Village life in Costa Rica
If you walk around the village a bit, you greet EVERYONE, even if it's just a short hello or goodbye, and if you don't, it immediately leaves you with a strange feeling. Even I find it a little rude if someone doesn't greet me. As is typical in such a small village, everyone knows everyone here. (Like in Germany in the countryside).
In addition, the community of the Evangelical Church is very important here and the majority of the people here are part of it. The service takes place in the school's gymnasium and consists largely of singing. Fortunately, the text is shown on the wall, so that you can sing along well. There is also an organisation "TheWay", which I personally think is really great, because they always organise events for teenagers / young adults. On Tuesday, for example, there was a campfire, the week before there was a discussion circle, which then went onto the game circle, since the topics were unfortunately too profound. The whole thing also belongs to the "Pura Vida Church", as the church is called here. There are also some sports activities, such as boxing, zumba or jogging. There is also soccer, recently there was even a "big" soccer tournament. Sometimes there is also volleyball, but unfortunately I haven't been there yet.
Carlotta and I always try to do a lot so that we can somehow integrate. But it is very difficult. Because a small village also means a very tight circle and close community. And that doesn't mean that they're not polite and kind to us. One of the Ticos explained that to us after we said that he should speak Spanish with us. He said that when a Tico sees Gringas or Europeans, he always speaks to them in English to be friendly or to show some respect. Perhaps. I cannot say it exactly. But we had to clearly explain that we are here to learn Spanish. Since both of our Spanish is not yet sufficient to have profound conversations, it is very difficult to make new friends. Sometimes I wonder what people are talking about here. I believe that here, faith is almost the only topic of conversation and it is often very difficult for both of us to participate in these discussions. When we get to know someone new, religion is always one of the first questions for us.
What the Ticos are good at is raving about their country. I always like to listen to that, perhaps to make note of a few good places to go to. And of course getting up early. I always wake up around 7 a.m. at the latest, even on weekends, because you are woken up by the roosters and then by the shouting in the yard. I would really like to know what they're arguing about. Maybe I should get up and listen earlier?
Since Esterillos Oeste is located on a wonderful beach, it also attracts some Americans. Quite a few gringos live here and that's why the sermon during the worship, for example, is always translated into English.
Let's get to the punctuality thing. I don't think that it’s so bad here, because the people here are actually quite punctual. For appointments that have a fixed time, you are already there at the time. Only if you casually meet, then yes, it can be two hours later. Only the bus only comes when it wants. Pura Vida.
Pura Vida as the motto of life
Pura Vida is the motto of life in the whole of Costa Rica, and you really notice it. For some, it is simply the calm, relaxed and positive aura that emanates from you, for others, you just notice how they actually sit eating on the terrace all day. But if I think about it like that, I kind of don't do much here. Except that of course I have to work here. But if I didn’t ...
In summary, Pura Vida and God are actually the answer to everything here. Missed the bus? Pura Vida
Lost job? God wanted it that way and planned something better for me. Oh and of course Pura Vida.
But that's nice and people are happy here. You realize that. Only we Germans have to first deal with this kind of happiness. Because it's different. It doesn't take much to be happy here, people don't have high aspirations.