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Net als vorige keer: Ik heb geprobeerd een Nederlandse vertaling te maken, maar het komt helaas niet uit mijn vingers. Mijn hoofd denkt in Engels en Spaans, en de Nederlandse zinnen rollen er niet mooi uit. Dus: google translate voor als je het Engels moeilijk vindt. Of je gebruikt het als een oefening om Engels te leren 😉

Reading time: 2,5 minutes

At this very moment, I’m looking out on a Tamarindo tree and there’s one guy who climbed the tree, quite high, because they’re intending to harvest some Tamarindo to sell. The one in the top is shouting to the one beneath that they are still to green for harvest. Then the one beneath goes to another tree and throws a branch in the tree to get some Tamarindo down to see if that one is also still too green. The conclusion is no harvesting today.

That’s life here.

I asked my friend if she has some cacao beans to add to the breakfast. She answers that they have trees of cacao planted on their farm, but that the squirrels are eating the seeds in the fruit. Nothing you can do, she says. And they don’t want to use chemicals (most of them do, but the awareness is growing).

Then there’s the not so nice story of the men on the street ‘always’ whistling to the women and saying things like baby, beautiful or bonita (with a very machista vibe). I still sometimes think that someone wants to say hi or that I know that person, but most of the time that’s too optimistic.

Life is simple here and people live day by day. I went with one of my friends to the municipality to register her baby. The ‘municipality’ is not some fancy building in a city, but just a construction with some walls, a roof and a little open garden in the middle. It’s divided into a few separate rooms and the rooms are quite empty: some chairs, a table and an archive for all the papers. You come in, you know where you have to be or you ask, you sit and you wait. When it was her turn she brought the baby and the papers she had with her. Then they told her she cannot register her baby without the father being there. So she has to come back another day. The father can register the baby without the mother, but not the other way around. She didn’t know and her family didn’t know either. They said that this used to be different, but I’m not completely sure. And then the way back was such an adventure, in an overly full bus with her baby on her lap and her 2 year old sleeping on my lap, too much heat and sweat, the bus going very slow, well, you can imagine.

You can’t runaway from your issues. Wherever you go in the world, you will always be confronted with yourself.
For me, it has never been my (conscious) intention to travel just because I want to run away. I love being immersed in other cultures, meeting new people, discovering beautiful places, etc. It teaches me to live more in the moment and have more awareness.
In order to immerse yourself into an other culture, you need to be able to adapt yourself. Put aside your own habits and belief system and be open to what is. What’s difficult for me is that I need a lot of time on my own, otherwise I feel tired all the time. But how can I feel tired, while they are the ones working all the time and taking care of their families?
Just like at home I need to know my own limits and boundaries and find a way to express this in a way that they’ll understand. Good practice.

I swim almost every day in the lake and my friends give me such a warm welcome, inviting me to their home and sharing food. It’s a nice feeling, I feel at home. But home is still also in the Netherlands.

I can go on and on about life here. I already wrote so many stories about it, when I was living here. You can still find them online if you’d like: https://marchaverhaeg.wordpress.com/stories/

And know I hear a song of Enrique Iglesias on the background, love it.

Will be away from my main spot for a couple of days. Lots of love!