Saturday, February 6, 2010

I don't practice Santamaría

Lest anyone doubt Costa Rica's emergence as a sort of unofficial 51st state, I am currently sitting in Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose opposite a Church's Chicken and a Schlotzsky's Deli. Moreover, I partook of a Cinnabon about an hour ago (I hadn't had one years, and vacation calories don't count anyway).

Anyway, while I await my flight to Panama, where I'll be staying for less than 24 hours, I figured I'd take the opportunity to let you know that my Quepos album is now posted in its entirety, and that I have pictures up from last night's trip to the Wildlife Refuge run by hotel Sí, Como No, and this morning's boat trip around a mangrove swamp. Both were really amazing in completely different ways.

If you're wondering who Juan Santamaría is, by the way, he is a Costa Rican national hero, who was killed setting fire to the quarters of invading troops. Who was invading? William Walker, one time dictator of Nicaragua and the original "filibuster." With all the idiocy that's been going on in the senate in the last year, it's interesting to know that "filibuster" originally meant invading a foreign country as a private citizen. Walker hired an army (with covert US support) and invaded and controlled Nicaragua for years. As he was losing an uprising, he retreated, burning Granada to the ground, and placing a plaque that said "Here was Granada." Fortunately, the Nicas are more resilient than he realized, and built the city back to its original splendor. Walker then tried to invade Costa Rica, where Santamaría and others caught his troops off-guard by bringing the battle to them. After a decisive defeat here, Walker turned his attention to Honduras, where the populace decided he was sufficiently dickish to warrant his death by hanging.

They're announcing my flight now, so I'm going to get ready to board. I'll try to check in later with some final thoughts on Costa Rica, and all her pura vida wonder.


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