I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic.  My then-boyfriend Carlos joined me there for the last 9 months of my service.  We got married 7 months after our return to the US.

Living in the middle of Africa in one of the poorest countries in the world for two years forever changed who I was.  I felt strong reverse culture shock returning to the United States – and Carlos did too.  We weren’t the same people anymore and home didn’t feel like home anymore.  We were both eager to leave again for more international adventures.

In search of palm wine in a dugout canoe in the Central African Republic @1994.

We started making plans to move to Costa Rica – the land of Carlos’ father.  The plan was to help run a family business manufacturing soccer shoes just outside of San Jose .   In the Fall of 1997, we sold most of what we owned and put the rest into a 1972 VW bug.   We drove from Maryland straight through to San Jose, Costa Rica.

Things don’t always work out as planned and six months later we ran out of money.  We returned to the states and years passed.  Great and terrible things happened:  I got my Master’s degree in TESOL and started teaching.  Carlos got involved in health care IT and started a business. We had two kids, lost one to cancer, had another kid and almost lost him to cancer.  Modern medicine and an awesome new therapy that harnesses the bodies’ own immune system to fight disease saved our son..

Now almost twenty years later we’re back in Costa Rica.  This time with our kids, a dog and a cat – ready to spend a year!  The plan is to learn Spanish, get to know our cousins a little better and experience as much pura vida as possible.

Thanks for stopping by!



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