Sunday, July 13, 2008

La Casa Nuestra

The house we’re renting for the next year and a half while our project is being built is more-or-less a typical Costa Rican “casa”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Costa Rican architecture and design, that means we’re living in a brightly-painted (in our case, orange) cement and wood house with a tin roof and tiled floors. The rooms are square and basic -- closets, shelving, and cabinets are non-existent. The lighting is florescent, which prompted Patrick to comment that our bedroom looks like a Columbian whorehouse (Knowledge he gained only from movies, of course). Our open kitchen is in the back of the house to keep the smoke from the wood-burning oven out, but unfortunately, a nice variety of insects find their way in! We have quite a large bathroom, but with no hot water, we have yet to use the shower. We’ve been heating buckets on the stove until we get the “suicide shower head” installed – a contraption that warms the water with electrical current as it slowly flows through.

What makes our house un-typical is that with its five bedrooms, paved driveway, telephone line, and satellite dish, it’s quite a bit “fancier” than the neighbors’. With the washing machine and dryer we added, and the stereo and decorations we sent from DC, the place is perfectly comfortable. We feel very fortunate to have found it through local friends, and at $150 a month, it’s a hard deal to beat!

The best part of the house is its location. We’re a seven minute drive off the main road in the middle of farm country. We wake up to the sounds of cows and chickens, and there’s a stream that runs past our front yard. There’s a coffee plantation in back, and banana trees galore. It’s very peaceful, and we haven’t heard an ambulance, car horn, or garbage truck since moving in. Lucas is thrilled to have a large family living next door with about eight little kids to play with, and with their help, we hope his Spanish with come along quickly.

Life is slow here in the country, but we have time to think, listen to the birds, play with our kid, and spend time with friends. What more could we ask for? Well, a little hot water would be nice…

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