Friday, July 26, 2013

Backyards and Religion in Costa Rica

I first encountered some mysterious gardens in Heredia. It was surprising to see cows and horses in the gardens of houses which are situated in the city centre. The first time I saw a man riding a horse in his garden left me speechless. It was my second week in Costa Rica and route I took to get to my project was always the same. How is it possible that I’ve never noticed a horse in that one garden!?
It soon came out that I’ve been walking around completely blindfolded. Quite many households seemed to have animals that I wasn't used to seeing. Apart from the fact that almost all households have a few dogs, horses, cows, chickens are also quite common. If not as much in Barrio Jesus, then in Tamarindo it is very common to have a rooster waking you up. I’ve now been running in the mornings and I’ve seen so many chickens and roosters that I’ve stopped taking photos.  The same story about horses. Every other household has a few horses and its completely normal to see people riding horses on the beach. Although Tamarindo is extremely touristy, it’s mainly the locals who are riding horses. (followed by tourists taking photos, just like me the first 3 times)
Apart from animals, in a Tico family, you will also probably find a lot of religious symbolism. Crosses, photos of Jesus, prayers, bible – all of them are very noticeable for a foreign atheist. Apart from locals going to church every Sunday, they also hit a cross when they pass a church. When I was working in the kindergarden, children were taught to pray before eating and I was a bit confused what to do, because I was supposed to be a good example to the children and also teach them about religious values. However, luckily I was never assigned a group alone, so the other teacher said the prayer while I was quietly looking out of the window or finding myself something else useful to do. Otherwise people rarely ask you about your religion. My teacher in San Jose asked and after my answer “ soy agnostica” talked about the happiness that the church brings and that I will one day discover it as well. From that day on I’ve tried to ignore religion as a topic to talk about. However one of my teacher in Tamarindo told us about superstitions in Costa Rica and emphasised how he doesn't believe in most of the things, because god keeps him safe. I was a bit surprised how he doesn’t believe in healings and foretelling, but is completely fine with believing in god. The logic was also absent in “ god protecting him from demons and witches who he doesn't believe in?”

I was also once told that I will burn in hell for not believing in god and I was felt sorry for, because even though I’m a good person, god doesn't like that I don't go to church. Despite that, most people don't talk about religion. Even though I had this incident when I was told how I will be punished for not having religious parents (and therefore not raised with religion, which I’m pleased with), I still find it interesting to observe as an “outsider” 

Photos of Gardens & Other interesting parts of Costa Rican life ( photos done with my camera): 

 A common visitor... In gardens.... rooms.... 

 Party in the garden. Special occasion though, 25th of July is a National Holiday - Guanacaste, a province, joined Costa Rica 189 years ago. 

How I went for a run, got injured, got scared about the stories and check my bed every night.

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times, I’ve been waking up around 5 am every morning. I had my first run on Tuesday. Apart from the fact that I could make another post about “ interesting things you find on the streets at 5 am and how the beach is stunning in the morning” I didn't make it very far the first morning. I suppose I’m not used to running so early and my sleepiness kept me a bit careless about how im running. I had been running for about 15 minutes(around 3 km I imagine) when I slipped and fell on the road. It didn't hurt much and before I looked down on my knees, I thought about continuing my run and then washing the dirt off in the ocean. However my first look on the knees made me sick. I felt like throwing up and I knew that running the whole 10 km is not an option.  I needed to find a place to ask some water. Unfortunately it’s not realistic to find anyone on the streets at 6 am, which is ironic as their roosters are making enough noise to wake up the sleeping beauty herself. So there I was, not knowing what to do. Not wanting to knock on anyone’s door and trying to get the dirt off with some cleaner leaves. However, I was luckily already quite close to the beach and therefore many hostels and hotels had started to appear. I tried entering a few, but there was no soul to be found. After 10 minutes of walking I managed to find a couple who was enjoying a morning coffee on their balcony. They kindly offered me their bathroom and the girl even put some iodine on on my knees, elbows and hands.  I knew that the elbow must have been the worst as her face betrayed the disgust and it really hurt a lot. However, I knew I fell luckily and not breaking any bones was a miracle.. I then jogged back about 45 minutes, and later spent time waiting for the pharmacy to open.  I will probably have scars for a while, but I was already running the next morning. I’m not going to add photos for the sake of people who can’t stand blood(because I of course had to take a photo of how bloody I looked), but I will add some nice beach photos instead. All taken after I’ve been asked if my husband is violent at home or did I get into a fight with someone. However, the scars aren’t as visible on the photos and I know that those cuts will heal completely eventually, so I’m quite pleased with my skill to fall.

