– I appreciate a safe flight to Costa Rica.
– I appreciate challenges
– I appreciate opportunities
– I appreciate meeting new people.
– I appreciate sleep
– I appreciate kindness
The day I left to fly to Costa Rica, I got up early, did my morning routine and went to the greenhouse. I stsrted my period that morning and felt blessed to have it start now instead of in the middle of the festival. I harvested for deliveries and packed them in the car. I took Angel to her well child check up and got a clean bill of health for her after having hand, foot and mouth a week or so ago. Their only concern is she had lost a little bit of weight and wanted me to up her calories.
After the doctors visit I did deliveries. Then did some last minute shipping before heading to the Houston airport. As I was leaving the store Savana Storm called me from school crying and wanting me to come check her out of school and do on line schooling. We had discussed this before but she hadn’t decided yet..until now. I told her I was leaving for the airport in a few minutes and that I could come get her but I wouldn’t be able to sign her up for on line schooling until I got back from Costa Rica….and that I needed to hurry and leave to get to the airport.
I got Savana from school and took her home. I asked if o could drive her car to Houston since mine was running so bad. She was fine with that. I did some last minute things and said goodbye to Savana and Alice.
The drive to Houston went good. I was an hour behind schedule. I made it to the parking lot an hour and a half before my flight was to leave. The shuttle arrived after a few minutes and I got to the airport an hour before my flight. I spent a lot of time during all this talking calmly to myself about how everything is going how it is supposed to and if I’m meant to go then I will not miss my flight. Right before going through security I remembered that I had a big container of coconut water with me. I chugged it down which was not a great idea. I immediately thought I would throw it back up. My tummy was way too full. I made it through security and arrived at my gate with 10 minutes to spare before boarding time. I ran to the bathroom and threw up the coconut water and made it back just as loading began.
The flight went well. I sat next to a lady that was baby friendly. It was still a long 4 hours to keep Angel entertained but all in all things went good. I found out John Kohler was on the flight and talked to his girlfriend sitting in the seat in front of me. That was really neat.
In Costa Rica there was a bunch of chaos coming out of the airport. I was bombarding with people trying to get me to take their taxi as is common in Central America. I could not find the guy that was supposed to be waiting with a shuttle. A guy let me use his phone and I called to find out what was happening. Then I got with other fruit festival people and a big van arrived for all of us.
We were taken to Flor de Mayo to stay the night. I arrived and was shown my room that I would share with my friend Meghan and her daughter. Then I went in search of Meghan. I found her and her 2 year old daughter Calla in the courtyard and was delighted to finally meet her in person. I visited with her and a few other people, then Angel and I went to bed early.
The next morning we got up and were very hungry. I was bleeding extremely heavy from my period. There was nothing to eat. Meghan and I were going to walk a few blocks to the market but as we were leaving we were told that food would be arriving any minute. So instead we walked down to a pool and I loved the smells and sounds and sights of the tropics.
When we got back breakfast still hasn’t arrived so we hung out in the courtyard for a while and nursed the babies. Breakfast finally arrived. Angel and I feasted on watermelon. Then we all packed up and went out to the waiting buses. It took a while before we could get on and then after we got on we had to wait another 45 minutes before we left. Angel was already restless and I wasn’t sure how the 5 hour bus ride was going to go.
We finally took off and I really enjoyed watching the bus driver maneuver throughout the city. Traffic is so different in other countries and people driving really have to pay attention and how what looks like chaos flows so well. It was fascinating to watch.
There were rambutans for us to eat on the bus. I was bleeding like crazy, going through a large pad every hour, my pad had leaked through a couple of times and I had blood on my shorts but thankfully they were black. Angel did really well and nursed a lot. Halfway there the bus stopped at a market and I loved seeing all the fruit. I bought a coconut that I drank right away as well as a sapote, a big avocado and some mangostein. Angel ate some of the avocado on the rest of the trip and I ate more rambutan and the mangosteins.
We arrived at a beach and had to finish the trip by boat. I was feeling really tired by now and the sun was about to go down in an hour. The boat ride was terrifying and fun at the same time. Angel thought it was a blast.
We arrived at the festival and it was very chaotic. Meghan and I were told that we would have to wait to get our tent until things got sorted out with other people. We waited an hour or more and I was beyond exhausted. I was still bleeding heavy and wanted to clean up and go to bed. I kept telling myself to just be and trust and flow with the moment but that only lasted so long before I started crying. I just wanted a place to be able to sleep. I got myself together. Finally we were given one small tent instead of the 4 man we were supposed to receive. A lady helping us decided that would not be enough and got us another small tent and helped us set them up. I was so grateful to have a place to sleep. I nursed Angel and fell asleep immediately.
I woke up the next morning feeling much better after getting rest. I got to try some new fruits for breakfast and enjoyed that. Angel didn’t like them and nursed instead. She nursed pretty much constantly the whole day. I took it really easy all day and took a short nap with Angel in the late morning. Rambutans were left out for us to snack on. They were yummy but not very filling. Angel enjoyed them and I was glad she eating something. Lunch was a big salad and so was dinner. Angel refused to eat it and nursed and nursed. I was supposed to be upping her calories and was hopeful that my milk would be enough.
We spent the next couple of days going to the river and playing there for a few hours everyday. I realized how much I distract myself from the now by getting on my phone back home. I couldn’t do that at the festival since there was no internet, phone or electricity. It was a great realization and a great opportunity to be fully in the moment.
