Hello from your friends on the other side of the continent!
Hello again! Ezra here from Que What Now, hailing to you guys from Costa Rica for the first time! First off, I would like to apologize for not writing a blog sooner as we have now been here for three weeks. But on the bright side, I have more to write about now!
We arrived on Thursday at seven o’ clock at the Liberia airport (Liberia is one of the provinces of Costa Rica) and spent the day driving down to the south coast to our property. We spent a couple nights in a hotel in San Isidro (probably a 20 minute drive from our property) before we had cleaned up our property well enough to live in it.
Our property consists of a large circular front yard/parking space area in front of a cabin that is on slightly lower ground than the yard. The cabin is open to the outside and has a balcony and a one-person kitchen. Leading off it are various paths and staircases that lead to two more closed off cabins we are using as bedrooms. Behind the house is a steep ramp covered in sheer jungle. I’ll send pictures of the property and some of the other cool stuff down here in one of my next blogs, but right now my wifi is a phone’s hot spot and i shouldn’t try to upload any pictures.
There are a couple things I forgot about this country that came screaming back to me when we got here. The first thing I remembered was just how humid it was. I mean, the day before I had been in British Columbia, Canada, in wintertime. The tropical humidity was noticeable from the isolated hallway leading off the plane to the main airport. It was like a slap in the face- a very wet slap- when we opened the door and got to the main airport. I was sweating through my shirt by the time we were outside and getting in a taxi.
Another thing I forgot that occurred to me later was how much I missed the food. There is a large variety of food in Costa Rica just like in America, but like how eggs and bacon is kind of a national breakfast, there is a basic food selection that almost every restaurant has. And it is so good. I mean, I know that having rice and beans, eggs and fruit blended with water or milk sounds like it would get old eventually, but I could live off the stuff- almost literally. Through some basic minerals in there somewhere and you could survive on “Gallo Pinto con Huevos” forever.
Yet another thing I forgot was how surprisingly easy it is to survive here with only a basic knowledge of the Spanish language. Often people speak English, or the print on your menu in a restaurant is in both English and Spanish or you can use interpretive dance. You can make your way through Costa Rica relatively easy.
And the last and most striking thing I forgot about was the sheer size of common bugs here. It’s insane! I mean, at nighttime the jungle space behind our cabins is inhabited by cicadas. Sounds innocent enough, right? Yeah………. I hate the cicadas. I actually, really, truly DO NOT LIKE THEM AT ALL. Have I ever told you about the howler monkeys in Costa Rica? if not, I suggest you go and find a recording of a howler monkey right now.
We have a family of Howler Monkeys that also live in the jungle behind our cabins, and almost every morning they make that sound. I prefer that to the cicadas. For one thing the cicadas chirp at nighttime when I’m trying to sleep AND in the morning, and the Howlers just cry in the morning. And for another thing, they don’t “chirp” per se. it’s either a steady up and down synchronized cry, like “krrrrrAAAAAAAww! krrrrrAAAAAAAww!” or even worse: a superloud individual scream that starts out like normal clicking and speeds up until it morphs into a sound like a chain saw crossed with a man screaming as loud and long as he can, a sound that can last several seconds.It’s earsplitting. “Kli…Kli…Kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli kli-kli-kli-kli-kli-kli-kli-kliklikliklikliklikrrrrrrRRRRRRRAAAAAAAaaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAAAaaaaAAAAAaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWW!!!”
And thirdly, their sheer size is frightening, as I mentioned earlier. For example; put the tip of your forefinger and the tip of your thumb together like you’re saying “perfect”. Now look at the circular hole you have formed with your fingers. We have cicadas that big on our property. “Crashing through the underbrush” is a fairly accurate discription of the sound they make when they’re flying through plants. They sound like tiny helicopters. It’s scary. I wish they were small enough for me to feed to my praying mantis.
Oh yeah. Hannah and I caught a wild mantis, built a habitat for it and have been feeding it other bugs. We started out cautious, just feeding her moths smaller than herself, but have recently started experimenting with her diet, giving her a small beetle, a small grasshopper and a daddy long legs.
Tell you what- remembering that she’s small, why not you guys suggest bugs I should try to catch and feed to my Mantis (whos’ name is Nim). I’ll put them in her cage and record how she reacts! And take pictures of her eating it’s head! (they always go for the head.) Just give your bug suggestions in the comments below!
More to follow on our new home soon!