Sunday, September 03, 2006
Living in a small beach town for a few days means that you learn the rhythm of life here. It means being pleasantly surprised at breakfast, as one of the beach dogs curls up under your table (using your shoe as a pillow.) It means watching the surfers wander in, some still wet from their morning exertions, others stumbling in bleary-eyed in pajama pants looking for coffee. It's being on a smiling (if not saying hello) basis with nearly everyone.
I've really enjoyed my time here. I can safely say my Spanish has not improved as much as it did my first week (when I was staying with a family that only spoke Spanish.) Here, I have spoken English pretty much the whole time I was not in class. But, that's okay - aside from being a learning experience, this was also my vacation. While the first week was good, the second has been a phenomenal experience. I have taken shots of guaro (SHOTS! ME!), spent hours on the beach with an Argentine looking at a billion stars, skipped on eating a termite (although a few of my companions tried it), seen scarlet macaws in the wild.
Yesterday, we took a trip to the Osa Peninsula. From Domenical, it was two hours by boat (maybe a little more - we stopped to do some whale and dolphin watching.) Once there, we hiked to a natural pool. It started raining, and I had the unique pleasure of hiking in a swimsuit (my clothes were soaked already and I was trying to protect my camera with the remnants that were only slightly damp.) By the time we reached the put-in, the wind had picked up and we were freezing. And we still had 1.5 hours to go before the boat would head back to Domenical. What did we do? We ran into the ocean and submerged ourselves up to our necks. It was bathwater warm - you just had to take care to turn your face away from the rain. We bobbed there for over an hour.
I felt heart-wrenchingly close to my companions - the people who had been at school with me. In some ways, making friends while traveling is a little rough on me: it is so easy to care about people when you've spent this much time with them. And it's hard to leave, knowing that - aside from an occasional email, if that - the friendship will not progress. Better to have had the experience, though, than to not connect with people while traveling.
On the boat ride back to Domenical, I huddled in my (DRY!) rain jacket and a towel that quickly became soaked. The water was choppy and the occasional curtain of water would hit all of us. (I learned the word from "roller coaster" in Spanish!) I should have been miserable, but I was smiling and singing (quietly.)
How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, King of insight
Ah yes, the Indigo Girls. I feel like I'm in high school again. But, somehow, their song about reincarnation embodied where I was mentally. We all get a chance to reexamine who we are, where we are, and what we want. My vacation has been absolutely phenomenal.
And, on that note, I'll be home tomorrow.