Archive for September, 2010

Losing my NFL Virginity

Yesterday I lost my NFL virginity. It was going to be a very special lovely event that I could cherish in my mind for ever. My company organised a wonderful, intimate NFL kickoff party at one of the bars between Santa Ana/Escazu with open bar, raffle and general merriness as the Vikings met the Saints in this year’s NFL season opener.

It all started so well, but turns out this event was actually not a very intimate, private matter at all. Turns out, this game was NBC Sports most-watched ‘NFL Kickoff’ ever and the most-watched regular season primetime game ever on NBC, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company! My special moment and loss of NFL virginity happened with 27.5million others tuning in as well!

Ok, fair enough, Im not that upset. 🙂 Rather I had a great time! I think I can get used to this whole NFL thing, and actually, the sooner I do that the better because my company has given all of us here some cash to bet with, giving whoever has the most money at the end of the season some fabulous prizes! All the more reason to get involved, learn more and become an expert on this product! Ill keep you posted on how well I am doing. I just hope this will go better than what the Fantasy football c0mpetition is going!

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How to Duck Dive

Yesterday I was getting bruised and battered in the messy waves while trying to learn how to duck dive. I guess it went alright, but as I was saying to Joel through gritted teeth, I have real trouble “feeling” the flow of this move and hence accepting that I might possibly be doing it correctly like he says I am. My duck dive doesnt feel like a smooth flowing move I assume it should be, just like the duck has in the video above, it feels more like a huffing and puffing and hoping for the best exercise before the wave catches my bum and I slide off the board.

I am impressed though that I managed to get the board down under the water a few times, and I bet once we go back to practicing in real wave and not just in a quiet section of the lava pools in Esterillos Oeste, Ill hopefully get the hang of it. I am quite curious to see how much this might help my surfing and help me win the battle against the waves..

Yesterday’s session did take my breath away though, literally! I was karate chopped in the right side of my waist by the board as a wave threw it straight at me and lost my breath for a moment from the pain and shock of the beating. My god, I am used to bruises on my legs and dont really mind them anymore, but my appendix, small intestines and liver hasnt had that much experience of physical pain so this did leave me breathless.

To be fair, yesterday’s session just ended up being a bit crazy with messy waves all over the place, so I was quite pleased when I managed to paddle out with my super floaty board AND managed to ride one wave quite nicely during the short session. Like a colleague of mine says: “Even One Wave is a Session” so this day will go down in the diary as yet another succesful outing!

And hopefully next time I will be as gracious as the duck in the video when I plow through the waves to get out there..

Esterillos Oeste

This weekend is a real treat. We are spending it down at Esterillos Oeste with some friends just lazying around, surfing, BBQing and well, just enjoying life in general! Its been a while since we were here last and I have almost forgotten how fantastic this place is for relaxing and really recharging your batteries. Not to mention the surf, I loved coming down here before, because the waves are quite big, but still fairly soft, making it perfect for me on my epoxy.

I got down here already on Friday since my company was doing a team building outing in Jaco for the day. It was a fantastically fun day at the beach surfing followed by cocktails, arm wrestling and dancing at The Backyard Bar in Playa Hermosa. I had so much fun and I feel like I know a few of my colleagues much better now as well.

Anyhow, J picked me up from The Hookup at Los Suenos around 8.30pm and we headed down to the beach. This time we have rented a gorgeous house all the way at the end of one of the dead end streets off Calle Canada, and turns out its absolutely fantastic! Three floors, pool, gorgeous large terraces on each floor and all of them looking out over the jungle.

Having got here pretty late we didnt really properly see the house until the next day, but my gosh did we hear the other inhabitants during the night! We have massive lizards living in the ceiling and they were making a glorious noise all through out the night while the cicadas were playing their tunes all around us in the jungle. The noise did wake me up a few times, but its actually nice waking up to the sounds of nature, especially since it will lull you back to sleep as well pretty much immediately.. Its a nice give an take.

This morning Sofia was up and demanding to get outside already at about 4am. She hasnt stopped since then.. She has explored the jungle, run around meeting other dogs, swam in the pool, been to the beach, run around some more and had a face off with a local capuchin monkey. We were having so much fun watching her and the monkey battle it out, one on the ground, one from the top of a palm tree.

I had a few wonderful waves down at the beach as well. Its been a while since we have been surfing here so at first I was a bit worried about the size of the waves, but I soon “got back to normal” i.e realising that they might seem big, but actually they are pretty soft. Had quite a few just for fun and a few that were excellent even by my own high standards of self criticism. And I finally managed to really get one pop up done PROPERLY! I.e. without dragging my damn knee behind me. Oh my gosh the feeling of that beats anything! Well, almost anything.

Tonight we have had a BBQ and now its just relaxing in the warm night to the sounds of cicadas while watching a beautiful lightning display in the distance. The rain hasnt reached us yet. I cant wait till tomorrow when I will get to do some more waves!! And ah, the sleep I will have tonight after a couple of hours in the waves and a day in the humid heat of the coastal area.. I do love our life in Costa Rica.

Skulls and Caribbean Chicken

I know we are still a few months away, but the day of the dead has always fascinated me. I love the colours, the creativity and the festivity that surrounds the day and would love to be in Mexico one year to see the proper celebrations there instead of just enjoying the day via images on the net.

What I love the most about this holiday is the catrina’s, the skulls and the colours that surround the whole morbid celebration. I adore the intricate details about everything during this day, although, I guess to me the day in itself is not really that relevant (I pay attention to my loved ones that have passed away on a much more regular basis than just once a year), what matters to me is this attention to detail that the design elements of the day gets.

I would love to do a course in making catrinas, or painting skulls, or maybe baking random day of the dead cookies… I just need to find a place or a person who could show me all this..

I am still to discover something as exciting in Costa Rica’s annual cultural calendar although, this week’s “The Day of The Black Man/Woman” (El Dia del Negro) did somewhat catch me off guard. This day is an  acknowledgement of the achievements of the blacks who were brought into Costa Rica in the 19th century to help with the construction of the railway and multiple other things. Costa Rica observes the day in high festive spirit on the Caribbean side, while over here at my office we held a slightly more low key celebration and went out for lunch to a Caribbean lunch restaurant. I must say, it was a bit weird to have everyone congratulate my black colleague on this day like it was his birthday, but the food, especially the Rice & Beans with Caribbean Chicken that I had, was absolutely delicious and very appropriate for a proper celebration! I could definitely celebrate like this more often at the office.

So yes there are some things that have caught my interest over here in this part of Central America, but nothing has fascinated me as much as the Day of the Dead a few hundred kilometres up north. Then again, I have only been here for 6 months.. There is still a whole second half of the year to explore and I cant wait to see what it has in store..