Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Without Walls

I continue with caution as I see my friends sitting on this faintly lighted porch. I am not even in the house yet, but am able to see the kitchen and living room all made out of wood. I hope the walls are just glass, but as I penetrate through these perceived glass walls, I realize they are built out of nothing but air. I hear comments coming at me from the eight other people – “we are camping in the jungle”, “we will get robbed,” “I am not sleeping here.” Then others reply, “This house is awesome,” “This will be so much fun.” These contradicting attitudes coincided with the contradicting personalities; either way we had to understand we had paid for four nights in a house without walls. We all begin to calm down and work out sleeping arrangements. We start to head to bed and surround ourselves with a white net to protect ourselves from insects. Screams are coming from every bedroom but I knew nobody was hurt; just another bug had entered the other rooms and there was no need to leave my safe net.
The next night is similar to last but I could tell attitudes had begun to change. We are all smiling in what we now refer to as our “tree house.” Now it’s the third night and all fears of the unknown had disappeared and even some people who despised the house initially are now having a surprisingly fun time. I cannot tell if their attitudes had changed because this is so different from what they are used to or because they were just in the company of friends. Beaches, scooters, restaurants, cooking (which was surprisingly a tasty treat from the expected cheap and easy to make Ramen Noodles my other college friends usually cook), swimming, card games, or just being in the jungle in Costa Rica - I don’t know which one of these was the catalyst, but on the fourth night, not only was the house without walls, we all had now let down our walls as well. “Life has taken us elsewhere” and are living in the moment.
We continued from Manzanillo, fifteen minutes down the coast, to the more tourist-focused town of Puerto Viejo, we all are sad to leave our “jungle house.” We talk about housing in Puerto Viejo, and no one cares anymore – the fact was we had overcome our hopes of a luxurious vacation with air-conditioned room in order to fulfill something much deeper. This deeper goal was not to better understand ourselves; at this point we understood this was far from important, but rather to live for the moment with no regrets and to take what life handed us. We couldn’t be disappointed if we didn’t have any expectations. If life never gave us walls again we would never be disappointed.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Our trip to Montverde was wet, wild, and wonderful, for the first time in many of our lives we walked with our heads in the clouds. We felt the sensation of being free and amidst bodies full of tiny particles of pure water. The wind tore across the landscape as if to rip every tree from its roots yet everything flexed and held with each attack. We walked with, flew against, and became part of this invisible force during our short time in this mystical place.
As we reached the end of our worn path, rolling gusts of air and clouds greeted us, whipping our voices in all directions of the compass. Our laughter at the sight of each other was barely audible as the wind carried it away. Though we had entered the forest dry and cozy, we left the reserve with dripping hair, damp clothing, yet content hearts and aching stomachs from laughing so hard. That is what Montverde is; the opportunity to enjoy the unpredictable weather, see pristine and virgin land untouched by human progress, and enter a world one may never set foot in again. ZK