Today was just an ordinary day in Costa Rica. We got up, ate our expensive Honey Nut Cheerios with our boxed milk (the kids think it tastes funny – so do I!) and a banana. Then I decided to go for a swim while Elijah watched the kids during “homework time”.
The water was COLD. So cold that I actually couldn’t catch my breath during strokes. But it felt GREAT to get out and do something with my body! I swam a few “laps” but the pool was so short I gave into doing some water aerobics. It was fun to imagine me teaching a class and cheering the class on while showing them what to do. It was all I needed to get 30 minutes in of exercise.
After I was finished, I walked in to find my kiddos all watching a show QUIETLY together. WHAT A BLESSING! It was so amazing to see and enjoy. I got ready and then we headed out to the local Price Smart (Costa Rica’s version of Costco).
We got some great items but the prices, oh the prices! YIKES! It just makes me sick how expensive EVERYTHING is here! I asked an expatriate (thanks Jana! – someone who is from another country but lives here now) how the Ticos (what Costa Ricans are called) can afford to eat? He said they don’t eat much meat, very little. They mostly eat rice and beans because it is cheap and makes alot of food.
Wow, what an eye opener. He explained how sad it was that Americans don’t share their resources with the world. They keep it for themselves and complain that the prices aren’t lower. Now before anyone gets mad or defensive, let me give you an idea of what he is talking about. Costa Rica must import alot of it goods. Because it is such a small country, it doesn’t have the room to grow the crops or raise the meat that we have. Let me show you what one trip to the grocery store cost me:
$1.54 – can black beans
$1.17 – mac and cheese (3 servings)
$1.29 – bag of pasta (small)
$10.87 – 6 chicken breasts
$0.85 – one onion
$2.24 – can of pineapple
$2.57 – tuna fish (one can)
$8.93 – 1 quart ice cream (how do you like that price ice cream lovers?)
$2.40 – small bunch fresh green beans (imported)
$2.96 – small bottle syrup
As you can see, some prices aren’t that bad. But others, WOW, they are horrible!! And why, because most of them are imported goods. They have no other choice. I have been trying to plan the meals for the month and I have already spent over $300 in groceries in 3 days. CRAZY! I still need to go back tomorrow for several items and I plan to attend the local farmers market on Saturday. We are going to spend at least $600 on groceries this month. And nothing, NOTHING, goes to food storage.
Needless to say, WE ARE SO BLESSED in America. I have everything I need, right at my fingertips. I miss my wheat grinder, I miss my food storage, I miss my giant freezer full of organically grown, deliciously tasting beef. I miss my Costco/Sam’s. I miss my garden. But would I if I didn’t have this chance to visit Costa Rica? I don’t think so.