For weeks I’ve dreamt of Bocas del Torro, Panama. This Thanksgiving, we had plans to drive south to Puerto Viejo, stay the night and get up early to walk across the border in Sixaola. From there we’d take a bus and then a water taxi to an idyllic island where we’d stay at a wooden house built over the warm turquoise Caribbean – just right for snorkeling off the front deck.
But then came Otto; an extremely rare Central American hurricane – threatening northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua with flash floods and mudslides. Otto killed three people in Panama and thousands have been evacuated from the Caribbean coast and flood prone areas. The storm has yet to make landfall, but already a northern route between Zarcero and San Carlos has been closed by sliding debris.
Roads in Costa Rica cling to the sides of mountains and carve steep canyons through huge hills. Tenuous webs of wire mesh, drainage pipes and sprayed concrete barely contain immense walls of dirt and rocks along the major highways in this country.
As Otto began to churn towards Costa Rica, I remained in denial. I didn’t buy a turkey or make plans to get together with our Costa Rican family. I even created a plan B to head south on the other side of Costa Rica – towards the Osa Peninsula.
This morning I had to face reality. We’re not going anywhere.
Time for plan C.
I’m going to the store to buy a chicken and vegetables. I’ll whip up a feast and we’ll have a little Thanksgiving right here in Atenas. I hope everyone in Costa Rica and Nicaragua stays safe and no more lives are lost to the storm.
I’m thankful for my family, health, friends and this beautiful country we call home for a year.
And. . . . I’m always thankful for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the amazing organization responsible for the research that saved our son’s life. Check out the Thanksgiving Day video featuring Phineas flipping into our pool and hanging out in the hammock. . .