We have arrived in Costa Rica. It is our 3rd day here in this beautiful country so I thought you could use a little update on us. (I say "little" but this is going to be a long post, as there is lots to tell).
On Monday we flew into Houston, then San Jose. We spent most of the day traveling and finally arrived in SJO about 8pm (which is 9pm at home). We took a shuttle back to our hotel that we got for the night before we made the trek to Playa Bejuco in the morning. The hotel we stayed at was BEAUTIFUL! The decor was amazing and they had a free breakfast buffet which was a definite plus. I ate things that I still don't even know what they were, but it was all delicious.
In the morning we took the hotel shuttle again to the bus station. The bus was a bit tricky and we got ripped off. Long story short, if they think they can get away with it they will rip you off- not just foreigners, even the locals too, so you have to pay attention. I of course didn't realize that I had paid for 2 tickets and she had only given me one (although she did give me 2 sheets of paper) until we tried to get on the bus and the driver pointed it out to me. We were already late getting on the bus so I tried to explain to him what happened but I was rapidly running out of time to get on the bus, so I just went and paid another $8 for the ticket.
Once on the bus we were able to relax for a few hours until it was time to get off at our stop.
Playa Bejuco is a very small town on the Pacific Coast of CR. We live down the main road. This "main road" is a gravel road consisting of only one mini supermarket, 2 restaurants, EcoVida (our place), another hotel, a soccer field, and some local homes. The road leads straight to the black sand beach.
The beach is unlike anything I've ever seen before. It looks as if it is out of a movie. The sand is so soft it massages your feet as you walk. Every time we have been to the ocean has been at low tide. Therefore, there is this odd middle space between the beach and the ocean where the wet sand has a thin layer of water over top of it, making it look almost like you are walking on water. The waves here are big, great for surfing. We have only seen one other family and one other couple on the beach. It is very spacious to say the least, and impeccably clean.
EcoVida Properties is where we live. The main building is 2 shipping containers stacked on top of each other, the bottom is the office and the top is an apartment where the owners usually live. Right now the owners are living in a rental property across the street and the other volunteers are in the top apartment. We are in a small, one-room cabina. It is very simple living here. No AC, no TV, no microwave, and the wifi barely functions. The other volunteers names are Agus and David. They have quickly become our friends as we work with them daily and hang out in the afternoon since we are the only ones on the property after 4pm. We cook dinner together and listen to David play his guitar. Today we all ate coconut and chased a huge rat out of their house. They are both from Argentina, where they have free college. Agus is a microbiologist and David is a mechanical engineer. They speak english extremely well and have made us feel very welcome.
Here everything is recycled and Eco-Friendly. I'm going to get us kicked out of this place if I don't learn to turn the lights off. We have a compost bucket outside that we take to the larger compost bins when it gets full, a recycling basket, and two trash cans. One can is for regular trash and one is for toilet paper because we cannot flush it. This is because the waste goes through 3 cleaning tanks then is distributed through out our property in the irrigation system. It comes out like clear, normal, water and does not stink but the plants LOVE it! We hang dry everything on a clothes line on our porch.
Today for work I painted and rehung curtain rods, and raked the property. Sounds pretty easy, but I never stopped sweating. I don't think I've ever sweat more in my life than I have these past 3 days. I never will complain about it being humid in St. Louis again, I'll tell you that much. Vince has a bigger project he is working on with the boys (David and Gerardo the maintenance guy). They are building a fence around the property so the crocodiles don't come up from the creek and eat the dog. Yes, I'm serious!
Everyone here has been more than welcoming and very nice to us. We love eating bananas and mangos off the trees for snacks and making smoothies with our fresh fruit.
We are still getting used to a lot of things here: The heat and living with out AC, the incredible amount of bugs that are everywhere, the lizards in the house, the currency and language of course, but we are slowly learning how things work.
It's now time for bed because we start work at 7am! I'll keep writing as much as possible but this post alone took 4 hours to post even with full wifi bars. Guess that's just how the laid-back, small-town Pura Vida way of life goes! Until next time~