I’m going to let you in one some secrets and gossip going around the field station. It’s highly classified so consider yourselves lucky. Also be forewarned that not all of this may be true in the first place and it is also possible that some was lost in translation but I enjoy the telenovela aspect to it.
So the head woman of the field station is named Rosie, her husband Palomo is the super badass forest-trekking machete-wielding dude and they have 3 kids Deibe, Augustin, and Nelson.
Augustin is 19 or 20 I believe and works around the station doing forest work and helping Palomo out. At one point a field school came here and there was this super babe Italian girl named Fabiana. Fabiana and Augustin fall in love or however you would like to put it but sadly she has to go back to Italy when the program is over.
Side note: She speaks Italian and Spanish so there is no language barrier.
We are pretty sure Fabiana also has a boyfriend in Italy who may or may not be aware of this romance. Anyways, Fabiana comes back to visit and everyone is all hither and tither with more gossip and wondering if they go by girlfriend boyfriend or if they are just keeping it casual or what Rosie thinks of her son seeing this Italian girl who is around 6 years older than him and coming to visit him FROM ITALY.
And then when I tell the girls at the station that when I met her Augustin had his arm around her all sweet-like they were on-cue awww-ing at the whole thing so moral of that story is that even if you do have a boyfriend in another country you are still cute as long as the boyfriend here shows some affection.
Fabiana decides to give us a real treat and make pizzas for dinner. This is a huge change because this will be the first meal where neither rice nor beans are served…crazy, I know. This is also very impressive because pizza-making ingredients are no where near the most popular items found in Costa Rican grocery stores. I rode with Rosie 30 minutes down the road to get cheese from a woman’s house for crying out loud. But Fabi, as she is known here, goes on pounding out 21 pizza dough rolls to make sure we have enough for everyone.
If you could see the size of this woman you would be even more impressed. She is probably 5’3 and 110 pounds. As far as I’m concerned being a pizza-making Italian woman needs to be the new diet craze because she looked uber fit and had the energy of an 8 year old. She danced around the kitchen and sang to the songs on the radio. Eugenio, Rosie’s brother, also showed up and grabbed Fabi to start dancing around and then I saw his hand was kiiind of low on her back and I was just thinking, “woah is this ok? Is there a weird cultural thing that says it’s ok to sensually dance with someone else’s girl?”
And then Eugenio goes and sits down next to Gretl, a 21-year old girl who also works at the station while taking classes in Cariari. He proceeds to put his arm around her waist as she pre-cooks the rolled out pizza dough before toppings are put on them. At this point I have just been thrown for a loop because Eugenio stays like this for a good amount of time and Gretl doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable but ALL of the other people in the kitchen notice and start whispering jokes and commenting on it RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. I mean there is no way they didn’t hear. And Eugenio has to be at least 10 years older than Gretl but I understand his moves because Gretl is pretty much a Tica (Costa Rican word for local) babe and she intimidates me sometimes because she seems so cool.
And if this wasn’t enough to keep track of there is another woman in the kitchen named Nana who is large frame and even larger personality whose phone keeps ringing with texts. Everybody keeps asking her whom she’s talking to and she just smirks so you can get a glimpse of her gold-capped tooth as she happily and very-knowing mumbles I don’t know. And at the same time Fabi keeps telling her she is putting too many toppings on the pizza, especially the oh-so-tender looking pork they have been slow cooking all day and Nana just makes a mimick-y voice and continues to pile meat on when Fabi turns her back which is a very Nana thing to do. Then everyone starts chiding her about having multiple boyfriends and my brain is still trying to catch up with the fact that Eugenio, Rosie’s brother, still has his arm around a young girl that works for Rosie while her 19 or 20 year old son has an Italian girl that is multiple years older than him visiting and staying in her house. That Rosie is one to stay cool under pressure.
So that’s a snapshot of how romance in a small Costa Rican rural town works.
Who knew summer made people so love crazy? (Actually I’m pretty sure a lot of people know this considering “summer romance” seems to be a thing).
Oh and one more thing…
The pizza was pretty delicious.