I woke up at five fifteen yesterday morning, ate some fresh pineapple, and then rode to the bus stop with my cousin in his sleek, super-awesome Range Rover. Seriously, that car is a batmobile.

I rode the bus to the station, and as I walked around searching for my next bus stop, I realised how much I looked like a foreign tourist with my backpack, camo shorts, and flip-flops. Oh, the shame.

After a mild hour-and-a-half ride from San Jose to Esparza, near the coast, I met up with a fantastic friend from Montana who happens to be living in Costa Rica too. He introduced me to the lovely host family he’s staying with, and it only took me two days to learn all their names. Yeah! Record speed!

Breakfast was followed by a day ambling along the coast, complete with the hot sunny beaches, palm trees, sea birds, fresh coconut water, and of course a swim in the Pacific ocean. We even met a Jehovah’s Witness from Germany who tried to convert us.
After the tide tried to steal our phones and wallets from the sand, we headed back to the house and spent the rest of our time on a neighbour’s porch chillin’ late into the balmy night in a true Latino style.

The heat woke me up the next morning — and basically threatened to put me back to sleep for the rest of the day.

Right before leaving, I asked the lady of the house if I could pray for her hand. She had carpel tunnel syndrome and was having to take pain killers. I prayed about four or five times, with the pain lessening each time I prayed. On the last try, her eyes got really wide and she said she felt a lot of heat coming out of my hands. Had to have been the Holy Spirit, ’cause I didn’t feel anything.

Since my aunt happened to be in a nearby town that very afternoon, I got on another bus to find her. She had driven for her three cousins (all of them sisters) because they were coming to help a Catholic priest set up his church for Easter week. I was spontaneously recruited to help as soon as I arrived. Apparently they were all good friends, because, afterward, we all went into the parish and sat in his back patio, joking and laughing and drinking coffee.

The day gradually ended as we drove back home to the mountains. We left just as the sun was spilling fire and gold all over the Pacific horizon. There were six of us in the car: my aunt, the three sisters, one other lady, and me. They talked for the entire two hours, all at the same time. It was no bother to me, though. I was stuffed in the back reading the last couple chapters of my legal fiction novel by the light of the car behind us. The early crescent moon and Venus peaked out conspicuously from the sky just after the sun went down, like little siblings sneaking into their older brother’s bedroom when he’s away.

The purpose of life after all is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and for richer experience. –Eleanor Roosevelt