Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 4: (Wednesday 15) Only 38 more to go!

Got up late. Sore, with a side of foreboding. Yesterday was hard. I don’t think we realized that we’d have to deal with a second culture shock. This stuff is gonna be hard to get used to.
Out the door around 6:05 got to the finca at around 6:30. It was threatening to rain.
The first order of business was to make the “green tea” which is really just green leaves (lettuce, papaya leaves and two other types of leaves) liquidated and then to drink it. While we were collecting the leaves, the nausea started to set in for the both of us. The green tea helped me a bit, but poor MK was having a hard time of it. I guess we looked so pathetic that we got an easy day. We sat around sorting through beans. Like dried beans for cooking. We separated the good ones from the bad one. For a good three hours. Then Don Julio made us this tea called “Big Man” which is supposed to cure any stomach malady. More like kill it. He kept telling us that it was bitter but, boy!, we had no idea. Grossest stuff. And it stayed in your mouth for the next 20 minutes too, even though we took a spoonful of honey afterwards. (P.S. Mary Poppins lied. A spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. It just helps a little.)
So it was a simple morning. Which was good. It’s been quite a transition.
Lunch, nap. Around 1 Don Julio shows up and we go for a bike ride to play billiards? But unfortunately the bar was closed. So we headed back to town and he chatted all the while about how now we’re going to find the head of the Community Development and talk about our afternoon projects and then play volleyball with the kids. Some of us were still tired and sore and gently suggested that a few of us may not make it if we try to cram all that in. So it might be better if we got to rest.
So MK and I sat and talked for the next two and a half hours or so and it was good. Much needed. Not like we hadn’t talked for three hours that morning, but we’re still sorting through this new culture shock, so it was good.
Then we played with the kids. It was really fun, actually, and we found some energy hidden somewhere. I suck at volleyball. I mean really. It’s more a game of “keep away from my face” and I laughed practically the entire time. MKs pretty good. Then more kids showed up and it turned into a giant soccer game. We inched out to the edge of the room and spent the rest of the game watching and getting a feel for the community of kids. It was fun to watch.
It’s closing in on 8:30 now and my eyelids are drooping. I’ve gotta get to sleep if I’m gonna get up tomorrow…
Ugh. Daytime is so much easier than night time. Daytime is when I take a liking to the community and reflect on how living with my new host mom is like living with someone’s grandmother and to marvel at how I’m learning to survive the heat…
Nighttime is when I pray that the mosquito net works and start considering heading back to San Jose for the weekend.
I mean I only have five weekends here… After this one, there’ll only be four. I want to take one of those to go visit Ems in Malpaís (I just love that place) and one to go to Bocas del Toro. That leaves two after this weekend is over. MK goes back every weekend and made a very convincing argument today… I am really going to miss San Jose and if I can spend more time there, that’d be nice… plus I’d get to an internet… I guess we’ll see…

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