Trip Start May 12, 2009
Trip End Sep 29, 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, June 12, 2009

Monteverde is like a step back in time. Steep and rolling green hills surround the town. Friendly dairy cows stray across the road. The dairy products are incredibly delicious since they are fresh and unpasteurized- coconut ice creams, butter like I have never smelled before, whole crisp milk, and sour cream that tastes like a dessert. The Quaker community here lives simply. Everyone greets each other on the street. It is not possible to exchange money without exchanging pleasantries first. The insects here are all huge. When I sweep the floor of my host's house at night, I am sure to find new bugs I have only seen in museums before. But they are here. And huge.
I would like to say that there is a time move past the fact that the bugs are huge. We are all in the circle of life, and sometimes humans are called upon to feed mosquitoes and share life with other small creatures. There is a time to accept that small creatures with more than four legs share the earth with us.
That time was not today. Tomorrow is not looking good either.
I have a bite on my ankle that started out red, went to blue-ish, white-ish, and now is a rosy pink. The darn thing drew blood, and it stings more than a mosquito bite would. I think it might be a forest wasp.
The zipline over the cloud forest was great fun. My only qualm is it didn´t go fast enough.
When I did the free swing, I was tied in, then the guide pushes me closer to the edge of the platform. My first though was, ¨Whoa, I need to hold onto something or I´ll fall off!¨ Then in that crystal moment, I think, ¨I am going to fall off! That´s the point!¨
They say you can tell a lot about someone by what they scream when falling of a 50m high platform. For me, that would be a primal scream! That was followed by ¨If this is 50m, then I must go bungee jumping, because that was fun!¨
I took a bus now to La Fortuna, home of the Volcan Arenal. The volcano is incredible. I am really in awe of it. I haven´t been excited to see the volcanoes... but now I am entranced. An active volcano is almost magnetic, it has so much energy to it.  I look forward to going to Ometepe in Nicaragua, with two volcanoes. My trip may consist of volcano hopping, climbing them where ever I can.
The tradgedy of it is this place is a tourist trap. After getting off the bus, I was visually assaulted with GAP tshirts, Virginia Tech hoodies, and Oakley sunglasses. An awful lot of English.
When I was in the grocery store selecting bananas, a girl who was likely American suddenly looked at me and asked in English ¨Are the platanos supposed to be this color?¨ I have been here long enough to understand that you don´t just demand information from someone without first exchanging pleasantries first. I was taken aback by her directness, and choice of language. I found myself responding, ¨I wouldn´t know¨.
My bus leaves at 515 tomorrow morning. I hope that is soon enough...

On the note of language, I am pleased to say that I have trouble recalling which conversations were in English or Spanish. There is only meaning.
A few weeks ago I went out with a group from a hostel composed of people from Israel, France, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Holland, Argentina. They even allowed an American to come along (me). Everyone had a different combination of languages, so comments were being repeated around the room. Humor is always a challenge to translate, from French to Spanish to Hebrew. It was a fun night out, eating red snapper and taking a water taxi around the lagoon.
I love this life. I love this place.
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