kristishaplaI grew up exploring the inlets of South Florida. Swimming with river otters and manatee, diving for starfish, and trying to replant the mangroves kept me grounded in the natural world. This bond carried me through to adulthood, when I got a BS in biology, and a minor in ethnobotany.

In 2002, I traveled to India to study at Vandana Shiva's school in Dehradun. There, I took a two-week intensive in sustainable agriculture with Vandana Shiva, Masanobu Fukuoka (author of One Straw Revolution), and Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher (Ethiopian Minister of the Environment). The Dalai Lama sent a dozen Tibetan farmers in exile to this course as well. The Taoist wisdom of Masanobu Fukuoka has woven itself into my spirit, and I am grateful for this experience.

A few years later, My family and I moved closer to nature even still. We lived in a tipi in Tennessee and learned to forage, trap, and live without electricity and running water (well, except for the water that ran past in the creek). At one point, we had four people, 26 brooding chicks, and a dog all living in a single tipi!

I live in Eugene, Oregon now with my family (daughter, son, husband). Last year, I earned over 300 hours of classroom and clinical training at a local Western herbalism school.

I started the East West program in March, at the recommendation of Rosalee de la Foret. I also attended the seminar this Spring. I could never have anticipated the effect this seminar would have on me. It ignited a spark inside me which has led to a real determination to stay on this healer's path. Since the seminar, I have enrolled in a LMT program, and I plan to enroll in acupuncture next year. If you haven't attended a seminar yet, it was the most supportive, nourishing, challenging, and awakening educational experiences I have ever had.

My hobbies include beer making (my brew won a prize at the East West seminar!!), knitting, traditional archery, gardening, bicycling, Tai Ji, and horseplay. I'll be teaching children's classes at Rootstalk (a new herb festival in Oregon) this year, so if you will be there, please come by the Children's Peace Guild tent and see us!

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