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The other side of the coin in Ciudad Colón

It was a great experience to be welcomed to Costa Rica by a Costa Rican family.  Our next stay was with an expat family who have been in CR for over 20 years, so we got to learn about the country from another perspective.

Sharon, Dick and Maia (19) live on a “finca” (farm) in Ciudad Colón, a little further East of San Jose than we were at our last stop.  They rent houses on their property, called Finca Saramandia, as well as do home exchanges when they travel.  You can see more about their place, including pictures on this home exchange siteIn contrast to most places we’ve seen, their farm was very open and unprotected.  This is partly because they’re more out in the country, but mostly because of their good relations with people in their community.  Check out this sunset from their back porch!

Sharon was a font of information about where to go and what to do, and seemed to know everyone we needed to connect with in Costa Rica.  She was amazingly helpful as we planned our next steps in the country.  They travel a lot also, so it was nice to have their moral support in getting used to the uncertainty of travelling in a foreign country.  When we left them we didn’t know where we’d be sleeping that night.  We’d been used to that in the U.S., but I felt different about it in Costa Rica, and they really helped us feel OK about it here too.  Their laid back attitude was infectious and relaxing.

They were also a lot of support for the kind of schooling that I’ve been doing for the kids, which has leaned much more toward unschooling than homeschooling.  Where the kids are learning much more experientially and we dive deeper as we are presented with opportunities and as their interests dictate.  And we do a lot of math and spelling drills while we’re travelling.

Zippy and Adam really enjoyed having another young person to pal around with.  Much time was spent drawing, writing and reading together.  Adam picked out his favorite Pokemon characters, and Zippy enjoyed comparing notes about books with Maia.  The first night we were there the kids built a fire in the front yard and roasted oranges over it.  Thanks to Dick for helping us wash our smoky clothes after that! Maia also took us for a walk around the farm and down a steep hill to the river that runs there.  We had fun checking out the puddles with swarms of tadpoles; we also saw several frogs.

We ate well here, too.  Sharon is an amazing cook and made English Muffins from scratch every day.  And when I say “from scratch”, I really mean it — the process started with her making cheese, and using the whey by-product of that process in the English Muffins.  We also had a lot of eggs, as the have chickens on their farm and a good output from them.  We didn’t have any beans and rice while we were staying here, but we knew we’d be having a lot more in the weeks to come.  And who could miss that while having waffles for dinner?!

1 Comment on “The other side of the coin in Ciudad Colón”

  1. #1 Liela Brode
    on Feb 2nd, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Hi Jonathan, Zippy, and Adam,
    I just read your last entry and it sounds like you’re having wonderful adventures and meeting such helpful people. I’m glad it’s working our so well.
    Are you still planning on returning in a week on the 9th or might you extend your time? No rush on our part. All your belongings are safe and sound. Just let us know. Liela and Sid

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