May 21st Sunday: Muerto Or No?

IMG_7503Sunday was the first time my feet touched the pacific water. We spent the afternoon at Playa Hermosa combing the shore line for treasures and soaking up all the beauty the beach had to offer. With lots of green vegetation and towering trees up to 200 feet tall along the coast line I couldn’t help but relate it to movie scenes. I half expected Captain Jack Sparrow to run from the depths of the green forest out onto the sandy shore or a giant dinosaur to emerge as if I were in Jurassic Park.

This beach was speckled with smooth rocks of all different sizes and colours and as we walked up the shoreline the smallest rocks seemed to move out of our path. The sandy shore was covered with hundreds of small hermit crabs hustling and bustling through what seemed like rush hour traffic on their way back to their coconut and driftwood homes. We walked to the far North end of the beach where a river was empting out into the sea almost as if dancing with the incoming crashing waves in a back and forth motion. Once back at our campsite we climbed up on a vacant rickety wooden lifeguard tower and admired the water’s surface that went out as far as the eye could see.

Later that evening, back at the casita we were hanging around in our room avoiding the numerous bugs both visible and not visible that had been eating us up outside like an all you can eat buffet. Realizing that I was still behind on my blog posts … (attempting to catch up now as I write this) I went to take out my laptop from it’s case.

Opens laptop. nothing.

Pushes the return button. Nothing.

Pushes random keys. NOTHING!

Pushes power button. STILL NOTHING!!!

In a minor panic, I facetimed my mom via wifi because that’s what you do when something goes wrong. Mom’s fix everything. She got my sister to call AppleCare on her phone and they connected me to the call over speaker seeing as I couldn’t call AppleCare myself while abroad. I told them the problem with my MAC and I began dancing around my keyboard with strange key patterns they told me to input. No luck. The call was pushed upwards to a higher up supervisor who couldn’t help either. With no Apple store in the country and desperate need for a laptop I began making plans for my Dean to bring down my sister’s back up laptop when he visited us here in Costa Rica the following week.

I tossed and turned as I settled in for bed that night stressed that I would be out a computer for a whole week. Not to mention the internship hadn’t even started yet! The following morning was our first day. In my final attempt to revive what seemed like one muerto laptop, I sat up, said a little prayer to the laptop gods and opened it up. Still nothing but a black screen. In frustration, I played my laptop keyboard like Beethoven playing one of his pieces dragging them left to right and was welcomed with my familiar home screen. I sat there with my face illuminated in the dark in shock. My laptop was not meurto after all! It was just taking a long siesta. I guess it thought being here in Costa Rica meant we were on vacation or something. Crisis averted but just in case I’m having my Dean still bring the extra laptop incase my mac officially checks out for permanent vacation… Fingers crossed there will be no more trouble in paradise.

May 22nd Monday: Working Girl IMG_7519

With our internship having begun we’ve fallin’ into the swing of things… literally because our office has two hammocks in it! 18582466_10212664939642176_481872960677755089_nI have been assigned to work on various advertisement layouts for local Costa Rican businesses for the magazine as well as creating logos for some future businesses of both my boss and locals. It’s neat to know that I’ll have numerous published articles, ads and logos in the next two additions of the magazine! Also, the chicas and I agreed to try and take a picture after everyday of our internship Mon-Fri to keep track of the days… plus to see how much color we get by the end of the trip!

May 23rd Tuesday: Water wasn’t the only thing that fell that day

After work, we walked about 2 miles up the road from our casita to a local waterfall hangout spot. With the hot Costa Rican sun beating down on us we walked uphill on the gravel road getting deeper and deeper into the vibrant green forest. I began to envision our destination as a crisp-cool blue oasis awaiting our arrival and picked up the pace a bit. Once at the restaurant/entrance to the waterfall we realized we needed to pay a small fee to get in, 1 million colones which roughly was $2. Wanting to push myself to learn more Spanish and apply it, I asked one of the girls who fluently speaks Spanish how to say something and went to ask the woman behind the counter a question. As I attempted to repeat the words exactly as I had heard them I was surprised to be responded back to in English. It took me by surprise but made me laugh because I wanted to practice my Spanish and she wanted to practice her English.

The chicas and I began walking down the slippery cascading rock stairs and with each IMG_0529.jpgstep it became darker and darker as the vegetation grew thicker and the canopy above allowed fewer rays of sun to kiss the forest floor. At the foot of the path we set our belongings down and began rock hoping to get a better view of the cascading waterfalls from the main waterfall up at the top. After admiring the view through my lens and listening to the soothing sound of trickling water falling over the tiered rocks, we moved upstream to the main waterfall portion. At the foot of the waterfall we admired the bright blue pool of water and Marissa and I set our sights on climbing the rock face by the waterfall.

With our endpoint in sight Marissa and I were off! With each stroke forward the strong current pushed us back two. It seemed like a losing battle until we aimed our path more to the left and finally began making progress towards the rocks edge. Once we were there thought our next challenge awaited us. The black slimy rock surface looked ominous and seemed to almost whisper “stay down”, but we refused to give up. Using every bit of strength I had in the tips of my fingers and arms I raised myself up and out of the cool water and onto a thin ledge of rock. As we scaled the side of the rock face we IMG_9445.JPGknew each step could be our last possibly forcing us to make an unplanned and premature plunge back into the crisp cool water below. With decisive and methodical foot placement, we took our movements slow step by step. As I finally reached the farthest area of the rock ledge before being beneath the waters cascade, I turned around to help Marissa join me. As I put out my hand to lend extra support Marissa took one step…  With a high pitched scream her eyes locked on mine as there became more and more distance between us. She seemed to float slowly down to the IMG_9460water’s surface. There was nothing I could do but watch and prepare to jump in after her in case of an emergency. Being less than 5 feet above the water’s surface it wasn’t a long fall but as she fell the adrenaline of the unexpected motion prompted me to hold my breath in anticipation of her plunge. Beneath the water, she went but she rose with a thumbs up to which I relayed to Abby and Marty observing from the water’s edge. After seeing all was well I took a quick photo opt and jumped into the water… in a more planned out fashion than my fellow waterfall buddy.

