Saturday, May 2, 2020

Arrival

Saturday, May 2, 2020

My plane landed at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica on 8 March 2020. I was anxious to get out of there, but Wilbert, the man who was supposed to pick me up was late. Did he forget? Shall I take a cab? What will I do now? Do I wait? I thought to myself. I decided to wait. I paced back and forth in the arrivals area, looking for Wilbert while dodging cab drivers offering me a ride. Half an hour passed and he appeared holding a sign bearing my name.

The uphill drive from the airport to our villa in Vara Blanca takes an hour, which to me felt like a lifetime. The driver and I exchanged pleasantries but my mind wasn't in it. I couldn't wait to see D who arrived hours ago and was waiting for me in the villa. As I imagined meeting him after a long absence, unbridled joy began to bubble up inside me.

It was cold and dark when we arrived. I knocked on the door and there he was standing in front of me: D, the love of my life, the man of my dreams. We clung to each other; I didn't want to let him go. We've longed for that moment for a very long time, and after what we've been through the past year, I can't believe we've really made it happen.

I entered the living room and saw that the fireplace was lit just like he promised. The entire room felt so warm and comforting, but we took more refuge in us like an armor against the ills of the world. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Joyfully Open to the Unknown

Friday, May 1, 2020

When I think of the pleasure of embarking on an adventure, I think of that day—going to the bus station unsure whether the buses are running, and, after a two-hour wait, boarding an empty bus that passed through dusty, deserted towns. We did not know anything about where we're going, but on that particular day I felt joyfully open to the unknown.

It was already midmorning when we reached our stop, that small church in the town of Villa Nueva where we were greeted by our guide Daniel, an expat who's been living in Costa Rica for two decades. He told us to walk two kilometers down the dirt road across the street all the way where the tree line starts. That is where he'll meet us, where the real hike begins.

The heat was painfully oppressive that time of the day, but we walked eagerly, filled with the joy of the new. The dirt path, though lined by a few houses, was devoid of people except for those few on quad bikes who zoomed past us. We walked for more than an hour until we reached our meeting point.


Daniel led us down a steep trail deep into the jungle. The trees stretched high above us, allowing sun rays to peek through the branches. The air, though thick with moisture, felt lush on my skin. Our footsteps are muted by the sound of the wild: the harmony of birds, the chorus of insects, the rustling of leaves, and the trickle of the nearby stream. The hike itself was gratifying enough, but when we reached those breathtaking waterfalls, I felt like we were given a surprise reward. 

 
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