take that half hour scenic bus ride to Puerto Viejo to meet up with a few people I have met there, including a few friends that I made at the hostel there in San Jose when I first arrived.  Someone is supposed to be renting an apartment here in Cahuita but I haven’t been able to meet with them yet.  I understand that it is unfurnished and may need a stove!  Not my area of expertise … so I may pass on this one!

“It’s the journey, NOT the destination!”


John I. Cook, Director

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