Good News, Bad News

Our trip to Costa Rica began with a very long day of flights and layovers that ended in the capital city, San Jose.  During the day it was shopping streets, markets, cemetery, parks, cathedral, museum, etc.  Later it was local bars, even a few which are famed for the proliferation of prostitution.  At first I thought that this was an interesting phenomenon to observe, but when we read about how Costa Rica has been put on the watchlist for an alarming rise in human sex trafficking, it ceased to be intriguing.

On an evening walk on our last night in San Jose, Adam said to me in a conspiratorial whisper, “Can I tell you a secret?  I don’t really care for this city.”

I’m loath to make blanket statements about a place that I have only spent three days in when I know that hundreds of different unrelated things color my judgment, but, if I’m only reporting how I feel, San Jose hadn’t knocked my socks off either.  It was, to me, a city like any other with nothing that really stood out.  In fact, I was beginning to think that I would have nothing of interest to say about San Jose, but then, we hadn’t yet met Patricia. Continue reading “Good News, Bad News”

Western Vignettes


Tonight we are camping on an island in the Great Salt Lake.  One minute we were in the middle of strip malls and suburban houses and the next we were in the middle of the lake surrounded by wetland grasses and birds.  The day has been almost unbearably hot, but the evening is perfectly warm and thunderstorms are blowing in.  We sit under the canopy and watch the spidery lightning striking in the distance.  Billie Holiday quietly croons “Them There Eyes” and the crickets chime in.  And as if to remind me that no moment can be totally idyllic, a mosquito buzzes lightly in my ear.

The next morning we awake to see buffalo grazing outside of our window.  The thunderstorms have passed and all around is the sweet smell of dry grass.  Salt Lake City looks like a mirage in the cloudy distance.  There are no sounds but the calls of seabirds and the faint rustle of the buffalo as their huge bodies gracefully swish through the tall vegetation.

Continue reading “Western Vignettes”