El dia en Costa Rica

“Pura Vida!” Greets my host-dad in the morning, as I sit for breakfast with the family. I have lived here for enough time to greet him back with “Pura Vida,” yet with a certain softness and unfamiliarity in my tone. The literal translation is “pure life” but the Ticos (Costa-Ricans) use it for either “hello” or “good day” or “how are you?”

It means anything and everything!

The mantra in Costa Rica.

Meanwhile, as my host-mom serves my plate with Gallo-pinto (the staple food), eggs, bread, and warm coffee, I express my excitement for today’s trip with my family.Plate of breakfast

It means anything and everything

Here, the sun is up early with streets busy at 6. People with their morning run, cars and bikes rushing to work, cafés filling the air with the aroma of fresh roasted coffee.

What a start to my day!

Our trip is in a different town. We are traveling in a jeep that is messing our hair and our faces with the strong wind. My host-mom shows me the different mountains, and trees with yellow flowers on the way. I understand her half English, half Spanish explanation. I try to learn the names.

We make a couple of stops to take some family pictures.

Oh, what a moment!

We reach the place and have started hiking for a bit. So many mountains, such a beautiful view. As we hike, we pick some berries, and catch gigantic, bright lemons from the trees. My host-brother is really happy, for now he can cook so many things from them. Meanwhile, I have just lost track of time. I am really enjoying this day, this moment with my family here. The sound of the birds chirping, cows nearby mooing, and the waterfall…Pura Vida!

“…we are berry picking, and catching bright gigantic lemons directly from the trees”

As we look for a Soda (a typical small restaurant) for lunch, it starts to drizzle. We are all getting a little wet yet laughing and enjoying in the rain. The drops of the rain on my face make me happy, reminds me the true beauty of nature and the magic of Costa Rica.

And like any other day, this day was marked as one of the best days I have had Costa Rica.

Host Family

By Shruti Belitkar
Shruti Belitkar