Monthly Archives: April 2012

Acro Yoga in an Airport. I didn’t even know what that was before now!

I know I’m way behind on my posts, but it’s because I spent a week in the states at one of my favorite places. The Ranch! For those of you who don’ t know what The Ranch is, here’s a couple pics:

Wildlife roaming around you, some even coming and eating out of your hand! Yes, that is a Zebra behind us in the top pic. There are also, Bongos, gazelles, Wildebeest, and many other kinds of animals here.  These pics were taken back when Peter’s hair was on his head instead of his face!

Anyway, this was the main reason for our trip to the States.

However, seeing as things don’t always go as planned, Peter spent the first half of the trip in Missouri, while I went straight on through Kansas City to Dallas so that I could attend my little cousin’s funeral. I was so glad I was able to make it from so far away to be with my family through this rough time. The military and Reno’s family did an incredible job on his service, and I was reminded through many fond memories shared, of how great of a person Reno was. He was full of energy and knew how to love deep. He is greatly missed by me and many others. Also, thank you to those who sent their prayers and warm wishes toward his family and myself.

Ok, well, those were the reasons I went back to the U.S., now on to the crazy part: What happened along the way.

First off, let me just say that there are some pretty interesting characters in the airport leaving Costa Rica at 5 a.m. There was one family in particular that stuck out to me in the airport and on our airplane. It was a couple with their small daughter, age 2 about. They looked “hippi-ish” the way they dressed, and the man had dark skin and was well built, wearing a gray t-shirt with a thin, black leather vest on over it and four braids in his hair with some gray showing. At one point on the plane I noticed he had a feather poking out of the back of his head, you know, Native American style.

Now, I had to describe this man because he is about to be the co-star of my story. Once the plane landed in Denver Peter and I had to wait awhile because we were at the back of the plane. Once we finally made it off though, Peter had to stop and use the airport bathroom before going through customs. As I waited patiently for Peter, I noticed the family of three stopping off to use the bathroom as well. The woman took the daughter in with her.

As I was waiting I was stretching out my legs a little. They were sore from the flight, but also a little tight since I had played soccer with a bunch of 10 year olds the day before, and let’s just say my muscles aren’t what they use to be..

So I’m doing some basic, lean to one side stretches, and bend forward like you are going to touch your toes stretches when the man comes out of the bathroom. He sees me stretching and makes a comment to me (in a New Zealand accent, btw) about needing to stretch, I agreed and thought that would be the end of our “courtesy” chat. I would be wrong to think that.

Next, the man asks, “Would you like to try _______?” I didn’t understand what he said, so I responded with, “I don’t know what that is.” He replies, “It’s a form of yoga.” So I say, “Sure!”

Now, when I say, “Sure!” I’m thinking: I’ve done yoga before, this will be so crazy to do yoga in the airport! I am such an outgoing rebel, just fine doing yoga in an airport! Rule breaker!

Once again, I would be wrong and underestimating what was about to come next……..

The man lays down on his back, sticking his bare feet up in the air with his knees bent, holds out his arms and tells me to come grab his hands.

Now, I am thinking: Holy Crap! What did I get myself into?! It seemed crazy, but there weren’t very many peopl around, and I couldn’t back down now! I felt like Jim Carrey in the movie, “Yes Man”. Seize the opportunity, Whitney! And I take a step forward to where my hip bones are on his feet and my hands are grasping his.

[Picture Flying Airplane or Flying Angel from when you were a kids. This man is the parent and I am the child]

As I begin, I also think to myself, “What the heck is Peter going to do when he walks out of the bathroom to me flying around in the air on some other man’s feet?!”

I have posted a link below that shows something called AcroYoga:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu0YrsHvJRM

The first minute of this video is pretty close (only on a more simple scale) to what we did! It was so awesome! All he did was just tell me where to put my head, legs, hands, etc. He twisted my back to pop it, rolled me over onto my back, and I grabbed my ankles (kind of like a back bend in mid-air), all in the air! I didn’t touch the ground for at least two minutes.

Oh, and then his wife and daughter come out before Peter does (I’m thinking: What is he doing in there! I swear, he is going to come out after it is all over, and never believe me when I tell him what happened!) and I’m hanging upside down on her kiwi-husband’s feet! She just smiles real big and says, “Look! Daddy’s doing tee-pee! We’ll meet you upstairs, hunny.”, and the little girl goes, “Tee-pee! Tee-pee!” and they head on up the escalator.

Peter FINALLY makes it out of the bathroom right before it’s over and he just watches. I didn’t get to really see his face until the guy put me back on the floor, and when I did his face was SO FUNNY!! He had this big, goofy grin on his face, while his eyes were saying “??????What the …???” hahaha.

After that, I thanked the guy for his experience and we made our way through customs!

