I realized the other day that we’ve been in Costa Rica for almost 2.5 months now, and I really haven’t blogged all that much about our experiences so far. I do think that I’m still adjusting to our move, and all is not totally roses for me. But much of that I can attribute to the fact that I’ve had a miserable last month or two of pregnancy. I’ve been physically very tired, and sometimes uncomfortable or in pain. So considering the fact that I’ve not been able to be my usual independent and active self, I think I’m doing pretty well in this new country.
But sitting and drinking my coffee (and later tea) this morning, I thought I’d write down some of things that I’m really enjoying about our new adventure in Costa Rica so far.
- Mornings. What a wonderful time of day in Costa Rica. Back in the States, I’d tend to get up around 9am. Here I’m typically up by 7:30. Today I was up at 6, and I didn’t mind in the least. The air was cool, the sun was up, and seemingly thousands of birds were chirping and flying around me. I made some of our local organic coffee and watched the hummingbirds while I sipped it on our porch, right next to the Heliconia patch. From my seat, I could see green mountains all around me, some with little white dots moving over them (horses or cows, or both). I could hear occasional cock-a-doodle-doos, and on some mornings, the mooing cows. And on most every morning, as soon as I walk outside, I check the status of the big volcano (Irazu, I believe) that I can see towering over us all the way across the Central Valley. Sometimes it is sharply defined by the rising sun, other times it is partially or fully shrouded in clouds. Any way you see it, mornings are wonderful here.
- Birds. I’m sure my family will laugh at my over this. You see, my sisters and I grew up with a grandfather that was literally obsessed with birding, and we tended to roll our eyes about that. But here, the birds are amazing. I regularly see these bright blue and green motmots in our orchard, and they are a sight to see (and hear!). I see quite a few toucans outside our house too, and they are magnificent. But even the lesser known birds are interesting to me. I see new kinds of birds all the time, and I’m always looking them up in my wildlife books. If I get up a little early, maybe 4:30 or 5am, the sound of all the birds waking up makes quite a racket. It’s surely something to hear, and it makes you feel guilty about being tempted to go back to sleep. How can you resist joining them in their day? You know, although my grandfather did quite a bit of traveling to see birds, he never did make it to Costa Rica before he died. I’m sure he would have loved it here.
- The feria. It’s our local farmer’s market, and it’s every Friday morning here in Atenas. We go there almost every week and get most of our food there. Fruits, vegetables, local organic coffee, the most delicious sticky buns, sometimes fish, bread, and cheese. We also adopted our dog, Po, there one week. Part of why I love it is that I just like walking among stalls of veggies. But the big part of why I love it is that it fills my soul. Back in the States, grocery shopping was a chore that could be accomplished without speaking to a single person during the entire experience. Here, we are beginning to get to know some of our local farmers. Our organic coffe guy has repeatedly invited our family out to his farm so that we can see how his coffee is produced, from bean to cup. He greets us with a smile every single week, and he was glad when we didn’t buy a bag of beans one week (we still had enough coffee left) because he would rather that we drink freshly roasted, yummy coffee than buy a bag just because we were there.
- The vegetation. Everything grows here, and many times things will grow like a weed. The flowers are everywhere too, although I have no idea how that might change once the rainy season officially comes. Just yesterday, I was able to get some turmeric and mint seedlings from a friend’s garden, in addition to some sprigs of fresh lemongrass. I made Arp put the seedlings in last night (I was having major sciatica), and I have no doubt I’ll have a big plot of them within a few weeks. We are lucky that we are living on a wonderful farm. We have neem trees, oranges, limon, mangoes, various nuts, bananas, plantains, possibly some avocado, and flowers galore. Love it.
- Tile Floors. As I type, I’m watching M do some dishes. He spontaneously decided it would be fun to wash dishes. He’s using plenty of soap, and bubbles and water are spilling onto the floor. And you know what? I don’t care. I’m just enjoying watching him. Back in the states, I would have been very concerned about damage to either our peel-and-stick tile, or the laminate flooring. Here, there is no problem. Just a quick mop involved when a mess is done. Plus, the cool tile feels great on your feet on those hot days. While I admit that I don’t personally love to mop floors (or vacuum, for that matter), it’s very affordable here to pay someone to do it, either weekly or biweekly. Tile rocks.
Stay tuned for more posts on the positives (and maybe the negatives) of living in Costa Rica.