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BUH BYE BOCAS March 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 3:17 am

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I stayed at Bocas Bound for four nights had a great time with Jude and his brother Steven and met some fabulous people. I’ve decided to head back up to Costa Rica. I loved Costa Rica so much last year and am considering moving there. I felt a big difference in energy from Panama and want to explore whether I still feel drawn to Costa Rica. So, Natalie and I decided to travel together for a bit. We took buses and boats to the border which was exhausting in and of itself.

The passage into Costa Rica involved a lot of haggling….. What do people think of this? Haggling in a developing country seems to be a little inappropriate. The people we come in contact with here in Central America — cab drivers, street vendors etc more often than not, have less than we do. To give them an extra dollar is no big deal to me. I really don’t like haggling and cringe when people around me do it. All the travelers I meet, agree that it is necessary if I don‘t want to get ripped off. A lot of them believe someone is always trying to rip you off. In my opinion, either it is a fair price or it isn’t. For some people it seems to be a sport. To me, if the price seems fair I pay it if not, I say so and walk away unless they make another offer. I don’t stand there and argue with them when it is clear they think their price is fair. I guess I may be naïve but I’d rather be that than cynical. I would appreciate any thoughts on this topic.

So, after multiple taxis and boat we arrived at the border and crossed this wonderfully decrepit old bridge on foot to get to Costa Rica. This was so exciting to me for some reason. Check out the video!!!
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So, I have returned to Costa Rica to explore the Caribbean coast and whether it really is a place for me to make a home long term.

My first night in Puerto Viejo, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as shady as some people have suggested. I actually quite like Puerto Viejo it has a wonderful bohemian vibe but the BEST thing about Puerto Viejo is that there is a Raw restaurant there. I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a sign for a restaurant called Veronica’s Place that was serving a raw burrito. BLISS!! It would be nice to sit back and let someone else prepare my meal for the first time in five months! So I went up and ordered the burrito and a delicious ginger star fruit juice. Needless to say it was ALL FANTASTIC! After my meal I spoke with the owner and chef about her menu and she expressed a desire to add more raw options to her menu. I shared that I had just completed a raw chef certificate and would be happy to consult with her on her menu. We agreed to meet the next day and in our conversation she shared that her husband had had some health problems which led them to embrace the raw and living foods lifestyle. I also told her about my experience with dis-ease and how raw food has helped. We share a common vision and it seems that we may each benefit from working together. So I will stay here in Puerto Viejo for a couple of days longer than intended and perhaps return in a few months to work with Veronica on developing a health center. VERY EXCITING!

Here are some photos of the lovely Veronica and her place.




Bocas Baby March 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 2:53 pm

There was a lot going on in Bocas Del Toro. I arrived during Carnival which meant a heightened sense of excitement and energy. There were also many people in the streets at all hours, most of them drunk unfortunately that is not really my scene anymore. The island I was on, Bastimentos, was small and to my dismay I had random men showing up at my door late at night. These were men I had never met knocking at my door. Apparently, everyone on the island knew where I was living within 24 hours and decided it was worth a shot to see if I was “interested.” I did NOT appreciate that especially since I was staying alone in an apartment but the woman who was renting to me explained that it was because of Carnival which is also known as CARNE-VAL or feast of the flesh where everyone goes wild-n-out before ash Wednesday. So basically, all of the men were looking for a little….. MEAT. I was not pleased with this at all. You all know how much I HATE to be woken up. Clearly they did not know who they were dealing with. They were surprised when the scary bear answered their knock –BIG mistake to disturb my sleep uninvited.

Besides that, Bastimentos was fantastic and really beautiful. I did some snorkeling right outside the apartment and then again at a place called hospital point. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t really go out at night, but I really enjoyed my time there. There was a fantastic organic Cacao Farm tucked away up on a hill. I visited the adorable family that lives there and they sell amazing organic products made from coconuts — a variety of coconut oils and cacao. I got some nibs and two bottles of natural insect repellent made from coconut oil and citronella. It makes my skin so so soft and keeps the skeeters away.

After staying on Bastimentos for a week I decided to find another spot so I went to Bocas Town to check out some hostels. While I was there, I ran into Jude, a friend of a friend, and he invited me to come stay on the other side of Bastimentos at the hostel he runs called Bocas Bound. It was a refreshing change from where I had been. It is a brand new hostel and there is a fantastic jungle walk down to the beach. For a raw foodie it is great because there is a kitchen and the restaurant serves a wonderful fruit plate and smoothies for breakfast. I spent most of my time with a Dutch woman I met on the boat Natalie, Jude and his brother Stephen who was visiting from Florida. It was really nice to have other people around since I had been pretty isolated at my previous location– aside from the midnight visitors of course.

Lately, I have been experiencing overwhelming gratitude to the people I meet ie wanting to hug the guy who brought me coconuts every morning and pretty much everyone else. While I try to embrace the love this is kind of overwhelming. I also am having difficulty saying goodbye to people I meet. This is not new, I have always had trouble with the goodbye part but I am blaming this new level mooshiness on this DAMNED love story I read on the beach. It seems to have cracked my heart wide open. But its all good. I will be practicing my non-attachment and focusing the gratitude on the time spent. I will let you know how it goes.