The sun is almost set and I am tucked inside my little haven in the middle of the jungle. Most of the two story space is open aired, with the bedrooms being in a more closed strucutre, but still bearing window frames that are only able to be closed by an old wooden panel. Most nights I opt to keep them wide open so that I can fall asleep to the sounds of rustling leaves and crickets; awoken the next morning by howler monkeys.
The dogs are laying at my feet as I prepare my dinner. Though, techincally, they belong to my colleague/roommate, she is still living in San Jose for the next couple of weeks so I am taking care of them until her arrival. I have never been much of a dog person but these dogs have found a place in my heart that I will carry with me forever. They are my protectors and my loyal companions. Nala lets out a little whimper while I slice the fresh liver I bought today from town. I reach down and give her a small piece, letting her lick the blood from my hands before washing them thoroughly.
Though the burners are quite old, I can simply turn on the gas and light a match to ignite the flames, which I do with a meditative rhythm. I slice onions ever so thin and place them in the pan of hot olive oil, adding the liver to the concotion once the onions have had a chance to carmelize. I dance through the kitchen in complete peace, adding a dash of rosemary and sea salt.
This morning began with a bike ride through the trees and dense morning dew until I reached the yoga studio (a make shift, open air space looking out over the ocean). It is more humid today than usual, so as I move through my warrior poses, the sweat tickles my face, back and chest as it drips down my sun-kissed skin.
After some lounging in my hammmock and a bit of work, I take advantage of the mid afternoon and take the dogs on our walk, past incrdibly lush trees and leaves as big as my whole body until we reach the Caribbean Sea (only about 5 minutes away from home). Despite the beautiful day, there is no one on this part of the beach. I read my book for a bit and then play fetch with the dogs, splashing around in the water as I playfully fight them for an old stick.
Another bike ride to town to pick up some fresh water, where I pass friendly faces, exchanging a knowing nod with some of them, acknowleding to each other that we recognize that the other isn’t a tourst, but a fellow inhabitant of this small slice of paradise.
As I sautee my vegetables this evening, the whole space begins to smell of a homecooked meal and, even though I only have the dogs as my companions tonight, I feel like I am surrounded by so much love and peace. Perhaps it is the abundant plant life that surrounds my property or my connections with the dogs or the seemingly endless amount of people who have welcomed me back to Puerto Viejo with such love in their hearts, grateful for my return. Oh, that feeling of being in exactly the right place and exactly the right time! I am in the jungle. I am living simply. I am home.