After reading this I looked through photos of my time in Costa Rica and reminisced. It was uncomfortable to read this because although I have fond memories of my time there, I had to admit that i had similar thoughts and reactions at the time. I remember that the most difficult things were the heat, the poverty, communication, hostility toward foreigners and the sticky relentless heat. The driving was pretty scary also! But this was always over ruled by the excitement of discovering new things that make my heart beat and soul settle. I remember being determined to reach this waterfall that was off the beaten track, hoping we were on the right bus and that the driver had understood where we wanted to be let off, then being arrested for not having our passports on us and kept by officials on the side of the road for hours until we paid the desired amount and were sent away,only to return the next day and after a long hot bus ride and long hot walk down a deserted and unmarked track, finally reaching our destination! But looking back, the most valuable experiences were interactions with locals and insights into another world.
And en devouring to set up a retreat in this country, the challenge to understand and find common ground with the people will be unavoidable. You have obviously committed to this with the intention to integrate Teal, and the first step is to expose the shadow.
Sending you love on your journey and hope to visit one day