Michael's Post: Driving Up the Costa Rica Countryside
Driving up the countryside of Costa Rica from San Jose to San Isidro was a journey where the sites and sounds made you quickly grasp the daily life of many Costa Rican people.
It is well known that many people in Costa Rica live at, or near, the poverty level so it was not surprising to see vendors on the side of the road selling anything they can for a few hundred Colones (1 US Dollar is approximately 2,000 Colones). What was surprising was the ingenuity of these people. With very little in the way of money and supplies, these people still need to figure out how to fulfill the basic human needs including adequate shelter, minimal transportation, and fences to keep the animals penned in.
Plato thought a lot about ideal forms and used the example that the human mind had an ideal form of a chair and real life showed many imitations of that ideal chair. I was reminded of that idea as we drove. There were no housing communities, suburbs, high rises, or condominiums. Instead, shelter after shelter was someone else's idea of what housing could be given whatever basic supplies where available. While it is easy to see these 'houses' as shelter for the poor, there was something inspiring about the creativity of knowing that one person did not look at what his neighbor did before building his own.
Perhaps the inspiration for this ingenuity and creativity comes from the natural surroundings. Full of all of the diversity you would expect in a tropical setting, it was easy to snap a picture with the camera after rounding every corner and seeing a beautiful view so much different than the others.
With plenty of people walking on these narrow roads, a variety of transportation that would never be allowed on the roads in the U.S., and a new dog or puppy to see every hundred yards, the drive became a great way to soak in the countryside as we arrived at our hotel - Finca Luna Nueva Lodge.