Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday Funday!!!

Sunday Funday

Sundays here are the one full day of rest, but this day normally turns out to be one filled with soccer and cerveza. This Sunday we all loaded into a cattle truck to go to La Vasconia to play soccer, both the women and the men. The trip was about 45 minutes long, but it was full of events. The truck was uncovered but for some metal poles for a canvas to sit atop, not for 20 people to hang on to. Needless to say it did not stay secure throughout the whole trip. Every pothole we hit made the top a little bit looser until the final pothole we hit and it went flying forward and we were stuck in the ditch. Thankfully another truck was just passing as we got stuck so they pulled us out of the ditch and we ended up making it to the games unscathed. In combination with the soccer there was also a Cabalongata which basically is a horse parade. There were lots of stallions being shown for breeding purposes and a long parade of all the horses. The Costa Rican horse riding style is cool to see they ride high and tight with the horses necks really curved and upright, I guess it stems from a Spanish riding style. It was really cool to see and one of the girls here now is really into riding and was able to tell me a lot about what was going on.

The boys played two games and ended up losing each by one point, the first game they lost in a shoot out, kinda sad. Then we (las mujeres) played and ended up winning 5-2. I had an assist after a break away from half field. Alex’s sister Annia scored off of my pass, it was her first ever goal in a game. After that we hung out, ate some arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) and drank some Imperials (the beer of CR). In the middle of the boys second game it started pouring so we were nice and wet to return home, in an uncovered cow truck. It was a dark, wet and cold ride home. But it was fun! We all had to hang on to the people who were lucky enough to have a spot on the outside wall of the truck, so that it wasn’t human dominoes the whole ride! But I did get a chance to check the waterproofing on my camera and took a few shots on the cattle truck. Gotta love rural Costa Rica!! that I'm at the internet I realized I forgot to bring my camera. next time! I promise!

Week 1 in Mastatal

So my adventure started right away, about 15 minutes after I got off the plane. There is this policy in Costa Rica that you need to have a return flight upon entrance to the country…I do not have a return flight. The last three times I entered the country I only had a return ticket once, and I’ve never been asked about it. This time, I was questioned about how long I would be here and I stupidly replied “no se….” (I don’t know). And yes, I was having this conversation in Spanish, which I believe threw me off a little. So then we go through this banter about how I might only be here for two weeks, then I freaked out and made sure I still had the 90 day visa and the woman turns to me and goes (in Spanish of course) “Carolyn, yes- you do have the 90 day visa but if you stay longer than 90 days there will be problems.” Dun dun dun….. In the end she let me through and just said to make sure I had a ticket next time but I really thought that she wasn’t going to let me in and my heart was pounding so hard and I thought I was going to have to buy a ticket straight back to NY! Now I have to admit I’m a little worried the government has tagged my name and they’re looking for me now, although Alex says I’m crazy. We made it back to the Ranch the same day to a warm welcome from Robin and Sole (the owner and her 22 month old daughter) and Natilla, the new ranch dog, she’s a beautiful white wolf dog with blue eyes. Natilla is Spanish for sour cream (just a side note there!)

Thus far things have been going really well, and my stress level has dissolved by about 90%. The gardens are exploding and the rains are falling. It’s amazing the difference in just the two months that I’ve been gone from here. The main focus right now is on digging a Tilapia pond. I’m really excited about this and hope to be really involved in this project. We start digging tomorrow and the pond should be 2m at it’s deepest and 1m at the shallow end. It should be fun!! Then we’ll be able to eat fish at least once a week, as soon as they are fully mature. I’m also taking on a small construction project, along with someone who actually knows what they are doing! But I’ll learn…I will! The library/community center project has been put on hold for a little while we figure out the pond project but we’re having a meeting about that later this week.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I am currently sitting in the airport in Tampa awaiting my flight to go to CR. I got up at 5:45 this morning....I don't know when the last time I got up that early was!! Lauren, Bida and I spent a nice few days in the sunshiny Largo, FL. We went to the beach almost every day, except Sunday when it was raining all day. Its always good to reunite with people you haven't seen in a year and pick up exactly where you left off. I love it. We capped off the weekend with a delicious meal at Coconut Thai where I tried to order my favorite soup Tom Khai but accidently ordered Tom Yum...I was a little upset by that!

I've been thrown a bit of a curve ball with the job I was going to take in Mastatal, so it's kinda up in the air what I'm going to do. I think I'll look into teaching jobs in San Jose or some kind of nanny-ing job in CR. There's also been talk of Spain...we'll see what happens! Hopefully I'll figure that out w/in the first couple months down there. It will be quite the adventure I think. I just want to immerse myself in the culture and perfect my Spanish! Vamos a ver...

I was very happy with Spirit airlines because they offered to check my pack at the gate for free! I already have one checked so I might as well check them all, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to get around the airport!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Preparation to Leave...

As you all probably already know I am headed off to Costa Rica again in about 14 days! This time I will be helping to build and organize a community center/library. I will be the person to talk with the community and help get everyone really excited and involved. It should prove to be exciting and challenging for me, I know I'll be able to perfect my Spanish! I will be in the same village I was living in before, Mastatal, Costa Rica.

Now I am organizing and trying to tie up loose ends here in NY. This is my last week of work which will culminate in a fun filled weekend, Imagine-Imagine That re-opening party on Friday and my own going away party on Saturday at Empire! I will then leave to go visit my good friends Bida and Lauren in Florida for 5 days before heading off to Costa Rica. I'm going to try and update this blog as much as possible to keep you all updated on my adventures.