Thursday, October 23, 2014

Farewell to Puerto Viejo - Day 7 - Black in Costa Rica

Ashlea, Wanda and Tommy are flying home to Texas today. So these photos may be my last update. 

But....what an amazing experience they had! I really enjoyed following their journey and I appreciate that they were willing to share their trip with me via message and photos (thank you Facebook). 

One of the things that stands out to me about their trip is how much interaction they had with the locals.  After the 1st day or so I didn't hear very much about the expats. I heard much more about how they were building friendships and forming bonds with the local people and their experiences with local culture. That's exactly the way they wanted it.  I get the feeling that in Puerto Viejo this is fairly easy to do, however I'm sure with a little effort they could have had your "typical" US tourist vacation, lying on the beach, eating out and taking tours.  I'm happy they chose to experience the "real" Costa Rica!

Early on they met a young man named Kaboom and he became a friend.  Kaboom is a member of the Bribri - an indigenous people of Costa Rica living in Talamanca in Limon Province of Costa Rica

He shared his story and his life with them. 

And on their last night he prepared a celebration feast for them 
and cooked it on an open fire on the beach.
fire on the beach in Cocles

Rondon is a rich, delicious traditional Jamaican party dish and is very popular on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The name is the Patois pronunciation of “run down”.

“Run down,” as in, the cook of the home prepares a soup with whatever they were able to track down or forage that day, whether it was in the backyard, a neighbors coconut tree, or the bounty of the sea.  For this reason, there are many variations on the dish, and there can be no wrong way.

Kaboom spent 2 straight hours on the beach grating coconuts
“The vast variety of fishes, small game, and wild and domestic meats available to the coast people, in combination with the foods they cultivated on their land, kept them well fed, to say the least. Preparing a meal rarely entailed a trip to the shop. It was merely a matter of “running down” the ingredients in the bush, in the sea, or on the farm. The thrifty housewife put everything together in one pot, simmered it in coconut milk, and called it “rundown” for everything she was able to “run down” that day. If it included fish, yam, plantain, scallions, palmito and Panamanian pepper, it could hardly be better.” 
“What Happen” – A Folk History of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Coast 
—by Paula Palmer, 2005, p 61

Rondon can be made in the kitchen or on the beach: 
just make a fire with a nice bed of coals and cook the soup in a big kettle resting on some stones

Heidor (a surfing instructor) was working so hard his pants were falling off from preparation of the coconut milk

That's dedication and patience!

The coconut milk - first squeeze and strain is done with cold water...2nd and 3rd time with hot (boiling water) to draw more milk out...they repeat the process until the milk starts to get clear

This entire meal was prepared by the men. A ton of heart goes into their food!
and no help from any women!!

most of the cooking and prep done by Kaboom and Heidor

Prepared in the kitchen and cooked on the beach over an open fire

Takes 8-9 hrs from start to finish

Ashlea asked to sample the fish and it was served to her on this leaf

Rondon is best served about 20 minutes after taking it off the heat. 
Locals cover the pot with banana leaves.

What a wonderful send off. I hope to meet up with Kaboom and some of the other local people when we visit in the spring.

Thank you Kaboom, Heidor and of course Ashlea, Tommy and Wanda for sharing your journey with us!
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1 comment:

  1. That is so cool!

    Costa Rica has never been on my list of places to visit but I'll have to change that.

    Good food cooked by handsome men... How can I pas that up? :)