Laura’s Journal – First Day in Costa Rica

This is our place for now in Escazu, Costa Rica.

Well, we slept in this morning, then took our time getting dressed and I don’t know what else. Finally, we were ready to go to the store to pick up some food, and since this was the biggest adventure of the day, I’ll describe it in detail.

It seems like buying food and household items should be simple enough no matter what language the labels are written in, but the foreign currency and packaging confused me more than I expected. Of course, the boys contributed to the chaos with their laughter and spontaneous games. Fortunately, Austin reminded me that he was hungry which sparked my first bright idea of the day: to send Spencer and the boys to buy and eat yogurt while I did the real shopping.

Not knowing what I’d find, I decided to shop without planning meals first. I started with some high priority household items including toilet paper, diapers, pads, soap, and shampoo. I also picked up laundry detergent and a towel and brightly-colored plastic dishes for the kitchen.

I grabbed basic pantry items including rice, black beans, pasta, oil, mayonaise, salt, pepper, and chicken flavoring. I wasn’t sure I’d need the mayo but hoped to be able to make some sort of a Ranch dressing substitute out of it for Austin to dip vegetables. To my surprise, I found a squeeze pack of Ranch later and bought that, too.

The produce selection wasn’t great so we just bought enough to hold us over until the organic open market on Saturday. There was hardly any fruit and I ended up buying a few apples and bananas, not the collection of tropical fruit we’d all been looking forward to. It seems silly that I paid for bananas considering that they’re growing right outside my hotel.

We bought eggs, milk, and queso fresco besides the drinkable yogurts that served as breakfast, but no meat (per Bruce’s recommendation). The kids picked out seasoned tortilla chips and spiderman cookie packs. All in all, the small load we came away with strongly resembled those we had in the U.S. and at a similar cost of around $80.

Setting up shop

Check out the bamboo handle.

We had planned to take the bus into San Jose and back just to get a feel for the place, but by the time we got back and put everything away, sticking around seemed like a better idea. The kids were tired but also desperate for some play time, I had a lot of cleaning to do, and Spencer needed to figure out phones and schedule meet-ups with some of our local contacts, so we each did our own thing for a while. I still feel like I haven’t really seen anything of Costa Rica and look forward to manana again.

Right now it’s 3:03 p.m. I’m sitting in a large and squarish wooden chair at the newly cleaned kitchen counter, listening to gentle rain fall and feeling the heavy but comfortable air seeping through the glassless windows. I’ve finished arranging the kitchen and putting the boys down for naps and am enjoying this break sitting here. It’s given me a chance to slow down and notice the fun bright yellow on the walls. Next I’ve got to give the bathroom a run over and ask about getting a broom and mop, after which I’ll cook my first meal on foreign soil. I think I will like it here.

5:35 p.m. Forget the drizzle. It is now quite obvious that we are in a rain forest.

Our first tropical rainstorm.

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