Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sacha and Benny

Benny started Sacha, conceived it, designed it, built it, made it happen. After hearing his story, I find it astounding that he moved from textiles to gold to running a restaurant to creating a nature preserve. I find it odd that after 40 years in south America, he is back in Switzerland with his young Ecuadorian wife. He has left his children and his life behind in the jungle. He returns once or twice a year for a visit. He leaves the operation of Sacha and Casa del Suizo to his sons in law.

He told us his story, but did not divulge his feelings or his motivations. He did one thing and then moved on to another. He downplays his thirst for of adventure. He took risks, he kept landing on his feet, starting over, reinventing himself. He is modest and does not embellish or exaggerate his story.

Benny leaves Sacha as his life work. It is art, literature, a creation. It is his legacy.

It takes great sense of purpose, sense of self, confidence, courage to leave all that is familiar behind, to start life over again. Both my parents left their families and homes and started new lives thousands of miles away. They learned a new language, a new culture and a new way of being and prevailed in an unfamiliar environment. I wonder how much of the equation is running away from the past to start anew versus a willingness to take risks, to face the unknown, to accept failure as much as success.

Leaving everything behind in my life is feeling less and less frightening. I have come to accept that I must sell my house and pack my life away in boxes. I feel that for a time I will be floating or perhaps sinking with no foundation underneath, that I will ultimately land somewhere and be fine. Part of me is looking forward to the freedom of having no choice but to move forward, and facing whatever presents itself. It is interesting that failure does not even register as a possibility. I will just live life as it happens, and I like the idea of the unexpected.

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