It wasn’t long after I arrived here that we made our first little trip. Destination: Zarcero. Or, more precisely, Bernardita’s parents’ farm a little past Zarcero. The climate there is like that of Monteverde: green, chilly, draped in fog. When the mists cleared – rarely for longer than 20 minutes or so – the mountainous landscape was impressive to behold, and it felt very natural, fresh and rural.
It was a farm, after all.
Bernardita’s family is large. She has about seven brothers and sisters, and with all of them plus their own partners and children, the house and grounds were packed and rowdy. Still, I was given my own room for the night while the kids camped out in the living room; and I enjoyed quite a lot of conversation with Bernardita’s many sociable sisters. Magaly even taught me a recipe for arrolladitos de cebolla!
Monday was Mothers’ Day, and the kids left the grown-ups in peace and quiet for a few hours by heading down to a nearby and apparently frequented waterfall to play. I went with them, grateful for a rest from the clamoured conversation in the house. On our adventures we trudged through muddy fields, evaded electric fences and ate guavas from trees before finally reaching the famous stream. To the kids’ disappointment, I stayed well clear and took photos while they splashed, squealed, hurled mud around and constructed makeshift dams from rocks and tree branches.
I do miss those carefree days when it was fine to get soaked to the skin and clarty; I’m pretty sure those days did exist, down at the stream next to our own house in St. Boswells. When did I start to get so scared of the sniffles, and of the discomfort of mud caked on my skin and hair?
Just the thought of it makes my skin crawl, so I don’t regret my decision not to go in the water. And taking the photos and keeping them and displaying them on my blog and in my scrapbook is the sort of thing that gives me joy now; so I’ll take it. I’m considering using the photos to put together a keepsake for my host family to give to them when I leave; either in the form of a photo album, scrapbook or photo box. I’m glad to be able to do something nice for them and really enjoy the process.
So for now, standing on the side lines and taking pictures will do me just fine. Maybe one day though, when I have my own kids, my own hot shower and my own nearby stream, I’ll find the serenity to go out with them and have a good old mucky time.
Grant can hold the camera.
Looking forward to hearing from you all,