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La Pobrecita

By Matt Casseday

We live in a sort of throwback time here. Things taken for granted in the “developed” world–uninterrupted electricity, watching your favorite team play online, well-lit thoroughfares, mandatory high school education—are still considered a luxury—at least to those living in rural Costa Rica. Recently I was driving from Dominical to Quepos, on the “new “ road, the paved road, remembering how absolutely giddy I felt the first time I drove the new 40 kmstretch, grinning nonstop now that the bone-jarring 2 hour travail had been transformed into a 25 minute breeze. As was my custom when the road was bad,  I stopped for a break at the Savegre River bridge. There is a space with a ledge, right as you turn in toward the mountains, and it is a good place to sit, maybe have a long drink and a short smoke, and watch the river. At that spot, the Rio Savegre is bottoming out from its long savage run down the mountain. In the late afternoon grayness that followed the day’s rains I saw that the river, even here, was swollen and rushing and mud brown, carrying branches and small pieces of zinc and wood. Something had been destroyed upriver, possibly somebody’s rancho, another lean-to built too close to the riverbank.

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