Thursday, March 6, 2014
A Visit to Costa Rica! by DL Larson
Recently my husband and I had the good fortune to visit Costa Rica! The above picture shows me on a wagon ride through a cacao farm (dark chocolate.) They also grow ornamental flowers for the hotels and resorts in their country. On our trip we also visited a typical village school. The children were happy to meet us and we spent a great deal of time with them even though we spoke no Spanish and they spoke no English. Since trash is a big problem in many of these third world countries, the children were very proud to show us their recycling center! They recycle nearly everything they use at the school.
We also saw oxen pulling a cart, a rarity even in Costa Rica except up in the mountains where we were. The little boy in the cart was one of the children we had conversed with at the school. He was surprised we stopped to get pictures and I believe being a bit shy 'cause he didn't want to look at us. This was the same little boy who had been a tad naughty when we visited the school and I wonder if he thought we were going to tattle on him! Of course we did not! But we learned, as we have learned in any country we visit, children are so much the same in their antics and I will remember his adorable face for a long time!
A Costa Rican woman opened her home to us during our visit to the cacao farm/plantation. She served us fresh ground coffee, showed us how to prepare it properly by straining the grounds through a cloth sack while she poured boiling water through the sack. I do not drink coffee - ever, but I wasn't about to say no and took what was offered to me. The coffee was rich and tasted wonderful. She also served us dessert. The picture below is the sweet sugary treat made from sugar cane syrup. We used banana leaves as a place mat. Our guide told us the farmers use the banana leaves like we do baggies. They pack their lunches and snacks and then throw everything away when they're done.
This last picture is the burning of the mountain sides. This is their 'dry' season and although it is illegal to burn vegetation in Costa Rica, if a fire somehow starts, no one puts it out. The fire is a slow burn, pretty smoky and we watched several hilltops burning during our stay.
The white buildings are our resort with the burning hills in the distance. At night it looks like a volcano is erupting - beautiful and eery!
Our trip was invigorating and exhausting. We brought home the feeling that even though Costa Rica is a third world country, it is working hard to improve itself on many levels. It is a paradise in the rough! Our visit to Nicaragua was also exhilarating and an unexpected surprise. More on that another time!
Til next time ~