When it rains, it pours...everyday

Trip Start Jan 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, September 2, 2007

The rainy season has struck with a vengeance, and I have added some interesting new words to my vocabulary. Aguacero: literally, 'mountains of water', but basically 'it's raining so hard that you can't hear yourself think or see two feet in front of you'. Barro: literally, 'mud', but basically 'mud so sticky and deep that it can suck your shoes right off your feet'. These two words have come to be a major part of my life in the past few weeks. They cause me to spend more time then I have ever spent in my life looking up at the sky and studying the clouds. How much more time will I have before the downpour begins? Can I finish this lesson without having to shout over the noise of 'mountains of water' slamming down on my tin roof? Can I make it home for lunch? Will it actually hold off until the school day is over?

My umbrella has become my fifth appendage, brought along on even the sunniest of days because I know it is just a matter of time before the aguacero strikes. It has happened once or twice, though, that I have somehow managed to forget my most important of belongings when going out. Perhaps it is my subconscious rejecting the idea that it can rain so much in a country known for its beaches and sun, or maybe it's that adventurous part of me wanting to take a walk on the wild side. Well whatever the reason for my oversight, it always ends in the same way - wet to the bone, clutching myself while shivering, and cursing my stupidity. It seems that I always forget my umbrella at the most inopportune moments, like when I also miss the direct bus to La Estrella and have to walk for an hour down from Congreja along a dirt road now transformed into a permanent mudslide.

And this brings me to my other new word: barro. Probably one of the most common phrases I now hear is "mucho barro", which is also probably one of the biggest understatements of the year. To merely say that there is a lot of mud in the road would be to forget that we are talking about roads that in dry weather are dirt roads. When it rains, and the water mixes with the dirt, they then become mud roads. So, in conclusion, there is not merely a lot of mud in the road; the mud actually is the road. However, in one place on the road from La Estrella to civilization, the water has actually become too much for the road, and getting to Cartago now involves fording a river. It definitely makes for a more eventful bus ride with all the adults crossing themselves and the kids squealing in terror and excitement. But of course, the effects of the enormous quantities of mud everywhere, do not just effect my travels to and from my little town. Oh no, barro has become a major part of my daily life as well. Every morning walking to school I desperately try to dodge the parts of the mud roads that are somehow muddier than the other parts, but I always arrive for class with the legs of my pants decorated with different splatter patterns. Mario, of course, finds this hilarious and every morning he greets me with a "Mucho barro, Teacher!" Um, yeah, you could say that.
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