This past weekend I went with most of the other teachers to a beach on the Caribbean coast, Cahuita, which is near the Panama-Costa Rica border. Since there were 23 of us, we were able to rent a private bus for a reasonable price. The trip took about 4 hours from Orosi to Cahuita, which was not that long all things considered. Nothing like the 7 to 10 hour buses to the beach from Quito, Ecuador.
The weekend went really well. We arrived on Friday night and hung out for the night. Then we got up pretty early on Saturday morning and after a good breakfast at a crepes place we went to Puerto Viejo, which is a bigger beach town next door to Cahuita.
In Puerto Viejo we basically just walked around for most of the time. Some of the people and I were lucky enough to see some monkeys high up in the trees along the beach on a walk. The water was gorgeous where we were. There was a natural sand bar about 50 yards out into the water, which formed a little bay inland from it. This meant the water was clear and calm and no rip tides.
Both Cahuita and Puerto Viejo are an interesting mix of Spanish and a sort of Jamaican culture. Listening to the tour guides and vendors talk in Spanish was interesting, since their accents were so different than anything I had ever heard.
According to the 2009 Lonely Planet book I have, United Fruit Company originally brought Jamaicans to the southern Caribbean coast to form the backbone of the original banana republics. While each year the area becomes more and more connected to both the rest of Costa Rica and the wider world, it is still a very different feel from the other parts of Costa Rica which I have seen.
This week we are finishing up our training for teaching. Then this Saturday we are free to go to our sites, yet school does not start until February 10th, so I have a fair amount of time to both plan and to simply relax before the school year starts. The director of my school came to Orosi yesterday and I met him, which was interesting. This year will be his second year at the school, so now that he has experience with WorldTeach volunteers it hopefully will be an even better year than last year was.
Thats most of what I have for now, thank you for reading those of you who do.