A Walk Through My Neighborhood in San Buenas

There’s no explanation for it. Nothing in my past to suggest this would happen. My rather large extended family has been having a tough time grasping the concept but I’m at my absolute happiest living in a village in rural Costa Rica.

Spent several hours yesterday preparing my workshops for the upcoming retreat at The Writers’ Retreat of San Buenas. Then, after a swim and doing some laundry, I went for a walk and took pictures of my ‘hood.

My heart melted as I walked along the dirt road, waving at my neighbors, admiring their small efficient houses with the front porches and people sitting outside, dogs playing and curious children coming out to greet me.

There’s a one room schoolhouse where I met one of the teachers last year named Lucia. My Spanish has improved since I saw her last but I’m seriously thinking of taking some lessons soon to become fluent.

Across from the school is a tiny and immaculate Catholic church with a beautiful, well-kept yard. It was closed yesterday. The fighter in me, the angry intellectual, the political progressive knows there’s no God, all religion is a crock and there’s nothing after this. The lover in me, the artist, the romantic, the lonesome traveler knows and loves God intimately, knows there’s another journey after this one and believe it or not, I was baptized Catholic. The church was closed, so I said a few prayers leaning on the benches by the entrance. Felt great afterwards.

Walking down the dirt road, came upon a father and daughter riding horses. Unfortunately, the picture didn’t come out particularly well but they couldn’t have been nicer, gently laughing at my broken Spanish.

Towards the entrance to the village of San Buenas is a wooden convenient store owned by a cool dude named Alberto that serves as a community center of sort. I went in and bought some Tang powder of various flavors. Tang is huge out here, more so than Cool-Aid or anything else. My favorite is melon. And some chips.

While there I bumped into Oscar, my friend and co-worker at Las VIllas de San Buenas. We took a selfie together. He bought me a lemon soda drink unique to Central America. It was good, a little odd tasting, like lemonade soda, bitter, sweet and carbonated but good. I’d drink it again. I thanked him. Oscar also introduced me to his friend David. Love meeting new people when I’m in a good mood.

I became aware my Spanish has been improving when I caught a cab driver in San Jose’ lying to me. Yesterday, my Spanish had improved enough to flirt with a recently divorced woman named Lilly.

In American cities people’s faces often fade to anger. The Urban Scowl for men, Resting Bitch Face for women. Here people’s faces often fade to permanent smiles and it’s quite lovely. Lilly looked ‘lovely’ as hell in her short shorts, her form-fitting tanktop, pretty bare feet in old flip-flops, brown skin with green eyes, and Lilly sat next to me on the bench outside Alberto’s store and laughed at everything I said. Met her two daughters, Sophia and Valentina, 5 and 7, every bit as pretty and easily-amused as their Mama. She offered me her # but I don’t have a phone yet. We are now Facebook friends. Not looking for anything serious and I’ve got no desire to be a stepfather but you can never have too many friends in this big lonely world.

Walked back home. My feet never touched the ground and I had to stop to make cow and bull sounds at the various livestock who live in the area. Haven’t felt this kind of giddy happiness since childhood. The entire stroll was about 3 miles and I haven’t sweated like this since last time I was here and that felt good too. It’s your body’s cooling off mechanism. Sweating is always good for you. I hope to find time to do this walk daily.
Thank you, San Buenas. Thank you.