Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Patience (Part III)

I’m writing this as we’re headed to Puerto Viejo. We are stuck on the side of a mountain because, according to Waze, something is obstructing the road. We don’t know what or (God-forbid) who it is, but we are forced to sit here.

And I am forced to be patient.

Even though I’m on Claro, Costa Rica’s network, my phone flashes a big E…no signal. I can’t even spend my time mindlessly scrolling social media, something I would’ve done if I were stuck in traffic at home.

As I sit here, I’m wondering if I had to leave the country to learn specific lessons. This is only Day 3 of our trip, but I’ve had to be patient since we first began this journey. On April 12th, our Jet Blue flight was cancelled, and we had to quickly find a new one on United. This required a ton of patience, especially because our flight was scheduled for 6:30a, and I received the alert at 3a.

When we ordered breakfast sandwiches at the airport Starbucks, our eggs were frozen; I had to take them back…twice. Typically, I would’ve gone off on each one of the baristas, but I didn’t. Whether it was the ashwagandha in my new probiotic that kept me calm or the meditation I’d been doing, either way, I exhibited patience.

In both situations, there was little I could do. If we couldn’t find a flight, we would’ve waited until we did. At Starbucks, I couldn’t jump over the counter and make my own breakfast sandwich. Well, I guess I could’ve, but then you would be reading a different kind of post.

I suppose you don’t have to leave the country, but sometimes you do have to engage in different experiences to level up certain skills. For patience, I think you must be put in situations where there are little to no alternatives.

In front of us, there’s a man transporting three kid-sized mattresses on top of his Toyota. He’s gotten out of his car no less than three times—once to remove the side ties holding the mattresses, another to ask the trucker in front of him what’s happened, and another to walk a few cars ahead to see the “obstruction.” Eventually, he stopped getting in and out his car, and instead, illegally drove in the other lane to be ahead of everyone, where he was still stuck.

He is not patient. And I imagine, if I was in my home country, I wouldn’t be either.

But today that doesn’t matter. I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m forced to be patient. I hope to maintain this lesson when I return home. We don’t need distractions. We need patience.

postscript

I could’ve named this article law of allowing, silence, or whatever else. My larger point is that sometimes, we need to leave our comfort zones to learn specific characteristics. For example, when my father died, I developed a deeper level of compassion that had been, up until that point, challenging for me to feel. I couldn’t have learned compassion by simply sitting at home, reading about it, and trying it out with family and friends. I had to be thrust into a situation that required it.

Written 4/16/21 (We’re home now).



59 thoughts on “Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Patience (Part III)

  1. Hi Katherin. I hope this finds you doing well and by now at least partway acclimated back to life in the States (and btw, I’m not sure which essay it was in all of these you’ve shared but I liked the nomenclatural point you made about “America” versus the United States….that’s a little thing about which I’ve tried not to be lazy and US-centric in my writing, over the years. it’s a good, usefully telling distinction). Although I’ve been remiss about leaving remarks or likey stars, I’ve been quite enjoying reading these essays on your stay down in Central America, as you’ve posted them. When you first started sharing insights about your time down there, I particularly enjoyed reading your other site that both you and Dwight contributed to, that was a cool idea to do a joint travel journal. Was that mainly for family or friends to read? Well anyway, great stuff.
    -Jason

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m doing very well, Jason. This is arguably the best I’ve felt in a while.

      I think the States comment was in the final one, thank you for reading all of these, by the way. It really goes to show the self-centered and (dare I say) bullying nature of our country, well, at least I think so.

      Thanks also for reading the other blog. To answer your question, we joint blogged years ago when we travelled to Japan (and when I was a novice blogger). Dwight wanted to do it again this time, and I was a little hesitant (for reasons I don’t wanna go into), but I ended up agreeing, and I’m glad I did. I also went ahead and migrated all of the Japan stuff over, so we just have the one travel blog for whenever we escape this country again lol I realized I didn’t answer the question yet…that blog is for the public, as far as I’m concerned, but there are a handful of people who are friends and family that follow religiously while we’re gone. One friend was even worried when we skipped a week.

      Thank you, thank you, and thank you for this comment!

      Also, when are you releasing those blog posts I saw about a month ago???

