Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cooling off in the waterfall

It is getting really warm here. Like really, really warm. We are constantly sweating just making lunch or washing the dishes, and the water from the pool (or the sea for that matter) is not cool enough to cool us down. Heck, even the water from the cold tap is warm...

Il commence à faire vraiment chaud ici. Vraiment, vraiment chaud. On transpire à la moindre petite tâche comme de faire le dîner ou la vaisselle, et l'eau de la piscine (et celle de la mer aussi) n'est pas assez fraîche pour nous rafraîchir. Même l'eau du robinet d'eau froide est chaude!!

So, the best option is a ten minute drive to this beautiful waterfall, where we are pretty much always alone during the week!

Alors, la meilleure solution est de conduire 10 minutes jusqu'à cette magnifique chute, où nous sommes presque toujours seuls en semaine!

You see the rock wedged up there? Vous voyez la roche prise là-haut?

We can see fishes swimming around us! On peut observer des poissons qui nagent autour de nous!

On the other side, there are pools where we can sit. The water is deliciously cold!

De l'autre côté, il y a des bassins où l'on peut s'asseoir. L'eau y est délicieusement froide!

And JF did his most challenging race ever this weekend. He raced up and down Mount Chirripo (32 km), the highest mountain of Costa Rica. He had been talking about that race for over a year! We are so proud of him!

Imagine that the woman that arrived second is a Boruca first nation and walked for 2 days with her 4 small children in tow (carrying and breastfeeding the smallest) to come down the mountain where she lives and run the race! Fascinating! The money she won at the race will allow her to live and feed her family for a good part of the year.

Et JF a fait sa course la plus difficile à vie ce week-end. Il a monté et descendu le Mont Chirripo (32 km), la plus haute montagne du Costa Rica. Il parlait de cette course depuis plus d'un an! Nous sommes super fiers de lui!

Imaginez-vous que la femme qui est arrivée deuxième est une autochtone Boruca qui a marché pendant 2 jours avec ses 4 jeunes enfants (portant et allaitant le plus petit), de chez elle dans les montagnes jusqu'au Mont Chirripo pour faire la course! Fascinant! L'argent qu'elle a gagné en remportant la deuxième place lui permettra de vivre et de nourrir sa famille pendant une bonne partie de l'année.

:: He is not picking his nose, he is drinking water ;)/Il ne se décrotte pas le nez, il boit de l'eau... ::

Monday, February 27, 2012

Des aurevoirs en paréos...

Our friends stayed with us for a good 10 days and left for the next leg of their adventures. We feel so full of their presence, of the conversations we had, the moments we shared. It definitely will have been a major highlight of our trip. It felt a bit empty this morning without them. The girls are still talking a lot about Sylvie and Lily and will probably do so for a long time.

Nos amis sont restés avec nous pendant un bon 10 jours et sont repartis pour la prochaine étape de leurs aventures. Nous nous sentons remplis de leur présence, des conversations que nous avons eues, des moments partagés. Ce sera sans contredit un des moments forts de notre voyage. C'est un peu vide sans eux ce matin. Les filles parlent et parleront sans doute encore longtemps de Lily et Sylvie.

:: They spent so much time together in the pool/Elles ont passé tellement de temps ensemble dans la piscine ::

:: Bye-bye, friends, we know we will see you again!/Aurevoir les amis, c'est sûr qu'on se reverra! ::

And some beautiful critters... Et quelques magnifiques insectes...

:: Lézard à queue rouge/Red tail lizard ::

:: A huge stick bug, the way they move really imitate the way the branches move with the wind: fascinating!/Un énorme phasme, la façon dont elles bougent imite vraiment le vent dans les branches d'un arbre : fascinant! ::

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Notre amie Ingrid et ses deux grandes filles habitent dans la montagne près de chez nous et, avec l'absence totale de pluie des derniers mois, elles ont vu leur source s'assécher dramatiquement jusqu'à n'avoir pratiquement plus d'eau ces dernières semaines. Pendant un autre souper partagé sur le toit de leur maison, le ciel s'est couvert, et de petites gouttes se sont mises à tomber! Quelle fête! Nous sommes vite rentrés et ses filles se sont mises aux instruments et ont chanté un magnifique Alleluia de Leonard Cohen. C'est ce moment que la pluie a choisi pour tomber à plein ciel et taper bruyamment sur le toit de tôle. Ingrid est sortie, bras ouverts vers le ciel, pleine de gratitude. Un moment de grâce dont nous nous souviendrons longtemps.

