It was a hot and sunny day on the beach of Costa Rica. Ted and I had just stepped off the boat after an afternoon of dolphin watching and our bellies were growling.
“I’m famished!” I told Ted in an exhausted voice. He agreed, so we set off to find a place to eat. We grabbed out backpacks, which were stuffed with all of our belonging and puttered down the road.
We came to a quaint, open front restaurant, parked the car, and headed in. The aroma of fresh Tico cuisine filled the air. My mouth began to water as though it was a faucet I had just turned on. I ordered a plate of arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), and devoured every bite.
After we stuffed ourselves, Ted ran to the car to grab our maps so we could plan where to go next. We covered the table with the large diagrams of the country as well as our guide books, and decided to head to the famous Costa Rican volcano: Arenal. We were both very excited, and sauntered to the car to begin our next adventure.
As we approached the car to get in, I peered into the back window and didn’t see our bags. My stomach was a knot that was quickly rising to my throat.
“Where are the bags??” I asked nervously.
“What do you mean? They are in the back of the car.” Ted replied.
Both in a panic, we opened the door and searched the car from top to bottom…. NO BAGS!
SLAM! We shut the doors and headed directly to the nearest police station.
Now, you have to remember, we are not in the United States anymore, and although I speak some Spanish, I am by no means fluent. Needless to say, the police had no idea what we were saying, which did nothing but frustrate us more. Everything was gone. Just like that. Our clothes, electronics, jewelry, passports, credit cards….everything.
After many attempts with failing to communicate with local authorities, we decided to head straight to the U.S. Embassy to get an emergency passport. After all, I started work teaching the following week (which I could NOT miss)! The...