Unemployed, in a Green Land

The reason I’ve been so quiet on this blog is that over the past few weeks I’ve been too busy living in an isolated off-the-grid spot in the rainforest, killing ants, taking pictures of animals, trying to stay dry, and stuffing my face with delicious fruit. But the surprise twist? I’m not in Costa Rica.

I’m in Washington.

Yes, after a long series of flights and layovers, I was finally able to return home and peel off a mask that had gotten pretty funky by that point. Luckily, I was able to settle into a place tucked away in the forest for quarantine, which also made culture shock transition a little easier. And the weather was pretty good too–nothing like the Pacific Northwest in Summer. So I thought I was in a place where I could begin a new chapter in life, try to track down a new career, and close the book on Costa Rica for now. And enjoy all the things I had been missing.

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No toucans, but we’ve got bald eagles.

And enjoy them I did. I think my first meal back was bread. Just bread. I had plans to make a sandwich, but once I had my hands on a loaf of real chewy gluten with some sort of French name I took a bite right out of it and didn’t stop until I was down to crumbs. This time of year is also blackberry season, which is about the one kind of fruit that really doesn’t grow well in the Tropics. First chance I got, I reenacted my childhood and picked until my hands were stained purple. And then the beer. My god, the beer. Costa Rica, I love you, but I’ll be willing to commit when you have a dedicated microbrew scene.

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See? Bald eagle.

Yet on my first morning I went outside with a cup of coffee and watched some deer nibble the grass. White-tailed deer, no less, the exact same species we had back in Manuel Antonio. I munched on fresh fruit that had been picked in the backyard (raspberries, not mangoes, but still). It was surprisingly hot and sunny, although lush. Most of this environment is rainforest, after all. Temperate rainforest. So I joked to myself about never leaving at all.

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I wasn’t kidding when I said I literally have to chase these things out of my driveway. Crazy to think this is the national animal of Costa Rica.

But then the ants began.

Apparently, the place I’m staying has had an ant problem. That is, previous tenants have complained about a few ants in the kitchen and bathroom. But now I was here. With my vendetta. My nemesis. They got inside my bags. My clothes. The second night I woke up covered with them. Now it’s war.

Perhaps the jungle is a place of mind. You can never leave. Maybe I really am cursed. Maybe this won’t be quite the respite I was hoping for. Maybe I’m not ready for a break after all.

Regardless, I’ll most likely be blogging less but may chime in with an update or flashback story when I have good photos. For now, I’ve got to go bring down some jungle justice on a bunch of pansy-abdomen Washingtonian ants. At least this time there are no monkeys.

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Also I’m almost out of data on my free WordPress account. I really do have too many pictures of frogs.

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