If you've been with us for a while, you know that Costa Rica wasn't a part of our plan. We didn't know we would be stopping here before moving to Nicaragua, so we came in knowing little-to-nothing about this beautiful country and the people in it.
Our first night actually didn't go so well. After getting only 4 hours of sleep the night before, and 18 hours of travel, we were zombies unloading our 6 bags of luggage into our tiny studio apartment. We finally went to sleep around 11pm. While we were sleeping, we heard a loud crash in our room and woke to find nothing. We both heard it. It was loud, and sounded like something flew across the room. Our tired minds were freaking out, and couldn't rest not knowing if there was someone–or someTHING in our house. We got out of bed to find the long body mirror hanging on the wall next to our bed had fallen and shattered. We left it there and tried to go back to sleep/prayed against evil spirits for the next 3 hours. It made for a great laugh the next morning.
The next morning we did some investigating and cleaned the shattered 7-years-of-bad-luck glass.
We realized how it fell: 1. gravity, and 2. a faulty command-hook. The cord to the fan that was plugged in and running near Jacob's head had been draped across the front, so when the mirror fell, it pulled the fan along with it... physics, duh.
Other than the first night, it's been smooth sailing. With Jacob's knack for exploring and the fact that everyone here is so kind and welcoming, adjusting has been fairly easy.
Our property manager, Ivonne, is kind and helps us with anything/everything we need. She even took us to the market with her to find better deals than what we had been getting. (and making sure we don't accidentally buy 3lbs of ginger). She even bartered for us a few times (some venders tried to give us "gringo" prices, or cheat us with bad produce, and she wouldn't have it). She also invited us to her house for a language exchange while she taught us how to make tortillas the Tico way. If you ever need to stay in Costa Rica, she's your girl.
"Pura Vida" is THE phrase of Costa Rica. It means "pure/simple life" and everyone embodies it. People here are genuinely welcoming, and they are sooo patient with our feeble attempts at Spanish and lack of cultural propriety. In our small district of San Francisco de Dos Rios, people like to greet each other on the street with an intentional "buenos!", and if they know you, with air kisses on the cheek (usually initiated by the female). I'm always trying to say hi to people when I see them, but make sure I keep them at a good distance... just kidding. I've actually had my first *air-kiss* and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Pura Vida!
We are beginning to find our rhythm and live out the Pura Vida. We are loving the culture of Costa Rica, and embracing the simple life and what it takes to live it.
Don't worry–we'll let you know when the honeymoon phase is over and culture shock sets in.