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How Tatiana Lobo Burst My Bubble
By Ashley Steyaert

What can a 26-year-old North American journalist learn from a 70-year-old Latin American author in less than 48 hours? Enough to change one life, and perhaps even more.

When I arrived at Tatiana Lobo’s house yesterday afternoon I considered myself a courageous, intelligent young woman with her eyes wide open and her head on straight. About an hour ago Doña Tatiana compared me to a frightened ostrich with its head ignorantly buried in the ground…and I see her point.

As announced in our January 2010 issue, Tatiana Lobo Wiehoff attended the Book Fair and International Film Festival at Sámara’s Intercultura Language School. When The Voice of Nosara asked me to attend the event, introduce myself to the esteemed literary figure and get a one-on-one interview with her, I nearly choked with anxiety. I thought to myself “How am I, a young rookie journalist, going to approach this award winning author whose books I have never even read?”

The days leading up to the event were reminiscent of dead week in college. I was online researching her life history and literary accomplishments, breaking a sweat with a highlighter in hand, trying to translate and comprehend what I had feverishly printed out. The more I learned about Tatiana Lobo, the more enamored and intimidated I became of the notoriously uncensored critic of social injustice, corruption and chauvinism; I realized that this woman embodies much of what I aspire to be as a writer, a revolutionary, and a woman.

Tatiana Lobo is an audacious world traveler; over the years she has traveled through and lived in several different countries, learned to speak their languages, study and then boldly yet eloquently critique their political and social constructs. Lobo is a courageous woman who is conscious and critical of her surroundings and not afraid to face adversity for the sake of unveiling and opposing injustice. Through all her years of living, traveling, working, researching and raising a family in Costa Rica, Lobo has gained an unparalleled knowledge of this country which she intrepidly delivers through her works such as Entre Dios y el Diablo. Mujeres de la Colonia (winner of the Premio Nacional Aquileo J Echeverría in 1993) and Asalto al Paraíso, (Honorable Mention of Santiago de Chile Municipality 1993 and Mexcio’s Premio Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz in 1995).

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at Intercultura on January 28th and not only got my interview with Tatiana Lobo, but an invitation to come visit her at her house. Within twenty minutes of my arrival in the small mountain town of La Paz, Doña Tatiana had already begun to make a lasting impression. She began to break me down question by question about where I have gone and what I have done in the nearly 3 years that I have called Costa Rica my home.


When I told her that I haven’t spent any considerable amount of time in San José nor have I been to the Caribbean side of the country, she was aghast and bluntly declared “You are living in a bubble! You do not know the country in which you live.” My ego took the blow offensively. I thought, “How can she say that? I’ve made Sámara my whole life since I moved there; I work there, live there year-round and spend all my time there…How can I not know Costa Rica when within it is where I feel most at home?”

During my stay with her, Doña Tatiana made her message clear to me and put my life in Sámara in to perspective. She explained, “All vacation locations are bubbles. These bubbles are necessary because we need to escape [from the responsibilities and worries of day to day life] once in awhile. The problem is believing that you can forget the rest of the world. The bubble should not be a place of isolation, it should be a place of rest.”

Tatiana Lobo showed me how narrow my vision was in respect to my knowledge of and existence within Costa Rica, and told me I “have to open [my] eyes and see the world [I] live in it for what it really is.” I now realize the degree to which I have isolated myself within this precious little beach town and become so comfortable inside it that I have timidly avoided venturing away from my picturesque bubble in which everything is familiar, everyone is friendly and I will never get lost.

Doña Tatiana has taught me that “the cure for fear is to observe and know the world in which one lives”, and thanks to her I now understand that I will never be able to fully understand or appreciate this (or any) place without knowing what lies beyond it.

I write these reflections of my experience with Tatiana Lobo because I do not believe that I am the only foreigner who has come to the area, fallen in love with it, and scarcely left it sense. I also suspect I am not the only one who has avoided visiting the stigmatized yet fundamental areas of this country such as San José and Limon, for example. Of you happen to be one of these people, I am writing this to burst your bubble. No matter how long or how consistently we’ve resided here, we really can’t say that we know Costa Rica until we get outside our comfort zone, travel around the country and gain some sort of understanding of what Costa Rica is outside of our area. In Doña Tatiana’s words “the first duty we have as human beings is to inform ourselves” about the world in which we live, a duty that I for one am excited to begin fulfilling.

More Entertainment News

Miami Electro-fashion Show at Estancia Nosara

It has been over two years since the Estancia Nosara Private Club opened it’s gates to the public, but on January 28th, Estancia did more than just open it’s gates – it put on an elegant evening that Nosara will not soon forget. On this night, the private club welcomed over 200 guests to the KREL Wear Fashion show of famed Miami Designer, Karelle Levy. More >

Locals Act it Up for Library Fundraiser

The annual Kitson Library fundraiser this year afforded a cast of locals the opportunity to explore their inner Thespians, and a night of fun was enjoyed by all.

Ninety-year old Buzzy Maxwell was a standout as Willie Clark, with Don Savage ably reprising the role of Al Lewis in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. While it’s a long road from Nosara to Broadway, many of the cast members were talking about a future for live theater here. More >

Recipe Thieves – Beware talented local chefs – your secrets are no longer safe!

This Month’s victim: Luis Alvarez, the 24 year old head chef of the tranquil Luna Azul Hotel and Restaurant nestled on the northern border of Ostional just before San Juanillo. Owners Rolf Liichtenstein and Andreas Baumann work closely with Luis to develop the very best recipes to present to their guests. This elegant menu changes nightly and is determined by what fresh ingredients are available to the kitchen each day. Luis studied his chef apprenticeship just after beginning with the hotel as a builder. Nine months later, Luis came back wanting a job as a cook and he has now been the restaurant’s chef for 4 years. More >

Fabric Artist Paints Nosara

“Happy Accidents” is the phrase that Miami Fashion Designer Karelle Levy would use to describe the way her knit fabric falls on to a person’s body. However, Karelle’s designer fabric and clothing is definitely no accident. Karelle is an artist, and her fabric is her canvas. More >


March Astrology Report More >


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