Letter to Camille: 111 Months

Camille at 111 Months

Hello sweet girl, and Happy 111 Months to you! Right now, you are in Costa Rica, hosting a sleepover with your friend from Sweden, watching a movie from Japan. 
How international of you – I love it! 

Panamanian Metro

This month you added another stamp to your passport when we took our visa run to Panama City, Panama. We were also finally able to fulfill a promise we’d made to you back in the States. You were so sad to leave most of your stuffed animals at home, so we said you could get a new one during our travels. Nosara doesn’t offer many stuffed-animal-buying opportunities, but as soon as we arrived at the airport for our flight out of Costa Rica, you hit the airport stores with enthusiasm. 
It didn’t take you long to discover this cute little tapir with button eyes, so unlike any of your other stuffed animals, and so cuddly. You named him “David Kitson” (the namesake and benefactor of Nosara’s library – you’re being funny) and you love him dearly.

David Kitson the Tapir

In Panama we went on a whale watching tour to the Pearl Islands, we visited the beautiful cathedral in the old city, and hiked in a rainforest park in search of sloths. 

Whale watching in Panama

Studying the trees
The hike – well, that was not your favorite. It was very hot and humid, and the higher we climbed the more despairing your disposition. 

Rainforest HikeWorst Hike Ever

At times like that, I get frustrated – so I started in with a speech about how lucky you were to be hiking in a Central American rainforest looking for sloths. Yes it was hot, yes we were winded, but wasn’t this so much better than sitting around playing Minecraft? 
The speech seemed to fall on deaf ears. And then I remembered that you are 9. That you are uncomfortably hot and tired. That you don’t have the maturity to fully appreciate all the experiences we’re having, especially when they aren’t all pleasurable. I don’t think you’ll ever look back on that hike fondly, but I hope one day you’ll come to agree it was a pretty cool thing to do.

Panama City View

And at the very last minute, at the park exit, we finally spotted an elusive sloth.

The elusive sloth

Back in Nosara, with fresh 90-day tourist visas in our passports, it was back to work and school. The school held an extra-curricular activities fair, giving all the students a chance to see what clubs and sports were offered, and to sign up. We’d already looked through the list, and I suspected you’d choose the art club, the chess club, or perhaps the rock climbing club if you were feeling particularly daring. 
But I was shocked when you announced that you really wanted to join the Muay Thai Kickboxing club. 
I couldn’t imagine you hitting anything, much less anyone, even in fun. I feared you’d want to drop out after the first class, so I tried to steer you toward some of the other activities. How about paddle boarding? Marching band? 
But then I stopped myself – after all, didn’t we come here to try new things? Expand our horizons? If you wanted to experience kickboxing, why should I discourage you?
You’ve had one kickboxing class so far. I was there for the last few minutes of class and watched you hitting and kicking at the teacher, drenched in sweat from the effort. And happy. And quite proud of yourself, too.


You’ve also begun a series of aerial yoga classes, which you adore. You’ve begged us to sell your bed when we get back to Savannah and install a yoga silk instead. You love being cocooned inside, and I agree it looks very peaceful and cozy. 

Cocoons Aerial yogaUpside-Down Namaste

So your weekly activities look like this – viola lessons via Skype with your American teacher on Monday mornings, after-school Spanish on Mondays and Wednesdays, kickboxing on Mondays, aerial yoga on Saturdays, and sometimes surf school on Sunday mornings.

Long Distance Viola Lesson

We’d hoped to escape such a busy schedule when we came to Costa Rica, but somehow manage to have a lot going on anyway. But thankfully there is stil
l time in the afternoons and weekends for swimming in the pool, walks on the beach, or sunset sandcastle building with friends.
Sunset Sandcastles

Beach Walk

You’re settling in very nicely here – we all are. Even if a hike in the rainforest makes for the worst day ever, you like your school, you love your friends, and you’re trying new things. That’s my pure vida girl.
Camille and Her Daddy

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