Re-defining the “Weekend”
I have a bit of a troubling situation. For basically my entire life I have considered a weekend to be those couple of days at the end of a week (which never ends up being enough) that are supposed to be free from work but tend to include catching up on extra work or preparing for the upcoming week. However, since finishing our Spanish class for the semester last Thursday has left me with only classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, my world has been reversed to where the length of a typical work week has become that of my weekend and I am forced to re-adjust my perspective. To make matters worse, technically I have 6 of each 7 days free because my only class requirements come in the 23 hour block from my 1 pm class on Tuesday until my Wednesday class ends at noon. What a pickle! I suppose I´ll just have to find some kind of way to make it through these last 5 week(end)s…
To enjoy myself a bit before taking on this difficult road ahead, I decided to go to National Park Corcovado all the way down in the mosquito-ridden Osa Peninsula for a couple days (you know, just for a third of the weekend). It was a quickly planned trip because I was supposed to go on another volunteer trip with UNA to Marino Ballena this weekend, but it got cancelled due to terribly typical Tico transportation issues, so I threw together a few plans and headed out to Bahía Drake to take a tour of what our guide told us has been named the 3rd most biodiverse national park in the world; or something like that. After waking up at 3am to wait for what is apparently the only hour the 24-hour bus doesn´t run in Santo Domingo, I took a taxi to San Jose to catch the 5am bus to Palmar Norte, transition to an 11:30 bus to Sierpe, and hop on the hour-long boat ride to Drake, where the insects are only outnumbered by the sands on the shore. The surprisingly accomodating $9/night hostel called Bambú Sol, run by a lovely lady named Miriam (but not as lovely as my Aunt Mimi!), was just what I needed to keep me alive for 2 nights, and they even let me watch the championship soccer game with them the first night! Upon arriving the first day, I had about 3 hours to kill before sunset in which I was given the rare chance to just sit alone on a virtually empty beach to enjoy creation and just how small I really am. The next morning, after nearly sleeping through my alarm due to the pouring rain made almost deafening by my metal roof, the tour boat picked me up and we were on our way to San Pedrillo Station in Corcovado. Normally I´m not much of a pay-for-a-tour kind of guy, but apparently you´d have to hike 6 hours just to get to the entrance of the park and there´s no other form of ground transport, so forking over a little extra was certainly worth it in this case. If not just for the 30-min boat ride, then the frequent animal sightings, delicious lunch, refreshing waterfall hike/swim, delightful new friends (though none Facebook-worthy) and unprecedented knowledge gained made the purchase all worth it. Not to mention that I snagged like a whole jar of the leftover Jif peanut butter that our guide, Manuel, said I could take home with me! After returning for a nice afternoon café and exploring a little bit of the forest trails around the town, I was encouraged back to my room by the oncoming storm and made it an early night for the sake of the 9-hour travel on the morrow.
Tuesday I´m right back into the thick of my work week, but thankfully I´ll be out of it by Wednesday. I´m going on a field trip with my Arte en el Cine class to Liberia for a couple days, and then my madre Tica tells me there are plans for a family fiesta this Saturday at our house, so at least I´ll have that to look forward to as I try to figure out how to handle all this darn free time… it´s gonna be tough, but I think I´m up to the challenge.