I am constantly meeting new people. Normally, it’s on the catamaran tour or at one of the hotels I work with. And while I don’t always make lasting connections, I always learn something new from them.
My newest friend is Hasida, originally from Bosnia and now living and working in Canada as a nurse. We met at the retreat at Hacienda del Sol. We’re the same age and we joked that with all of our similarities in our personalities, we could easily be sisters. But there were also many differences in our lives and I learned so much from my experience of meeting her.
First, it was nice to see Costa Rica through her eyes. It was her first experience in this type of rural environment and while everything is just so normal for me now, for someone new, there can actually be some interesting and sometimes scary moments. One thing she probably wasn’t totally prepared for were the bugs. We’re not yet in rainy season so there aren’t many but, somehow, most of them found their way into her room. And of course, coming from Canada in April, she had to adjust to the heat and humidity. But by the end of the week, she had settled into the living environment and really enjoyed her week on the rich coast.
Then there was the dirt roads – which again, by the end of the week, she had grown accustomed to. And let’s not forget the Costa Rica Pura Vida lifestyle. Like when we went to a hotel in Guiones for lunch but received our food before we got our Tamarind, Lime and Ginger drinks. Welcome to Costa Rica is all I can say. That’s just the way it is here.
The funniest part were the howlers one morning. She could only hear them and she couldn’t believe that there weren’t gorillas in the jungle. They’re so loud that while she had seen howlers on our first day’s hike, she couldn’t imagine such a small animal making such a loud noise. Especially not at 5 a.m.
As for life experiences, hers are very different from mine. I can’t imagine being a teenager in a war-torn country and having to flee (first to Germany, then to Canada). Because of those circumstances, she can speak fluently Bosnian, German and English. Impressive since I’m still trying to learn Spanish!
I learned so much from her about life in this one week we spent together. And I’m looking forward to seeing her again when she returns to Hacienda del Sol for another retreat in December. Which I promised her…the roads will (hopefully) be graded at that time, the rivers will have water in them and everything will be so green and lush! As for the bugs…well, I can’t do much about them!