La Pura Vida - El Verano de 2012
Pura VidaManuel Antonio, 23/6/2012 

Pura Vida
Manuel Antonio, 23/6/2012 

Saturday in Manuel Antonio!

Last Sunday in Arenal/La Fortuna

Reflections from a weekend in Tamarindo

Que rico. What a wonderful weekend it was. With a 5 hour bus ride there and back, I had a lot of time to just sit and think and reflect and realize what a wonderful dream I am living. Not only am I going on all of these outstanding excursions and doing things I would have never dreamed of doing, but I’m learning a language that I love, I’m meeting new people from all over the world, and I’m experiencing an entirely new culture.

I am consistently in awe of everything that I see, every day. I didn’t sleep the whole way to Tamarindo and I was disappointed at not having a window seat on the way home because I am perfectly content sitting and looking out the window for hours. Many other students watched movies on the way to Tamarindo; I couldn’t believe it because I felt like the best and most entertaining view was happening just outside my window - animals, mountains, rainforest, ocean, people, weather… Everything is so new, and so beautiful. Yes, after a while it may all seem like just a bunch of green - but each tree has yet to become not distinct and valued in my eyes. More often than not, I don’t have words to express what I feel about the nature that I am surrounded by.

Like that sky! My gosh, I could go on and on. I could lay on my back in the sand or in the grass and watch the sun rise and set, the clouds move, and the rain fall all day and every day. I love meeting new people and talking and going on adventures…but I’m perfectly content as an observer as well; it’s so much to take in all at once. And I want to make sure I remember it for the rest of my life.

Daily, I am overwhelmed with beauty. But I am not being naive here; I recognize that life here is far less privileged than the life I lead in the United States. I maybe living with a Tico family and experiencing traditional Tico customs, meals, and ways of life. But it only takes a short drive into San Jose to see what conditions a large portion of Costa Ricans live in. Driving to Tamarindo, we would pass huge beautiful hotels and less than 100 yards away there would be cities of shacks built out of scraps of metal and whatever could be used to create a basic shelter for a family. I know that the abundance of food I have for breakfast and dinner isn’t common for many.

So yes, I will be more appreciative of what I have when I come home; I already am. But I think I will also be less wasteful - of my water, of my food, of the money that I do have. I am privileged, so so privileged. Even here. I am blessed beyond belief and I know that one day, I am going to come back here to help the people that I see and here about as I am carted to and from excursions. I want to experience that and I want to be forever changed by all of the people that I meet here.

This is my first time here in the country and I am experiencing a lot. But it will not be my last time. There is such a greater appreciation for life here. It’s changing me, in a good way.

More to come from this outing…but here’s a little taste of what my morning consisted of. :)

To those of you who know me, remember when I said I liked swinging because it was as close to flying as I could get? Well, until sky-diving happens, I found a new level of “close.” 

**apologies for the video being side ways…I didn’t really have a free hand to hold the camera with. :P