Tico Artisan

Trip Start Sep 17, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Coco's Sunset

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Since I used the term "Tico" in the title I probably should explain it. Natives of the different Central American countries each have a different nickname.   A Costa Rican is a "Tico" and you see the term everywhere.

Several days ago I met a Tico woodworker who hand-makes artistic wooden signs from the wood of the Pochote tree; a local tree common in "dry" rain forests.  (See the next entry for discussion of "dry" rain forests.)  I commissioned a personalized sign from him for me and went back today to pick it up and I ordered a few more. He used to be a bar tender at a hotel in Tamarindo, a town heavily populated with Americans during the dry season.  ("Summer" in the local lexicon.)  He's primarily mono-lingual in Spanish.  Although he has picked up enough English for some basic communication, any extensive conversation is impossible in English.  He’s learned, however, that his limited English is better than most Americans’ Spanish so he was really surprised to run into an American who is fluent in Spanish and we’ve had a great time talking.  Each time I’m there I end up spending an hour or so just talking and he’s taught me some of the local slang.

Today he invited me to watch a game of soccer tonight in which he was playing.  There’s a local “indoor” soccer field that lots of local teams play on.  It’s actually outdoors but is a tiny field with artificial turf and small goals, completely enclosed with netting.  Five-man teams play each other instead of the 11-man team that would use a full-sized field.  My evenings are usually pretty quiet since I’m not much of a “night life” kind of person so I went out and had a great time watching him play.

If you come to this part of Costa Rica, stop by and say "hi" to him.
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