Esta Bien

first meal I cooked in“Esta bien/It is good.”

I say that a lot here.  I use it as a commentary, an assurance, a filler and more.

My host says, “sjljdlajdlkjd EAT akdjljdkjd TIME djaljduidj”

And I say, “Esta bien” hoping that I agreed to eat breakfast or whatever meal she just mentioned at a certain hour.

My teacher says, “kjsljdljldjljdj LEARN kdjljdljldjldj WORDS”

And I say, “Esta bien” anticipating that she is about to teach us some new words.

And for the most part it is good. I’ve only had a couple of instances where what I thought we just agreed to had absolutely nothing to do with what happened next. And even then, what happened was just fine.

For the last several years, I’ve tried to focus on being in the moment, not being quite so anxious, resting in the fact that, as a favorite film puts it “It will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not yet the end.” I think perhaps Peace Corps may be just the moment-ous help I’ve been looking for.

NOTE: The photo is a shot of the first meal I prepared for my host family in Costa Rica. After a week of my host Eliza preparing my breakfast, lunch and dinner, I thought it was time to say thank you. So last night I treated her to dinner at the local “soda” or small cafe (GREAT ceviche!) and then today we collected all the ingredients (at three different stops in a gloriously beautiful ride through the mountain communities with her middle son as chauffeur) for pan fried tilapia with mango/pineapple salsa, pasta and parmesan, and carrots infused with rosemary and orange. She declared the meal not just bien, but “exceptional”! Not sure if she was just being nice but made the morning’s task worthwhile!


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Started in Tennessee, spent time in Alabama and made way to Costa Rica after 20 years in Texas. I've focused on communications professionally in the worlds of church, government and nonprofits. Now I'm feeding my longtime love of volunteering as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. Just in case you don't know me very well ... The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

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