We have made quite a bit of friends here---unfortunately, no children for Elyza, but plenty of adults who just absolutely adore Elyza (children go to school year-round and we are not in the right location because, apparently, Tamarindo is too expensive--most workers live in the next town over). It's like a very small town where everyone knows your name. The longer I stay, the more welcome they make me feel. Now, I am learning a little bit more about their personal lives. Many people who live in Tamarindo are actually not Costa Ricans. There seems to be a huge mixture of Colombians (they've explained to me that the government is too corrupt) and Nicaraguans (they have explained to me that their country is now peaceful and very welcoming---but there are few jobs there). Elyza has been given several free bracelets because they want her to remember them in America. I feel guilty---so I have repaid them by buying them ice cream on hot days. Here are a few of our friends--Carol and Antonio. They are both from Nicaragua---they both keep telling me that we need to visit their country. Maybe we just will, it's a six hour bus ride. Hmmm...just maybe...
We used to have another friendly neighbor, the kitty cat. She would always manage to find her way into our house---as well as our other neighbors. We've all gotten really attached to her but, she didn't quite make it (details are too gory to put here). We all miss her.
We finally took a field trip to Monte Verde. Antonio, our friend, offered to go with us because he knew his way around very well---and it saved us a lot of money. We got to travel "local" style---public bus--talk about cheap---and six hours long. We got up at 5AM to catch the 5:30 bus. Elyza was an amazing traveller---she didn't complain at all! As we got closer to Monte Verde, the hill got steeper and steeper and rockier and rocker. Talk about stopping this mama's heart! This was a very old bus we were riding on this unpaved road. But, the view was beyond stunning, nothing I've ever seen before. Monte Verde was a nice change in weather---it is very hot and humid where we are living--and quite cool up there. We went to the SerpentHouse--which was disappointing because we didn't see any "amazing" snakes and the Butterfly Pavillion. It's such a difference here in regards to the rules---when you go to the Butterfly Pavillion at home, we are told that the butterflies are so fragile so we shouldn't touch them. Here, they want us to touch them, hold them if we can---they even let Elyza release a few butterflies.
We stayed at a really nice hostel called Hotel Tucan. It was fairly cheap--they had a lot of hammocks for us to swing on. There were people from all over the world----literally. It was nice to talk to a lot of different people along the way. They even made us breakfast--so we had a community breakfast. Check out the videos below:
We also lucked out---we happened to be there on a day some kind of important procession was going to take place. Prior to the procession, there were families on the street decorating a section on the street with designs all around the block. It was really interesting to see everyone, including children, decorating the street. I was impressed how much care and time was taken for each section. What a lovely way to spend a morning with your family! Check out the designs:
When Elyza saw that there was a nail stand (I'm sorry, I don't know what they're called)---she just had to get her nails done. And, of course, when I found out how cheap it was, how could I resist? There was a little girl watching Elyza get her nails done, and goodness, how she could talk (yes, even more than Elyza)! The girl was so cute. In addition, the manicurist took Elyza's nails very seriously, she filed every nail, cut them perfectly and pushed those cuticles back----and decorated them all in 45 minutes! Elyza loved every bit of it!
One fine day, we were in the ocean, there was a family not too far from us----I noticed Elyza moving closer and closer to them--and suddenly come swimming back to me with a big smile on her face saying that they spoke English! She wasted no time and made fast friends. We spent the whole day with them---they were Panamian but the children lived in Texas. They were a generous family inviting us to lunch AND dinner at 8:30PM! It was a fun-filled day for Elyza!