Pura Vida, Part 7: – And reTirement

What does Pura Vida have to do with retirement?

Hi there. Paul Carter here in Costa Rica.

This week we’ll be talking with Adria Brunner, a native of Mexico. Adria is going to share here experience of reFirement as a variation of Pura Vida.

(Adrian) My name is Adria Brunner. I (have been) in Costa Rica (for) four years more or less. I have family here, so I decided to reinvent my life. So I said “OK, my kids are grown up. I’m going to stop doing what I am doing – do something different. I have my dad here. He had invited me lots of years before. And I had never been here. So I decided I would come and spend some vacations. And I did.

But once I got here I started seeing all these needs and opportunities. And I was thinking I was going to be in retiring mode. But nothing of the sort happened. I’m very (enthusiastic). I like to share with people. And I saw there were lots of things I could share with people. And I saw there were lots of things I could give to the community. So I started volunteering. 

And reading about your reFiring view, Oh my! Well I thought that was exactly what was going on with me. I was simply reFiring. I started eating much better – the air, the water, all the surroundings, people. Everything was so different, it was so good that it simply started.

I was probably not very clear what I wanted to do when I came here. I knew that I did not want to continue doing what I was doing. I didn’t have a very clear idea, but I had the feeling that it was like it was time to move over. It was time to some sort of (settling) down, and do some relaxing sort of thing and just be there.

So I came here and I started vacationing, just relaxing and doing all these things. But coming every Thursday to the Feria to buy my groceries and watching all the people and seeing all the great opportunities that were there to keep on doing all the things that I really love to do, and I said “Why not?”

The Feria is a company that is owned by a little bit more than 4oo producers from the area. About ten years ago they started organizing this place. And they finally got all that you see at the Feria, which is open on Thursdays and Fridays.

There are things that are made locally like artisan jewelry, foods, and also other prepared things like kombucha or cheese or different things that are produced locally.

It was a total decision. It was my decision to say, “OK. I have the opportunity to stay at home and watch something on TV or the computer, or do some gardening, or go out an knock (on) some doors.

I went to the management, and I told them that if they needed some computing classes for some – you see this place represents more than 400 producers in the area. So I decided I could give some classes, because I knew that a lot of people did not know how to use (the) internet. So I told them I would gladly give some volunteer, free computing classes to their associates and their families.

And they were very supportive. They were open. They said: “Well, we do have a classroom.” It was closed all the time. This place was only used for meetings they would have when they needed a larger space. They even had a projector and everything. So I started.

We made a small campaign. We made flyers. We invited people to come to register. And they started coming and registering, and we simply started one day. And it’s been like that.

Right now we are at the classroom. This is the place where I volunteer teaching computers, because I saw that most Ticoes both elder and younger people had the need to learn how to use a computer. It’s funny with younger people, because with younger people they are so much into their cell phones that they don’t really know how to use a computer. So I started giving these classes. 

We are having a computing class. These are my most advanced students. These were people that didn’t have an email when they first came. They didn’t know how to turn on a computer. And these are a couple of elderly ladies, and some are youngsters.

Well, right now they are in a PowerPoint class. We have gone all the way (from) learning how to turn on a computer, understanding the environment of a computer, opening an email account, knowing how to use it, how to attach a file, how to download, how to organize your files and keep everything in a way that you can easily find your things. And we went through basic Word, and very basic Excel, and now we are doing basic PowerPoint.

And it’s so beautiful. It was just knowing that I could do these things, that I had this ability for so many years. I’m a teacher, basically. So it was good for me to find this area where I could serve, give to others. And it’s been wonderful – just wonderful.

Pura Vida was this sentence, this declaration that I had seen in ads related to Costa Rica. And when I came here I saw that everybody uses Pura Vida to say “Hello,” and “Goodbye,” and lots of things. And at first I thought “What a beautiful mind set to be on the Pura Vida thing, and the Costa Ricans with this attitude and this way of expressing life.

As I started living and sharing with my neighbors and family and people, especially in this area where I have been living the most, which is basically farmers and working people. I also realized that people are having their normal day-to-day problems plus the problems of a contracted economy that they suffered because all the coffee farming that was a good industry here that got a sickness in the plant – a bug or fungus that got into the plants. So the economy got very slow for a lot of people, and they got difficult times. 

And I could see that people were having Pura Vida messages from television and social pressure to have this Pura Vida attitude. It sort of struck me like something that has been planted into people’s minds to sort of think “It’s OK. That life is OK.”

That is why I also started volunteering, because I saw there was so much need for information – to then have the Pura Vida be the Pura Vida that they long for. 

So I saw that part, and I said, “OK. Let’s really have it happen” Let’s make it happen. Let’s make the Pura Vida (be) something that they can feel in their daily lives as not just saying “Hello” or “Goodbye,” but also making it happen in a way.

And it’s really beautiful. Costa Rica and Costa Ricans are beautiful people. And they have a wonderful attitude towards life. But I thought it was good to help it become even more true to the people I share life with.

You know, it’s not only here. In most parts of the world, I think we have lost the ability to recognize all the things we can be grateful for. Instead of focusing on all the things that are lacking, focusing on the things that we have or the ways we are able to be in order to become real Pura Vida. There is always space for doing things better, and doing things better – being a better person.

(Paul) So what are your thoughts about Adrea’s reFirement? Scroll on down, leave a comment. Pop your email into the form to the right to get notified of our next video. And grab the link below and share it with other through your favorite email or social media program.

And in the mean time, this is Paul Carter saying, “Let’s go out there and reFire!”