We are living in a tourist area. Every day is a holiday here and thus I just realized that today is New Year’s Eve.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!
Last year at this time I set out at theme and some goals for 2011 and I think as a family we lived the theme and I personally achieved my goals (except the daily blogging but who really cares).
I am working on the 2012 theme and goals and will post here soon.
In the meantime, I’ve got so much to tell about our first days here in Costa Rica.
I now remember what I love so much about the country aside from the weather – it’s the people. They Costa Ricans or Ticos as they are known, are so warm, welcoming and genuinely happy to have us here.
Before I give you some examples of this hospitality, please note that we are taking these first couple of weeks as vacation. You will read that we have been to many restaurants… this is vacation life and not what we will do when we get down to real life.
So, some examples of Tico hospitality:
- Santos, our van driver from the airport, stopped twice en route so we could buy drinks and some clothes. He did not ask for more money for his time. He also suggested his daughters might like to babysit our boys and suggested we visit his home where he sells vegetables every Friday morning.
- We arrived at our condo and were greeted by our property manager Veronica who swept Lil C up into her arms and did not put him down until we were well-settled into our new digs. She made a point of also giving Lil D a few tickles and asked him lots of questions. Lil C keeps asking about her now…
- Though not native Costa Ricans, the managers of our property’s beach club introduced themselves, showed us around, and made sure to introduce us to all of her staff. Maggie, the main contact, constantly checks on us (without being intrusive) to see that we are comfortable.
- The bartender at our local restaurant wants to tell us about other smaller, quieter beaches we need to visit. He went and found out from the kitchen where and when the local farmer’s market is for me after I simply asked in passing.
- The waiter at the neighboring hotel, Capitan Suizo, remembered us from our last visit.
- The lady at the Italian deli that we love (more on this place to come) remembered us from our last visit and commented on how big the boys have gotten. She was so particular with the nut allergy thing bringing me the package of the gelato cones to read myself, and going through each menu item with me (no nuts in anything except a few gelato flavours)**.
- The manager at the language school immediately knew who we were (okay, they don’t get a lot of little kids so that was probably a giveaway) and introduced herself to the boys giving each of them little cuddles – I think Lil D finds the demonstrative warmth of strangers a little disconcerting but Lil C is a willing recipient.
The list goes on…
I have found that in other places we have been welcomed with a sort of superficiality, but here I feel the welcome is heartfelt and the people are happy and therefore warm and giving.
I read this quote about the Costa Rican people and it rings true to me:
“True wealth is not about money. True wealth is about relationships. The Costa Rican people know about this and they share their smiles and happiness with travelers.”
And there you have it: warmth in relationships and weather – we’re happy with this on the eve of 2012.
**I am so pleased with the nut situation here. I will write a separate post on this.
Feliz año nuevo!
P.S. Thank you for all your wonderful comments – I love reading them!