There is a shift of focus starting to take place as I now have arrangements for my return home. Rod and I will have a short homecoming to see our daughter graduate from college, then we return back to Costa Rica with her. She and I will depart for home a few weeks before Rod. Having a plan gives me an ending time for this adventure, and that is filled with mixed emotions. A few weeks ago it seemed like quite a stretch ahead of me when I was missing home. Now I want to breathe it all in, making it a part of me.
I also noticed how important it is for Rod and I to have intentional times of connection. While it is true that we are experiencing a lot of new things together and being the primary companions for each other, the evenings, after his day in the lab, can fill up with other necessary things. Writing e-mails and lab preparations in Spanish takes a lot longer to complete, and can fill up several hours. Even with an extra day off, and a wonderful visit with new friends on their butterfly farm, I was feeling the space closing up this week, and longed for a weekend without an agenda filled with things to see or do. Perhaps anticipating (with joy!) 2 weeks of visitors, a quick trip home and then being separated for several weeks, I was sensing the lack of focused time for each other. So, I found a little bed and breakfast online in Grecia, called La Terraza, just an hour from San Jose, and on Saturday we both were ready to spend quality time together-one of my love languages! After arriving at the town center we sat in the park eating ice-cream and people watching in front of the unique red metal church.
The metal for this church was shipped from Belgium, taking 2 weeks for the pieces to arrive from the Caribbean port. It was built between 1950-58.
We took a taxi to the bed and breakfast with the plan to come back to the town after we checked in and dropped off our backpacks. But seeing the balcony from our room overlooking the colorful gardens changed our minds. We sat down, listened to the birds, and allowed the tranquility to sink into our souls. On our walk through the garden we spotted a Jesus Christ lizard (named for the way they walk on water) sunning on a rock by the river. We watched leaf cutter ants carrying leaves that were bigger than their bodies. And the space allowed us to receive refreshment and connection. We were surprised when Christina, the cook brought us each a welcome plate for dinner, with Alfredo, meatloaf, barbeque chicken, salad and cake. I had no idea that was part of the package! We ate when we wanted to, warming up the dinners in our microwave. (And we ate the cake first!) There is nothing better than no schedule or distraction for reconnection. I was surprised how intentional we had to be here, when we aren’t even away from each other in the evenings! But even in beautiful Costa Rica, it is good to break from routine and, although we traveled to a new location, it wasn’t just for the purpose of “seeing another place”.
Ahhh, so relaxing!
The following day we took a short bus trip to the town of Sarchi, home of many of the artisans of Costa Rica, and known for their painted oxcarts, seen throughout the country (now mostly decorative carts). Only a few square miles, I was delighted by its charm and beauty, hilly streets with vistas of mountains and valleys all around. I am sure going to miss that when I am back in Wheaton!
The World’s Largest ox-cart, in Sarchi