Monkeys and toucans and sloths...oh my!
Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
4Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
A little about Baru. It is located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, just north of the surfer town Dominical. Back in the early 1970s it was a working cattle and rice farm, having been previously cleard in the 1960s of its natural forest. Primary forest remained in the highlands to protect the water source, and two patches of forest remained near the coast. While building living fence posts to corral the cattle, owner Jack Ewing noticed something unusual- once the trees got tall enough monkeys started using them as corridors between the lowland and highland forests. Over the next few years more monkey corridors were built and more land allowed to naturally convert back into secondary forest
Yes, this is where I get to live and work...not bad huh!?! While it is beautiful, living here is...well, different. Yes, different is a good way of putting in. I live in whats called La Cosana, its the original buildings back when it was used as farmland.
It is located about a mile and a half south of the lodge. Its two stories, constructed out of single planked wood- no drywall, no insulation- and concrete floors. Quite minimal with no TV, no radio, no computer, no microwave, one shower, hardly any furniture, and one tinsy tiny mirror downstairs. Living in the house is myself, three local Ticos who work as tour guides at the Hacienda, another Tico who is researching for his Yale doctorate, the house cat, and we are expecting a male volunteer from France any day now
My daily day goes something like this:
Wake up at 6:00am to moist air, bright sun, and the sound of insects buzzing and exotic bird singing. Head out by 6:30 for my 30 minute commute-on-foot through the jungle. The jungle is amazing in the morning, with the light filtering through the different layers of canopy. Vines are hanging all around off the exotic trees, butterflies and birds flutter about, pizote rustle in the bushes as I walk pass, and usually monkeys are playing overhead. I honestly expect Tarzan to come swinging by at any moment! I get to work by 7:00 where I spend the day working the reception, helping hotel guests and day guests who are signed up for tours. Im finished by 3:00pm and usually leave right after as thats the time the rain normally hits
Yes, Im not in California anymore thats for sure. But Im adjusting. Its interesting when you are placed outside of your comfort zone to see how you react. What you like, what you dont. Why you like it or not. Its a lot of time in your head, too, with no TV or radio to distract you. And not being able to communicate as easily or freely with those around you is challenging. It brings to attention your reactions to events, something I dont think people are normally aware of. It places you in situations where you stop, and think in your head, "Okay, I have two ways to react to this. Which one am I going to choose?"
I must say, while learning about the jungle is fascinating, even more so is learning about myself.