Costa Rica Thoughts on Life

How are we doing?

Coco Bay Beach Club

Yesterday I was chatting with some friends who asked me how we were doing. My answer to them ended up being a perfect jumping off point for a blog post.

On balance, we are great! This is certainly not to say that everything is perfect and we don’t have any problems—we do!

  • It’s really, really hot. We’ve been trying to use fan only to acclimate (which is a bit uncomfortable, but working—a couple of days ago the kids were cold after we got out of the pool…it was 30°).
  • There are lots of ants that bite.
  • For some reason our kids are waking up at about 5:15am. I’ve even tin-foiled their window.
  • Will is three. He’s just dropped his nap. He’s in a new country. It’s hot here. There are lots of tears. There’s been some hitting. Meanwhile, Clara is learning how to fit into a new social structure at school and she gets overwhelmed. We’re working on it.
  • We’re working. A lot. This is making us less present and patient with our kids then we want to be. It also means we haven’t been eating that mindfully.
  • And there’s the little things. For example, we’re having a really hard time finding good fins for Clara. This sounds trite, but it’s taking up a lot of brain space. Little things like this add up.

Problems aside: our condo (a 3br, 3ba, 2-story condo in Vista Ocotal) is fantastic and the layout is highly functional. We’ve spent about $60 acquiring little things that make the space even more practical and so our day-to-day is pretty frictionless.

Our home and car in Vista Ocota
Our condo and car.

The shared pool is one of my favourites ever. It is perfect for young swimmers with its many depths, none of which are too deep. We swim pretty much every day after school.

Jump in Clara!

The ocean is steps away and we can hear it from our bedroom. Playa Ocotal (our beach) is wonderful. It’s a beautiful, small, and quiet black sand beach with fantastic tide pools. It’s also got snorkelling and the water is calm enough for our kids to swim and play in the water.

Playa Ocotal
This picture does not do Playa Ocotal justice.

While the school is a bit rough around the edges (literally, as there is a barbed wire fence), the teachers are amazing and our kids are happy and engaged.

The kids are in a multi-aged grouping (3-6) with about 10 kids and two teachers, but they often interact and play with the 7-11 year olds. The school’s values align perfectly with our own: a mix of helping the kids excel personally and as global citizens. In addition to literacy, numeracy, and Montessori-inspired work, they do yoga, tap, phys. ed., and even take golf carts to the beach to snorkel and play in the tide pools every Wednesday.

The school is Spanish-English bilingual, so they are learning Spanish; Clara came home on her first day counting to five and is picking up words and phrases every day. Yesterday at the pool Will delighted all the adults present when a man was trying to teach him how to count:

Man: One, two, three… Uno, dos, tres

Will: Quatro!

We’ve rented a car for the duration of our time here so we can go on weekend adventures (and drop off our kids at school). We have SIM cards with good internet. There’s a farmers’ market on Wednesdays. Jon’s joined a CrossFit gym. Clara’s starting ballet and karate next week. I’m running again (and will try Barre when the studio reopens in a couple of weeks).

Trip so far: 9/10, would do it again.

P.S. We’ve been adopted by a cat. Name being negotiated.

Our new cat
Luna Two / Luna Dos / Princess Puffybottm: patiently waiting for after-school snack