Thursday, December 1


This internet cafe nestled in the jungle; linked to the outside world by satellite, has become my refuge from the torrential rains just outside these thin walls. I can reflect as I am gazed upon by a wall of brightly colored Borucca masks. Many of the carvings incorporate a face vividly decorated by the animals commonly found here: parrots, toucans, snakes, lizards, frogs, jaguars, and bats- to name a few. Their craftsmanship captivates me. The rain against the roof sounds like a flowing river, soothing my mind to a place I was this morning.

Through the stench of bug repellent, I fear the film recently applied to my legs will saturate the notepad that rests upon them. A slight breeze in an otherwise maximum-perfect temperature allows periodic relief from my better-than-the-consequences stink. The rancho provides ample shade for my bamboo-rocking chair. I explore the interruptions of a smooth rocking motion demanded by the natural ridges of the bamboo. Two of the four German Shepherds that guard the hotel entertain me. I watch and listen to nature, in amazement. A hummingbird flutters around a tree I do not know the name of. A pair of squirrels chase each other in and around a gigantic tree. My eyes are sensitive to the numberous types of birds in my presence; many far more colorful than I've ever seen before. It is wonderful to feel this alive.

This tranquility is occasionally injected with delightful conversation with our hosts. Aspects of this paradise remind me of home and I find myself wanting to return here. The Hotel Papagayo is run by a married couple who inspire the perfect quantity and quality of friendliness. I can't help but be reminded of my wonderful stepmother, Lil Toot, when speaking with the wife: their mannerisms and smiles are almost identical. One of the four hospitality German Shepherd's name is Rosco; as was my mothers shepherd. This place even inspired a lengthy dream starring my lovable brother. And our hosts speak English (except the dogs who speak German-as my mother's did).

Being the only occupants of the hotel at the moment we are spoiled with offers of picked-on-the-premise coconut, agua de pipa (coconut water), star fruit, and "help yourself to the" coffee. The hospitality is unmatched. I'm crunching numbers to see if we can stay another day.

Well, the rain has stopped for now, my coffee is almost gone, the masks are beginning to look angry and my patient travel companion is waiting. It is time to return to paradise for the first "home" cooked dinner in two weeks. We'll try to cook chicken, accompanied with noodles topped with salsa and tomato paste. Sounds yummy?