Through our journey in our Second Life, we meet so many avatars – some become close friends and many remain acquaintances. Some we see daily, some we see occasionally and some we see on the rare occasion – perhaps at a social event. As we lose touch with the avatars (and the people behind them), we are truly never certain why. In some cases, we might be blessed to have found a friendship that crosses the boundaries of Second Life into our first life. This is the case with Giancarlo Takacs and geko Stoop. These two avatars crossed the boundary after geko had lived on Gian’s estate for a while truly contributing the success of his estate, and she visited Gian’s home country. They moved from acquaintance to friend to business partner to confidantes. Why, you might ask, am I sharing this? Well, geko lost her battle with cancer in February 2010, and Gian lost his “baby sister”, his confidante.
After her passing, Gian decided that because this young lady was such an important person in his lives (second and first), he wanted to pay tribute in some manner. geko touched so many in Second Life and Gian felt that a memorial set in the Costa Rica Sims Estate made perfect sense. When geko was visiting real life Costa Rica, she toured beautiful forests. After that tour, Gian has said that she was in ‘awe of the forests’ and found ‘her home”. She stated she would love to live in a little cottage in a forest such as these. Gian set to find the best creators to assist in his plan. His friend, Maurice Messmer, joined him to turn the vision of this forest into Second Life “virtuality”. Very quickly, this vision was realized and geko Stoop’s Memorial Forest was created on the Puntarenas 1 sim. Others assisting Gian with making this forest “come to life” include Colleen Bracken, Jon Haskell, Moonde Magic, Felicity Sneerwell, Tunes Meness and Ub Yifu.
As you enter the forest’s landing point inside a little tin roofed shack, you will find the reason behind this memorial… and from there you can explore paths beyond the beautiful statue by Ub Yifu of geko on her horse (which is how Gian first met his friend) and you will see beautiful flora and fauna. The water features are outstanding with many waterfalls, a rushing river and a quiet spring-like area. The elevation of this sim is great as well, with a tower you can also walk up into for an even better vantage point. Be sure to cross the river on one of the swinging rope bridges and visit the shack at the top of the mountain where you can find out more how forests can help provide medicinal cures and other info. Here you will also find that you can purchase a pair of beautiful blue butterflies created by Tunes Meness in memory of geko. All proceeds from these will go to the American Cancer Society! And keep in mind, there is a pavilion where you can bring a friend for a dance as it is outfitted with an in-tan system.
All in all, it is a nice way to spend a little time in Second Life. To walk through and see the great attention to detail and just how this forest represents reality is rewarding. Knowing that it originated to honor the memory of a young lady loved by so many is even more heart-warming. Take a moment to reflect in the beauty of nature and remember those friends, both past and present, that are special to you.
‘Til Next Time…