Sunday, March 29, 2009

Karmic Backlash Fixed - Sunday 3-29-2009

About 3:45PM, I leave to rectify a small injustice. I did not pay the $8 entrance fee when I visited Monteverde waterfall yesterday. When my camera switch broke off at the falls, I immediately thought “karmic backlash.” I walk back to Monteverde Waterfall and find Simon sitting in the information shack. He recognizes me from two nights ago. I say hello and explain to him that I came yesterday and didn’t pay because there wasn’t anyone to pay but now I’m here to pay. Simon grins and thanks me for coming back as he happily accepts my money. We talk and I learn that the Monteverde waterfall is on his parent’s property. His dad is a local expert on bats and bought the property around the waterfall to preserve it from development. Their house is down the dirt road a bit. I tell him that it must be nice to live amid such beauty. “For sure,” he says with a smile. Simon asks where I am from. “Los Angleles, California, which is not as beautiful, not as green, not as peaceful, and not as quiet as Monteverde,” I say. I tell him how my camera switch broke off yesterday at the falls and how it was karmic backlash for not paying. Simon laughs. I take his picture for my blog. “Pura Vida!” Simon shouts as I wave and head up the dirt road back to the gravel road. Pura Vida, Simon.

I walk east toward the Monteverde Preserve. I pass a woman walking to dogs and say hello. Half a mile east of Monteverde’s center, I pass the Quaker cheese factory and marvel at how modern it looks. I go as far as Rio Shanti, a yoga, massage and day spa past a half mile past the Quaker cheese factory and turn back. Not far along, I pass the woman and dogs again. This time, she asks if I am looking for something in particular. After I tell how I wanted to walk to the Monteverde Preserve but decided against it because it was too far, she asks if I want to at least look into the preserve. I say yes. She quickly walks us back to Rio Shanti, and then into the forest behind it. She finds a barely marked trail and she leads me through the forest.

I introduce myself and she does the same. Her name is Annie and she teaches at the Quaker school. School enrollment is 50 percent Costa Rican children and 50 percent expatriate children. This year’s high season has been so disappointing that Costa Rican families are openly concerned about paying for next year’s tuition, she tells me. I ask about the expatriate families in Monteverde and she says that they do nothing to support themselves because they are so rich, which is noteworthy because she also tells me that living in Monteverde is not much cheaper than living in the US. I ask Annie if she is Quaker. She describes herself as “kind of Quaker and kind of Universalist” in that she likes some tenants of the Quaker religion but hangs on to some things she learned as a Universalist while in college. When I tell her how modern the Quaker cheese factory looks, she laughs and says Quakers embrace modern technology and that I’m thinking of the Amish. After a fast-paced ten minute walk through thick forest, the trees open up to a deep valley and countless trees. “Here we are,” she says. I snap some pictures. Annie leads me back to the gravel road connecting Santa Elena with the Monteverde Preserve. I thank her and walk back to Manakin Lodge.

Upon my arrival at Manakin Lodge, the owner's daughter tells me that they need my Family Room for some guests and asks if I could move into the Superior Room I was unable to move into during my week here because it was always booked. I immediately agree. I move my gear and spend the evening sitting on my balcony, gazing into the darkening rainforest, listening to the crickets, cicadas, and monkeys call in the night. Karmic backlashed fixed.

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