I arrived in Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica on a perfect Sunday morning after curving down out of the clouds and sweeping over my beloved Golfo Dulce. Stepping onto the tarmac, a twinkle of birdsong rushed from the green forest to greet me and a sweet dampness hung in the air like a tropical welcome sign. I took a deep inhale and let the place soak in through my lungs. Ahhh, Paradise.
Soon I was back at the office of Osa Conservation (formerly Friends of the Osa), settling my belongings in the back bedroom and relishing the excitement of a project poised at the starting gate. Soon I would be on the water with the regular marine crowd of dolphins and sea turtles, doing my extension survey.
I hung my mosquito net and took my first cold shower and, when the clock reached a respectable hour for visiting friends, I made my way the few short blocks to see Mike and Jorge. The reunion was long awaited. We had been discussing plans for this rainy season study since October 2010, sharing emails of anticipation. But I found Mike alone. “Where’s Jorge?” I inquired after a giant endless hug.
“Corcovado,” he said, adding quickly to abate my disappointment, “He’ll be back Tuesday night.”
I was a little bummed. My arrival wasn’t nearly as festive as I’d imagined it would be and by the look on Mike’s face I could tell there was more bad news. He finally got it out, “The boat motor is broken.”
What?? Wait, I’m having déjà vu. A broken boat motor? Didn’t we already do this LAST time? And just like that my happy little universe crumbled into chaos.