Days 11 - 16 (May 22-27) - Week 2 in Costa Rica

Published: May 27th 2018
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Europcar mechanico Richard to the rescue! Poor guy had to change all 4 tires without any fancy automatic tools to properly balance out the 2 new tires.
Week 2 in Costa Rica complete! Some days have brought more adventures than others 😊

My mornings start with a yogurt in my outdoor dining room aka picnic table. On Tuesday I met Isabel’s husband (still haven’t quite figured out his name) and they showed me all the art pieces they make out of coconuts. They also offered for me to park my car in their garage / carport, very sweet older couple! Thursday morning I had the unfortunate surprise of a flat tire, and not only that, but my spare tire was flat as well. My host filled up the spare tire and helped me change the flat (which is almost its own story with language barriers and pouring sweat and that one lug nut that just would not give), but given that I had already filled up the spare tire on the weekend, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic about its abilities. Tom from the Ara Project came over and gave me a ride for the day so that I could at least continue with my work while we figured out what to do with the tires. The local mechanic was out of town, so there wasn’t a quick

These dogs take their soccer (football) seriously!
and easy option to get both tires fixed. However, seeing as I’m on my own, I had decided to pay for the emergency roadside assistance on my rental vehicle, and what a good decision that was! Europcar dispatched a mechanico, who showed up around 4:00pm with 2 “new” tires. Now I’ve got 2 tires with a bit more tread than before and a workable spare tire! Glad it happened while I was in a safe space and not out on the road somewhere!

For work, Maricela and I continued on with data migration into their new accounting system and working through new issues as they arose. I also spent a bunch of time doing various research, trying to work out what additional things I could help them implement to make things as streamlined as possible, on a shoestring budget. This week was different than the previous, as all team members from far and wide were on site at the project, so there were some team meetings and on Friday I also did a training session for a group about the importance of good financial management and practical training in using their new accounting system.

On Friday afternoon, the

There is a TOAD in my kitchen!!
rains came…and didn’t stop…for 30+ hours. Saturday evening I joined some of the team at the volunteer house for a pizza night (+ some games!) - I wasn’t too sure what condition the roads would be in after 24 hours of rain, but I was pleasantly surprised! I think all the rain might have actually washed the greasy mud away, leaving just the hard rock surface beneath. The rain had tapered off a bit when I went, so the drive was deceptively easy…not so on the way back! The rain was coming down in torrents once again and I encountered: bridges that were now river crossings, complete with debris, a waterfall that didn’t previously exist gushing over the road, “puddles” with actively streaming water, a big chunk of tree across the entire road, and large rocks all over the road from landslide activity…no biggie! And just as I was arriving back to Corozalito, there were escaped cows out on the road as well! So very glad to have the 4x4 and not the city car I booked 😊

The rain finally stopped at some point in the night Saturday/Sunday, although there have still been periods of heavy downpour today

Rainy grey day
again. I’m currently looking out my window at a wet soccer field with chickens out grazing on it during a break in the rain. This is not my normal life! I am glad that I didn’t make any plans to travel this weekend, as the rain would have put a serious damper on it (pun intended)!

I’ve been in CR for 2 weeks now, and am certainly missing the comforts of home and my familiar routine. For an introvert like me, it takes a lot of energy to be constantly interacting with new people in an unfamiliar environment - it’s frankly exhausting! But I was reminded by Meg, one of the long term volunteers here, to be thankful even when I’m tempted to complain - not everyone has the opportunity for an adventure like this in a beautiful place like this. It may not be what I’m accustomed to, but there is so much beauty and so much to enjoy.

Sam and I worked through a schedule for the rest of my time here, so I’ll be in Punta Islita for another week yet, and then I’ll be off to travel on my own for about 10 days

Fancy home cooked sort of well-rounded meal
before heading to San Jose to meet up with him and Maricela for my final days in CR. 2 weeks down, 3 weeks to go!

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My daily "you finished another day" treat

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