I absolutely adore Latin people and their culture.
I had this perception from while at home, but I had merely encountered Latin immigrants or those of Latin descent.
Interestingly enough, their culture runs strong through their generations and across borders, because in North America or in Costa Rica, their Latin flavour still runs thick.
This may be a general assumption I am making for a vast array of people, but I’ve met Colombians, Puerta Ricans, Pervuvians, and Spanish alike, and there’s an essence to them that I haven’t quite yet found in any other culture I’ve experienced (which I guess is why there are various cultures around the world that have their own differences and is why I’ll keep travelling to discover them all!).
Yesterday seemed to enhance that opinion when my fellow intern and I made our way over to Doña Blanca’s casa, a woman who lives near the station and who is in need of help learning English.
When we arrived, she welcomed us nicely and we immediately got to work.
She sat us down in her makeshift hair dresser/craftsman workshop/mani-pedi office/patio and we began talking.
One thing I really admire about the Latin culture, specifically Ticas and Ticos in this context, is that they are very honest and open and will talk you up even if you don’t completely understand everything they’re saying. They are so animated with their words and expressions, and even though I may not be fluent in Spanish, the actions she did while speaking really helped me grasp the main idea.
At a point during our language session, Doña Blanca was comparing the two languages, English and Spanish, as we tried translating a part of a paragraph together. “One word in English,” she said, “can be translated into a whole phrase in Spanish. I guess it’s because Spanish love to just talk and talk, no?” Then she laughed.
What was also refreshing was her intent on learning our language.
She seems to be a woman of the world, dipping her feet in every job she can, and one of them is being a turtle guide, which seems plausible when one grasps the short distance from her house to the Caribbean Sea where the turtles we monitor come to nest.
She knew so much about the turtles and their activities without studying it as a degree in school, which showed me that the Ticas and Ticos that live here are very much in touch with their environment and their home is their livelihood and must be understood and taken care of, which I admire and respect greatly.
Her words became even more animated as she moved onto the art of her pedicures and crafts.
It was a very entertaining visit.
And what made it the sweetest for me was the ending.
As we got up to leave, she offered us some lemonade (“agua con limón en ingles es…?”) and then we talked about culture and why I supposedly have Chinese eyes if I’m not Chinese; and then when we were really ready to leave, she gave us both hugs and kisses and sent us off.
La hospitalidad era demasiado bueno! Comprende?
Gracias Doña Blanca y pura vida,
P.S. Saw my first leatherback turtle (possibly the last of the season) last night, while the moon was bright, and the night was cool. It was perfectly huge and a sight to see!
Music for the Moment: