Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day to Day in Costa Rica

Every single night since we arrived in Costa Rica, T has been waking up at 2am, 4am and then up for the day at 6am.  It has been pretty rough.  Normally, I would "sleep train" her (read: make sure she has what she needs and then cry it out!).  But, I don't feel comfortable doing that as we have been in hotels and now an apartment where we share walls with people who sleep between midnight and 6am.  

But, we spent the day at Baldi Hot Springs earlier this week, and the combination of sun and water really wore her out-- she SLEPT for the first time that night!  The next night was back to the rough routine, but last night, she woke up at 6am for her first time!  I gave her a bottle, and now I can't sleep- so it BLOGGING TIME!

We have spent much of our time getting Scott's applications ready for school.  It is a lot of work to request transcripts, send GRE scores, write essays, request letters of recommendation, and customize every application to each specific school!  Many of the deadlines are March 1st, so hopefully it will just be a few more days of this, and then it will let up.  It is nice to have some structure though!

Before coming, many people asked "So what are you going to DO there?"  
Now that we are kind of in our groove, I'll let you in on the scoop:

6am- Get up for the day.  I usually play with T and get breakfast going.  We have pancakes, eggs, cereal, toast and fresh fruit, or oatmeal.  

7:15am- T is getting tired, but we try to keep her awake.  I put away dried dishes, and make sure the dirty ones are washed. (Side note: It would be a real adjustment for me to live without a dishwasher in America, but since we are in Costa Rica it feels totally normal and good to do them by hand.)

8am- T goes down, Scott begins working on the computer.  I relax, write things in my notebook, read or just kind of think about how I should be waking up now instead of 2 hours prior.

9am-12noon- T is up and we get dressed and start playing.  I put a load of laundry in, or go play with her on the grass.  

12- We come up with something for lunch... so far lunches have not been exceptionally healthy or tasty... We need to work on that.

1-2pm- We head out for the day.  A walk into town takes 30 minutes, so that gets us going.  This is the hottest part of the day, but on overcast days it is fine to go at this time.  If it is really hot or raining, we wait until about 3 to go to town.

We like to get a smoothie at this place with better, fresher (is that a word?) fruit than Jamba for half the price, sit in the plaza (every town has a square), Go price compare various excursions, go to the MegaSuper or Pali (grocery store) or in recent days, go hang out at the primary school.  More on that later!  So basically, we go to town to do something!  About 1-2 a week, we do an "excursion" like Baldi hot springs, or next week we are planning to go to Proyecto Asis, the local wildlife reserve.  We also found out that we can pay 2,000 colones each for pool access to the Pradera hotel pool--- I anticipate we will do that at least once a week in the future.

It is really hard for us to not have a car.  Both Scott and I are used to going where we want when we want.  There are only 2 busses a day that we can hop on, but they generally take us about 2-5-30 miles from where we want to be.  We desperately want to go to a Butterfly Conservatory, but the 30 minute taxi ride costs $30 (each way) plus the admission, so we can't justify it.  It costs $800 to rent a car for a month, and if we bought one (at Gringo price) and sold it when we leave (at Tico price) we would surely lose a few thousand dollars.  So that whole situation makes us feel pretty stuck.  We are actively finding more things to do within walking distance!  

At night, Scott and I either watch a show or two together, or we go visit with our landlords Norma and Nahtalie at the restaurant they own/run about 20 feet away.  They are so friendly with us and we really enjoy chatting with them.  And that is a day in our life!  We do lots of great things, but in day to day life, you still end up doing things like dishes, laundry, and grad school applications. But it is a really nice change of pace to do these things at the foothills of the volcano :)


Tara said...

That's rough not having a way to get places! We didn't have access to our car except on weekends when we lived in DC last year and that was a big change for me, but we had buses and the metro available anytime. I can't imagine not having any mode of transportation except walking! Think of how great all that exercise is for you :)

Kimberly Moore said...

Look at that view! Goodness! Well, you'll get lots of exercise?! It's definitely a sloooooooower pace of life which I can imagine is such a big adjustment for the hustle and bustle we're used to (even us Utahns). I envy all of the time you get to spend together as a family though! Enjoy it while you can because grad school takes it all away! :)

Heather said...

Thanks for the window into your lives. This was really cool.

Chelsea said...

Buy a car. Get a non gringo, like a ward member, to help you out. It'd be totally worth it. Everything would be so much easier and you'd be able to do so much more.

And you'd have so many good experiences with a car. And you'd lose some money. But you would end up forgetting about the money later. Money comes and goes. A car just might be worth it... :)

Elise said...

So fun to hear what you guys are up to! Love it! It's sad to see your place here in PG empty and up for sale yet again... Keep on having tons of fun, and remember us freezing folks here in Utah!