Tag Archives: Costa Rica

The Day After Tomorrow

Hey Strangers and Friends, I’m sorry for going over a week without posting anything. Last week some out of state relatives visited and we stayed in a beachouse that for some weird unadvertized reason didn’t have any internet access. They left on Saturday, and I haven’t posed until know because I am preparing the next big thing on my Summer agenda. More like the next big event in my life, really.

As some of you may recall, I will be going to Tanzania. Well I will be leaving, as the post’s title insinuates, the day after tomorrow. I have feel really fluttery right now as this is something I have been anticipating since December. For most of that time I was not particurally excited as I had more immediate matters of concern, but now it is right on the horizon. I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness; the latter due largely to the fact I’m not a big fan of flying, let alone a twenty hour hour flight. We will have a two hour layover in Amsterdam, we won’t be able to set foot outside the airport (which from what I understand means we legally won’t enter the Netherlands). Originally we had planned to do a day trip to Zanzibar, but we scrapped that idea in light of a recent terrorist bombing.

This isn’t the first time I have been out of the US, I grew up in Japan and have been to Canada a couple times. Nor is it my first time out of the US away from my parents, I did that when I went to Costa Rica in 2012. However I will be gone for five weeks, and this is much further.

Internet access will be limited to dial-up on obsolete and unprotected computors if availible at all. I will try and post something while I’m there if I can, but don’t count on it. See you all on July 25th!

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My Second Meaningful St. Patrick’s Day

I have always enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day because I like corned beef and Shamrock Shakes, however it meant anything more than that. However two and a half years ago I learned that I am part Irish, from my father’s predominately Hispanic side. His maternal grandfather was half (along with half Navajo, but that’s beside the point), but my dad had no idea despite having grown up with him. My grandma randomly brought this up, and while it surprised me it makes perfect sense. My paternal family has lived in what is now New Mexico (NOT MEXICO, NOT MEXICO YOU GOT THAT?!?!) for around eight generations, having come from primarily Spain before that. New Mexico has a notable Irish community, many of them came from NYC looking for more greener (figuratively), more Catholic friendly, pastures. Most noted of the early Hiberno-Nuevomexicanos was Billy the Kid. His mother thought leaving New York would save him from death as a petty street gangster, yet ironically the move resulted in him dying as one of the most illustrious outlaws in American folklore. I know nothing of my Irish ancestors before or after they moved to the Southwest, but watching Gangs of New York gives me some idea to what it may like for them before they packed up. My great grandfather spoke no English, only Spanish. Of course Irish Gaelic was Ireland’s main language into the nineteenth century and those Irish who went to NM were trying to escape those dirty Prod Anglos, so they probably had little attachment to the English language.

Hispanic and Irish are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Hispanic is a linguistic term (not a racial one) that is far more inclusive than many think. Argentina has its Italians, Costa Rica has its Jamaicans, Peru has its Japanese, Panama has its Chinese, Chile has its Germans, Mexico has its Lebanese, and Irish are to be found all over. Chile’s first President was named Bernardo O’Higgins. Che Guevara, perhaps the most iconic Latin American of all, had an Irish father and the birth name Ernest Lynch. He viewed himself as being part of a tradition of Irish rebels who fight against empire, and now the ironic icon is immortalized in murals from Bogota to Belfast. Billy the Kid is no one to be proud of, O’Higgins is in the shadow of Bolivar and San Martin, and Guevara outright polarizing. Still they show that the Irish have made lasting impressions in Hispanophone areas.

St. Patrick’s Day is all about cultural identity. I am only a sixteenth Irish and that has zero impact on my day to day life, but knowing that bit of trivia has greatly enriched my sense of cultural identity.

mural

 

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Impulse Souveniring

When I was younger I had an atrocious tendency to buy a souvenir whenever I went somewhere special. I was under the impression that I needed some cheap knickknack in order to have memories about wherever I went. My room back home is filled with all sorts of useless shit that now means nothing to me and serves no purpose other than collecting dust. Of course, taking advantage of these impulses is a big moneymaker for tourism. Now that I’ve realized this I’ve gotten much better, and now I generally only purchase souvenirs as gifts for family members. That’s what I did in Costa Rica, even though the temptation to buy crap for myself was still present. The only thing I got for myself was a jersey for Costa Rica’s national FC, something practical that I actually use. Costa Rican souvenir markets carry a lot of paraphernalia, most of it very eye catching. I remember seeing a glass pipe that had a clay sloth hanging off the stem, and I briefly considered getting it for an uncle who is a chronic enthusiast. At Disneyland all I got was a Yoda shirt, and at Yellowstone I did as I had in Costa Rica. I am more mature know, and have learned the hard way that any memory that needs some tacky ass souvenir isn’t a memory worth making effort to retain.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/daily-prompt-lets-go-crazy/

