This morning my Tico father called me into the kitchen to see some kind of animal whose name I didn't recognize in Spanish. He seemed excited for me to check it out, so I jumped out of my seat and darted over to the open air cocina, only to find out that it was a SKUNK!!! (or as they call it, a zorillo or mofeta.) Lukas then informed me that this furry friend lives in the kitchen, under the cabinets, and eats the food that falls to the floor. Sometimes it even enters the house and does a loop around the living room. "And this is ok with you?" I asked, "Isn't this the animal that sprays that horrible scent?" He shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, "Only if you bother him, otherwise he's fine...it's a little bit of nature inside the home!"
Wow...now it all makes sense. It wasn't long ago when I thought I smelled a skunk-like odor in the kitchen. My Tica mom had told me that it was probably a skunk and that the neighbor's little dog had scared it, causing it to release it's odor. No big deal, I figured, it was outside of the house; but no, that little devil lives right underneath where we keep our pots and pans, just waiting for scraps to fall. Occasionally he even comes out and steals the eggs off the counter (eggs here are rarely refrigerated). Now I know why they often keep them in the microwave!
Oh, Cabuya. My little town is super tranquilo. Aside from the fisherman and the farmers working the land, there really is nothing going on. There are only a few grocery stores, a little bookstore, and a couple cafes around. So the other day when I realized I really needed gas for the quad and I was no where near one of the two bombas - gas stations - in the area (one is in Cobano and one is in Mal Pais), I asked around Cabuya, and sure enough, there are two houses in the hood that sell gasoline. Que dicha! I also discovered through a friend that there is a lady just across the street that does pedicures for a measly 1,500 colones...that's less than three dollars! I immediately made an appointment to get my toes painted. Then last weekend I had a llanta ponchada - a flat tire - that needed fixing, and I also wanted to buy a 6 pack of beer after the super closed (which is early in Cabuya). Well, what do you know? It turns out all of these things are available here, you just have to know which door to knock on. The beer is sold out of a fridge in someone's house, prohibition style, and there is a makeshift taller just down the street that can change my oil and fix my flat tire on the cheap cheap. (Plug for a flat, air and balancing of all four tires, $3.80) And of course, the owner is the brother-in-law of my Tico father. Go figure.
Pilsen, mi cerveza preferida
Que calor! It has been extremely, overwhelmingly, unbelievably hot here lately. Like WTF, are you kidding me, it's-supposed-to-cool-off-at-night-and-I'm-still-freaking-sweating kind of heat. The only ounce of relief I've felt was when I heard from a friend traveling in India that it's 110 degrees over there. Well I guess almost 100 isn't too bad. Still, we could really use some rain to cool things down. I would definitely welcome some more pelo de gato, although I'm a little nervous about the rainy season on the quad. It's going to be an interesting, wet and muddy adventure with Rubi, but I think we'll manage. I've made it through every other seemingly impossible obstacle so far in Costa Rica, so why not conquer the rainy season on an ATV?
Mere & I in Cabo Blanco
Solo bueno... My girl Meredith was here to visit for a week and we had a fabulous time. We laughed so hard that I almost lost weight, but I made up for it by drinking lots of Pilsens and Imperials. We rode around on the quad por todo lado (Mere even learned how to drive it), exploring mother nature's wonders by day, and partying like rock stars by night. We went hiking in Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, swimming at the Montezuma waterfall (where we met the most gorgeous guy from Uruguay - I think his name was Piero and I still can't get his image out of my head), checking out the beaches of Mal Pais and Montezuma, eating loads of delicious ceviche and garlicky grilled calamaris, dipping into rivers to cool off, and taking a boat trip out to Isla Tortuga where we snorkeled, ate fresh fish, and napped on the white sand beach. It was stellar having a good friend like Meredith here to share my little world with me, and I'm pretty sure she loved it too - she was already talking about coming back in August ;)
My classes are in full swing and they're starting to feel like little communities. All of my Santa Teresa classes had their first exam this week and I'm in the process of grading them. It's nice to see how much progress they have made already (well, most of them), and to think they didn't know any of this stuff just 6 weeks ago! My Montezuma groups are finally feeling groovy after having to change a few things around. We have Semana Santa (Easter week) off, so classes will resume on April 5th. In the meantime, I'm heading back to Samara for fiesta! Just a long weekend trip to see a few friends and a few rodeos, I'll be driving the quad (with a friend) up the coastal road from Mal Pais to Manzanillo, Punta Islita, Carillo, and finally into Samara. There are supposedly some really nice views and secluded beaches along this drive, so I'm stoked. Should be quite the weekend!
And my love for this life in Costa Rica continues...PURA VIDA!!!