I am writing from a hotel room in Puntarenas, the funky little port city on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I came here yesterday to visit Wolf, who is in the hospital. Last Thursday, after spending the morning in the Reserve, he was walking home mid-day, heading through the magical bullpen. No one knows what happened yet, but he got nauseous and fell over and then had a hard time to get up. He managed to crawl to a tree and support himself up to his feet, but it wasn’t long before he fell again. As far as he remembers, this happened three times until he finally, hours later, managed to get home. The emergency doctors brought him oxygen and then in the morning he had two more episodes of passing out. The ambulance brought him down to Puntarenas hospital the next day and he has been here since (it is now Wednesday).
So they aren’t sure what happened to him. He is going into San Jose to see a heart specialist on Thursday and for some tests. I got word on the weekend and came yesterday. His son, Ricky, is here at the hospital and he doesn’t know much more than that either.
I sat for a couple of hours visiting with Wolf yesterday and don’t see any lasting effects. His mind is lucid, his speech is as clear as he gets, and he is tired but in great spirits. I think he is a little scared but is taking things patiently. And he has a beautiful view out of the hospital room, over the Pacific Ocean and the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, with boats and clouds floating in and out of view. So although he has obviously gone through a rough spell, this just isn’t his time and he is making the best of the situation.
Wolf and I did manage to get the books last Monday morning out of customs. I have no idea why, but the tariffs were almost twice what we paid a year ago for a slightly smaller quantity. However you pay the piper and he gives you the goods. So a fresh crop of Walking with Wolf is safely in storage at the Center for Peace in San Jose. Our customs agent, Eliecer, seen here at his busy desk, helped us and although it was a long, frustrating and ultimately expensive process, we managed.
In the middle of the days of waiting, Wolf and I decided we needed to get out of the city and go up the mountain to Monteverde for a couple days. I got a lot done while I was there, saw many friends, confirmed the contract with Karen Masters and the Bosque Eterno SA as their information officer which will bring me some badly needed money, spoke with Pax about the computer art work for the Spanish version of the book, and did a little contra-dancing at the Friends School house.
We arrived on the Friday night and walked into one of those special nights in Monteverde when young and old bring out their talents and the community gathers to celebrate. This night was no exception, with songs and dance and funny videos made by students at the local schools. These occasions always make me appreciate this special place called Monteverde.
I also saw Veronica and Stuart and the three little dogs where I lived before. We’ve arranged that I will head up late June and again in early August and live in their house and care for the puppies while the human folk go to the US for awhile. They’ve moved houses, into a smaller abode close to the cliff edge, a place I’ve never lived in before but really look forward to staying at. Roberto will come and is determined to help Wolf do some cleaning on the trail that goes around the Guindon farm. As Wolf said, he may have to sit on the sidelines and watch Roberto work, but that will be fine too.
In the meantime, we now await word on what has vexed the Wolf. By the time I left today, Lucky, Melody, Helena and their families were all there and we took turns going up to visit Wolf (the hospital has a strange one visitor at a time system that takes a lot of coordination.) Lucky told me that in true form for Wolf, the morning that they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive, she made him a small cup of coffee. He then proceeded to pass out and she tried to pry his fingers off the cup so that he wouldn’t continue spilling it down him but his fingers gripped that cup like a lifeline. When he came to, the first thing he said was, “Hey, where’s my coffee?”
Wolf spent today sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway, enjoying the great view towards the clouds over Monteverde and receiving the line of visitors who had come. He seemed to be quite normal to me. I trust that the doctors will figure out what went wonky and help him to avoid it in the future. I’m happy that I was here in Costa Rica and able to so easily go and see him. I’m very thankful that I left him in good spirits with a strong mind and his usual laugh ringing down the hall as I walked away.