Monday, June 21, 2010

The people of Playa Tambor

Wonderful! The weight of this experience in my heart surpasses my expectations. I may sound like a typical tourist enchanted with the beauty of the country saying that everything is wonderful, but Costa Ricans for the most part make the term “PURA VIDA” a true statement of their way of being, specially here in Playa Tambor.

After a while in our “explorative-walk” we decided to take a little break. Samantha then announces she has a surprise for us; she had packed a chocolate bar to split. Then she decides that she would rather share it with a local girl who was looking at us. I thought it was a good idea, not only for the interaction they were about to have, but the calories I was about to give up. We asked the girl if she would like a piece, but she gave us a skeptical look and didn’t respond. I thought it would be more appropriate to ask her mother who was in a house a few steps ahead. After a few exchange of words Samantha and Trinidad were sharing the chocolate with a lot of other children and I was invited into the house. They offered me a sit, but before I sat they laid a clean sheet on a piece of foam just for me.

Two sisters; Yexi and Cindy, their Mom; Felice and their children, a couple of dogs, a parrot and us, all sitting under the porch of a small house with tin walls, dirt floors, a couple of well organized bedrooms and stairs to the porch; built with little pieces of wood thrown together in a hurry. I had to take steps with caution and make sure my overprotected children were safe. These are the kind of experiences my children should never forget. Life in the US is pretty unique; the simplest things we had back home, in most other countries are luxuries. I got the feeling Trinidad felt very curious about their living arrangements when she sat next to me to ask me a question in secret; she puts her hand on the side of her mouth, so no one could read her lips, and said “How do you say in Spanish: May I have a tour?” I should be glad she is not fluent.

Their good spirit not only shows through their hospitality, but their generosity. They showered us with presents; shells, earrings for the girls, toys and coral. It was so much, that even Samantha wasn’t sure how to deal with it. She would tell me: “Mom I don’t want to take this away from them” She had to learn to just say “Thank you” and take note of their generosity. How could they, having less than what we have, give away the little they have? That night Samantha and Trinidad had fun making bags for the kids with Polly pockets, candy and other little toys.

Its 5 o’clock, about time to start heading back to the boat. Matt came to meet us. We walked back together, got in the dinghy and retired to the boat. We are all on board and not a minute has passed the rain starts and it gets harder and harder and torrential. We made it just in time!

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