Farm life vs Forest life


I love it when I yell to taylor “don’t forget to wash your hands after touching the horse poop” and someone else will call out “did you hear your mom?” That’s life on the farm.
3 of the women decided one day that the main house where the owner lived, near the gardens, was a gun free space and that they would be the ones to tell Taylor so I didn’t have to always be the one giving him the rules. Because it takes a village. By gun I mean stick, by the way!

I’ve overheard one 20-something guy a few times saying things like “it’s always a good idea to listen to your mom”.
There are no other kids here, which would certainly make it more fun for taylor. But having other adults, even adults who are not parents, offer their wisdom or back me up, makes parenting so much easier!!
And most of the adults are playful, so as long as one plays at a time, there’s always a companion for Tay! And if there’s not, he throws a stick for Ellie, the energetic dog. Or just runs freely around the farm, pretending to hunt storm troopers with his sticks!

Lost our toilet day 5. We’d been told to pee outside when possible to save water but hadn’t actually started doing it until our toilet was busted.
All of Taylor‘s practice peeing on trees and not flushing the toilet when it only had Pee in it, paid off during this time on the farm. He fit right in. Only took a week for them to get the courage to empty the septic tank and then we had a toilet again! There were others on the farm, so it wasn’t a big deal, just not within steps of our bed!

By the time we left, I was looking forward to warm water dripping from the shower, assuming that would happen at our next stop. Heating water on the stove and pouring it from a bowl onto my head just to get the sand out from the beach we’d been at weeks earlier was getting old. And I was actually looking forward to having walls. I was running out of answers for Taylor‘s question of how can we protect ourselves in the middle of the night from intruders with just this mosquito net. We had moved to a bed on the ground floor since his fall from the top of the ladder up to our loft. As cozy as it was up there, climbing up with only one hand didn’t seem feasible….the sprained one was in a sling for a few days. I was so happy that on day 3 he went up there again and got over whatever fear came after he fell. But sleeping downstairs made more sense, despite being wide open. So when we finally moved to a regular hotel room, it was a nice change. Felt secure to lock a door! What I didn’t expect, was that waking up surrounded by walls instead of trees actually felt more isolating than it did comforting. I know I appreciated waking up and essentially being outside and cooking/eating looking out at the farm but I didn’t realize that I would feel so separated from nature by these concrete walls. No wonder we live completely disconnected from it, sheltered from the elements and from everything outside our homes. We spend way too much time inside. I both appreciate the luxuries and miss the camping-style living.

Right now Taylor’s playing with a new friend on the beach. There haven’t been many since the time on the farm. So it’s my first chance to lie still and not be any part of the fun. I love being the fun in the water but I’m not a fan of digging in the sand or running in the sun. And these are nice kids. Not the ones who will throw sand in his face just cuz they think maybe he’s about to possibly do something they don’t want. We met one of those. He did not bring out the best in taylor…they matched each other’s aggression. I’ve never seen tay get so angry at a kid as when that one picked up the sand with the threat of throwing it directly into his mouth! He was a 5 year old Canadian boy…the only one I couldn’t blame language/cultural differences on! But you can’t only meet people you like…although my son still did wanna play with that kid the next day!

So here we are, beach meets rainforest. In Manuel Antonio there is a series of small beaches unlike the one long one we stayed at in Sàmara. So each trip is to a different one, depending on how far we wanna hike or if we prefer the bus. Some are secluded and others are easier to find friends. One beach was such a difficult hike through the first, up and down steep inclines, that I wasn’t surprised to find out we were the only ones there!
But Either way the water is warm, Green and full of fun but mostly
harmless waves. Since the forest comes right up to the beach, there’s always a tree to squat under for shade. Sometimes monkeys hang out in them. Once we saw a sloth with her baby. And another time we spotted tiny toucans whistling at each other. None of the beaches here are lined with restaurants so it really feels like you’re swimming in the jungle.

Most of the people we’ve encountered are friendly and happy. Although I wouldn’t really know beyond a superficial smile since they also speak no English. My basic Spanish only gets me as far as “I live over here, on the right” or “no I’m not American!” So it doesn’t compare to the incredible connections I’ve made in India. (Although it definitely surprises me how much Spanish I’ve picked up while being here…I didn’t have any expectations from my 1 university class!) The passing conversations as I walk down the street in India are more entertaining than any encounter I’ve had here so far. But since this country is so set up to accommodate US tourists, there is no shortage of beach activities (parasailing, surfing, kayaking, beach volleyball…) or day tours (catamaran/snorkel trips, hikes to waterfalls, white water rafting, zip lining, ATV’s, wildlife parks and sanctuaries, chocolate/coffee farms…)
India offers yoga, meditation and trains. Which is more my thing, but certainly less thrilling for an adventure seeking 5 year old! So as much as I tried to avoid doing touristy things and paying for US $ quoted tours by booking excursions myself and getting us there with public transport, I definitely have caved and allowed us to indulge in some adventures. All of which were memorable highlights we’ll be talking about for years!!

We’ve probably done the same amount of activities in 2 months as most people do in their 8 day trip. Which was about my goal for us! I see fb posts in local groups of people’s itineraries…running from north to south, seeing all the landscapes and doing all the tourist activities with a new destination every 2-3 days. It makes me equal parts dizzy/exhausted and wondering if we’re lazy and not getting anything out of this trip. It’s quite confusing. But in the end I realize I would choose a sloth’s pace over a cheetah’s over and over. We love that some days we only make it to the pool outside our room. Eating all 3 meals in our kitchen. Playing with lego. While other days we make it only as far as the main road for a little stroll.

Taylor seems to love every place we go, but he definitely appreciates staying in one for awhile. He’s entertained by sticks wherever he is and there is no shortage of forest in this place. And I appreciate not having to vomit too often…so the shorter the road trips the better! We make a good team…I carry the bags, he makes them lighter by eating all the snacks inside. We’ve taken local buses to most destinations so far and it’s been easy enough. Easier than it first seemed when I got here and found almost everyone rents cars. But I love not being the driver for once. And appreciate having a
He’s looked at every vine for a monthHe’s looked at every vine for a monthHe’s looked at every vine for a month

finally found one he could swing from!
local at the wheel in these windy mountain roads.

Taylor looked up at me on the bus one day and said “but aren’t all these people our family?” And I said no because we aren’t connected by blood. And he said “but we’re all family, everyone, all people.” Made me feeling like I’m doing something right. Sometimes!

I am certainly bringing home a more cultured, brave and mature boy than I left with.

There is 1 more week of this adventure left and then our tans will fade in the Montreal “summer” hehe

Pura Vida

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18th May 2022

Although I speak to u daily and I think I know everything I am always amazed at your insight and hi or and wisdom. This place may not feed your soul like India as you told me but the growth and wonderment of Taylor is feeding you something else special and you get that. Another wonderful experience for you both and we are so glad you are as always getting the most from it. Can't wait to see you and hear even more stories Enjoy your last few days. We are counting them until you both are back

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