The Costa Rica Diaries: Don’t fear the ball, be the ball

The past few days have consisted of a lot of anxiety for me. Yesterday we had a meeting about the second stage of our adventure and if I wasn’t wearing my sunglasses people would clearly be able to see how overwhelmed I felt. There was so much to do in so little time. I didn’t think I would cope. I didn’t think I was coping. I didn’t think my Spanish would be good enough. I wanted to sleep for a few days and recharge.

Today we went to Nosarita, a tiny town where we played football with the locals and we were encouraged to interact, and I have noticed how doing something together which involves actions rather than words can be just as effective as communication. Especially since, upon arrival, it started pouring down with rain.

We’re accustomed to rain, of course. However, we’re also accustomed to scurrying indoors as soon as the first raindrop comes into contact with our heads, retreating to the warmth and safety of our home comforts. Here we embraced the rain. Here, we played football (and by “played” I mean I walked up and down the pitch many times and I hit the ball once) as if the rain didn’t exist. The ridiculousness of the event broke the ice between us and the locals, and also us as a group. Only a handful of us had any actual skill, so of course we were completely thrashed, but I don’t think there was a point where I stopped laughing- or being bitten.

However while we were squirming due to the ants and other insects, and complaining about the rain squelching in our shoes and flattening our hair, the locals carried on. They weren’t wearing shoes, they were laughing with us (or more likely at us), and lived the lives that they always had done. We’re so reserved, and fearful, and scared of taking risks.

There’s also the impending lack of wifi in Ostional that is looming over us. Although I’ve embraced the peace that comes with disconnecting, the fact that my first port of call when I’m in a pickle is to message a friend is now going to be the one thing I won’t be able to do. I won’t have that safety net, and as much as proper super official adults will tut and reminisce on the times when mobiles didn’t exist, I’ve grown up, especially in my teenage years, with the internet as a constant part of my life.

Sometimes you just need to let go and live- and you know what? I’m going to do just that.

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