March 18, 2015
I was able to see my land from the highest point the other day. Jennifer and I took a walk to check out my property lines. I hadn’t been to the highest point of the land since the walk is very steep and includes some inclines along the spring where there are small waterfalls in the wet season. We both were struggling to get up the loose rocks along the climb. Then we heard Yovany call out to us. He had come over to the shed and wondered where the Gringas were. Gary told him we were hiking the property and he rushed out to climb after us. He was actually breathing hard and sweating when he reached us. He guided us up the rest of the way and we were glad to have him there helping guide us.
It is amazing how much this kid knows about native plants and growing the domestic plants. While we were hiking he pulled up some wild impatiens flowers of different colors and helped me dig and plant them near the creek after the hike. He loves to find ripe banana stalks and point them out to me. We go out with a machete and he chops the stalk down. He uses the machete to clear a path for us to walk. We then carry the 20 to 50 lb. stalk up to the shed area. I have been experimenting with slicing and drying the bananas in the sun on metal pans. I have also been making shakes every morning with at least 3 bananas for each shake. We even put some in the dog food.
We discovered that Yovany is only seven years old (I thought he was between 8 and 10) and is in the second grade. He is going to school three days a week, which I was happy to hear. He can be a bit invasive at times since he seems to love hanging out with us. I have learned to be gently firm when Jen and I want to be alone. He is disappointed when he can’t go with the gringas. I think he may be attracted to Jen and me since he doesn’t have a regular female presence in his life. He always wants to know where we are. We give him hugs a lot.
Spanish remains very challenging for me. It is not easy learning a new language at my age. You have to put in a concerted effort. Gary knows an American in Costa Rica who has lived there for 4 years and still doesn’t speak Spanish. You must work at it regularly and I have been working more than studying lately. Having Yovany chattering away must be helping me pick up some words. It is hard to see your own progress though.
We took Jen into Rio Sereno. We sat in the truckbed with the dogs and Yovany. We had offered Beto and Yovany a ride into town with us. Jen caught a bus to David and from there to Boquete. I will be joining her for the weekend where we will meet at a hostel in Boquete for a few days before she travels on. Sure was nice having her here. She was a lot of help to us. Another undesirable chore she tackled voluntarily was taking down the old barbwire fence on the hill behind the shack. We don’t expect all our guests to do what Jen did :-). We probably would get no visitors if we did. Jen just likes staying busy and she is very creative about problem solving and she doesn’t shy away from a tough job. She did see a piece of property up the hill that really interested her. I would love to have her as neighbor. We will see what happens in the future.
Chow for now….