Our friend Ingrid and her two big girls live in the mountain near our house, and, with the complete absence of rain the last couple of months, have seen their source dry up dramatically until they barely had any water in the last week or so. During another potluck on the roof of their house, the sky darkened, and some little drops started to fall! What a celebration! We rushed inside and her girls got their musical instruments out and sang a magnificent Alleluia from Leonard Cohen. That's when the rain started to pick up in intensity and was loudly hitting the tin roof. Ingrid went outside, arms opened towards the sky, full of gratitude. A moment of grace that we will always remember.

:: Ingrid's driveway is super steep but beautiful/L'entrée d'Ingrid est très escarpée, mais elle est magnifique ::

:: The girls had a blast playing with the goats/Les filles se sont bien amusées avec les chèvres ::

:: Paloma ::

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making friends

One of the great joys of traveling is meeting new people. When those people turn out to be such a great match that friendship happens, it is magical. This is exactly what is happening right now and we feel so blessed to have met Andy, Martine, Sylvie and Lily thanks to a friend (and our blogs!), a Canadian family of artists that left their home in British Columbia on their bikes last June. They were coming here for a few days and since we are having such a good time together, they will be staying for more than a week! Andy is cooking amazing meals, Martine is offering incredible massages for my sore neck (from an inverted yoga pose...) and they are so sweet and fun to be around and discuss with! The girls are in heaven too! Magic, I tell you!

Un des grands plaisirs du voyage est de rencontrer des gens. Quand on connecte avec qu'eux et qu'une amitié en naît, c'est magique. C'est exactement ce qui se produit pour nous à l'heure actuelle et nous nous sentons vraiment privilégiés d'avoir rencontré Andy, Martine, Sylvie et Lily grâce à une amie commune (et à nos blogs!), une famille d'artistes Canadiens qui ont quitté leur maison en Colombie-Britannique à vélo en juin dernier. Ils venaient ici quelques jours et comme nous sommes tellement bien ensemble, ils vont rester plus d'une semaine! Andy nous cuisine de délicieux repas, Martine me fait de merveilleux massages pour délier mon cou (blessé en faisant du yoga...) et c'est tellement agréable de passer du temps ensemble et de discuter! Les filles sont au paradis elles aussi! De la magie, je vous dis!

:: Golden-orb spider ::

Friday, February 17, 2012

And the winner is...

Mary, leave me your e-mail address in the comments below and I will have Kathy send you a copy of her e-book and MP3 audio version! Congrats! Thank you all for your comments on self-care! Keep it blissful!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Self-care for a travelling mom

My sweet friend Kathy just published her first e-book, The Bliss Filled Mama: Self-Care for Soulful Mothering, (she also includes an MP3 audio version, which I LOVE). Today, she is offering a free copy of her e-book and MP3 audio version to one of my readers! Keep reading and leave a comment to enter the draw! If you have been following her blog, you would know how funny this gal is and how creative too! I knew I could learn a thing or two from her... To be honest, a part of me felt a bit reluctant to read it because I was worried that it would make me feel like I was not taking good care of myself lately, because you know, I am not sewing my own clothes or knitting anything for my twins' upcoming birthday... But you know what? Kathy made me realize that I was in fact filling my own cup differently than I was before (when I was a perfect little Waldorf mom...).

Ok, I know, some of you will say that traveling is in itself self-care, and part of it is true. However, it can also be very intense since you don't have much in terms of help or community. Grandparents are thousands of kilometers away and friends are only reachable through Skype...

Before reading Kathy's book, I felt a bit guilty for not spending much of my time in creative activities, like I used to back home. Maybe because of my Waldorf background, I thought those were really the best way to recharge my vital energy, but what I realized reading her e-book is that the simplest things are also self-care... I don't need to knit solstice hats for my girls (especially here in Costa Rica!!) of sew myself a dress (anyways, I came to the conclusion that sewing makes me more stressed than recharged) to fill my batteries. Actually, whatever I feel like doing when I don't force myself to do something to keep up with the Joneses (or rather in my case the amazingly creative blogging community!) is what naturally recharges me since I gravitate around it! How simple and liberating is that!

