Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Off to Grecia and San Rafael – Feb 19th

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I enjoyed having breakfast this morning with Emilia, Elise, and Pablo.  Pablo is such a joker and I will miss him.

We gathered on the corner to say good-bye to those who were not coming in the bus with us.

I am going to miss Emilia so much.

We stopped along the road to see the view of the Cerro de la Muerte  which is also called Cerro Buenavista. It is a mass of 3 491 meters of altitude that is part of the Cordillera de Talamanca,  We took a couple of photos.

I think this is the 1st time we did a “Act Crazy” shot.

In the past the Ticos took the Oregonians on a hike to the top but some people complained.  I saw people up on the trail and wished we could have done that hike this year although I am pretty out of shape from not getting much exercise over the past couple of weeks.

They stopped at a place for us to use el bano and get a snack.  Quiro said we could have anything we wanted to get to eat.  I chose ice-cream.

Lee let me have a bit of her guacamole which was also delicious.

Barbara, Anne, and Quiro bought some food for an Indigenous family that was sitting outside.  I took a couple of photos.

When we arrived in Grecia, Quiro and Marco greeted each other.

I found out that Marco Murillo and his wife, Auria Montero were going to be my hosts.

We took a group photo at the church.

Omar took a photo of me near the church.

Grecia’s church, Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, is a very interesting structure in Grecia. The church is the center of most towns in Costa Rica; the towns social core, the origin of all directions. However, Grecia’s church is unique – both because it is RED and because it is made entirely of prefabricated metal sheets.

After hugging Quiro, Daysy, Omar, and Elizia, I left with Marco.  He speaks English so we were able to converse all the way to his house which is actually in San Rafael (an area 30 minutes outside of Grecia).  Marco told me that the whole area used to be coffee farms and there were very few homes.  He pointed out the school he attended as a child.  His home is located on what was his grandfather’s coffee plantation I was awestruck when we arrived.  This place is absolutely stunningly beautiful.

Marco took my suitcase up to my bedroom (or should I say bedroom suite).  I am again in a beautiful home.

Then Auria served lunch for me.  Wow.  What a beautiful meal and it was absolutely delicious.

We had wonderful conversations while I was eating lunch.  I learned so much. Marco told me a lot about Costa Rica.  He learned English when he went to the Florida State University in Tallahassee.   He was a math instructor.  This is just a bit about what I was told:

  • How he and Auria met and married over 45 years ago.
  • Auria previous work as a teacher then becoming the  administrator for the entire district.
  • The refugee populations in Costa Rica – mostly form Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Elsalvador
  • 2 families from their Parish in San Rafael.  Auria talked to people on the phone about organizing how to get their homes rebuilt.

Then Marco took me for a walk around the grounds.  He explained that the coffee plantation was divided between himself and his sisters by his mother.  He had this house built on his portion of the property.  Marco told me a story about the tree in this photo.  When he picked coffee on his grandfathers plantation, he and the other workers would hang their lunches on this tree and then eat them under the shade of the tree.  It is about 75 years old and when he had his house built, he made sure the tree stayed.  We took photos of each other.

Then we took a stroll around some of the property with Marco pointing out the vegetation and fruit trees and me taking photos that, of course, do not capture the beauty of the area..

 

Then I had time to take some photos of the house.  This is the entrance.

Their cat and dog play with each other.

The kitchen…

The staircase to my room.

Part of the living room areas.

I had a bit of time to get organized in my room and then we left for the “Welcome Party” in Grecia. On the way Marco pointed out one of the places where the coffee pickers / farm workers live.

The party was in the outside area where Anne is living at Aurea’s home.We had a wonderful dinner and great conversations.

I took some photos of the Oregonians and their hosts.

Barbara with Mayela

Sue with Armando and Rosarita

Anne and Aurea

Lee and Felicia

Janice and Fredy and Rosannia

Mario, Aurea, and me

I love the sound of the sound when the gusts of wind blow through the trees outside my window as I am getting read for bed. I hope it keeps up all night.

I am looking forward to four more days in San Rafael and Grecia and time to get to know our hosts.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

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