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The Ballad of William Walker

This is a (mostly) true story, so listen up:

Born in a one room shack in Tennessee
Then poorest state in the land of the free
Sure he was hick but was smart as can be
He passed the Bar when he was only three
William, William Walker ’tis of him I sing!

In New Orleans he practiced law
Then headed West as an outlaw
His dueling record without flaw
He was the smartest bastard the Frontier saw
William, William Walker a true gentleman thief!

He met up with pirates in San Francisco
They headed down to Mexico
Annexing Sonora promised serious dough
Creating new for land for slaves to grow
William, William Walker the man who don’t know bounds!

His project lasted one brief time
‘Till Mexico deported him without a dime
And put on trial for his illustrious crime
Got acquitted and a song of freedom he did chime
William, William Walker should have learned something!

He looked to Nicaragua where he saw a prize
A potential canal of tremendous size
Many adventurers answered his plies
They boarded their ships and descended like flies
William, William Walker crossing a point of no return!

They raped and pillaged the Mosquito Coast
Something Walker would proudly boast
The Nicaraguans proved an unhappy host
Since it was them who suffered most
William, William Walker Nicaragua’s would be king!

Expansionism sure brought him much joy
Adding Costa Rica was his next ploy
And for him that was rather coy
But his base was torched by a Costa Rican drummer boy
William, William Walker will he learn his lesson yet?

Never one to learn from a mistake
Nicaragua was too lucrative a cake
In Managua he plotted the next move to make
And won an election that was surely fake!
William, William Walker never gonna give it up!

Naturally he wanted more
And dreamed of the riches he could store
Having no problems with blood and gore
He invaded Honduras which was just next door
William, William Walker living out Manifest Destiny!

Things didn’t go so very well
It was to the Honduran army that he fell
They tied him to a post and rung a bell
Then the squad fired and now Walker’s in hell
William, William Walker what a wasted life!

Walker

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My Perception of Time

Yes, I definately can feel time slow down when I am hyped about something. The most recent time I felt that was the night before I moved into my dorm. I maybe got three or four hours of sleep, I really don’t know but I functioned perfectly fine on that big day. I felt similar the day before I went to Yellowstone, but I think the main culprit for not being able to sleep on that night was the fact I was sleeping in a church sanctuary (click on the tag for Montana for further context) which is not the most comfortable place to sleep; although I lucky enough to get to share an air matress with a friend, which is rather awkward. Airplanes are another place where time slows down for me. Flying to Costa Rica (another sleepless night before) was very grueling for me and it seemed to last much longer than the ten hours that it actually did. Flying back home, seemed much quicker.

A friend of mine went to the midnight release of GTA V and he said that was one of the longest hours he has experienced. If you don’t play video games it would be difficult to explain that, if you do than no explanation is necessary.

Its rather interesting that this Prompt be posted when it has. Right now I am reading La Commedia Divina which has some very interesting insights about the nature of time, specifically Dante’s ideas about time that were the paradigm in the Middle Ages. When I read Inferno I can feel time go by very fast, as it is a very fascinating work. When I am reading Anna Karenina, for another class, I can feel time go slow. It’s not a bad book, its just a labor to read in four weeks juggled with about three other books.

Time is fluid and open to interpretation.

dali

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/daily-prompt-waiting/

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The Life and Times of djgarcia94

First of all, let me make it clear that NOBODY (except for maybe some very kind friends and family) would want to watch a movie about my life. My life as I have had it so far, anyway; who knows what may happen down the road. I challenge you to find something that would be film worthy:

I lived in Japan until I was six, which was far too young for me to know the difference between there and America; living on a US Army base especially blurred that. I actually did some modeling for Japanese magazines as they have a big demand for gaijin children so readers will want to get these clothes because Americans supposedly wear them. The first few years following my family’s return to Washington is excrutiatingly dull. After then I was involved with Boy Scouts for several years. My original troop dissolved because my dad was the scoutmaster but he got deployed to Iraq and there was no one to replace him. That was followed by a few years where I was very lonely and depressed much of the time, most of my time was spent playing PC games. Then I joined another troop and while it was very rewarding it would make a horrible movie.

