This I Promise You

As many of you might be aware, I like to plan things. When abroad or anywhere new this usually consists of making plans from cool things I have read do. A lot of times, it is to some area or place I’ve never been. Due to that there are a lot of things I can’t promise to those who accompany me:

1. The day going according to plan
2. Knowing exactly how to get there
3. Knowing exactly what we are doing
4. Knowing how long we will be there
5. Everyone who RSVPs “yes” coming

While there are a lot of things that won’t go right, there is one thing that I can promise:

We will leave with a story, usually filled with funny, good memories.

However, this comes under two conditions:

1. You must come with an open mind
2. You don’t let the curveballs of the day/travel get you down

Thankfully, most people I have met here and on other trips fully embrace these mindsets. I know I do. Yet, when you are the one planning it, you always feel bad when things don’t go right. These past two days have been incredibly brilliant examples of how to
roll with the punches and end up having great times.

Tuesday

As a true Nashviller, I have been missing live music since I left Vandy. When I read about a popular jazz club (thinking it may resemble the Bluebird), I jumped ok the chance to go. After deciding with my roommates that it didn’t really matter which night of the week we went (we weren’t going to know the bands anyways), we made plans to go this past Tuesday. Because events are always better with more friends, we had around 10 others who said they would love to come. Everything was squared away, we had reservations for the 8pm show, we had directions to get there and back, and we had a group to go with.

However, our problems started from the second we made it to the first bus stop.

1. 5 people decided last minute they couldn’t come (a few forgetting to tell us)
2. The directions I was given to the second bus stop in San Jose were not exactly correct. Everyone we asked led us in a different direction. Thankfully, we were in a safer area and found the stop after only a bit of walking.
3. The first thing I saw when walking into the jazz club, was a guy in scary face paint.

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4. The show really didn’t start until 8:45 – we were a little less than an hour early.
5. There were 3 bands that night and none of them were jazz…

Now you take that list and can see that pretty much everything went wrong. However, it ended up being a very fun evening. Although we were there incredibly early, we were able to get drinks and fries (that were served with toothpicks??) and talk.

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It was nice to be able to get to know a new group of people as most of my friends from Summer I are gone.

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The first band, a group of 4 college age boys, got on stage around 8:45 and even though it was Spanish rock, they were very talented and enjoyable to listen to. After our long wait and confusing evening, this definitely put a smile on everyone’s face (although there had already been several other comical moments). Around 9:15 another band got on stage – we had to brace ourselves for what we were in store for. The lead singer of this band was the guy in face paint that I had run into earlier in the evening. The thought running through all of our brains: oh shit, we’re about to hear Spanish Screamo.
After the beginning scream (scaring all of us), the band turned into alternative music. Although, not my preference of music, they were still good and the lead, as frightening as he was, had a great stage presence.

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While we had to leave around 9:45 to make it back before the last buses home and I felt awful for dragging people out and then only seeing an hour of music, the comment that made everything worth it: “I really would have loved to stay but I just didn’t want to pay for a taxi.”

The night might have gone completely off track but my promise held true: people had a good time and were happy to be out exploring local activities, especially at night.

Wednesday

A few weeks ago, one of our directors posted in our Facebook group about places to paintball near us. Paintballing is something I have always wanted to do, but never taken the chance. 1. It’s expensive 2. I have never had a large group to do it with it
And while there is nothing extremely Costa Rican about paintball, I had solutions to both of the previous problems. So again, I jumped on my chance to make paintball finally happen. Around 10 of my friends said they’d be up for it, we were going to invite everyone, and it was only $13 to play and get gear plus 50 balls and $2 for each additional 50 ball packet. I had called the arena and made sure that taxing was the best option from where we lived. They confirmed that it was close and we should taxi. So all was set, but of course if I am in charge things must go wrong:

1. Some of our friends backed out again at the last second and some never showed up to leave together
2. The arena ended up being much father than we expected turning into an $8 cab ride (expensive for Costa Rica)
3. We had no clue how to “check in” or where to go once we arrived
4. It was storming, of course

However, as usual, it turned into an extremely fun afternoon!

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1. Two of our friends walked in just as we were going over the rules with the ref. It was extremely comical and not the first time something like this has happened.
2. Although the rain made it really hard to see and limited the space we could play on (2 of the fields had two much metal on them), it made it much more intense
3. Who doesn’t like paintball or capture the flag – paintball style

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While I felt bad having people pay more for a cab (especially on our way home when we realized we could have bussed to Heredia center and cabbed from there), we all had so much fun and only ended with a few welts. In the end, the small stuff can’t be sweated and what we will remember is our ridiculous behavior: one of my teammates hanging near base and barley shooting for all 4 games; one of my opponents stepping on a nail; people being shot by their own teammates; my opponent trying to hide behind a wall but instead knocking it down and we all unloaded on him. So here is to going with the flow and making the most out of everything.

I am alive and I am living.

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One thought on “This I Promise You

  1. Amazing antics — you are learning so much – so proud of you and your approach to living life fully and going with the curve balls — sometimes they lead to the better places!

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