Posted by: Kara Luker | October 20, 2010

A grand adventure

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

About ten years ago, I was in Costa Rica with a group called YWAM. After being cooped up in a classroom for a couple months on a beautiful, but isolated hill outside Heredia, some friends and I were ready for adventure. We finally found it in an overnight trip to the coast with no cumbersome schedule. Aaah, the joys of freedom.

I hopped in a jeep that wasn’t particularly roadworthy with a few friends from the group and three kids in tow. After a breakdown near town and a grand fixit job in the garage of a local, we got back on the road and began our 2-hour trek to Jaco Beach. It was inexpressibly glorious to have the wind in our faces and the dusty open roads before us.

At one point along our journey, there were several cars stopped on the side of the road near a bridge. We got out and joined them in watching the water to discover the point of interest. It all seemed very uninteresting until we noticed that some of the logs floating in the water were moving – at a strikingly slow pace, but moving nonetheless – and that as they rose to surface, they bore a striking resemblance to crocodiles. Because, of course, they were. And in great enough quantity to occupy a scene in Indiana Jones.

We stayed there for a while watching those eerie creatures move about, and then moved on toward our happy destination of the Costa Rican shoreline. We arrived without incident, despite the worrisome local driving style our friend used to get us there. It was lovely to feel the sand, play in the water, watch our Hawaiian friend climb palm trees, eat seafood. It was everything it should be.

After a full day, we headed over to our hotel. My friend, Rita, and I put our kids to bed and left them with her husband, while we grabbed a pina colada and went out to wander the grounds. The waves crashed loudly but were hardly visible by the dim moonlight. As we meandered, we came to a dark and swampy outlet of water.  It was strangely quiet. At the same moment, we both saw the terrifying shape we had seen only hours before beneath the bridge. I hesitated for a moment too long. Before I could react, Rita had pushed me toward the crocodile while she ran the other way.  It was fortunate for me that I was at a great enough distance not to be devoured in that moment. It was also fortunate that it was a sculpture of a crocodile.

Hysterical laughter ensued that night and for days to follow. Truth be told, had I not been so darn slow, I would have tossed Rita to the crocs and saved myself.  I have another story to prove this… which I just might share tomorrow.

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