jueves, 17 de junio de 2010

Nicaragua Bound!

**Note: For some reason, the internet connection is ever so slow at uploading videos--so no more videos until we go back to Costa Rica. I'll be buying a small camera to post pictures instead**

Know what's nice about going back to towns you have visited previously? You see your friends. And, when you see your friends, they help you get around. My friend, Jesus, the taxi driver (by the way, if you ever visit Tamarindo, ask for Jesus, a most honest driver and a friend, who will get you around) drove us to "la frontera" (the border). He brought his daughter and friend along for the ride. Jesus explained to me as we were driving the taxi that he was no longer a taxista because he wasn't really legal in Costa Rica (you see, he's from Nicaragua)--that every stop, I must say: "My friend is driving me to the border" otherwise, he'd get arrested. Driving with a friend is much better than riding the bus (it's a 4 hour difference). Meet Jesus, daughter and friend as we are eating our lunch (Jesus is the guy with the hat).

Below, Elyza shares her IPOD with her new friend. It was quite cute, Elyza put the earphone in her ear and the friend would just sit there. Elyza had to show her how to look at the video to watch a movie. I think she was a bit confused. It was rather darling.

We get to La Frontera---it's really quite amazing to see such a difference between one country to the next---Costa Rica tends to be calmer, quieter and has a little more order. Then crossing one line into Nicaragua, you enter a world of bawdiness, quickness---everyone wants to help you (think-paparazzi)--but this time was different, Jesus decided to carry my much too heavy backpack and Elyza little backpack for us in the undaunting heat on a very muddy road. Because, we were with Jesus, it meant, getting to the other side quicker and less paparazzi.

We took a cab (they wouldn't let me take the bus) to San Juan Del Sur to Dona Lucila's house. The town is really quaint, colorful and very calm. Dona Lucila has lots of grandchildren for Elyza to play with. You can find them playing futbol often---one of the mother who is holding a baby was teaching the baby to cheer everytime a goal was made (that's the beginning of teaching a child to love the sport).

Elyza got to surf for two days already---now we have to drag her out of the ocean and tell her it's time to go home. She is now able to paddle, turn around on tummy, and wait for the right waves. We're all so impressed! I'll post videos when we get back to CR.

Bad news: the ATM machine only lets you withdraw a little bit of money---then you're locked out! So today, I have to go to Rivas (a bigger city) to a larger bank to withdraw a larger portion--which means, I have to carry a lot of cash! I'm not very happy about that--and the only place that takes credit cards are restaurants owned by Americans (of course!). In a few short hours, I'll have cash and a camera! This post feels so boring without videos or photos!

We both took Spanish lesson yesterday. Elyza always gets nervous with any class taken for the first time---so she had big fat tears streaming down her face---and Amanda, her teacher was so sweet, she took Elyza to the ocean, get this: she got in the ocean fully dressed all for Elyza and even bought her a popsicle. Elyza soon fell in love with her (and you better, believe that Amanda will be getting a big tip from me!)

lunes, 14 de junio de 2010

We've Arrived!

Whew---what a tiresome way to get to Tamarindo (taking a two day break before heading over to Nicaragua). First, we fly a freezing midnight flight (now they don't give out blankets) to San Jose, CR, and then we managed to catch a bus that we boarded 45 minutes after getting off the flight. That was another 6 hour ordeal. We were beyond hot, tired (but not cranky) and just dying to jump into the beach. Plus, I had a very big backpack that's not very comfortable to carry when hot. So, I will be tossing out books (weighs too much, contact solution (hoping that I won't need the second one---I'm not sure if there are any in Nicaragua)---cross your fingers that it will help!

It was like returning to family here---everyone was so happy to see us---and surprised to see how tall Elyza has gotten.

Below--Elyza introduces herself and the beach:

The next day (today)--we spent the whole day at the beach. We found the same surfing instructor who worked with Elyza. Look at how much she's improved already:

We'll head over to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua tomorrow for two weeks. We'll be staying with a "host family" and are so looking forward to our next adventures!

Adios por ahora! Pura Vida!