Life On The Edge

Here I am, in the morning, in the little coffee shop Roasted Edge, writing my very first blog for Ocean’s Edge. I’m in Jacó, Costa Rica. I still can hardly believe it. 

In 2022, I was in Costa Rica, too. For the first time outside of Europe. Armed with my sketchbook, lots of bug spray and sunscreen, and with a large dose of excitement to attend a faith-based surf camp for women in Nosara. I met amazing people and immersed myself in nature. But most importantly: it lit a fire to return to Costa Rica, but for a longer period of time. 

After a lot of (over )thinking, praying, talking and writing, I quit my job. So exactly one year after my first trip to Costa Rica, I found myself on a plane to San José once more. Full of expectation (and stomach aches from the plane food), staring out of the window and dreaming of the adventures ahead. 

I wasn’t supposed to attend a missionary base in a relatively large coastal town that is known for, amongst others, its nightlife. I rather envisioned myself somewhere in a cute little village doing volunteer work that involved cuddling lots of animals and waxing surfboards. However, via good friends, I heard about Ocean’s Edge–and they had accommodations… and volunteer opportunities… and an international church… And it was as if God opened a door towards Jacó. 

So I did my research. I viewed the streets on Google Maps and looked up Youtube clips from Ocean’s Edge. I searched for information about Jacó and messaged several people who lived there and asked a lot of questions. And now I am here.

And, this might sound crazy, but it was such a special experience to see that everything really… exists. The streets of Jacó I viewed on Google Maps are full with four-wheel-drive cars, (motor)bikes, and people. There are little colorful shops, restaurants, palm trees and electricity poles with birds on it lining the streets. The Ocean’s Edge Base and  the ministry base where volunteers stay is light, blue, with the most beautiful bright murals, rotating fans, and a yard full of tropical plants. The friendly people from the internet and Whatsapp are there. And even the dog, Selah, who happily runs around through life on three legs. 

And the ocean, oh, the ocean! On my new bright pink bike, I went to the beach, parked the bike under a palm tree and let the water wash over my feet.  Quickly thereafter, I bought my very own surfboard and surfed my first wave at Jacó Beach while manta rays were jumping out of the water. 

I was invited to Horizon International Church and worshiped with Christians from all over the world. Watched The Chosen with the housemates while stuffing ourselves with muffins and popcorn. Made a hike of 8,5 kilometers through the tropical forest while seeing toucans, butterflies and frogs. Danced to the music in Roasted Edge while cleaning up with other volunteers. And I am thankful. For Jacó. For Oceans Edge and its people. For life right now, right here. 

Janyke Geluk – 14 November 2023

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