Yesterday I went for a walk on the beach and ran into some friends sitting on a log that had washed up. I stopped to say hello and they pointed to the ocean and said “Look at all the dolpins!”. There were several dolphins jumping and diving including at least one baby. It was such a thrill – in the five years I have lived here this was the first time I saw the dolphins and they were really close to the shore.
Last week was Semana Santa – Holy Week – here in Central America and for Ticos that means it is time to go to the beach! Between Palm Sunday and Easter, the town is literally filled with people.
Driving is not even an option and walking or biking is an adventure. During a normal week I can take a walk on the beach and will see maybe five people spread out all along the beach.
However during Semana Santa, the beaches are packed with families playing in the ocean, camping on the beach, enjoying barbecues, and listening to music. It is a party all the way from Cahuita to Manzanillo. Cars began streaming into town on Wednesday morning and did not stop until Friday afternoon. By Sunday morning – Easter Sunday and the day of the dolphins for me – the beaches in my area were almost back to normal with just a few people hanging out.
Last Tuesday, four friends and I went to entertain a group of elderly people in a nursing/retirement home not far from Puerto Viejo in a small town called Bambu. We just showed up with no notice and sang Easter songs and then spent some time talking to the people who came to listen. It was such an uplifting experience. There were smiles and laughter all around. We were lucky enough to see a wonderful man by the name of Opi from Puerto Viejo. He had been in a terrible accident about a year ago when he was hit by a car while standing by his bicycle. When we said we would see him next time he said “Not unless you sing to me in Puerto Viejo – I will be home and walking by then!!”.
The grounds and the home itself were just beautiful and the staff seemed to really enjoy working there. In Costa Rica, most people grow old and are cared for by there family but when that is not possible this is a wonderful alternative with a warm and caring environment.
For those who are curious, the new puppies are great! Tom and I are loving watching them grow and honestly spend much of our day laughing as we watch their antics. They completely entertain themselves wrestling and chasing each other and the other dogs and have won over our hearts – we cannot now imagine life without them.