December 16-20: thanking the deities for friends

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When Harry and I left the steamy port town of Barranca, we were looking forward to spending time with Stephanie and Ben in San Jose who had generously offered to put us up until our scheduled air transfer to Ecuador on December 21. Upon our arrival they surprised us with Chilean salmon and yellow lentil stew and also treated me to my first glass of white wine since I’d crossed into Mexico more than two months ago.

 

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I got a good amount of pending tasks done during our stay in San Jose: scouted out our next temporary residence in Guayaquil where we will be awaiting la bestia‘s arrival (which is tentatively scheduled for December 31, but it will likely take longer for her to clear customs given the holidays); ordered new sunglasses (I’d accidentally left my seven year-old pair in the container and figured it was about time); reviewed a grant proposal and a manuscript just in time; and caught up on much-needed sleep. On December 19 we all went on a two-hour hike in the hills surrounding San Jose.

 

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I was impressed when I realized how large and spread out Costa Rica’s capital city is. Stephanie and Ben told me that three quarters of the country’s population live in this urban area.

 

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Harry very much enjoyed the freedom to roam around…

 

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… and even tried to make new friends. (It should be noted that this cow ended up scaring all of us quite a bit as it suddenly started sprinting down the hillside toward us.)

 

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Stephanie and Ben–who had already taken fantastic care of Harry three years ago when I was away doing research in Ciudad Juarez–once again excelled as “Harrysitters”…

 

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… and made sure that Harry would not be left in limbo when we reached slightly more technical terrain.

 

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We celebrated our half-day in the wilderness with Ardbeg and Cohibas. Tomorrow (Dec. 21) Harry and I are going to have our next adventure as we travel from San Jose to Guayaquil, with a two-hour stopover in Bogota. Please keep your fingers crossed for a smooth inaugural flight for Harry!

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4 thoughts on “December 16-20: thanking the deities for friends

  1. Lieber Daniel, tief beeindruckt begleite ich dich seit Wochen auf deiner faszinierenden Reise auf der anderen Seite dieser Welt. Für die nächsten Tage wünsche ich dir viel Glück und wirklich alles Gute und ich drück ganz fest die Daumen das alles gut gelingt. Herzliche Grüße von Ingrid

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    • Ganz herzlichen Dank, Ingrid, fuer Deine aufmunternden Zeilen! Harry und ich fliegen heute nachmittag nach Ecuador — dafuer koennen wir Deine gedrueckten Daumen gut gebrauchen. Auch Euch ein schoenes Fest und einen guten Rutsch! D.

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  2. You are a lucky man to have such good friends everywhere! I was particularly impressed with Paul who seemed to rescue your ass multiple times. 🙂 also love this photo of Ben carrying Harry! Thanks for bringing us along on your trip. Happy Christmas Eve, lieber Daniel!

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    • Merry Christmas, Nina, and thanks for your kind comment. Yes, Paul came at just the right time. In general, something this trip has been teaching me is that whenever the shit hits the fan, there’s usually a way out — and it usually involves other people… All the very best for you, Joon and Simon ~ D.

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