Oh! And my crazy thing that happened on the flight back ten days later was that I saw one of my student’s mom on my midnight flight from Ft. Lauderdale – San Jose! Small world!

This was definitely the most adventurous flight (or, should I say airport) experience. Make sure and tell me about an adventurous travel experience you’d like to share in the comments section below!

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Comida Tipica (local food)

It’s been a pretty low-key week and weekend. Most of my stress this week came from turning in my mid-semester grades, and getting prepared for Semana Santa (holy week). Most jobs (that aren’t service-industry jobs) give their employees the entire week off! Most Costa Rican’s use this time to head to the beach with their families. The school I’m working at has decided not to take this upcoming week off, but the 5th through the 11th. Peter and I are super excited too because we are spending that time in Kansas City, MO and Kerrville, Tx!! We miss our families a lot, so this will be a much needed visit.

Well, since I don’t have anything adventurous to write about, I thought I’d make this week’s blog about cooking some of the wonderful dishes that I have experienced down here. If you know me, you will know that although not physically adventurous, this is still quite an adventure for me!

The first dish I want to write about is something I’ve had called Olla de Carne, which means “meat pot”. I have seen this at lunch at school, and at small restaurants around town. I’ve read that this is a staple in many homes for lunch or dinner. It’s really a type of soup. Just cook and serve with (or over) white rice! Here is the recipe I based my meat pot off of: http://travelexperta.com/2009/09/foodies-delight-olla-de-carne-meat-stew-and-soup.html

If the link doesn’t work for some reason, here is the recipe you will find there!

Now, I should mention that I did not use all of the ingredients listed here. I just used as many veggies as I could find from the list below. My adjustments to the recipes are all in  italics.

INGREDIENTS:

2 kg of beef meat prepared with salt and sour orange in big pieces with no fat. (I used chicken because that’s what I had. Both beef and chicken are good though!)
2 corncobs chopped in pieces.
12 cups of water
2 bay leaves
2 chayotes(squash) chopped in four pieces

(I didn’t have corn or bay leaves, so I just had the prepared meat, water, and squash)

Towards the end add:
2 cups of water
250 gr. Of carrots cut into pieces
1 big onion chopped in four
1 sweet and red chile (red chili is a red bell pepper)
3 garlic
1 roll of coriander (cilantro, I loooove cilantro!)
1 branch of celery
4 teaspoons of salt

(I didn’t have celery, but obviously it’s an awesome veggie to have in there)

After taking the meat out and chopping it into small pieces
500 gr. Yuca chopped into pieces
500 gr. potatoes peeled
500 gr. sweet potato peeled chopped into pieces
1 Plantain almost ripe chopped into pieces
500 gr. ripe chayote(squash) with skin chopped into pieces

Lemon (Optional)
Tortilla (Optional
Bread (Optional)

SUPPLIES:

Cooking Pot

COOK IT UP:

In a big bowl heat up the beef, the corncobs the water and the bay leaves. When it starts to boil turn down the heat to minimum, cover the bowl and cook until it gets soft.
Cooking time is approximately 2 hours. Mixing it once in a while. At the end add the chayotes. 2 cups of water, 250 gr. Of carrots cutted in pieces 1 big onion chopped in four, 1 sweet and red chile, 3 garlic, 1 roll of coriander, 1 branch of celery, salt.

Blend all the ingredients and add them. In the moment that it starts to boil again, take out the meat and cut it in to smaller pieces and put it back in to the bowl.

After add the yuca, the potatoes, the sweet potato, and plantain. Let everything boil, approximately for another 30 min. with the bowl covered.

At the very end add the chayote and let it boil for another 10 min.

Remove the bowl from the heat and serve it up.

Suggestion: You can drain the vegetable stock.

For 6 or 8 portions

For the rice, I just did a 2:1 ratio (2 cups water for 1 cup of rice), brought it to a boil, then reduced heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Just make sure it’s in a big enough pot. I am new at making rice, and I didn’t realize that rice GROWS so much! lol.

I love this dish. It’s also very cool because you can drain the broth and use it for other dishes and just eat the meat and veggies with rice and black beans!! Enjoy your taste of Costa Rica!

I should have taken more pics of the process, but now I know for next time!

YUM! Makes me want to eat some right now!

If you are looking for a yummy side dish or desert, I also recommend a local “fruit” (it’s not sweet), called pejibaye. As a side dish you pair it with a dollop of mayo and as a dessert you dip it in honey! Peter and I have tried it both ways and like it both! It is a little bit of an acquired taste at first, but we both really like it. We buy them at the market where they are already boiled.

After they are boiled you cut off each end and peal it.

Next, cut out the seed in the middle.

Last, throw the seed away and enjoy with mayo or honey. You choose!

Hope you enjoyed a small taste of CR with more recipes to come!!

If you choose to make Olla de Carne, let me  know how it turns out!

 

 

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