A friend, Silvia Yom, who just happens to be an amazing photographer was visiting and snapped these pics of my kids and I in our element. My husband was unfortunately traveling for work this week and couldn’t be involved in the shoot. But here’s a candid look at life in the jungle for me and my sweeties.
Our family lives primarily in Northern Nicaragua, but we do spend several months per year in Costa Rica. We love our little house in the jungle, watching monkeys from the porch, walking across the street to check the surf, playing with the kids in the river, and catching waves ourselves.
I pulled out the GoPro on the last couple of days of our trip to capture a few scenes summarizing our life in paradise. Kid play, a lot of checking the surf, and even a bit of surfing.
Several times per day the monkeys announce their presence by shaking trees, dropping twigs and discarded cacao husks on the roof, and squeaking at each other. We hear the rustling, thuds, and squeaks, then run outside to the portion of 360 degree wrapping porch that seems closest to the action. Luna points and laughs as small red furry creatures follow each other in jumping from branch to branch and scurrying up tree limbs. Squirrel monkeys!
A whole family of them live in the trees around the house and migrate back and forth daily in search of food. They peel open leaves for what we can only imagine are caterpillars curled inside, or maybe beetle larvae. They grab cacao pods and eat the white fruit and seeds. Mostly we see them running and leaping.
When the monkeys pass, Daddy plays Luna’s favorite game: He growls, pretends to be a monster, and she runs laughing.
He wraps her up in a hammock. “Gotcha!”
She gives a cheeky hand signal to mama watching behind the camera. It goes like this: place back of hand to mouth, wave fingers back and forth, and make “bwah bwah bwah” sound. I think it means “put that camera down and come play!” The monkeys are cute, but it’s hard to compete with an 11 month old with a new-found love of the jungle!
Every afternoon he takes her to the waterfall. It’s a short walk. It’s a small waterfall. Just a trickle really, but there’s a cool little pool there. Waist deep on him. Just enough space for her. “kick kick kick”. “splash splash splash”.
She gasps at the chilly water. Every time. But if you put her in slowly, she starts smiling. She doesn’t mind the waterfall droplets on her face. Her little tongue twists and curls in delight – a new thing, this control of her tongue. Two tiny lower teeth show in her smile.
Usually I’m surfing. Cheering Amigas into waves. Hoping for some sharp turns of my own. But today is particularly hot.
So while the girls stretch out in the shade of a sea-view yoga platform the three of us sneak off to the waterfall. I trail behind them a few steps clicking away at the shutter button. Capturing their time together. This precious moment, so fleeting. She’s nearly 7 months old already and growing so fast, Learning so much. It’s true what they say.
The jungle is heavy around us. Toucans, scarlet macaws, green vine snakes, squirrel monkeys. Yesterday they watched the monkeys up close from the coolness of the pool. Last night we saw the long-tailed silhouettes in the trees above us. A family of more than a dozen complete with a baby-toting mother flying between coco fronds. We were sandy and salty looking up as the last light faded, this curious little naked creature in arms, and I.
Now it’s daddy time. He points out shrimp in the pool, lifts a leaf, raises her above his head to get the giggles going. I balance on a rock looking through the lens at a scene I can hardly believe is my reality. Appreciating.
Hot air, green rustling leaves, pounding surf, falling water, and my two loves.