I just realized that I forgot to post the blog entry that I wrote last week. Oops. I kind of got distracted because I wrote it Sunday afternoon and then went to the rodeo on Sunday night. YEEHAWW! Yes, Cóbano is a very country town—complete with its own rodeo. It was my first rodeo ever, nonetheless my first rodeo in Costa Rica, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.
I went with my new amigo tico so he was able to explain it all to me before it started. I say before it started because the rodeo was supposed to start at 6. We got there at 6:30. Late? Not in tico time…the rodeo ended up not starting until nearly 7:45.
|Finally starting, notice the stands are still quite empty!|
So back to why I will never forget my first rodeo: The first bull burst out of the gate with full force. The rider was known to be one of the best. Then it all happened so fast, but I believe I saw him be trampled to his death. As fast as it happened, it plays back so slow in my mind. He fell off the bull, and the bull pounded its hoof once onto the rider’s neck, and then a second and third time onto the man’s stomach.
|so fast and my shutter speed couldn't keep up!|
|the bull still stomping around after it trampled its rider.|
I of course screamed and stared in shock as I watched the rider lie lifeless on the ground. I turned to my friend and asked “that’s normal?” hoping that this is an expected occurrence and that I should therefore not be alarmed. Unfortunately he said no…
The rider didn’t come to and the paramedics rushed onto the field and strapped him to a board before sliding him through a slot in the fence in order to seek medical attention. We waited and waited and then an announcement was made saying that he was on his way to the hospital in Puntarenas. My friend explained that in addition to the ambulance ride, he would have to take a speedboat to reach the hospital. (The usual method of transportation is ferry.)
|the little paramedic station through the fence|
The rodeo could not continue until the ambulance returned for safety reasons, but I was too distraught worrying about the first rider to be disappointed by the delay. Maybe 30 minutes later another announcement was made saying that his condition was too serious and that he was being airlifted to the hospital in San José.
I won’t drag this on in suspense. I know how that feels…I had to wait about 18 hours until I was able to hear anything about this man’s condition. He is alive! However, he is in a coma.
I’m not saying I support the sport of bull riding. Is it dangerous? Absolutely. Is it life-threatening? Most certainly. It is stupid? I think so. With that said, I am still preoccupied with what occurred and wish the best for the bull rider and his family.
|and then the rains came, and never left!|
Overall the rodeo was fun, mostly because it’s the most exciting thing this little town has to offer. It poured rain during the rodeo and then the grass got all muddy and the bulls were sloshing around. Another interesting thing that happened was that when one of the cowboys lassoed the bull, the bull pulled so hard that he pulled the horse and cowboy down and started dragging them! Of course I screamed, but they were okay! The guy I was with said that two things happened that night that he’d never seen in all the rodeos he’s been too: the seriousness of the injury and the bull dragging the horse. Sometimes I think I bring bad luck with me anywhere I go!
On Thursday, I took a little after school adventure to Mal País because I was in desperate need of a mini-getaway. I have heard wonderful things about the Mal País/ Sta. Teresa area and all of my expectations proved true. It was love at first sight. I’ve been here in Cóbano where I wake up every morning at 5 am to the sound of roosters crowing and throughout the day I hear cows mooing and the clip-clop of horses traveling around. Mal País, on the other hand is more of what I think of when Costa Rica comes to mind—the beach, the sunset. Ahh the sunset was just breathtaking, and I can’t believe that people get to watch something so beautiful every day. Just my little one night get-away put me in a good mood for Friday so that I had the little umph I needed to finish the week out.
|Mal Pais Sunset|
Friday was not only National Day of Music (more cancelled classes), but it was also Tacky Day. Or "Taki" Day as it is spelled here. I typically enjoy dressing up for these types of things; however, I didn't remember it was tacky day when I packed my clothes the day before. I ended up borrowing socks and a little scarf from my friend the morning of to Tack-ify my attire.
|with a few of my 6th graders who dressed up|
|some of my 5th graders|
|and a few kids actually asked me,|
"Teacher, are you tacky today?"