Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Trough

Okay. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything in my blog. It’s because I always want to be positive and share wonderful news about this wonderful life here in wonderful Costa Rica. I’m grateful to be here. I love the people, the geography, the finca where I live, the little village, the transportation system, the colors, the feelings. All of those things. But for the past 4-6 weeks I’ve been really depressed. I’m in that predictable place all the expate sites explain as “What The Hell Have I Done???

So… I was euphoric, excited, fascinated and delighted with myself for four months. A bit longer than the prediction template. A nice long vacation.

But now I’m actually living here with all the same questions about life, perceived constraints and bitches I had in my life before I arrived here in Costa Rica.

I’m not on vacation anymore.

Many people get to this place and acquiese, settle, compromise, and end up bitching alot for a year or longer before moving back to what they were wanting to escape from. Knowing this trough is a predictable phase of a move of this nature, and having seen the many descriptions of folks that have both moved back, or stayed the course and worked out a fantastic and happy life in this new home, helps. It offers perspective and some intellectual and emotional viability and support during this adjustment.

What I am realizing is that I need to do the work within networks of people to discover ways of being creative, ways to interact with more locals… and, dread the thought, learn Spanish, so I CAN converse with others and not feel so incredibly isolated, nay I say, vulnerable.

What a lesson to learn! What a realization to occur! That in order to be happy I need to Captain my destiny instead of react to life.

Thank God for Mike Dooley and!

Porching It…

Three hours spent on my front porch being quiet and watching the birds today just made my life that much richer… and what entertainment!

Many of the birds were out, including the oropendas hooting and cackling. You could hear them scooting from one end of the farm to the other through the myriad trees.

Each morning this week I’ve been awakened by some big type of bird I don’t know the name of attacking himself in my bedroom window… he thinks he sees a rival, but he’s seeing his reflection. And he does not give up. All day he comes back to make sure ‘the other guy’ is gone, only to discover him still there! Poor guy. A bit obsessive.

The social flycatchers (pictured) were particularly busy today and there were many of them perching on the tops of stakes and sunflower stalks, all the sudden swooping and sometimes diving into the soy plants for insects. I could see the tops of the plants moving, but not the birds underneath.

On the other hand the swifts were way way way up in the sky swooping for their own insects. So many of them, they looked like a huddle of knats up there swirling from one end of the field to the next. I’d no idea they’d be hunting that far up in the air, but they were as high as the vultures’ lower soaring range.

Since we’re in the farming community here, there are plenty of wild animals and other types of prey the vultures smell on the updrafts. These guys are huge and get as high up as to make them specks in the sky. On the ground their wingspans are at least 5′, possibly 6′. Impressive.

So, today I spent a good deal of time simply watching the show. And it was glorious and entertaining, reminding me of the social mores of humans so much as small flocks waited their turn at the hanging fruit delicacies, or were just insolent enough to grab a limb next to an elder in a challenging move that ended up putting them in their place. It was a busy place today; lots of discussion amongst and around many different types of birds, sometimes even hanging out in the same tree.

Maybe I haven’t taken the time before to simply be on the front porch as a quiet observer of their world. But today felt different somehow, as if I’d been accepted. The birds flew by within a couple of feet, a butterfly landed on my chair and stayed for a few minutes. It was just a perfect Buddha Day on my front porch.


Well… this typifies my week thus far… wrote my blog in another format and can’t cut and paste into this one. DRAT, I say DRATDRATDRAT! I know more than one other person that is having an emotionally draining week… this is just one more effort crashing that will turn out to be just as it should have been… in this case, rewriting the blog entry. So, enough bitching about this very moment… and on to bitching about the rest of the week… ready?

It’s not that bad, really. Just had a pack of dogs attack me and my first collage totally ruined… Oh! and the rainy season that wasn’t rainy enough – yet – to warrant no interruptions in service. And lastly, bugs. Literally: the bugs are really bugging me. HA! Just have to roll with it cuz they were here first and they are not going away.

Okay, the dog attack… was the second occurrence of these pesky rascals, old as the hills, gray whiskers quivering in rage, attempting to denude my legs of their ankles. Yes, antiquarian angst in the dog family. This pack guards a crook in the road right down the street. When the leader is awake you know it cuz you can hear him crooning his particularly arrogant tune throughout the hillside. A beagle. An old, entitled, beagle who must feel terribly beleaguered with those of us who insist he share the road in front of his property. He and his five friends. Another three of whom are equally age-challenged, but totally willing to back up their friend’s claim to the road. Jeesh. If you can imagine this, and I’m sure you can, a 5′ woman with gray hairĀ  facing down a pack of dogs intent on intimidation, screaming at the top of her lungs … NO! (dammit, I simply won’t have it!) in harridean volume for approximately two minutes. Both sides gratefully backing down and turning away in disgust with one another. Until next time….

Then the collage. My first since moving here, meant to reflect my whimsical adventures through paradise. It began as a childlike ode to primary colors and nature. Ended up a bit edgy cuz I screwed up on the last layer and had to scrape off errant purple pieces of paper, not all of which wanted to comply. So be it, I said sulkingly, and put it in the corner. Well, at least it was facing out into the room instead of having it’s back to me… when I took another look at it an hour later I realized it wasn’t actually ‘broken,’ but had morphed into what might be a much more adultly realized reflection of my experiences here, which haven’t all been rosily romanticized. So, there’s an edgyness to the piece and something I can live with, since it’s for me, about me. It’s the truth of the matter… there are some experiences that haven’t been the best and I wish I’d been able to scrape off my palette, but couldn’t.

Probably enough information for a blog at this point. Now, if I can just get my camera to work, I’ll post a pic of the collage….