August 1, 2010
From the minute we were picked up at the airport, until the minute we were dropped off, "Pura Vida" was an expression we were taught and used on a daily basis several times a day.
Pura vida literally means "pure life", but the meaning is closer to "full of life", "purified life", "this is living!", "going great", or "cool!" It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, to express satisfaction, or to politely express indifference when describing something. The phrase has become widely known; this highly flexible statement has been used by many Costa Ricans since 1956. Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time, and of wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.
As our plane took off from the tiny airport, I looked down with sadness as I left the beauty behind. I thought of this expression and what it meant. As I prepare myself for reality, I know the daily stresses of life will soon rear it's ugly little head again. With perseverance, a positive attitude and learning to relax and enjoy life more, I hope to adopt this phrase and incorporate it into my daily life......