Another story I wanted to tell is also written in English, in order to not creep out my mom who hopefully won’t be using google translate to see what I’m writing and enjoys the beautiful beach photos. So I’ve been always thinking that Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America. Apart from robberies, nothing serious really happens. I have heard some stories about volunteers who have been sexually harassed and for that reason I always asked my hostfamily whether the places I was travelling to are safe and never went out in the dark. I also go running on the main streets and roads. I always thought that it’s all about being careful and the fascinating part of the culture of Latin American countries weights up the dangerous bit. I still think this way, as mainly it’s just important to be careful. Keep your money in different places, don't go out during the night, keep an eye on your drink etc.
However, today morning when I arrived in the school I met a girl with a extremely creepy story. She has apparently been in the same family in Tamarindo for five weeks and she was supposed to leave in the end of next week. She usually locks her door when she goes to sleep, which I never do even when I go out to the city, as I feel that I need to trust the family(which I really do. I did in San Jose and I also trust my family here). However, she was very anxious yesterday night and after opening the closet and making sure that everything is ok, she calmed down a bit and went to bed. At two AM she wakes up because there is something moving under her bed. There was a person crawling out under her bed. It sounds like a real life horror movie, doesn´t it?
 She freaked out. Luckily was able to unlock her door and ran screaming to the room with other students who were living in the same host family. Apparently she was very lucky that there were other foreigners at the same time, because she was living in the family completely alone for a while. The guy who was under her bed was her hostbrother and although he had been a bit strange all along, he had never before been potentially dangerous. He then just left the building. Just like that. All the student families (many families come to the institute with children to learn Spanish and have an active holiday) packed their bags, called the institute and left the house immediately. They found an hotel and hopefully no other student will be placed in that family. I can only imagine the fear that takes over a persons body when they discover a man under their bed. Especially someone who is part of the family…
For the last days in Costa Rica, I’m going to check my bed everytime…. Although I know I have the safest family, you can never know. The family works in the institute so nothing can actually happen. Also they are a very nice family, the mother makes the best food and shares me the receipes, offers to do my laundry everyday and even showed me around the town. I’m really happy with the family, but stories like this, even when they happen rarely, make me aware of the fact that anything can happen.



Monday, July 22, 2013


Today I was woken by a rooster.

Probably tomorrow as well.

5 am.....

And I thought ive seen everything in Costa Rica.... Wait for the post titled " mysterious gardens of Tico families'

Now I can add a rooster there...

That was annoying....


Äratus oli täna tänu kukele...

Kell viis hommikul.....

Ignoreerisin tunnike.... Rohkem ei suutnud...

Kolm koera ka....

Homsest kella viiest jooksma.....


Arvasin, et olen kõike näinud....

Arvasin, et ei teki võimalust lisada kukkesid minu pikka nimekirja ' mida võib leida Costa Rica aiast'

Tarzan swing, La Fortuna

The video as promised.

Video nagu lubatud.

Imeline La Fortuna ja esimesed muljed Tamarindost.

Hommikul kell 8 (ehk siis 20 minutit hiljem) alustasime oma sõitu vulkaanipoole. Õigemini spordipoe poole, sest Sandral polnud matkamise jalanõusid ning kui meie giid selle maailmaime avastas, tekkis esimene peatus meie suure grupiga hoopis spordipoes. Mis oli muidugi õige ka, sest meie vaateplatvormi tuurist " näeme vulkaani, teeme pilti ning kõnnime jõe äärde" - sai hoopis kahe tunnine vihmametsas matkamine. Mägedest üles, iga teise taime maitsmine või nuusutamine ning vulkaanilugude kuulamine. Minu jaoks oli see üks päeva tipphetk. Vihmamets on lihtsalt suurepärane heaks jalutuskäiguks ning siis kuulata vulkaani ajaloost ning kuidas meie giid on 8 korda illegaalselt mäe tippu roninud. Vapustav. Arenal on üks vähestest Costa Rica vulkaanidest mis on siiamaani aktiivne ning alles mõnekümne aasta eest nägi ta täiesti teistsugune välja. Tema aktiivsus on see mis siia kanti turiste toob. Vaated olid ilusad ning neid võite piltidelt imetleda.
Pärast seda käisime "Rainforest Cafes" kohvi joomas ning lõunatamas. Sellist kohvi pole ma kunagi saanud, tegin lausa menüüst pilti ning üritan kodus midagi sarnast valmis meisterdada. Nende kohvivalikusse kuulus üle 20 erineva sordi( külmad ja kuumad) ning ka lõunasöök oli väga maitsev. Toit on küll Costa Ricas kallis, kuid enamasti väga hea kvaliteediga ja värske.
Pärast lõunasööki tegime aega parajaks ning pärast poolt tundi otsimist leidsime otsitud tarzani hüppega ujumiskoha üles. Varjatud metsaga ning ega autoteeltki seda eriti näha ei olnud. Järgmises postituses saate näha videot mu La Fortuna ekstreemhüppest. Enam küll nöör jalgade ümber polnud, kuid tundmatus kohas vettehüpe oli ikka paras adrenaliinilaks. See oli just selline koht kus kohalikud käivad ning õnneks sai enne jälgida kuhu kohta inimesed täpselt hüppavad. Samuti jäid asjad alles, sest mu isiklik kotihoidja Sandra tegi imepärast tööd.

