(Hannah’s Note: Ellen and I are on a boat from Panama to Colombia. To entertain you while we’re gone, we’ve written a few extra posts that are auto-posting while we’re out of internet access. We should be back on December 22nd or 23rd.)

I am absolutely exhausted. Ellen too. For some reason, the last week has been draining. Exciting, fun, positive, active, and yet still incredibly tiring.

At first I thought I was tired because my feet were sore from that day my sandals broke and I walked to the waterfall and back barefoot. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been getting up at 5am every day, although I go to bed early and have no trouble rising with the sun. I suppose it could be the vegetarian diet, some mineral or vitamin I’m not getting.

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Too beautiful a waterfall not to walk to, with or without shoes.

I think, though, it’s just from working hard. At Villas, we were only working 4 hours a day, and I took care to only do tasks that were safe for my wrist. Still, we worked in the sun in the heat of the day. Those last two weeks, as well, Ellen and I worked on projects in the afternoons rather than having our usual siestas. We painted and sewed, hiked and wrote, and busied ourselves mentally and physically when the work day was over.

We were eager to learn things as our time at the farm dwindled, so both Ellen and I volunteered to cook more often to learn new Costa Rican dishes. Ellen identified and sketched all the edible plants on the farm. We helped butcher a pig and traced its path from hoof to table. Ellen performed minor surgery on the dog and watched as Mario treated the cows for the same parasitic fly larvae.

We learnt so much, about farming, language, tropical food production, and in my case, the value of not buying $3 sandals for hiking. And now, for Christmas, we will take care of ourselves, which is the lesson I want to focus on learning next.

We need to make time for more sunsets in our lives.

We need to make time for more sunsets in our lives.

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