Back where I belong ; )

Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Aman, Nirvana and Suzi's place

Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wow, what an adventure this last 4 weeks has been.  I have had very limited internet for many different reasons,  and now my laptop screen is not working.  I have to make a trip to San Jose, which is about an hour away to take it to the Apple store.  They had told me in the states it would take 3 weeks to fix, I am not sure how long it will take from here, but I am crossing my fingers that it won't be that long.  Luckily for me, I am able to borrow my host's laptop from time to time while I am in Atenas, and then internet cafes when I am traveling around.Let me start from the beginning....well, almost.  I will leave out the details of the stress that I went through when I got stuck in Denver for 3 days trying to get to Costa Rica.  It all worked out cause I was able to spend a lot of time with my friend Nathan who lives there.  It was a healing and needed visit for us both.  

By the time I arrived in Costa Rica I had missed out on the majority of time that was to be spent by my friends Jim and Gingher (affectionately referred to as JimGher) and their clan who were all here celebrating their honeymoon.  But, first I came down to Atenas where Kelly and I will be staying til we get a place of our own.  It was so wonderful to see Kelly again, and to spend a "girl day" at the pool, doing our toes, rolling my dreads, reading and relaxing.  I bought a ticket on Nature Air for the 45 minute flight to Nosara the second day I got here.  Driving would take 4 to 5 hours, and a bus 6+ hours...due to the terrain.  The flight was in a puddle jumper (14 seater) and I think I am officially over my fear of small planes....cause I really did enjoy it.  It is a great way to see Costa Rica too!  I was able to find everyone easily and spent the next two days hanging out at the beach, getting massages, eating, drinking and being merry.  The last night they were in town they even made a burning man on the beach (see pics).  Finally, they all had to leave and I decided to stay in Nosara and scout out some rental properties.  Nothing seem to fit our exact needs or price, so after a few days, although, I didn't want to officially give up on Nosara, I flew back to Atenas.

Kelly and I had signed up to volunteer at Rainforest Aid 09 a few months back and so next, we headed down to the Osa Peninsula and again, on Nature Air...they had half price tickets for all volunteers.  We took with us a volunteer paramedic, Mike that we met here in Atenas.  The three of us, along with our boss, Steve, and 8 others made up the "security team".  But, boy, we did a lot more than security.  We got there 3 days before the event and helped set up.  We did everything from help build the theater, set up the parking lot, create and paint signs, set up plumbing for the bathrooms, move structures around the soccer field and any other grunt work that was asked of us.  Then, on Friday, we started taking 3 hour shifts for security, but I found myself working even when I was off...which was ok, but exhausting at times.  We even had to take over night security shifts to watch for theft of the vendors.  The people that we worked with were amazing....everyone was on the same page and worked together as a team.  The food was awesome...and the music?  Well, you all know how I like live music...well, I got it, for 3 days, all day, all night!  There were reggae, blues, rock, classical and all sorts of different types of music.  Kelly and I got to work the VIP area and meet all the band members.  Everyone was so kind and generous.  We worked hard and played a little...but, it was all worth it.  The turn out for the festival was minimal, but I guess that is normal for a first time festival.  There were rumors that the prices were too high, that the location was too remote, that it was rainy season and that local participation was low due to lack of initial involvement with the project.  I have hopes that next year, they will have a better turn out, and will correct some of the things that needed to be done.  I am privileged to have been a part of the very first Rainforest Aid!  

Next, Mike, Kelly, Steve and I, along with two other volunteers, Ebony and Jesse, all went to Dominical for some fun and sun.  Another volunteer, Laura, already was living there, so it felt like a mini reunion of the security crew.  We had fun on the beach, the pool for a couple days and let loose one night....Ladies Nite...where the shots for ladies are free.  Well, I won't go into the details, but debauchery ensued ; )We were also there to look at rental properties, but again, ran into some problems, mostly with the fact that the internet there is spotty, if offered at all.  Kelly and I have some criteria that we would like to meet, and a price range...we are not yet ready to settle.  Dominical for us, is like a mini home...we always run into people we know...not just people we know that live there, but people from other areas of the country that are visiting the same time as we are.  Not only that, but we saw at least a dozen people from the Rainforest Aid there as well (and this is a town 3 hours north of Osa)  Just like Nosara, it is a special place for us, and we both believe that our home will be in one of those places.  We still have leads in both areas, and will be following up soon.

We have been staying with Aman in Atenas.  He is the husband of Nirvana, whom we met at our very first ICCCR workshop in Londres. Aman, Nirvana and Suzi all live here, but currently Nirvana and Suzi are in the states. They have been kind enough to open their home to us, and we are so grateful for their generosity.  Atenas is a beautiful little town, and their home is lovely...they have two cats and a pool...and it is cooler here than the beach, it has been nice.  Ok, so it is rainy season, and it rains everyday, but really, it doesn't bother me.  There is also sunshine everyday!  Mosquitoes, yes, I still am getting demolished if I don't have bug spray on...but, it is tough when you get caught in the rain and it washes it away (as happened in Osa, a lot) So, my normally smooth skin is riddled with bug bites, and I am learning to control itching them.I sure am getting to know the pacific side of this country....on our way back from Dominical we took a bus to San Isidro, then a taxi to a different bus station, a bus to San Jose, then a taxi to another bus station, a bus to Atenas, and finally, a taxi to the took 8 hours.  Quite different than the 50 minute flight down to the Osa we had taken 10 days earlier.  The buses and taxis are so cheap though, and it really is a great way to see the long as you know about the changing of bus stations (thank god for Kelly).  I have not yet gone to the Caribbean side, although we had talked about going this week, we need a rest from all the traveling and Kelly needed to get some work done.  

I am reading A New Earth, by Eckart Tolle, and if you have not read it, you should give it a try.  I got the book from my mother in the states, and I have seen it down here everywhere I go...the airport, the rainforest, and even here, at Aman's, there is a copy in Spanish on the counter.  I know some of you don't like "self help" books, but I urge you to give this one a shot cause it has some great insights, some of which you have heard before, but I love the presentation of them in this book.  I know a lot of you have heard me say I am trying to destroy my ego, well, this book is all about the ego.  Fascinating.  I had a wonderful time in the states...seeing my family and friends...but, I know right now, I belong here.  I have a sense of purpose here.  I can see myself and my flaws more clearly and I can find quiet time that I can't seem to attain in Arizona.  Mainly it is because there are too many things that distract me....not that they are all bad things, but I need time to reflect and have not found the will power to make it happen where there is so much to see and do that is habitual.  I don't miss TV.  At all.  I don't miss my cell phone.  I don't miss the traffic, the crowds, the anxiety or the pace of the states.  I miss my family and friends.  I am looking forward to the time that we get settled and have a place for you all to come visit.  I hope you all saw the beginnings of changes in me when I was home...but my journey has just begun.

Sorry this first blog is so damned long...I had previously tried to blog at least once a week to keep this from happening, but this time, it could not be helped.   Oh, and for the inside story of what went on, you have to go to my facebook for the gory details ; )

Peace and love always!
Pura Vida! 
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