After our awesome fun day yesterday, we woke up to an email from home with some very bad news. My father was in the hospital and in very bad shape*. We tried to call my mom but only got her voice mail. Unable to connect with anyone back in Toronto, all we could do was worry, wonder if we should end our trip early and what we were going to do. Although it was hard we decided to go out and try to enjoy our last day in San Jose and maybe our last stop on our big trip.
It was the best thing we could have done. Within a half hour of our time at the National Museum (photo above) we had managed to relax a bit. The museum was undergoing renovations and when I bought the tickets the woman first pointed out all the exhibits that were closed. I was worried that we were flushing money down the toilet but there was still plenty to make it worthwhile. There was a pre-columbian gold exhibit, a special display on endemic orchids, as well as an extensive history of Costa Rica, which included a display on the history of the building itself. The building had formerly been the headquarters of the army but when peace finally came to Costa Rica in the 1940s, the first thing the new government did was disband the army, the lack of which Costa Rica is still really proud of. While the Costa Rican revolution was a far cry from those in the rest of Central America, there was still plenty of political graffiti in the old cells. And it was curious that originally the museum had put the religious artifacts on display in the old latrines. Or maybe that was just me looking into it too much. Despite half the museum being closed, there was enough to satisfy our hunger for history and we decided to skip any of the others in town.
We walked around the rest of the downtown, past the cathedral, their radio station and the central park. We had tickets for a show at the teatro so we went for an early dinner nearby then headed to the show. Unlike our experience in Tegucigalpa, the theatre was packed but mostly with American tourists when I looked at the program I saw why. The New England Youth Orchestra was playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Costa Rica, so most of the audience were the relatives of the American kids. Our $6 tickets were for one of the boxes but when we got there it was obvious that there were more seats than the box was originally built for. That was fine at first but when the rest of the box ticket holders came we were soon out of leg room – literally. The seat of our chairs touched the back of the ones in front. Luckily the usher saw our plight and found new seats for us.
The lights went down on the full house (except for the presidential box which remained empty) and the American kids began. Considering their average age was about 14, they were quite good. However they had their butts kicked by the older Costa Rican youth orchestra who played afterwards. It was a full 2.5 hour program and well worth it.
We walked back to the guesthouse. It was try to call home. However, the phone line at the guesthouse was out of order and they weren’t sure when it would be back up. We still had no news from home. Not knowing if we needed to go back to Toronto, we decided to continue with our trip to Tortuguero. No news was supposed to be good news but it always feels like bad news. Anxious, we sent an email home and promised to try from the next town. For now the best we could do was try to get some sleep.
(*Since this is about stuff that happened about a month ago, i just wanted to add that everything is okay back home, touch wood. But it was a bit scary for about a week.)