There was fruit served for breakfast and salad served for lunch and dinner. Angel would eat the fruit in the morning and nursed pretty much non stop the rest of the day. I had a friend working in the kitchen that snuck me a couple avocado’s for Angel to eat and I was very grateful for that. I also was feeding her coconut meat until they ran out of coconuts. Nursing all the time was draining me and I couldn’t seem to get enough calories. Then it rained really hard for a day and everything in my tent was soggy and damp. Meghan and I talked briefly of possibly leaving so we could have enough food and a clean dry place to sleep but we decided to wait it out some more. I kept focusing on what I was grateful for and trying not to give attention to the unpleasant things. The farm was beautiful and almost everything was edible. I was able to go on part of a farm tour while Angel was napping one day and it was very impressive. The tropics are where human food grows in abundance and truly where I would love to live at least part of the year. I loved hearing the sound of the ocean day and night and breathing the delicious tropical air.
On our 3rd night there as I was restlessly sleeping in my wet, sandy bed my friend Meghan woke me up because her daughter had a fever. I checked on her and it was a low fever and I mentioned to Meghan that possibly she got hand, foot and mouth from Angel. The next day the fever was gone but the child broke out in a mild rash, other than that she seemed fine. Angel and I went to the river and participated in a mud bathing event that was a lot of fun. When I got back from the event Meghan said a lady who was one of the event administrators had asked about her daughters rash and Meghan had told her what we thought it might be. Shortly after that I was pulled aside and told that myself, Meghan and our daughters needed to leave immediately. We packed our bags and they sent us off on a boat to the nearest town at 4:30 at night. Thank fully there were 8 other people leaving at the same time because they were hungry.
When we got to shore we all walked down the road until we came to a hostel that we all booked rooms at. I was so very thankful to have a dry bed to sleep in. Angel and I went to bed early. I woke up in the night with my stomach in knots thinking of how I was talked to and treated…like I was a horrible person that brought a disease to the festival. I talked my way through my feelings and finally was able to release needing to be liked and accepted. That was a HUGE release that I hadn’t realized I’d been holding onto. It felt so good to let it go. I felt this amazing confidence and security in myself that was deeper than ever before. 🙂
The next 3 days Meghan and I stayed at the hostel. Meghan didn’t have extra money with her since she planned on being at the festival. I paid for all our food and shelter graciously and felt blessed that I had the money to do that since I’d been saving up to buy a car. Everyone else left the next day but we decided to just stay put with the babies. We rented bikes and went on a long bicycle ride, ate lots of yummy fruit and played at the beach. Angel and I went to bed every night around 6:30pm since it got dark at 6pm. We slept until 5 or 6am in the morning. It was lovely to be getting so much needed sleep. The kids were healthy as ever and Meghan’s daughters rash started to fade so it probably wasn’t anything she caught from Angel.
In the evening on the day after we left the festival a huge storm came in. Rain pelted down like a heavy wall and the wind was knocking over trees. As I stood in the hostel watching the storm I said a deep felt prayer of thank you to God for protecting us and having us leave the festival before the storm hit. The next day the owner of the hostel told me that o needed to pay more than what he had originally told me. I felt so angry and frustrated about that for a little bit but then I remembered gratitude and that I had shelter from that storm and that it was just money and I was able to release it.
On the day before we left to go home I took the bus into a nearby tourist town that was about 10 miles away. I had my laundry done and bought my kids souvenirs that I will give to them at christmas. I was having trouble figuring out how to get a bus back and when I finally found the bus station I was told it would be another 2 hours. I decided that wasn’t going to work for me and starting walking back to the hostel and flagging for a ride. It was only a few minutes before this adorable couple about my age gave us a ride. They were so delightful and were also there on vacation. They didn’t speak much English but it was fun practicing my spanish….as a matter of fact I had a great time practicing my spanish the whole time after I left the festival and the local people are so friendly and happy. I love love love central america.
On the 23rd of september we caught the bus at 7am and it was a long 5 hour bus ride to San Jose. We arrived in San Jose and got a taxi to a market near the airport. We bought some fruit and went to a nearby park for the kids to play. We all had a really good time at the park and would have stayed longer but rain clouds were coming and I didn’t want all our luggage to get wet. We took a taxi to the airport and hung out there from 2pm until 1am when our flight left. I spent hours walking Angel around in the backpack to keep her confined and get her to go to sleep. She finally fell asleep around 9pm and I slept next to her on the floor for an hour. At 10pm united opened and we were able to get our tickets and go through security. We got to our gate and I slept on the floor again for another hour or so until we got on the plane. We all slept on the 3 1/2 hour plane ride.
When we arrived at the airport Meghan’s boyfriend gave me a ride to the lot where my car was parked. The lot was closed so we went to HEB and got groceries. Then we went back to the car lot which was still closed. We waited in their car for a while. Then finally someone picked up the phone and gave me the code to open the gate. I headed home (thankful I had Savana’s car to drive) and Angel fell asleep in her car seat. I realized I had forgotten some things at the grocery store so I stopped at another one on the way I got the rest of what I needed. Then finished the 2 1/2 hour drive home.
When I got home Savana and Alice unloaded the car for me. I nursed Angel and made a smoothie. Then I took an hour nap while Savana watched Angel. I relaxed around the house and caught up on e-mails and things. I took another short nap and then we drove to Austin to pick up my mom from the airport. Savana drove her car since my car is not working and needs a new engine. We picked up my mom and headed back home. Angel cried most of the way home. She was exhausted and done with traveling. As soon as we got home my mom gave Angel a bath, I took a cold shower and we went to bed. I was so happy to be home and in my bed with all my comforts. That was quite the adventure in Costa Rica.