Sunday, November 9, 2014

CHICO AND THE CHOCOYO






Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

       I sat in the wooden chair on the red tiled veranda.  Jerry finished his SKYPE session and all was quiet.  Able to concentrate again, I began to write.
     No sooner had I started then I heard the sound of cheerful whistling coming our way.  That was Chico’s way of letting us know that he was walking into an area close to our cabin.  

    The elderly caretaker was very helpful.  He's been a good sport and has not been a bit worried that the gringos on his finca are not fluent in Spanish. 
     I greeted him with, “Hola!”  He scampered like a ten year old up the steep outdoor staircase to our place.  I looked up from my lap top to see what he came up for.  

     On his arm he hung a  yellow plastic bag of fresh oranges and mangoes for us.  
    
Just last night he gave us a handful of limes and lemons, and earlier this morning while we ate our bagels, he brought us more bananas.  This area is rich in fresh fruit.


     Jerry was eating a cookie and motioned to it and asked Chico, “Muy bueno?”  That was his way of asking Chico if he enjoyed the oatmeal cookies we gave him for helping us carry in our bags after going to la feria, the outdoor market.
     “Si, bueno, bueno!”  As Chico scampered back down the stairs to head home, Jerry hollered out, “Chico!  Mi amigo!”
     Chico chuckled and when he got to the driveway, he must have seen something.  He ran back up and asked me to come and look and he motioned for me to hurry and to bring my camera.


     Curious, I told him to wait just a minute. As soon as the lens cap was off, I rushed out to see what he wanted me to photograph.
     He pointed up to several holes in the stone retaining wall.  There were pipes in the holes, but I couldn’t see anything else.
     He kept saying, “un chocoyo esta alla”, or a chocoyo is up there, and he told me it was an animal, but I had no idea what I was going to see.
     Chico set a rickety ladder up against the wall.  He climbed a few steps and started slapping right next to a hole.  He said he could see the chocoyo and wondered if I could.  Since I couldn’t, he motioned for me to climb this feeble ladder leaning against the wall, so that I could see better.
     Carefully, one step at a time I felt my way up with my feet.  One hand held onto my camera, and then watching where my other hand grasped the ladder, I peered at the hole, so I wouldn’t miss this creature’s grand entrance.
     The caretaker encouraged me again to slap the wall, so I slapped and wondered what kind of little animal was going to come out toward me, and then, what would I do?  

     I waited, but did not see anything, so I climbed back down.  But Chico was determined that I was going to see this chocoyo, so he stepped up toward the hole again and started slapping.  He asked if I could see anything, again I shook my head, "No."
      Chico motioned to my camera and said to get ready for a picture.  He got even higher up and then blew gently inside the hole.  Suddenly with a burst of green feathers, I heard the flurry of its wings and just barely caught a blurry photo of this beautiful green tropical bird.
     I showed the photos to Chico.  He teased that if I printed photos of this bird, we could sell tickets for people to come and see them.  We laughed and I thanked him again for pointing it out to me so that I could get a photograph.  Next time I would be prepared with a zoom lens on my camera.
    
     The chocoyo landed on a power line with a tree in the background, so it was a bit hard to distinguish, but I snapped away, knowing that I could crop  the photo and enlarge it later to see it better, if only I could get a good shot in.

     Just a small detail from one morning in Costa Rica, but daily my walk with God is refreshing.  I never quite know how the day will turn out, so I just hang on and enjoy the ride.  Gently living and loving and being who he created me to be.