Friends and family from the East Coast (Florida, NC, New York) have experienced tons of rain these past few days. I’ve even seen quite a few pictures posted on Facebook. The comments from some of those friends and family back in the US are very similar to those of both Tico and Gringo families living here in Costa Rica–“It’s not rained this much since I can’t rememeber when.”
Granted it is the rainy season here in Costa Rica, but even the native residents of the town we’re in have never seen this much rain before. This morning fifty people (about 17 families) in the town of Santa Ana were evacuated from their homes. The mudslides and flooding are impacting people throughout the country.
Last evening, in the heavy rain, we attended an extension activity of our language training from Atenas Spanish Academy (ATESA). We were welcomed into the home of a lady named Leticia. She showed us how to cook a couple of tipical native dishes. She gave directions in Spanish that we had to follow to prepare the meal. It was such a fun and rewarding experience.
We made cheese empanadas. Empanadas are mostly eaten for breakfast. They can be made in advance, stored in the refrigerator for several days, and prepared as needed (fried in oil). The cheese came from her brother’s cows. He owns a farm on the Pacific Coast. She said he treats his cows like children and has even named them all.
We also learned to make a refreshing salad (cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, pineapple, lemon juice, and a small about of ranch dressing). It was my favorite. The “refresco,” was made from sugar, water, fresh lemon and orange juice. It was my second favorite. The dessert was a mixture of gelatin and coconut ice milk (again, thanks to her brother’s cows). It, too, was pretty good.
After dinner, she showed us some of the items that her daugther (an interior decorator) makes using fabric from the factory where she works in San Jose. There were some really beautiful things, and at such amazing prices. I have a great connection without paying the prices in the city stores:)
My husband thought it only fitting to buy me an apron to remember the experience. I also happened to need one, since I love to cook so much. It was only 4,000 colones (about $8).
As we said goodbye, and traipsed back out into the evening rain (a little less heavy by this time), Leticia stated again what she had said earlier in the evening, “I can’t remember when it has ever rained this much.”
This morning at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Atenas, I recognized Leticia, who happened to be shopping in the booth next door to us. We conducted our entire conversation in Spanish (so awesome!). And this time, it wasn’t raining.