So ready or not, and as Kathy says embarrassing or not, here is my list of self-care activities right now :

-Writing (as in blogging)
-Going to the market in Costa Rica
-Reading in the hammock

-Reading inspiring blogs and listening to inspiring YouTube videos
-Drinking the amazing smoothies I make with the delicious Costarican fruits I have access to here
-My morning walks

-Playing in the sea with my family
-Swimming in waterfalls
-Coloring mandalas with my girls

-Living in Costa Rica for 5 months
-Planning more travels with my partner
-Clean sheets
-Discovering a new area of Costa Rica
-Skyping with friends that I dearly miss
-Telling Aesop fables to the girls
-Hearing a toucan or a howler monkey
-Watching the sunset on the beach
-A hug from my amazing partner
-Making coral necklaces with Mathilde

-An outing way too late at night with my girls and partner to have deserts at a local restaurant on full moon night
-Doing less in a day
-Hearing my girls laugh together
-Sunbathing. Every. Single. Day

And just acknowledging that I do some of these things everyday makes me feel more recharged! And when I take care of myself, I am much less stressed out and I can be a better person, a better mom, a better partner... This is a work in progress, friends!

I want to leave you with this wonderful quote from Genevieve, at The way of the Peaceful Parent on Facebook.

"Our children literally resonate with us. They're downloading our state all the time; our emotions, our beliefs, our values. Their stress rises with ours and comes down with ours. When we smile with them, play with them, laugh with them, kindly care for them, the sun shines brightly in their world and starts to melt the cold scared places inside them, their fairytale experience become full of fun, magic and happiness again.

We make conscious choices to manage our stress and anxiety levels, while our children are dependent on the energetic and emotional environments that we create. To tell a child to be reasonable or to calm down while we feel negative towards them, is like telling them to go outside and play while we restrain them tightly.

Not only is it not selfish to care for your emotional needs, to find ways of reducing your stress, to access more support, more comfort, more kindness and empathy for your struggles, these are responsible mature proactive choices that bring more balance and support to your whole family system."

So, to win a copy of Kathy's e-book and MP3 audio version, leave a comment down here telling me what is you favorite self-care activity these days. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, the 17th and announce it here on the blog. To double your chances of winning, write a post on your blog with a list of your favorite self-care activities and link to Kathy's book (don't forget to mention it in your comment here too!).

Je suis désolée à mes lecteurs francophones, mais il s'agit d'un billet annonçant la parution du livre d'une bonne amie qui est en anglais seulement...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dinner on the roof

We are just back from an amazing evening with a great homeschooling family that lives in such a cool artsy house with a 180 degree view of the sea (and mangroves). We had a delicious potluck dinner on the roof of their house (they had made calamari - that they themselves cleaned today - pasta!). It was such a heartwarming encounter!

On revient tout juste d'une superbe soirée avec une sympathique famille qui fait l'école à la maison et qui habite dans une maison d'artistes vraiment originale avec une vue 180 degrés de la mer (et des mangroves). Nous avons partagé un repas sur le toit de leur maison (elles avaient fait des pâtes aux calmars qu'elles avaient elles-mêmes nettoyés aujourd'hui!). Quelle belle rencontre qui nourrit l'âme et le cœur!

:: The girls got to borrow nice vintage books and dolls!/Les filles ont eu l'occasion d'emprunter des livres et des poupées antiques! ::

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Visages du marché...

Since some of you seemed to have enjoyed coming with us for our morning walk, I tought I would bring you with us to the Uvita Feria, where we go every Saturday morning. I talked about it during our first couple of weeks here. Yes, it really is an expat market but after being here almost 3 months, it feels great to have a bit of a sense of community... What I love there is that I speak Spanish at one table, turn around, speak English at the next and walk 5 feets and speak French at the other one.

Étant donné que certains d'entre vous semble avoir aimé venir faire la ballade matinale avec nous l'autre jour, j'ai pensé vous amener à la Feria de Uvita, où nous allons tous les samedis matins. J'ai parlé de ce marché au cours des premières semaines de notre séjour ici. Oui, c'est vraiment un marché d'expats, mais après 3 mois ici, j'aime bien ce sentiment de communauté que j'y retrouve... J'adore parler espagnol à une table, me retourner et parler anglais à l'autre, puis marcher quelques pas et parler français à une autre.

