We finally got our shipment! It only took 21 days longer than they told us it would, but we have it. We were planning to pick it up when we took Katy & Heidi to the airport in San Jose on the 11th, which is why we booked a hotel room for the night. But right before we left, after already booking our room, we got an email saying it had been delayed. So we headed home early the next morning. Then when we were about 3 hours into our 4 hour drive home, we got a call saying our shipment had arrived.
That meant one more 12-hour day in the car to San Jose and back. NOT our favorite drive, but we have our stuff! We were glad to see our towels, sheets, pillows, kitchen spices, my product ingredients, Andy’s tools, our kayak, our air conditioner, hammock chair, umbrellas and so much more. It felt like opening a little piece of home. And it only took a few minutes for Andy to get through customs with our shipment. There are times when not speaking Spanish benefits us, like when it makes the customs workers so uncomfortable that they just speed you through the whole process.
Julia stayed a couple nights with us in Samara and we had a great time. We ate lots of falafel! We spent a lot of time at the beach bar just down the street from our house, Lo Que Hai (it is what it is). The place has a laid-back vibe, always has interesting stray dogs roaming around, and the bartenders are all very nice (and speak English). Julia invited her friend Kristi and her two adorable kids, who also recently moved to Samara, to meet us at Playa Carrillo one morning. We all had a great time and were excited to meet some people in a similar position to us. We got to tour their new house in Samara and hang out for the afternoon, they were very nice & we hope to see more of them!
We went to Playa Carrillo for sunset each night that Julia stayed with us, and we witnessed one of the best Costa Rican sunsets we’ve seen. It’s perfect when the sunset is at low-tide. We walked up and down the beach and explored all the tidal pools and took beautiful pictures. The bugs are pretty bad at this beach in the evening though. The bugs are the thing I struggle with the most living here, as they love me and the feeling is far from mutual. The heat & humidity, the language barrier, power & water outages, I can deal with. One more mosquito bite and you may see me on the next flight home to PDX.
Speaking of outages, the water is currently shut off. It’s a good thing I keep lots of cold drinking water in the fridge. I chose to skip our morning swim today, not knowing when I’ll get to shower again and if the water will be back on today or tomorrow or next week. Hopefully we don’t have to stay in a hotel tonight.
Andy and I have now walked the entire beaches of Samara and Carrillo. Samara is almost 3 miles long, so a total of 6 miles down and back. Carrillo is shorter, maybe half that distance. Beach walking, constant sweating and ocean swimming sure are good workouts!
The other day we explored a few more new beaches. I told Andy I want to leave here having seen every beach in Costa Rica. That may be impossible since there are so many, but we’re going to try. We drove past Carrillo, through the town of Estrada, and onto Playa Islita and Playa Corocalito. We found some gorgeous black sand beaches, the blackest sand we’ve seen yet. We also saw some nesting sites for sea turtles.
Playa Corocalito may be our new favorite beach. As we pulled in we saw a bunch of coconuts crash down from a tree. Then we notice a teenager sliding down the tree. He was up there with a machete cutting them down for his friends. He walks over and hands us two, one cut open for drinking and the other for us to take home. The people here are so nice and generous. We were mesmerized as he climbed two more trees to cut down more coconuts, flying up the trunk like he does this every day. Which I’m sure he does. There is nothing as refreshing as fresh coconut water.
One of the coconut hunter’s friends approaches us and tells us he teaches English, and wants to practice his English with us. When he sees Sophie he starts laughing and says “Hot Dog! Hot Dog!” We found that hilarious. Then he says “Hot Dog. That is a food in America?” We say yes, and he laughs some more. After eating simple, fresh, delicious Costa Rican food for the last few weeks, the thought of hot dogs as food does seem funny to us too now.
As I sit here, without running water, I do realize it isn’t all beaches, sunsets & monkeys. Every day is an adventure. Some days are hard. Some days we experience culture shock and homesickness. Some days we make life-changing memories and learn soul-changing lessons. That is what we signed up for. Each moment has been character-building and humbling. Here are some things I’ve learned about Costa Rican living:
1) I need to learn Spanish.
2) I love living at the beach. I hate the beach living with me. THERE.IS.SAND.EVERYWHERE. In our bed, in our hair, in the shower, in our clothes, in our food, on Sophie, in every corner, on every surface.
3) Central A/C is the best invention on the planet.
4) Mosquitoes are the worst invention on the planet.
5) I need to learn Spanish.
6) Doing laundry (outside in 95 degree heat with 100% humidity) and dishes by hand is humbling and satisfying. I will never take washers, dryers or dishwashers for granted again. But I will never appreciate clean clothes more than when I hand-washed them myself, while sweating profusely.
7) Not getting mail, especially junk mail and bills, takes a lot of stress out of life.
8) There are no rules here. Well there are, but no one enforces them.
9) I need to learn Spanish.
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.