      Like

      1. Hi Katherin! Greetings from Seattle. I hope you’ve been still doing pretty good throughout the summer since we exchanged these notes, I’m sorry for my extremely belated reply. I’ve enjoyed peeking at your blog the past month and a half as you shared new thoughts or writings. Hopefully pretty soon I won’t be just a lurking larry (or Linus, Lucius or Lawrence?). We had to do a lot of stuff the past month and a half to move out (we’re fixing up our shabby old house after a questionably large amount of deferred maintenance the past twenty years). And been hanging out with my youngest a lot (big brother has spent his summer with family back on the shores of the Great Lakes). with regard to those missing posts, I’ll probably retroactively post them, I do that a lot. The quality of my journaling on WP had fallen off and I figured I was due for a break, haha.

        Talk more soon, looking forward to our WP correspondences 🙂 -Jason

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would have to find it (not sure if I saved it), but I saw a video clip of a movie on IG. I don’t think I’ve seen the movie so I don’t know the name. Anywho, Morgan Freeman was speaking to a woman, saying: “When we ask God for patience, do you think he gives us patience, or do you think he gives us the opportunity to be patient? When we ask God for strength, do you think he gives us strength, or do you think he gives us the opportunity to be strong?” And he went on, but this post reminds me of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to laugh when you mentioned you toyed with the idea of jumping over the counter and making your own breakfast sandwich…I’ve thought about that once or twice myself, but refrain for the same reason. But I also agree with the point in this post: we do learn so much about ourselves when we’re taken out of our comfort zone. I learned patience during my husband’s 12-day hospital stay simply because I had no choice. I think that is one of the main benefits of going outside our comfort zone: the opportunity for personal growth!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once I stuck almost for 5 hours in the mountains because of the massive Traffic jam. I can relate holding patience is not easy at that moment. I was getting mad sitting inside the Innova so I stepped out and start walking ahead slowly. Helping moving traffic and enjoying the views from the mountain I didn’t realize that I walked around 3 or 4 Km.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t get past you the visual of you jumping over the counter to make your own sandwich….though I admit, like you, I’ve wanted to do that on several occasions….

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, but the reality of what would happen if you jumped over a counter and made your own sandwich..would probably get the barista fired. People all around with poorly made breakfast sandwiches would applaud you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lmao

        Matt…do you know they were all coming back cold, but I was the only one who said something. I think they were getting away with it because they’re at the airport and most people didn’t have time to keep coming back.

        Like

    1. It was a nail-biting experience, for sure. I will never forget how it felt to be riding on the side of a mountain, in the rain, with no internet, and then come to a halting stop for 1.5 hours.

      Luckily, we’re back home now, so the spoiler alert is…we made it lol Thanks for keeping up with this series; I appreciate it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have truly enjoyed this series, it allows me to reminisce about living in Panamà as well. I am always inspired by the lessons we find when the requirement is just to live right now, in this moment. There are certain places and spaces that I’ve found to inhabit the very essence of this ‘right now’, Central America being my favorite. Thank you for sharing your journey 🖤🕯🗝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How exciting! How long were you there for? You may like the info on the other blog, too (garlandsabroad.wordpress.com).

      And absolutely! Costa Rica, especially really made me have to stop and just be! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Well, I feel very connected to you with this, Katherin. Patience was also my lesson over the past two years. Mostly, I relate it to being in a wheelchair after I broke my ankle, but the pandemic required a lot of patience also.
    I think that life is always teaches us things with the “hard stuff.””Going with the flow” is my mantra. It’s a lot easier than fighting the current!
    I hope you have less tests of your patience as your trip unfolds. More miracles and less roadblocks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aha! I remember that broken ankle (it was the ankle, right)! That was a TRUE test of patience, for sure.

      Well, the trip is over now, Judy. But fingers crossed, those experiences actually taught me to just be in the moment and not look toward distractions to be patient.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Definitely true , sometimes you do have to leave a certain place to learn new experiences. I feel like moving to a larger city 10 years ago really helped out and kept me humble .
    Oh and by the way I’m jealous you visited a place mists and beautiful forests 💕 I’m all in trying to stay cool in this heatwave 😂🔥🔥 🌵

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL patience…you’ll be in a forest with all of the birds one day 😉

      Moving to a different place ALWAYS teaches something. I think it’s on the top 3 most stressful things to do for a reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Patience can be a valuable tool/trait/experience. My commute for many years was often altered by car accidents. My outlook, when delayed was: a delay is better than being in the crash. I was reminded of this recently when we got to a serious accident site (all airbags went off, doors ripped off one vehicle, broken windows) on a two lane road moments after the crash. We arrived late for an event, but we arrived.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I just use it to put things in perspective. Also, it looked like the people weren’t fatally injured – we saw them walking around waiting for police and ambulances.
        I’m sure there were injuries though.

        Liked by 1 person

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