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Checking Out, Checking in

There is a children’s game to help kids learn geography. It’s called “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” Carmen leads a gang of nefarious henchmen who hatch various crimes. The “Chief” is hot on her trail with assistance from “gumshoes,” the kids who put together clues to prevent the geographical crime. Carmen herself eludes police. It is perhaps the best kind of learning — The gumshoes are children who play the game, and in their search for the fugitives they learn geography. As is probably clear, I have not been on the lookout for Carmen Sandiego, but I often paraphrase the question. Where is Sandra WW?

Is she in the U.S. or some other continent?
If she’s in Hawai`i, where is she?
Is she at home? The Handsome Bloke swears this is seldom the case.

Seated Buddha at Lumeria

Well, today, Tuesday, I momentarily know where I am. I am at a Retreat Center called Lumeria which is on the Makawao side of Maui. I arrived on Sunday via the route Hawaiian Air clerks call “traveling backward.” I live on the Big Island of Hawai`i. The next island to the north is Maui. But, there is only one flight daily from Hilo to Maui. Otherwise, one first has to go north to Honolulu, change planes, and then fly south again. Good opportunity to get some reading done.

Stepped off the second flight into what I consider a major tropical downpour. This is unusual for Maui, so the taxis are not located under cover. So, you guessed it, by the time I dragged myself and my bag across the street, I was drenched to the skin. And, then I momentarily could not find my phone without which I not only could not find the address to my destination, but would be without most of my life details. Thought I might cry – who could tell? I was already wet. Just then the phone appeared. Artificial reality to the rescue.

View of landscape & buildings at Lumeria

But the destination makes it all worthwhile. The Lumeria Center is a truly magical pocket of Hawai`i. [] The website pictures are accurate, and I’ve added a few of my own to this blog. The atmosphere is serene. The food excellent. And, it stopped raining.

Even better — the reason I came. A 10 day Purna Yoga Retreat led by Aadil Palkhivala and Savitri from the Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue WA. [] I do believe that Savitri is the foremost practitioner of meditation in our world. And Aadil is a true master. But what makes Purna Yoga special is the way it integrates body-mind-spirit so that we experience life to the fullest.

So, I don’t know where Carmen Sandiego is right now. But I know that I am on an incredible journey through life. And so are you. Embrace it.

Photos by Author.  All Rights Reserved.

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

 Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.


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