Just a quick hello from beautiful Puerto Viejo! It’s truly a paradise down here, the area is lush and tropical, the weather is just perfect to sit outside all day and night in a shirt and the ocean is refreshing without being cold. I’ve met great people – locals as well as tourists like me :) – and everyone is very friendly, happy and caring.

Today is a special day. Not only has it been exactly a week since I got here but I also acquired a surfboard just a couple of hours ago. Still needs a leash but I already tried it out paddling in the ocean for a while. It’s quite a different feel from the 8′ board I use at home – it’s only 7′ and oh boy, quite a challenge in balancing. Luckily, the water is very flat today, so I spend a good hour paddling around, falling off the board and climbing back on. I’m very glad the beach is deserted! :)

In other news:
Apart from relaxing I’ve talked to a bunch of people about the volunteer projects we’re organizing for March. If you don’t know yet, I’m involved in ‘Surf For Life‘, a San Francisco based non-profit that offers volunteer trips to anyone interested in making a difference for the inhabitants of coastal communities. All hands-on work is focused on schools, education and access to education. It looks like the projects will include the repair of a suspension bridge that’s vital for the indigenous Bribri to access town for food, water, schools and trade. Also, the basketball court in town urgently needs new surfacing, especially since most kids play barefoot. The basketball program is one of very few offerings for the local kids to spend afternoon and evenings. We’re hoping to put up lights as well, so they got a great place to go to to spend their evenings. More work will come up around the local schools and ‘El Puente – The Bridge’, a local non-profit focusing on providing much needed community services to the indigenous Bribri. I’ll keep you posted. www.surfforlife.org

I hope you’re all well and sending you a ton of sunshine! :)

Pura Vida,

P.S. Pics coming soon

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Photography by Mary Sylvester.