May 24th Wednesday – A Taste of America

With another muy caliente day we decided to treat ourselves after work. After all we were all a bunch of hard working girls living in a foreign country and us Costa Rica Chicas needed a little celebratory treat after a long weekend of travels and adventure. With colones in hand we hit the streets and walked to the main downtown area of our small town. After finally being able to dart across the semi-highway that runs through
town we walked along the roads edge. It was hot but with great determination to get some dulces we pushed on until we reached Lick It, the local ice cream novelty shop. As the doors swung open the air from inside hit us like an artic blizzard freezing the sweat droplets across our forehead instantly. I had begun to forget what AC felt like. We all agreed with mouth and spoons full of ice cream that this would be one of our hangout spots because treats + AC + WIFI is a win all around!

On our way back we stopped to take a picture at the information center of Uvita in front of the infamous Whale…. because for those of you who don’t know Uvita is known for the naturally created peninsula which from the sky looks like a whale’s tale.  Back at our humble casita that night, we were treated to homemade pizza prepared by a couple traveling via bicycles, the foot powered kind, from Ecuador up to Mexico and back down. Our tummies were happy with food that day that reminded us of home in America, helado y pizza!

May 25th Thursday: Jurassic Park

IMG_0682We had a short work day in the office and received our assignments for the day. Later in the evening we ventured to a small beach, Nuevo Porto with Julio, Maria’s husband. This beach access felt almost untouched by humans and to my surprise that was no sand but instead large rocks everywhere. We began walking along the edge collecting sea born treasures that were caught in between rocks. We explored farther down the beach and eventually made it to a natural rock jetty created by downward sloping rocks that seem to slide down and into the water. As we sat atop the rocks I admired the view of the crashing waves as they came ashore and gave me salty sea spray kisses. While waiting for the taxi to pick us up it began to rain, like it seems to do a lot here during the rainy season which half washed off our sandy skin and cooled us down.

Thursday Night: June made its early arrival here in our Costa Rica casita with the attack of a June bug…. and yes, that’s singular. Just one little bug managed to wreak HAVOC in the room… more or less on my side. With hands flying and my head shaking every which way I tried to shake the bug from its deeply nestled position somewhere within my long hair. I recruited Marissa and Abby as fellow comrades and we set out on a mission but to no avail. With a candle lit, hoping to attract the culprit of the night’s chaos, we laid under our covers ready for the next attack of the infamous June bug with chancels in hand.

May 26th Friday: Adventure Time

IMG_7580Our boss for the magazine has designated Friday’s as fun adventure days for us. Who said work and play don’t mix?! With our usual start to a 9am work day we met up and hit the road for a day full of meeting clients, dropping off magazines and exploring the Costa Ballene area. We stopped at several beaches including Playa Pinuela where got a glimpse of the Isla Ballena (island) and got caught by a quick rain shower as well as Playa Ventana where we got to see it’sIMG_0462 beautiful caves that look like windows out to the sea. After a few more stops to speak with hotel clients and potential businesses wanting to purchase advertisement space in the upcoming magazine, our boss took us to the Ochochal waterfall. The water was crisp but much appreciated from the intense humidity level and heat which we’re all still trying to get acclimate to. We all stood in the main pool beneath the waterfall trying to hold our ground against the strong current.

Next came lunch, spinach turkey wraps + complimentary soft serve ice cream which we picked up from Lick It and took to Playa Domincal for a picnic. A couple more meet and greets with clients and we were off again to the next town, Dominical Lito. We purchased a couple hand made artisan souvenirs at a local shop and checked out a local café for an afternoon drink. I got a fresh squeezed juice made of Blackberries, Strawberries and Cucumber all of which I could taste in every sip.

IMG_0868For our final two stops of the evening we checked out two small parts of Playa Dominical Lito. One sand beach stretched for miles littered with few rocks. It’s crazy to me to think with a mere 5 to 10 miles apart the beaches can be so geographically different. We noticed 3 huge houses situated at the tops of the mountains behind up facing the sea, but I also noticed a small white house tucked in the tree line with a white picket fence in front of it level with us. I imagined myself living there waking up to see the waves crashing outside the kitchen window each day and felt at peace thinking of being so close to such beauty. As the sun began setting we made it to our final beach spot of the day. This beach was also primarily sand but it was unique in that the incoming waves were separated by a large rock island that forced the water to come on either side of it. As I stood on the sandy shore directly in front of the island I was mesmerized to see waves crashing to my left and right and merging together where I stood. So much power and beauty in just one spot.

Later that night, Felipe, Maria’s son drove the chicas and I to a local Gemini party happening at a local hostel called the Flutterby House. Our boss had encouraged us to attend to meet some locals and see what it was all about. With live music playing in the background and people dressed up in all sorts of mythical creature costumes there was a neat hippie vibe going on and I was diggin’ it.