My aunt Janet came to visit us a few weeks ago, and Costa Rica put on quite the show for her. Waking up at our beach house to toucans and pizotes munching on papayas, and capuchin monkeys in the trees, the wildlife did not disappoint despite the unforgiving jungle rain.
As usual, the realities of living in Central America quickly caught up with us. When we tried to return to our home in Osa Mountain Village we were detoured by a landslide blocking our road.
#costaricaproblems - when a landslide blocks your road home so you have to stay an extra night at your awesome beach house for half price…you know, because the homeowner totally understands our 'costa-rica-landslide-problems'.
Finally we make it up our mountain road the next day, after the landslide was cleared, in our 20-year-old car loaded down with 6 people, 1 dog, 2 guitars and a bunch of luggage. And for the next few weeks the rainforest defended it's namesake with a vengeance, as the weather was unforgiving and the rain never stopped.
But without the rain there would be no rainbow. Through the heavy fog and rain, we were gifted one phenomenal, mysterious sunset glittering through the storm clouds, lighting up where the ocean meets the jungle.
Costa Rica likes to keep people on their toes, and we suddenly find ourselves living through history as the first hurricane on record is scheduled to hit the country on Thanksgiving Day. My cousin Julia and her boyfriend Kent were in Nicaragua at this time, planning to meet up with us in Costa Rica a few days after Thanksgiving.
Hurricane Otto was also scheduled to touch down in Nicaragua as well, so we were all preparing for the weather when we got word that there was also an earthquake. Julia and Kent were evacuated from their beach condo due to an impending tsunami alert after the Nicaraguan earthquake. Luckily they were both okay and now have a cool story to tell.
Already a holiday for the records books before it's even began: landslides, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis on Thanksgiving. Mother Nature may be stubborn, but so are we. We refuse to let the numerous natural disasters get in our way and end up having one of the best Thanksgiving celebrations of our lives.
At Osa Mountain Village we had a potluck/concert at the community bar, everyone brought a dish and a good vibe, underneath cover from the hurricane rain. The food was delicious and each item was a hit. I made two massive pans of my cheesy-scalloped potatoes, which were gone in a moment. Our 2nd contribution was my family's famous, but deadly, peanut butter pie, which had people swarming like a Black Friday special.
A special thanks to my mom for sending me the recipe last minute, and to my Aunt Linda for introducing me to the recipe that makes me a hit at every party. And of course thanks to my Aunt Janet for helping me make it, and for being creative with our substitutions. Who knew natilla (sour cream) could replace Cool Whip and taste even better?? And the homemade oreo crust, instead of the usual store-bought version, only added that much more love to the newly named "Pura Vida Pie".
We spent the evening stuffing ourselves, drinking, and singing along to the wonderfully unique music of Christopher Hawley and Jose Trevino. A truly eclectic blend of golden vocals, creative drumming, and witty lyrics you find yourself singing for days. Gracias for the epic show guys!
This Thanksgiving experience only magnified what Thanksgiving should be about. No one spent the entire day on their feet, in the kitchen slaving away. (Can you imagine, in this humidity? No, gracias.) Instead we all contributed equally, enjoying the day from start to finish, celebrating every moment, happy to be alive.
No hurricane, landslide, earthquake or tsunami can get in our way. This holiday season has reminded me that Mother Nature is invincible, and we are not. So hug your people, laugh like a crazy person, drive through landslides, write a song about a hurricane, make peanut butter pie and make sure to eat it too. We only get to live this life one time. So do it and do it good.
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.