My first stop is always Maoren's table. She has a wonderful organic farm (that I hope we will have a chance to visit soon) and has the most amazing greens I have seen in Costa Rica (kale, 2 or 3 types of spinach, purslane, arugula, bok choy, many types of lettuce and more greens that I have never seen before), she also has great tomatoes, cucs, herbs, farm fresh eggs and today she even had some organic watermelons.

Mon premier arrêt est toujours la table de Maoren. Elle a une ferme bio (que j'espère avoir la chance de visiter un jour) et elle vend les plus belles verdures que j'ai vu au Costa Rica (du kale, 2 ou 3 types d'épinards, du pourpier, de la roquette, du bok choy, plusieurs types de laitue et d'autres verdures que je n'ai jamais vues auparavant), elle a aussi de délicieuses tomates, des concombres, des fines herbes, des œufs de la ferme et aujourd'hui elle avait même des melons d'eau bio.

:: Maoren ::

:: Some of her delicious organic greens/Quelques-unes de ses délicieuses verdures bio ::

Next to her, is Maria's table (the temptation table!). Maria makes the best tzaziki from her homemade bulgar yogurt that she serves with homemade spicy plantain chips (yum!); shea also makes delicious smoked spicy sauce, mango and blackberry jams, raw nut butters, banana vinegar, homemade cheeses - her basil chèvre is delicious! She also sells local organic fair trade coffee, chocolate, coconut oil, raw nuts, raw honey... You get the idea!

Juste à côté, il y a la table de Maria (la table des tentation!). Maria fait le meilleur tatziki à partir de son yogurt bulgare maison qu'elle sert avec des chips de plantain épicées (miam!); elle fait aussi de la confiture de mangues ou de mûres, une délicieuse sauce épicée fumée, des beurres de noix crus, du vinaigre de bananes, des fromages maison - son chèvre au basilic est délicieux! Elle vend aussi du café, du chocolat, des noix crues, de l'huile de coco, du miel cru, tous locaux, équitables et bio... Ça vous donne une idée!

:: Maria ::

:: Some of her wonderful fare/Quelques-unes de ses tentations! ::

Then I go to this man to get fruits. He just sold us his last cacao fruit today (I think the season is over), some good melons, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, bananas... He also sells cacao beans and rambutan wine (remember the hairy litchees?), pretty exotic stuff!

Puis, je vais voir cet homme pour acheter des fruits. Il m'a vendu son dernier fruit de cacao ce matin (je crois que la saison est terminée...), de bons cantaloups, des mangues, des ananas, des papayes, des bananes... Il vend aussi des graines de cacao crues et du vin de ramboutans (vous vous souvenez des litchis chevelus?), plutôt exotique, n'est-ce pas?

:: The fruit guy (I will ask his name next week...)/L'homme des fruits (je vais lui demander son nom la semaine prochaine... ::

By then, we are pretty warm and thirsty and stop at this table for one or two glasses each of freshly pressed orange juice.

À ce stade, on a pas mal chaud et on a soif, alors on s'arrête à cette table pour boire un ou deux verres de jus d'orange fraîchement pressé chacun.

Cathy's table is just beside her and we chat a bit, because when you sweat like a mad woman doing Pilates with someone 3 mornings a week, you bond, you know!

La table de Cathy est juste à côté, alors on échange quelques mots, parce que quand on transpire à fond en faisant du Pilates avec quelqu'un 3 matins par semaine, on crée des liens!

And we finish with Gilles's table. His table was pretty empty this morning already (and Gilles did not want to be in the photo), but he makes delicious chocolate bread, cookies, bagels, focaccias and did I say chocolate bread? He even makes maple butter from maple syrup he imports (don't ask the price...).

Et on finit par la table de Gilles. Sa table était déjà plutôt vide ce matin (et Gilles ne voulait pas être dans la photo), mais il fait du délicieux pain au chocolat, de succulents biscuits, des bagels, des foccacias et est-ce que j'ai dit du pain au chocolat? Il fait même du beurre d'érable à partir de sirop d'érable qu'il importe (ne demandez pas combien ça coûte...).

And we go home all sweaty, jump in the pool, cut a watermelon in half, eat it with a spoon and call it lunch! I love this tropical life!

Et on retourne à la maison en nage, on saute dans la piscine, on coupe un melon d'eau en deux, on le mange à la cuillère et on a un dîner! J'adore cette vie tropicale!