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April Showers Bring More May Showers

It’s official: the rainy season is upon us down here in the tropics. Now depending on who you are, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. I haven’t decided which side I’m on quite yet, but the Ticos are certainly on the liquid-loving side; they can’t get enough of it. They appreciate the ultimate result of lush, green forest and the beautiful gift of life provided by the rains while I’m wringing out my shirt, cursing my $3 umbrella that would probably work just as well if I held it upside down. When am I ever going to learn that you can’t go the cheap route on every purchase? Maybe once I have an income that merits otherwise.

Don Luis PhD celebration

This past week was a landmark in the Vegas-Sibaja household: my padre, Don Luis, was officially approved for his PhD! A mere 6 years of borderline family negligence, 650 pages worth of (double-spaced) thesis and a nervously-anticipated 20-min presentation later, he received a doctorate in… something to do with business. We had a delightful celebration afterwards with the whole family over a shamelessly-priced dinner at Hotel Bougainvillea, and I finally got a picture with them! I’m not quite sure what he’s going to do with all his free time now, but I have reason to believe he may be considering my suggestion of a family trip to Disneyland (before I leave, of course).

This past weekend I got to go on another 3-day field trip with my Arte en el Cine class, and we visited several neat places on the Pacific side. We stayed at the nature reserve in Curú where both beach and forest were just a coconut’s throw away from our cabina. The first day we were going to watch a movie at a school like we had “planned”, but apparently the principal canceled school that day for some reason and we were left napless with nothing but a grumbling professor and a relentlessly humid afternoon. Making guayaba juice out of guayabas, we just added an extra hour and a half to our hike later that day in the Curú reserve. The next morning we earned our free lodging by spending a couple hours cleaning some beaches and playing on some beaches we were supposed to be cleaning. Later, we headed off to Cabo Blanco to hike a difficult 4 km through the forest that inevitably led to another beach. After a night of a little fiesta enjoyed with discretion, we woke up early the next morning to soak up surf and sun at Isla Tortuga. We also got a game of volleyball in, and in regard to how it went, all I’ll say is this: they called me “La Máquina”. Afterwards, those who wanted to (which ended up being 5 of us) hiked a 5 km trail back to the cabinas instead of being taken back by the boat. I don’t know why we were surprised, but it turned out the trail lacked any kind of signs to point us to Curú while at the same time offering a fork in the trail every 5 minutes or so, so we got lost. Miraculously, we somehow made it back to civilization with losing only about 30 minutes and coming out on top by gaining another priceless adventure. The group was a little larger than last time so it was harder to integrate with everyone, but by the end of the trip I felt like I had made at least a few more Facebook friends.

This upcoming week is going to be a short one schoolwise because I’ll be in Talamanca, a town in the southeastern region, from Thursday to Sunday to participate in some volunteer work with the indigenous population there through a program led by my university, UNA. I’m not quite sure what all the trip will entail, but if you’d like to find out what I find out, it ought to be here for you when I get back.

The Curú Group

Playa Curú

3 Responses to “April Showers Bring More May Showers”

  1. Mom Says:

    But are Facebook “friends” really FRIENDS?! :) Glad you had a good time and that you impressed everybody with your volleyball skills…of course, the fact that you’re two feet taller than almost everyone might have something to do with it, especially the girl you’re standing next to in the group picture!! Tell your padre congratulations from your American family! Love you, Mom

  2. Marcy Says:

    Benjamin, once again you amaze me … LOVE your blogs … enjoy these last “few weeks” in Costa Rica … we love you! Aunt Marcy

  3. Mimi Says:

    Red and blue frog, passion flower (?) and bananas—–the envy of my first graders, myself, and my Hannah. What a life! We enjoy reading your posts immensely! Aunt Mimi

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