“A Post” Especial Para Juan

I don’t know how to translate that into Spanish…

I decided to write an impromptu post about a really interesting man that Michelle and I met last night. Our street has some lingering stories about it not being super safe. (Don’t worry family, we’re always careful when we’re out.) So last night we came home late from San Jose, and because we live at “600m noreste de la última parada del bus de San Ramón de Tres Ríos” (yes, that is actually our address and means we live about .4 of a mile past the last bus stop), we asked the driver if he could drive us up the hill a little further. He said he couldn’t, but he did ask an older gentleman if he would walk us home.

So we walked up our street with a man named Juan de He… (we can’t remember his whole last name) who lives 5 houses up from us in the white house. (Again, that’s how addresses are done around here.) He was very nice and told us he has never had any problems on our street and it is safe, etc. We chatted for a while (and by that I mean Michelle chatted, and I listened), and he told us he doesn’t speak any English. So Michelle taught him how to say “my name is” and “we walk together.”

What’s interesting about Juan is he has never been outside of Costa Rica. He has lived here and stayed here his entire life. To give you a little perspective, Costa Rica is smaller than West Virginia, half the size of Kentucky, a quarter of the size of Oklahoma, and an eighth of the size of California. However, he has never even traveled the 80 miles or so to Nicaragua or Panama. When we asked him why this was, he explained that he works a lot and gets very little vacation, and he wants to spend what little vacation he has with his family.

He went on to explain how this is home for him. He was born here, has lived here, and will die here. When he dies, he wants to be buried on his land, because that is his home, but Costa Rican law says you must be buried in a cemetery.

It’s crazy to think that here I am living and working in a completely new country with all of these new and exciting experiences, and right up the street is Juan, who will never see another country.

View from our bus stop. (Sorry for the quality.)

View from our bus stop. (Sorry for the quality.)

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