A team of healthcare practitioners and explorers

Hello. We are Petra, Kim and Cal. Originally from Germany, the US and the UK. The three of us have been working together in our healthcare practice (Green Raven Centre on Salt Spring Island) for more than 20 years. Like any team, we are more than the sum of our parts: our teachers, training, travels, experiences, and personal lives.

These values connect us: practicing the highest standard in healthcare, scientific integrity, endless wonder at human adaptability, a deep curiosity about the world, and abiding respect for the human spirit. Oh, and we love to laugh.

In 2013 we embraced the opportunity to travel to the Amazon rainforest together. One trip led to another and continued to deepen our relationship with the Sapara people who quickly became our teachers. Today the Sapara continue to deepen our understanding of how humans are inseparable from nature, and how our nightly dreams shape our waking lives.

Over the past decade, we have developed a reciprocity with the Sapara people. On the one hand, the Sapara continue to teach us, and on the other, they have asked that we, in turn, share their ancestral knowledge, including the makihaunu (the world of dreams). In their day-to-day lives, the Sapara demonstrate how we live to dream and dream to live. At their prompting, we have promised to share their insights in the north. Naku North.

Petra Hasenfratz

It starts with a film in 2004 — The Dream People of the Amazon. As the final credits are rolling I turn to my husband. ‘I have to go there, I don’t know how.’

Ten years later I’m in the Ecuadorian rainforest, floating down river in a dugout canoe. We’re heading to the lagoon where the spirits were born. A year before, the rainforest showed me that everything is connected. And now I’m back, and it’s lost. I’ve forgotten. I know I’ve forgotten. I’m detached. I look at Manari. He is the spiritual leader of the Sapara. He’s navigating from the front. I tell him, ’I forgot.’ He turns to me. ‘You can never forget.’

I grow up in the Black Forest, forage for mushrooms with my father, fish in the clear water, become a teacher, move to the Swiss border, hike the Alps, swim in the Rhine, come to Canada, canoe in Yukon, the Stikine, the Big Salmon, farm in northern BC, work as an RMT in Vancouver, move to Salt Spring Island, build a house on a rock cliff with Arbutus trees, create a family home.

I know the body is connected. For 30 years I have been an RMT. And I am a naturalist. I know that all things are connected. I don’t forget it, thanks to the life teachings of the Sapara.

A film led me to the Amazon rainforest. Maybe it took courage to go into the unknown. But curiosity was my guide. Say yes. And then feel the magic around you. It is the space where consistencies and the unimagined happen. Manari is right. You can’t forget. It’s not possible.

RMT, West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Vancouver BC

Teacher, College Sportschule Kiedaisch, Stuttgart DE

Kim Hanson

As a healer, teacher and classical five element acupuncturist, steeped in Taoist philosophy, I believe that our connection to our natural surroundings is key to living a life of balance, filled with health and vitality. It is essential to understand our role as humans within the interdependent ecology on earth to ensure our future on this planet.

As an outdoor enthusiast and an organic farmer, I used to pride myself in my deep connection to nature… until I met the Sapara. The Sapara have shown me what it looks and feels like to live deeply connected to self, others and nature.

I believe that there is wisdom and knowledge in the past that is critical to solving the problems of today and meeting the challenges of tomorrow. The timeless depth of life knowledge that the Sapara people hold is a gift to us all.

Master of Acupuncture, Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture, Miami Lakes FL; Royal Leamington Spa, UK

Master of Business, Simmons Graduate School of Management, Boston MA

Cal Steel

A curiosity about the facets of being human. Wonder and awe at the natural world and the dynamic nature of life. These have led me on many adventures, a career in healthcare, and lately to the Amazon.

Over the years I’ve studied, practiced and grown to develop an understanding of health. That it is not about the absence of pain, discomfort or disease. Rather, it is about flexibility. About adapting to life as it flows in, through and around us.

But I’ve come to see that somewhere we got lost. We’ve forgotten our place in the world’s ecosystem — the place that is at the very heart of being human. We’ve forgotten, with devastating effects on our health and the health of the planet.

 My time in the Amazon rainforest has deeply shaped my understanding of this. The rainforest is a place of timelessness where the mind goes quiet and the senses take over. The Amazon has shown me a wholly different way of being alive. A rekindling of an inner instinctual knowing, a shifting away from intellectual concepts. An awakening of the senses.

Time with the Sapara has immersed me in their way of being. An ancient way of knowing rooted in the living ecosystem where the laws of nature are recognized, respected and lived. A way of being a self as part of something bigger than self. A life joining past-present-future in one flowing entity. The Sapara way is supportive of both human health and the health of the planet.

Perhaps we can remember, shift, awaken to rejoin the world, as the Sapara show we can. With deep gratitude to the Sapara and the rainforest.

Fellowship Sutherland Cranial College, UK

Diploma in Osteopathy, British School of Osteopathy, UK

Registered General Nurse, Bristol Royal Infirmary, UK

Tracy Hornik

Curious. In search of truth. A lover of beauty and light. An understanding that life is so very wonderful if you can just get out of your own way. 

I met these incredible healers a couple of years ago when I visited Salt Spring Island for a few months. My plan was to work remotely during Covid in a new environment. Little did I know that these women and this magical place would change my life. I came back to the island again the following year and now plan to make it a constant. 

 After travelling with Petra, Kim and Cal to Guatemala in early 2022 to study Mayan culture they asked me to help put together this exploration. We appear to be kindred spirits on the same path — one of curiosity and discovery. An understanding that so many of us are lost and out of balance but there are answers out there and ways to live in reciprocity and connection.

As for my background, it’s one that has been in constant flow. A mother, lawyer, documentary filmmaker, photographer and entrepreneur. I’ve run businesses, studied religion and philosophy, and travelled extensively with awe and wonder at this incredible world.

I am thrilled to be working with these amazing women and hope to share with you my knowledge, experiences and love of learning. Though not a hands-on teacher I am honoured to be involved in this project and contribute with humility and gratitude.

LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto ON

Documentary Production, Documentary Film Institute York-Seneca, Toronto ON