As all of you know, I made it home from Bagaces safe and sound!
My last 18 hours in Bagaces involved a lovely dinner (the thing I will miss most about CR is the Patacones), a long poker game at my house (in which I came in SECOND PLACE again!! YAY 8,000 colones!), a few hours of fitful sleep, and a 4.5 hour bus ride across Costa Rica to the airport. After a few plane delays, I made it to the Little Town! Only 20 hours of traveling!
My first day back in the States was wonderful and a bit emotional. I slept from 3am (when I finally got home) until 1pm. Just being able to sleep without dogs barking or cocks crowing was amazing! Then I showered and put on clean clothes and cried at the joy of being clean!
I had to go to the University for a lab meeting on this first day back, and when I arrived it was a bit odd. My RyGuy is gone. I have never known this Little Town University without him. But everyone wanted to talk about how great his dissertation defense was and how they miss him and how great he is! Which is all true, but also weird, because I feel like he should be here with me! It was different when I was in CR, because the long-distance relationship didn't involve places that Ry and I had been. But the University is the place where we met and spent LOTS of time together. A bit weird, but I will surely adjust.
It's been a week since I returned back, but I am still not unpacked! It's driving my crazy, but I spent the weekend in Roch with Ry and my family and then was busy celebrating my and Joe's birthdays! Soon, order shall be restored!
Reflecting back on my time in Bagaces, I think I learned a lot about myself.
While I am able to do fieldwork and live in conditions that are less than ideal, I don't really want to. I work hard to enjoy my luxurious American lifestyle and the next time I visit a third-world country, it will be at an all-inclusive resort. And I no longer feel guilty about this. I can live in a small village in Costa Rica, where I am plagued with bug bites and scorpions and tarantulas, but why should I? Why should I do things that don't make me happy? Or don't allow me to feel safe? Or make my body break out in hives?
Bagaces wasn't all bad though. Joe and I now have something we joke about on a daily basis. And the other Gringos I met were all VERY nice and fun and intelligent and enjoyable! And my research projects turned out AMAZINGLY, which means I should get 2 publications for my 26-days of work! And seeing the fish in their natural habitat was worth all of the bad stuff. And I saw lots of amazing animals! And, finally, I have a new found love of poker, and hope to get a tournament night started here soon!
So long Bagaces! So long fishies! So happy to be home!