The last few years have been a bit more film worthy. My time at junior college was much like my time in the second troop I was in. I won far more accolades though. I have allready blogged quite a bit about my time in Costa Rica and Montana, so click on those catagories if you want to know more about all that. Here I am now, I have left my Theological literature class and am killing time until my African Civilization class. Every hour seems like a juggle between reading Boethius, Gogol, and the Epic of Sundiata.

If anyone could make a rough concept of adapting any of these events into a film I will be highly impressed.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/daily-prompt-superstar/

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There and back again

The furthest I’ve ever been from where I live now is Japan, however when I was there that was where my home was located. Had I been visiting it would have been very far from home georgaphically, and culturally it would have been a world away. Especially since I would not be living on a US military base as I did, the bases are pretty much miniture American towns that drive on the other side of the road.

The furthest I have been from home is Costa Rica; the physical distance from home is much greater than anywhere in the US, Maine, Florida, and Hawaii included. All of the other distances, cultural, economic, social, etc., are even more substantial. Costa Rica is a nation obsessed with putting on an image for the rest of the global community. That image is of a nation that is very beautiful, biodiverse, eco friendly (all true), and consequently a wonderful place for everyone who lives there. They claim to be the “Happiest Nation On Earth,” something with Guiness perpetrates. Most of the people I met where indeed happy, but the claim is still obscene. I saw what the tourist brochures don’t show you, slums, poverty, people just trying to get by with more or less basic necessities and not much more. 

Oh, and it is also a huge destination for human trafficking in Central America.

Out of fairness, Costa Rica (along with Panama) is much better off than the neighboring countries. There commitment to saving their environment is wonderful, but I wish that they were more commited to everyday people.

I’m sure most people who visit do NOT experience the same things I experienced. I went there on a mission trip with the specific goal of doing charitible work. Most everyone else goes to see the waterfalls and national parks and ziplines, none of which I had the opportunity to see. I think the most important element of travel is not where you go, but why you go.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/daily-prompt-distance/

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Two Roads Diverge in a Yellowed Wood

I’m one of those people who are always speculating on what might have been. As far as I am concerned, even the slightest detail may affect everything from that point forward, even if we are not aware of it. Actually, I was just thinking about what would have happened if I stayed home last week. Most likely I would have just stayed home and did the same old same old, I certainly would have posted on the 24th to the 29th. Many people say that Disneyland will give you happy memories for the rest of your life, which I guess it did but it was hardly lifesaving. Had I not gone I would have regretted it, but going was hardly lifechanging to my knowledge.

When I went to Costa Rica was a different matter entirely. There my entire outlook on life was changed and I know that my interaction with some of the people I met had a major impact on their lives. A year ago I doing work in the area where my background photo was taken. Only now am I starting to fully see just how much the trip has impacted me. When I first found out about the trip I was hesitant, because I didn’t think I could raise enough funds. Had I not gone I would have deeply regretted it, most of those who decided not to go now really wish they did.

There have been relatively few times in my life where I had to make a decision that I know was a game changer; but those times I have experienced have been truly memorable.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/daily-prompt-other/

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I’ll be on hiatus until Thursday

I’ll be vacationing in California for the next few days and I probably won’t be on here until I’m back home.

On a slightly related note, tomorrow is also the one year anniversary of a mission trip I went on in Costa Rica (which is where the picture of my page’s background was taken). It was a lifechanging experience, and it has changed the way I view the world forever. The purpose of the trip wasn’t to preach to people, instead we did a wide range of service project. Most prominent of these was building a home for a young couple and their baby. For our standards the home would not be one we would think of living in, but by the standards of the slum that it was built in it was the best home one could ask for. By an even greater coincidence, when I return home it will be the first anniversary of building their house.

Man, I remember waiting excitedly about getting to go on that trip; it took a year of preparing and fundraising and didn’t seem like it would ever come. Here I am a year later and Costa Rica seems like a distant memory. Time sure flies when you live your life.

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