I want to tell everyone reading this that despite all of the negatives, and the out and out criticism with almost everything connected with this pandemic … I am glad that my wife and I are “stuck” here in Costa Rica.
We have missed three flights back to the States that were scheduled but were canceled… and no they were not repatriated flights. Each time we felt badly for our children back in Minnesota as well as our grandkids. And we missed one of our annual family reunions which have taken place since the ‘60s.
For those of you who don’t know me, I crashed and burned about 5 years ago here in Costa Rica. We had achieved phenomenal growth and success for several years and this took place even after we had retired shortly after 9/11.
We never intended to work again.
And we loved the country and we absolutely had a blast. We saw probably more of it than the average expat due to us selling properties and building as well. I always used to tell people the best part of owning a business as we had in Costa Rica was being able to see so much of the country. And we never tired of it.
And we have seen an ugly side too… but that happens everywhere and our attitude was “as long as we knew about the negatives, they wouldn’t jump out and bite us” … or make us want to leave.
But we hit the infamous bureaucracies and a few attorneys that everyone warned us about. And instead of listening… we kept on pushing forward… until we couldn’t push any longer. And in retrospect, we should have been prudent and cut our losses while we still could have.
Instead, we lost it all and had to return home to Minnesota in the winter.
And it took us 4 years to get back here… and no, we didn’t dwell on the negatives and the “ugly”. We dreamt of our road trips and the beauty of the country.
And we remembered the emotions that so many Costa Ricans had that touched us… we didn’t see those much “back home.”
And it was the beauty and the diversity of the country that we remembered… and during those four years… somehow we always knew that we would be back.
But somehow… when we returned it was different. There was more anger and there was more unhappiness and even sadness… than there ever was before. But it was with the ex-pats rather than the Ticos.
And then pandemic struck and ushered in lockdowns and quarantines. AND fights over whether or not masks had to be worn and whether or not it was an infringement of freedom.
But the arguments and the criticisms and infighting was not with… or among the Costa Ricans. Here too it was the ex-pats and those who were “stuck here.”
We are almost five months into this nightmare and it will likely last a long, long time.
And we all are undergoing psychological trauma that may never go away.
But Rhonda and I are proud of Costa Rica and how the people are handling the virus and its spread and aftermath. Because the country is small, it is susceptible to infection and illegal entry across its borders… as well as not knowing how to cope with an unparalleled financial disaster in the making.
They respond… the government deals with threats and does not pretend that they do not exist or that they will simply disappear… or worse yet… say that they cannot afford to fight an unseen enemy.
The country does not try to please everyone and is in the unenviable position of being totally unable to make everyone happy.
Tourism? Who knows when it will come back… Costa Rica is again in a position where most choices are beyond their control.
But they at least are making choices… rational, scientific choices even in spite of the pressure from every side. It is a no-win situation for the country.
But I am proud that my adopted country is fighting… doing as much as it can possibly do… and we don’t see fighting in the street as a result of one or two people saying that their rights are violated because they are told to wear a mask.
No… the people here understand. They stand together.
That makes me proud.
And even everyone in our two families tells us that we are MUCH BETTER OFF being in Costa Rica than almost anywhere else.
And we are… and we know it.
And no matter what happens tomorrow… or next week or next year… the people in Costa Rica will stand together.
We are glad to be back.