It has become some sort of routine now. What tourists don’t think of when they think of Costa Rica I’m pretty sure is rain. They are ready for Costa Rica where the sun is always shining (among other things like no people in houses with tin roofs or dirt floors or the air smelling of stale fire smoke, or chip wrappers clogging the gutters). But, it rains a lot here. And by a lot I mean constantly in September and October. It is raining when I wake up and when I go running and when I go to school. It is raining when I come home and go to sleep. Rain pours out of a drain in the cement wall like a (US) showerhead left on full stream. The water skirts around my shoe like a rock in the river. The rivers run brown from soil washing down the hillsides, collecting in sediment that will raise the river's floor and make floods more likely. Nicaragua has lost 80% of its bean crop because of the floods. The sky is grey. So, like I said it has become some sort of routine now:
“Strip!” Sonia demands.
“Quitese la ropa para que puedo lavarlos de inmediato.”
“But they are only wet, they aren’t dirty. I can hang them—”
“Son muy sucios, mi amor.”
Sonia has already caught onto my habit of stashing away clothes that I have already worn once or twice, hanging a shirt discretely behind others so she won’t notice. Well, she is too clever for that. Every day I return to my pink hamper empty, in addition to a couple of other items that I am sure I did not place in the hamper.
“No se los guardan.” She warns me, shaking her finger at me, and smiling un poco endearingly. I can’t help but half-smile, “Si, si,” and let her lead me into my room, leaving me there to peal off my soggy pants.