The local phrase the part of Costa Rica that I am living in is ‘Pura Vida’ meaning, literally, ‘Pure Life’. The part of Japan that I am going to be living in is known for being the home of the biggest drunkards (read: super friendly, hilarious and the biggest drinkers) in Japan. At the very least it is oddly coincidental that not long after I found this out I had a conversation with someone here about how I just don’t ‘get’ Pura Vida. They seemed to think that there was something meaningful in my being sent to another rural part of the world where the locals live in a relaxed way of life. If I had been the one to think of it that way I would have consigned it to the bin of ‘just coincidence’ out of hand and without much thought, but it holds true to the general sequence of events that these kinds of events seem to follow. That said I’m still only on the fence as to whether this new coincidence is anything more than that.
First and foremost there is a clear lesson, of a kind, that I still need to learn from this kind of environment (read: rural, farming community, relaxed locals with a propensity for fun). Next there aren’t really any things that I knowingly did to get myself sent to a community like the one I am going to in Japan, certainly it wasn’t in the category that I expressed a preference for. Nor did I know at the time of my application and interview that I would be coming to Costa Rica, which eliminates the chances that they figured I would be well suited to my next community on the basis of previous experience. Moving forward, a number of people have expressed an opinion that I am well suited to the life of a rural community – which the same thing I faced with regards to teaching – and given the way things happened the last time people expressed an opinion like that it turned out to be true. On top of this there are definite advantages for me in living in a rural community.
On the balance of things I suppose that this message, whether of the Pagan and Heathen kind or the purely coincidental kind, is something that I really need to pay attention to. I really don’t know what it is that I’m meant to be learning or understanding from this but with a year’s worth of time in Japan there is a greater chance that I’m going to ‘get it’. Hopefully I wont write another article so entirely about me for a while. I don’t like the style quite as much as my more recent articles.