Costa Rica :: Part 4

This story is being told as a series. Here’s a link to Part 1

Part 4

In the evening, we had our first group meeting. We sipped fruity punch and learned a little about Costa Rica, the plans for the week, what to expect along the tour. The zip-lining adventure I had so hoped for was no longer included or recommended by the tour company. Nevertheless, Ciro assured us, we would have free time on our own in the area where it was offered, if we wanted it. We were advised to get a flashlight before we left San Jose if we didn’t already have one, for some of the more rural places would not have consistent lighting, and to put rice in our camera cases against the extreme damp of the rainy season. Rather than have us all buy separate packages of rice, Ciro would provide some on the bus the next day.

The group bonding began immediately, as a group of us ventured out into the city to get flashlights. We found them in the grocery store. After a failed struggle to convey our need, we simply stumbled up them ourselves.

The key word we had lacked, according to the package, was lanterna.

On the way back, the ladies stopped at a bakery stand. The girl at the counter could not understand what they were asking, and suddenly my pidgin Spanish was useful: “¿Quanto cuesto?” I asked and her face it up with understanding, and perhaps amusement at my error. She offered me a correction by way of confirmation: “¿Quanto cuesta?” I smiled back at her, nodded, repeated the corrected phrase. The ladies pointed to their selections, I asked the questions, and slowly converted the numeric replies back to English.

I never learned what they were celebrating in San Jose, but the night before we left, there were drums and music in the park below, and fireworks right outside my hotel window. It seemed an auspicious beginning, after all.

Copyright © 2010

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~ by lorakceel on May 1, 2010.

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