Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"I am a Cowboy!"

Back to the Pacific Side, Rancho Merced, Uvita                                                                                 November 13, 2015
One of the activities all the kids wanted to be involved in was horseback riding.  Max was the only one who was not ecstatic at the prospect of spending time on top of a horse.  Eli surprised us by not only wanting to ride, but wanting to have a horse of his own.  

Maggie took some time while they were getting the horses ready
to bond with her animal.  This is Maggie in her element.
Aaron had to ride with Jonah in front of him.
Imagine being in a sauna and then having to hold
a wet heat pad in your lap and you will have a good
idea as to what it would feel like to ride that close to Jonah.
On the upside he spent the whole time talking, making jokes,
and telling imaginative stories.  He is a funny kid, very entertaining.  
Eli was confident and happy.  It has been so neat to watch the
confidence and capacity of this boy expand.  He is trying things
we would never have imagined he would be willing to do.

Tessa, "We went horseback riding through forest's rivers, meadows and finally the beach.  I galloped really fast on the beach.  I was feeling AWESOME!"

Maggie “Today I woke up and was so excited because we were going horseback riding.  I got a pretty white horse, like my pen.  Then we started on the trail.  Once we got to the beach the guy asked if we wanted to gallop.  Yes!  We started and it felt like I was having my stomach go to my feet then my head!  I LOVED it!”

Max was the only one who was willing, but not excited.  We got to the beach and mostly out of peer pressure, or just mutual consent, he let his horse pick up the speed.

Max, "We rode and I discovered that my horse was pretty fast.  It did use it on the beach.  We raced and galloped and trotted.  Then it bucked me off!"

We all became a little separated at our different speeds on the beach.  The horse I was riding wanted to be at the very front and I took advantage of the expanse of open beach and let him run.  When I stopped to turn around to check I could see Max was no longer on top of his horse.  I raced back to find half his face and body covered in sand and tears.  I desperately wanted to snap a photo but he was not in the mood and I opted for an appreciated hug instead.  That is one of those moments I'll have to treasure in my heart the mental picture of his sandy crash and the readers will have to use their imagination.  Imagine it funny, because it was hilarious!  We dusted him off, gratefully there was no injury, and he bravely mounted another steed.  

One of my favorite part of the whole day was seeing
 Eli's memory recorded in his journal that night.  He
 has grown SO much!
After our adventure at the ranch we stopped at a hotel/animal
sanctuary to see the animals and catch a little bit of internet signal.
The view was fantastic! 
We met animals in recuperation including this
amazing anteater.  This one is a juvenile.  It looks
awkward and clumsy, but it can climb trees
 with incredible agility.
On our way home we followed a herd of cattle down the steep
mountain road.  My agricultural roots make this always a welcome
 sight.  However, we determined that this is part of what makes
Costa Rican beef as tough as chewing leather.  Lots of Brahma
cows raised on jungle vegetation and ants and set to graze and
traverse incredibly steep mountainsides.

Jonah quote to remember, "Mom, I can teach you to pee standing up if you will give me the code to the ipad."

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