October 28, 2013
It’s 4:00a.m. and I just woke up. Sigh. So much for much needed sleep on a day off. I just got back from Costa Rica. And in two days I’m heading out to Spain to meet up with Will Koon on his 8 week travel gaunlet wild adventure. I guess I better get used to sleep deprivation now…
In the past few days, I flew to Costa Rica and back. it was a trip for my friends birthday. we were on a mission to meet sloths. and let me tell you…sloths do not disappoint. they are hilarious, but anywayssss…we toured the city of San Jose, walked along the Avenida Central, checked out suvineers, took a few photos at a place that was surrounded by pigeons but I forgot what building. oops. did touristy things. oh and of course…we stopped at three Panderia’s to get delicious treats of churros, enchilada’s (totally different that ours! The Costa Rican version has flakey bread and is a pastry), and empanda’s.
We also visited the National Museum, walked though a butterfly habitat, looked through the old rifle holes in the fort (the museum was originally a fort), perused through artifacts from another time…and got caught in that Costa Rican rain. Caught unprepared might I add, as I was foolishly in rainbow sandals and a dress. I know better. But I stubbornly dressed that morning ignoring the talk of daily rain.
The next day we traveled to San Antonio, explored, hiked to the beach, swam in the ocean, and toured the National Park of San Antonio (where we saw allllll the sloths!). Our tour guide, Dago, greeted us at our hotel with a mask carved out of wood. It was lightweight and used back in the day to scare other tribes as it was vibrantly painted to intimidate. He captivated us with his tale of the past. But he brought us back to reality as he told the story of the replicated mask.
It was made by an 8 year old child and wasn’t completely finished. Just one thing was missing…the painted color purple. But it would never be complete. The colors on the mask are all created by materials and are painted on. And the hardest to obtain, is the color purple because it comes from the ocean. He recounted the story of how a man went to the ocean to retrieve it. The rip current too strong. The man without knowledge of the rip…but committed to his job. He had to get the color purple for the masks. He died that day. Drowning. And the mask and other masks like it were left unfinished.
Dago said, “It is unfortunate, but here…it happens.” A harsh reality of life for Costa Ricans and many others around the world. Many areas don’t have access to the proper tools to keep the water safe. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
It’s stories like these that remind me why I am a volunteer for isla. Drowning is preventable. &It’s amazing what I’ve seen accomplished through our training courses; lifeguard certification, empowerment, and change. Being a part of the trips to Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Mexico and seeing the progress is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.
…..on that note….I better pack. I leave in a day. Eeeeeeshhhhhh.