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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Sorry it's been so long since we've last checked in! We've got some catching up to do with tell you our stories. This is the first of several we've got in a back log.

After we left the Caribbean coast in February, Justin and I actually went our separate ways. I traveled for three days with a friend from my TEFL class, my girl Zakera, and Justin went to our first Workaway gig in Ciudad Colon.

The farm, called Saramandaia, is located about 45 minutes outside the capitol in a lovely little mountain suburb with more public outdoors space than many full blown cities in the states. A great community where ex pats live side by side with locals, it was a great place to spend our next two weeks.

Justin arrived on a pleasant day, soaking in the scenery. As he introduced himself to the hosts, he commented on the spectacular view. He was quickly invited out onto the balcony for a cup of coffee and conversation to enjoy said view. The American ex-pat owners, Dick and Sharon, were the best hosts we could have hoped for. They were welcoming, intelligent, fascinating, hard-working folks, the kind you really want to work for (not to mention, Sharon bakes and cooks the most amazing food ever and never let us go hungry).

Saramandaia, named for a Brazilian soap opera that was popular in the '70s, is tucked into a hillside overlooking a valley in the hilly outskirts of San Jose. There are four homes on the finca (Spanish for farm), three of which are used as rentals, mostly for home-births. We learned so much about home births in these two weeks we couldn't possibly list it here and keep your interest. We'll just say that we were convinced that when the time comes, we will be having our little ones in a kiddie pool in our living room. Yup, traveling has transformed us into hippies, what can we say?!

The work we did was basic. We cleaned the rentals to prepare them for the next tenants, did sanding and refinishing on some furniture (Crystal looooved this part, as it reminded her of furniture restore projects she'd left at home), Crystal painted a new sign for the finca. We were basically gophers for two weeks, and happy to be so.

The real take-away from this experience was the knowledge and friendship we gained from Dick and Sharon. From home-births to home-schooling (un-schooling, actually), the commercial applications of Krypton to assimilating into Latin American culture, the conversations were always interesting and thoughtful. And after initially feeling that our relationship with them was simply that of host and volunteer, we realized quickly that we'd found new friends.

We've already returned to Saramandaia once (although out of circumstance - we left the iPad charger there - it felt like meeting up with old friends), and certainly plan to do so again before we leave.

Thank you Dick and Sharon. We'll be keeping en eye out for friends in Seattle interested in a home exchange ; )

Dick, Crystal, and Sharon

The sign Crystal painted, inspired by the painting behind us in the first two photos.

painting (by another workawayer) that inspired the new sign for the finca

Doobie, the lovely, lazy kitty-cat