As much as I love showing you what's great about Costa Rica, I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't mention some not so glamorous aspects- especially critters. I've never been a fan of bugs or creepy crawlers and this country is full of them. Sure our house is surrounded by beautiful birds and butterflies, but we also have geckos, sugar ants, mosquitoes, dragonflies, beetles, wasps and houseflies that come in and out of our home at their leisure. Some take more getting used to than others.
(Some of our roommates- top left: a fluorescent housefly, top right: 2 dragonflies mating on our windowsill, bottom left: a baby gecko waiting for flies to catch, bottom right: an owl butterfly underneath our license plate)
My husband, Jan. and I joke that Liam, our 5 month old son, has special powers because when I was 7 months pregnant with him I got bitten by a scorpion. We were taking one of our last beach holidays before I became too big to move from point A to B and decided to tour the Guanacaste area. I was in the pool restroom (shocking, pregnant woman using the bathroom) and when I went for the toilet paper I felt the most painful sting on my wrist. My left arm swelled up to nearly the size of my leg (and no this was not the pregnancy)! The hotel reception called a doctor who gave me a cortisone shot and after a few days the swelling was completely gone. Thank goodness it wasn't poisonous.
(Once you get bitten by a scorpion, mosquito bites feel like lint on your skin)
We've got one more weekend left in Costa Rica and this past weekend we decided to go to the idyllic 'Clandestino' beach resort near Manuel Antonio (highly recommended, but bring beach sandals). Jan took our daughter Amaya into the ocean while I stayed poolside with Liam. Not 10 minutes went by did a strange man come walking up to me holding Amaya. My heart dropped. Who was this man? What was he holding my daughter? What happened to Jan?! Amaya said in her 2 year old vocabulary: 'mosquito bite, papa, owwie, hurt, waa- waa". This "mosquito of the sea" actually turned out to be a stingray defending its territory by slashing Jan's foot.
By the way, if you ever get stung by a stingray there are two ways to neutralize the venom: Place the body part in extremely hot water or urinate on the wound. Guess which method was chosen ;-).
(one minute he's looking at beautiful harlequin crabs, and moments later a stingray attacks)
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