They had some shopping to do and I wanted to use the internet cafe, so we agreed to meet up about two hours later. We eventually took a taxi back to Finca Tocori Verde, the farm which would be hosting me for my week-long visit. I consider myself an experienced traveler, and there have been only a few times in my travels that I have been astounded by my situation – the trip up to the finca is one of them. The taxi pulled off the main road and followed the gravel road to the point that it could no longer safely pass, which was maybe half as far as we needed to go. We all gathered our stuff and started walking. The path led deeper into the forest (jungle?), and when we arrived at the farm it really felt like I was away from it all, literally and figuratively. It was a feeling of apprehension but also serenity. That theme, the mixing of opposites, was pervasive throughout the whole week. One day I hauled bamboo, which was very hard work, but then had the most relaxing evening, eating dinner and playing games. I had feelings of loneliness for my family, but the people at the farm made me feel like part of their family. One day was pretty hot, but in the afternoon I walked to a nearby creek and sat in one of the cool water pools, relaxing.
Other work included painting, digging and hauling dirt, building steps and hauling wood. I worked fairly hard, but that’s because I enjoyed it. The family made breakfast and lunch for me, and I helped cook dinner with their food. There was more than enough to eat during meals and the food was very tasty. Still, I brought snacks with me to munch on in the evenings. I had my own bedroom, which was clean and spacious. Everyone at the finca was very nice to me, and I had a great time.
I left the finca and went by bus back to Puerto Viejo and ultimately back to San Jose airport.
It was hard to describe to my family and friends the feeling of being at the finca. I suppose the best I can do is to explain that Costa Rica’s motto is Pura Vida – pure life.
My time there was simple; it was pure, for the good and the bad. I suppose the finca had such a positive impact on me because I was reconnected with nature. That sounds so cliche, but it’s true. I stepped outside my comforts into a simpler life and my soul felt fresh. I hope to return someday.