The weather here has been overcast and and it is too chilly to spend time outside. Sigh... It is days like today that make me miss our mountain top in Costa Rica. Since I was feeling a little homesick, I went back through the "letters" that I mailed home to friends and family. Actually, they weren't letters, they were e-mails that I sent out periodically so that everyone at home would have a chance to share our adventure with us. The mail system in Costa Rica proved to be less than dependable so I wrote letters and sent them by e-mail.
Here is an exerpt from one of those letters back home:
November 23, 2009
The neighbor's rooster has a death wish...he stands at the window to our bedroom starting at 5 a.m. and crows at 5 minute intervals until he successfully aggravates me enough that I jump out of bed, fling the back door open, and shout threats at his tail feathers as he makes his retreat through the fence to the safety of his own back yard. He must start running when he hears my feet hit the floor, so that by the time I get the backdoor open he is safely out of reach. With my sleep sufficiently disturbed, I have little hope of going back to sleep, but I don't need to be on my feet until 6 or so. I spend the minutes between the last rooster crow and the time I need to get up laying in the early morning light, listening to the chorus of birds strike up their morning repertoire. This is one of the joys of my day. During this time of year though, the birds have competition for my attention; the winds are changing direction from Atlantic to Pacific and the resulting turbulence makes for some impressive wind gusts. These gusts are particularly ferocious in the early morning, drowning out bird song and with the bedroom window open, practically blowing the covers off the bed. So after relishing the serenade of the birds and the sensation of the sheets flapping in my face like clothes on a clothesline, I haul myself upright and begin my day in earnest.
My first official act is to determine the "uniform of the day". It is rainy season here in the tropics, that means wear clothes that dry fast. I have a wide selection of clothing choices (not), I can wear my "wet" weather gear, which consists of a polyester tank top, lightweight jeans, tube socks and high top rubber muck boots, or I can wear my "very wet" weather gear, which is the "wet" weather ensemble with the addition of a rain jacket. Either outfit is going to be soaking wet in a matter of minutes, so for the most part, I just stick to my "wet" weather gear.
Once dressed, we are all out the door to tend to our first tasks of the day. For Daniel or Erin, (whoever is taking on the grass) it is to the bodega for safety gear and a honking Husqavarna weed-whacker. For me and whoever didn't claim the weed-whacker, it is to the animal pens, to feed and locate the animals on the grass for the day. Due to a resident jaguar, the calves and goats must be put in a pen at night and then pastured during the day. The goats go out on tethers that are staked to the ground with long pieces of bent rebar. They will spend the day eating a perfect circle in the grass, as they walk to the extent of their reach and eat the grass to a nub, leaving the rest of the grass untouched. sigh.... The calves remain in the pen until after they have their grain and their bottles. I usually get the job of feeding the babies while my partner puts the goats out for the day. It is a job tailor made for a mom. The process of feeding calves is much like feeding children, first put the food in front of them and then referee while they squabble over who is going to eat out of who's bowl, then break up the fight that ensues when one decides to "win" the bucket they want to eat from by sucking their siblings ear, thus depositing copious quantities of grain (and slobber) into said ear. Somewhere in the process both buckets get turned over and the grain is spilled and trampled. So it must be time for the bottles... this process is a contact sport...never,never,never, get in the pen with the baby bottles, that is unless you like being mobbed, butted, jostled and slimed with cow poo and saliva. It is advisable to stand on the outside of the rebar-clad pen and feed the little darlings through the fence, thus postponing the mobbing, butting, jostling and sliming until it is time to put them on the pasture...
I am glad that I wrote these letters back home. It would have been easy to be too busy to write, with all that there was to see and do, but I felt like it was important to share the story with those we left in the states. Now that we are back and life lacks the unique aspects of living 50 feet from the rainforest, with the tenth most active volcano on earth being visible from our front yard, it is nice to be able to pull them out and read them again. I can almost feel the Tilawa wind on may face...
If you would like to read more about our Costa Rican adventure, go to http://www.aviewfromthecottage.blogspot.com/ , look at the tabs below the title banner and click where it says " Our Costa Rican Adventure". It will take you to a static page where I have posted the letters back home. I hope you enjoy our adventure! Until next time!