Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well, I went surfing 4 days ago, which was so ridiculous you wouldn´t believe it. It was really hard, but fun. I laughed a lot, at myself, because there was nothing else to do. I did manage to stand up once, for about 2 seconds. Glory! I´ll try again one of these days. However, I violated one rule of surfing unknowingly. I wrapped the leash around my hand a couple of times in an effort to hold on to the board as the waves were trying to rip it away. As a result, I noticed the next day, I had a nasty rope burn on the side of my hand. Swollen, pussy, the works, but I wasn´t too worried about it. However, yesterday, my friend Noe asked me why I had red streaks running down my arm. I hadn´t noticed them before but we decided they must be from the same incident. Later on last night I a guy in my hostel pointed out that those lines can be a symptom of potential blood poisoning. did look rather nasty. I googled it, called my mom the med-tech, and well, I ended up being escorted through Mal Pais to the closest emergency clinic on a 4-wheeler by a Belgian guy with 30 inch dreads, plowing through the dust like we were in the movie Wild Hogs. I´ve never actually seen this movie, but I imagine it has scenes that resemble last night. His friend accompanied us on his own 4-wheeler, and they both did a little tire-squealing and engine revving. It was classic. After a long consultation with the medic in Spanish (I was so proud of myself!), I went home with instructions to take Amoxicillen for a week and to keep an eye out for blistering down my arm, which could indicate blood poisoning, in which case I should proceed directly to the emergency room.

Besides contracting a potentially fatal infection, everything is going great. I´m running again (yay!), reading a lot, and generally enjoying the beautiful sunsets and gorgeous beaches here. I forgot that I haven´t blogged since I got to the beach. I´m in Santa Teresa (near Mal Pais), visiting my Argentinian friends that I met at the ranch. I´m staying at a quiet little hostel with a few other folks, which I like. There are a lot of tourists here, and I really didn´t like the first hostel I was in - lots of loud, crazy, young people drinking all day long. Now I´m a lot happier, although I´m still anxious to get away from the crowds and actually meet some local people. I´m finding that a bit tough to do in Costa Rica! I think I´m going to stay another week or so, then go north to meet a group of friends from the ranch, then continue north to Nicaragua. A Swedish friend is going to meet up with me for a couple of weeks in Nicaragua. I´m thinking about coming home to Georgia for Christmas.

Hope everyone is well! More to come, including pictures...


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Aura's Unintentional Abuse of the Spanish Language

Ahhh...if only some of you bilingual people could have heard the things I've managed to say this month without meaning to. I think it's time for some comic relief. Here are some of the funniest slipups I've had with Spanish in the past month:

Aura (to Mosco): Me quieres hacer algo en el compost?
Literally, 'do you want to do something to me in the compost?' What I meant to ask was, do you want me to do something in the compost. Mosco almost lost it when I asked him this one day after lunch. It became a running joke from then on out...

Aura (to Noe): Que significa chino? Entonces, por que ellos dijieron que querian comprar un chino?
Literally, 'what does chino mean?' Noe tells me that chino means a chinese person. I then proceed to ask her why her friends said they wanted to buy a chinese person. Everyone laughs hysterically, even me, although I have no idea what we're laughing at. Turns out, I overheard the argentinas and another guy talking, and I thought they said they wanted to buy a chino (chinese person). What they really said was they wanted to buy something in a chinese store, like food.

I'm working and Jerry and Lolo walk up. Jerry looks at Lolo and says, 'Ovejas?'
Lolo: Si, si. Las tengo.
Jerry: Se vende? Are they for sale? Aura, can you translate for us?
Me: Sure, sure, but I'm confused. You really want to buy ovejas from Lolo? (I'm laughing)
Jerry: Yes. (He's not laughing).
Aura: Are you sure?
Jerry: YES!
Aura: Okay, okay. What do you want to know?

I proceed to translate for about 10 minutes. Lolo describes his ovejas, signalling with his hands how big they are and how old they are. We discuss when they can meet so Jerry can see them. I'm completely incredulous - Jerry is the volunteer coordinator, and he works with bees. I can't figure out for the life of me why he wants to buy a sheep from Lolo, but I play along, trying not to giggle. They agree on the details. They leave. I shrug and continue working. The next day, I hear Jerry talking again about this issue, and well, basically I figure out in front of about 10 people that they were talking about 'abejas,' which are bees, pronounced suspiciously like 'ovejas,' especially since Jerry doesn't really speak Spanish. Hilarity ensues :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pictures from the ranch

Here are some pictures from my last couple of weeks at the ranch. I changed my mind yesterday and ended up going to Montezuma. It went something like this: bus, bus, bus, ferry, bus, bus... Argh. Anyway, I'm chilling now and I'm going to visit some friends from Argentina tomorrow in Santa Teresa. More about the journey later - now I'm going to visit a butterfly garden and relax on the beach!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to the city...kind of

Well, I left the ranch yesterday, but I didn't make it very far. I am currently in the closest town, La Fortuna, staying in a $4 a night hostel and trying to get all my crap together. I washed all of my clothes, sent a bunch of emails, and I'm looking for a place near the beach to go chill for a few days.

The last few weeks were pretty eventful! Let's see... Noe had to leave because her boyfriend had an accident with a four-wheeler. She's in San Jose with him right now - they had to do surgery, but he's going to be okay. I haven't been working with the sheep any more, because they've been staying in the barn, but I've been visiting them every day. They were getting used to me and starting to eat from my hand.

We threw a surprise party for the wife of one of the garden guys. Francisco (the husband), who I worked with for my first 3 days at the ranch, invited me. I was already going to Fortuna for cash, so I offered to pick up the supplies. I got a bunch of beer, meat for grilling, and a cake, and then me and 3 of the other guys snuck up to their house in this little barrio near the ranch and surprised her. Mosco was playing the guitar and we were singing. It was so sweet - she had no clue, and she started crying! She said no one had ever done anything like that in her whole life. I got to meet her daughter, who is 12. I had already met Flor (Francisco's wife) and her son. She taught me how to make corn tortillas, and her daughter gave me a picture she had painted. We all sang and ate and, fun.

I went to Earth University with Mosco last week, and it was amazing. It's huge and beautiful, but there are only about 400 students. It's the oldest certified organic farm in Latin America. I did an all day soap workshop and made soap and shampoo, which was really cool. I have to wait a couple of weeks until I can use it, but I'll let you know how it turns out. I finally decided that I need to travel right now, but I'm still considering going back to the ranch later on. Mosco says he'll pay me to help out for a couple weeks or a month, so I'm going to keep that in mind over the next few weeks. Right now, I want to plant my ass in the sand somewhere sunny! I spent last night and today laying around the hostel reading...deliciously lazy.

Anyway...I'm going to post more soon, including an update of where I go to next, pictures from the last couple of weeks, and a summary of how I did when I planned my budget and packing list. Hope everyone is well!