Really Rain? Really???
It's been raining so much lately I feel like I have barely seen the sun! There have been a few mornings of sunshine but the past week has been pretty crazy. For the past two days and nights it has rained constantly. I mean all day and all night, super hard and then a little bit lighter, with maybe a 20 minute pause here and there only to start pouring again, and it is still going...unbelievable! Apparently this is how it gets around the start of June, but hopefully it won't be so bad for too long. Normally in the rainy season, the mornings are somewhat sunny, and the rain doesn't come until the late afternoon or evening (just when I need to be in transit to my classes), but lately Mother Nature hasn't been following the rules! Now I am starting to understand why so many foreigners only live in Costa Rica during the dry season. This rain is no joke! Last year was such a light weight rainy season that I didn't realize what I was in for this time. Apparently I haven't seen anything yet, as everyone and their mothers keep warning me about the madness of October...
My friend Liz Gilbert, who has the same name as the author of one of my favorite books Eat, Pray, Love, came to visit this past weekend. She is another one of ALIARSE's volunteer English teachers who works here in Turrialba, and we met during our job orientation in January. She came on Thursday in the midst of a big rainstorm, actually the same night that an earthquake hit Costa Rica farther south down the pacific coast. Apparently my students felt the tremor while we were having class, but I didn't notice anything other than some papers falling off the desk. Hmmm. I kind of WANT to feel an earthquake just because I never have before, but I guess I should be careful what I wish for!
Despite the rain, Liz and I had a great time here. She really loved this area and thought my whole set up with my family and the quad was great. She especially fell in love with my little sister Tiffany, as we spent some time one morning giving each other temporary tattoos with the yummy smelling markers I brought back from the States. Luckily, it wasn't raining too much during the daytime so we were able to go to the beach and visit the waterfall, which was in full force after so much rain. The hike up the river to the waterfall that is super easy in the dry season is finally getting kind of tricky again. I almost lost my flip flop twice!!! On Saturday, we did a tour of my favorite beach spots on the Santa Teresa side. Both nights that Liz was here we planned to go out for a few drinks, but every time we would get ready to go out, it would start pouring. One night we called a taxi, and the other night we used trash bag ponchos to stay somewhat dry on the quad. We felt quite accomplished as we managed to get out and have a blast regardless of the weather :)
This past week I also made my first attempts at crossing a river on the quad. All the rivers that were super low a few weeks ago are now way bigger, some of them flowing forcefully all the way out into the sea. But Rubi (my quad) is such a tough girl, I have to hand it to her, she really takes everything like a pro.
I must admit the first time was pretty scary. The tiny river that I normally cross all the time with no problem had gotten so much bigger. I wasn't sure how deep it was in the center, and I stopped to ponder turning around and making a big loop up to Cobano. But after a moment I decided I could do it, so I put it in low gear and slowly crossed. We made it through! YAY Rubi! It was quite a rush, but I had an even scarier moment with Liz when we tried to cross a river at night and got stuck on a rock. The river wasn't that deep so it would have been no problem for the quad, except for the fact that I steered us onto a big rock and the tire got stuck. The scary part was that I had to reverse back into the river in order to get us unstuck! But like I said, Rubi handled it really well, and we were on our way in no time. Nevertheless, these rivers are only getting bigger, and with time the cut-through roads will be impassable. Yet another reason why a car will make much more sense: I'll be driving the long loop all the way up to Cobano and around, and even if I didn't mind getting a little wet, that's a long way to go on a quad. So the search for a car continues. I should have good news within a week or two.
My favorite part of this time of the year is that the mangos are still abundant and the avocados are popping off! I've been eating avocado with almost every meal lately, and at least one mango a day. There are so many mangos still that people just give them away...que rico!