A book sat casually on the shelf in San Miguel looking worn down, with a battered book jacket, many paper folds, even a few bobby pin book marks. You could tell it had been passed around, (which is always a good sign) so I began reading Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Human Behavior. If you go to the Kalu Yala Facebook page and check out the Notes section, there is one Note titled “The Official Kalu Yala Reading list”. On this list is the very book I picked up. It’s clear why it made the list, Spent gives a new perspective on why evolutionarily we fall subject to bizarre Western consumerism behaviors.
One part that stuck out to me as I sped through the pages was this : “school socializes children to be reliable, politically pacified wage slaves.” The author continued on to talk about how a Harvard education could be obtained by reading the right six foot long shelf of books. I don’t entirely agree with this statement, I think education is critically important and has led me to have a better understanding of the world and its complex and sophisticated facets. But I don’t disagree that there is a lot more out there then the structured education system. The reason I am bringing this up is because it is an idea that can be applied to the Kalu Yala internship, looking beyond the walls of the classroom and getting out into the world. You can sit in front of a laptop all day, sit through every lecture, and become a master of whatever topic interests you, however getting out into the world and actually doing something teaches invaluable personal and professional lessons. The Community Outreach team could not get anything done without getting out into the community, asking questions and learning from whats going on around us in San Miguel.
At Kalu Yala I am surrounded by passionate people who are taking their personal briefs, dreams, and ideas, and putting them into action. Kalu Yala is a place where interns can take personal responsibility, create their own projects and hypothetically be their own boss. No one here is interested in controlling and directing your dreams and aspirations and there is a collective spirit that anything is possible. We support each other, revel in learning what we can, and even if this means learning from failures, at least you got out there and gave something a try.
I have sat in school for most of my life, it is the way the world works, the way you get a job, and support yourself and your family – these are important things that cannot be overlooked. However if you are a recent graduate, or a curious college student now is the time to get out into the world and explore what interests you, travel, find out what makes you passionate and will drive you towards a fulfilling lifestyle. One thing I got out of this book that will definitely apply to my time here at Kalu Yala, is to think outside of the mundane day to day. Question the world as you’ve always known it and recognize the endless opportunities in each and every moment.