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Costa Rica 2013

Last Weekend on the Finca

COSTA RICA | Monday, 17 June 2013 | Views [645]

Donald, Xiani, and me

Donald, Xiani, and me

Although it was Saturday and my first day to get to sleep in in 3 weeks I was up and ready to go at 6am. I had gotten up and was heading downstairs to use the bano when I spotted Lazaro. I was determined he was not going to milk the cow without me. I ran back upstairs and got dressed and headed to the barn. After about 30 minutes he was ready for me. With the cows back legs tied, and her teets cleaned we set out to milk her. It is not as easy as it looks. There is definitely a skill to it that takes practiced. After learning the proper technique so that the milk comes out, and not back up, I worked on the cow until I got tired. Lazaro took over with quite an impressive speed; however, it was matched by the speed that the two of us jumped when the cow decided to poop, not once, but twice, and peeped once. We managed to save the milk but after I went inside I realized my clothes weren't as lucky.

Since I was staying on the farm for the weekend Donald and Xiani invited me to go to the supermercado after breakfast. I love going to super markets in foreign countries and seeing the products. This one was great. We went to one that caters to vendors so it was sorta a cross between a grocery store and a Costco. I walked in and the music was blaring- Sir Mix-a-lot's 'Baby Got Back.' I enjoyed looking at the products and labels and learning some more Spanish. I was also excited that we bought some flypaper. In addition to the mosquitoes being bad this week the moscas were too. Over the next two days I kept checking out the 2 sheets as the becamecompletely covered which gave me an odd pleasure. Xiani was delighted in my happiness as well. She said she had a volunteer once that thought it was cruel and wanted to unstick the flies.
 
The afternoon was lazy and I napped a little after taking some allergy medicine that Donald gave me. Apparently I was bitten by several bugs that were causing more swelling. My left elbow and wrist were completely swollen and hot and I had a few areas on my legs that were slightly swollen. And to top it off I had a huge bite on the front of my neck. I am definitely not going to miss the bugs after I leave.
 
That evening Danielle arrived. Danielle is a 26 year old volunteer from Delaware that was going to be at the farm for a week. I was bummed she hadn't arrived the previous week but was excited to meet her. Danielle speaks Spanish so she'll have no problems at the farm. On Sunday I did sleep in until a whopping 7:30, Donald spent the morning giving Danielle a tour of the farm so I just putzed around until when Xinia asked if I wanted to milk the cow again. I jumped at the chance and this time I did a little better. It definitely takes practice. And even better- the cow didn't use the bathroom this time. Xiani and I decided it must have been due to Lazaro!
 
After the chores were done I relaxed until Danielle returned from the tour. We then suited up and I took her down to the waterfall. This time I was much more prepared and we wore hiking boots. The hike was quite enjoyable this time and we were able to get right up on the cascade. We hung out for a while, got our feet and legs wet and then decided to head down to the Super Weber. I had told Danielle about Megan and my adventures to get beer and she wanted to do the same. The trip didn't seem quite as bad this time, probably because of the shoes. We were able to make the trip about 10 minutes faster than the last time and I think we would have been even faster if Aconnie, the little schnauzer of Larry's, didn't follow us for the full hike. We stopped several times to let her rest and feed her water but she was a trooper.
 
We got back to the casa, had lunch and cooled down before enjoying our beers. I packed my bags before Donald's Uncle and 4 cousins stopped by in the afternoon and his sons and their families came over for Father's Day dinner. Danielle and I played with Mateo while the adults all socialized. By 8 Danielle and I were wiped out and ready for bed. As I laid there for the last time I couldn't believe the time had flown so quickly. It was a great experience that I will always remember. I learned so much about Ticos and their culture, farm life, and Costa Rican cooking. I learned some Spanish but not quite as much as I'd hoped although Donald keeps telling me it takes 3 months and that i just need to come back. I lost weight and got fitter without trying, got to go on several adventures and saw other parts of Costa Rica, and met some great people. I learned that I can produce as little as 1 gallon baggie of trash in 4 weeks. I learned more about animals, fell in 'like' with some dogs I hated in the beginning, and found a new appreciation for nature. And I probably learned a thing or two about myself.
 
Donald and Xiani are wonderful people that like to laugh a lot and love each other and their family with all their heart. They taught me the words 'abrazar y besar' 'hug and kiss' because they did that often. I couldn't always speak/understand Xiani but she always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Some days I felt like I was at summer camp, some days I felt like a teenager in my room with my parents downstairs,  and some days I felt like an adult really making a difference to the family and the farm. Next time I decide to do this I might ask some different questions up front (like will I be alone or with other volunteers) but I don't regret my decision to come here.
 
Now on to touring the Northern province of Guanacaste where it's supposedly hotter and more touristy but beautiful with many playas, volcanoes, and National Parks. Donald's taking me to the rental car place in the morning for my next adventure to begin.

Tags: costa rica, kda

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