The Penultimate Post

Ten months.

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Oh god, it’s going to be one of those posts.

In that amount of time, I have seen the rains come and go, migrant birds arrive and then continue on, mosquitos hatch and descend by the billions before retreating back into the forest.  When I arrived here, reptiles were plentiful, the ground was hard dry clay, and fruit was ripening on the vine.  Then the reptiles became amphibians, the floor became a sponge and then a slurry, and the fruit harvest was so bountiful that it piled on the ground where not even the hordes of insects could eat it fast enough.

Now the circle is almost completing.  Rains have lessened while the wind picked up somewhat and dried things out again.  My beloved snakes and lizards are out in force, and we’re starting to notice far fewer insects.  Each day is more beautiful than the last, and slightly more melancholy, as I only have three of them left.

Which also brings me full circle.  I have been living out of a single trekker’s backpack for over a year now.  The last ten months of which has been in Costa Rica, with only a six-month stretch as my longest period of stability.  During that time, on the human side, people came and went, staff and student, researcher and intern.  I have made many connections with professionals, advisors, teachers, and just some generally really great people.

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Jesus, why couldn’t he just talk about this porcupine instead?

And now I’m off again, traveling on.  It’s hard to live off a salary of rice and beans and a teakwood cabin for so long, and it’s even harder to find paying work in Costa Rica.  Especially if you’re a foreigner with only a Bachelor’s Degree.  I’ve managed to find work back in the states, so it’s homeward bound for me.

This blog began, I think, as a suggestion by a family member even more well-traveled than I am as a way to update other family members without bothering with pesky emails.  And also as a kind of sounding board for some more complicated and personal reflections on my work and situation here.  As well as a chance to share some occasionally humorous, hopefully poignant, unfortunately ironic, and often rambling stories of my experiences.

It’s become a little more than what I expected.  These pageviews are way beyond what I was counting on.  I’ve got coworkers and even former students who found out about it.  WordPress is telling me I’ve got readers in 14 countries over 4 continents.  Even Romania is on there.  Freaking Romania.  Do I know anyone in Romania?  And if so, are you all right?  You live in Romania.

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Come to Costa Rica. It’s much better.

I think I’ll do one more post after this.  I’ve got two more full days here for something interesting to happen.  Another giant snake.  A puma sighting.  More awkward enviro-cultural learning experiences.  I’ll do one more and then I think Pura Vida Stories will be going on hiatus.  It wouldn’t feel right to do it from anywhere else but Costa Rica.

But I plan to come back.

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