 Laava teekond

8 kordne illegaalne vulkaanironija - Arenali vallutaja.

Minu reisikaaslane Sandra ;)

 Tere tulemast vihmametsa.. Väga turvaline teekond tõesti ;)

See ala on kõik sipelgapesa, hüppasin kohe kolm sammu tagasi kui meile seda öeldi. Ai kuidas nad hammustavad...

Paar korda hüpatud, ujutud ja ilusat vaadet nauditud ning juba liikusime tagasi hotelli poole. Buss jäi muidugi ilusad pool tundi hiljaks, aga siin ei aja selline hilinemine peaaegu üldse ei häiri. Pigem on mõnus rahulik suhtumine ning ise hiljaks jäädes on alati teada, et siin sellist kontsepti lihtsalt ei eksisteeri. Kohalikud ütlevad koguaeg " rahulikult, rahulikult, ära põe, Puhas elu( tranquila, tranquila, despacio, Pura vida!)"
Paradise Hot Springs on küll parim kuumaveeallika koht. Kõige uuem, odavam, väikseim ja selle tõttu ka vähe rahvastatud. Tehti eraldi tuur kus kõike nauditi ning 25 dollariga saime isegi õhtusöök jookidega! Mister lava lava(pean kohe mitu korda kirjutama, see nimi ajab korraliku itsituse peale) tegi meile kõige parema pakkumise.
Lõõgastumine võis alata! Alguses ehmatas esimene 45 kraadine vesi küll ära, korra sisse ning joogijanu võttis juba võimust ning pidi välja joogivee järgi jooksma. Lõpuks pingutasin päris kaua seal mullivannides ja kuumades vetes olla, seda tänu pidevale kinnitamisele kui tervislik ja kasulik see minu nahale on. Täielik saunatamine oli see ikka.
Õhtusöök oli samuti väga rikas, sai valida erinevate Costa Rica toitude vahel ning kõik minu lemmikud olid samuti valikus. Vot see õhtu oli tõesti väga väga mõnus ja rahulik. Kui kellegil kunagi tekib võimalus kuumaveeallikaid proovida, siis tehke seda! Maksimaalselt seda aega ja raha väärt! :)

Kell 10 hotelli jõudes oli aga väsimus nii suur, et peaaegu koheselt vajusimegi magama. Järgmine päev ju varajane bussisõit Tamarindo poole ning vaja veel Rainforest kohvikust omale üks korralik suur kohvi kaasa võtta. Järgmine päev algaski Interbusi peale võtuga. Kerge 5 tunnine bussisõit kõiksugustel maastikel. Väga ilusad maanteed kontrastiks lühikestele auklikele teedele. Kohale jõudes- imeline rand, tore perekond, ÜLISUUR voodi, televiisor toas, paremini reguleeritav dušš.... Ma olen taevas.
Linn ise on tohutult kallis, selline tõeline turistide koht, niiet kui siia tulla, siis tuleb tõesti vahetusperes elada. Instituut kus ma päevas neli tundi hispaania keelt õpin näeb väga tsill välja ning esimene inglise keelt kõnelev inimene oli totaalne hipi. Poleks kunagi osanud oodata, et ma päris hipit näen- need 60ndatel eksisteerinud olevused peaksid olema ju väljasurnud " ahjaaa, olen siin vabatahtlik aasta aega juba, sõitsin lihtsat bussiga siia elu nautima, ei tea kui kauaks jään" Vahepeal tekkis küll tunne, et täitsa pilves inimesega räägin, pea jube laiali otsas.

Mul on teile veel palju asju millest kirjutada, kuid Peace, Love, Pura Vida!

Järgmise korrani ;)

 Väike ananass.

Wuhuu, lõpuks ometi midagi muud peale riisi ubadega. palun tooge mulle musta leiba järgmine pühapäev lennujaama !!!!

Ilus hüppekoht

 Õnnelikult tagasitee leidnud.

Sandra - this is my favorite favorite photo of you ! :)

Esta tambien - goes to my collection of good photos ;)

 Arenal !

Hot Springs :

  My hottest face ;)

 My hottest smile :D :D

Proovime siis natuke tavalisemaid fotosid ka teha vahepeal.

On the way to Tamarindo :

My new home for a week:

Minu blogi kirjutamise koht ;)