What’s the most memorable Christmas present you ever received; a train set, a sled, a new surfboard??
Well, Safari Surf School senior instructor Pio Ruiz’s gift to his parents will really blow your mind!
I first caught wind of what Pio was up to six months ago.
His very sweet parents have lived in their little rustico casita down by the river all their lives. Little Pio was born and raised there as were his brothers and sisters. The reason I know about this is that we live quite close by. In dry season we can cross the river into town and would pass by Pio’s folks house every day and smile and wave to them. They would almost always be sitting on the porch, his mom clutching an old oversized Bible. They always appeared peaceful and content, and always waved back. “These are the simple joys of living here” I thought, “the real “Pura Vida”.
So what was Pio doing scouting about on some nearby undeveloped land? I asked him one day and he replied: “my parents own all this property and I am going to build them a new house”.
Well of course this piqued my interest, and I soon learned all about this remarkable man’s lifetime dream.
Pio: “Ever since I was a young boy I knew I wanted to do something really special for my parents. They raised me in a loving environment and always took great care of me. They encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I became a surfer at a young age and it became my passion and livelihood”.
Pio has always been a very focused individual. When I first met him he had a bitchin’ 4×4 Toyota truck and took great care of it. I later learned that he owned his own home. When I interviewed him for a Safari ‘Instructor Profile’ three years ago he told me “I don’t like it when I hear people say ‘Tico Time’, which I guess means it’s ok to be late – It’s NOT ok to be late”! As I got to know him better I developed a great admiration for his gentility, sincerity, and big heart. And oh yeah, the boy can surf…
The New House: So it turns out that Pio is very disciplined with his earnings and has been saving for years towards this dream. “My goal was to move them into the house by Christmas of this year and I made it”!!
The term ‘Pura Vida’ has been around in Costa Rica dialect for many decades. In English it translates to ‘pure life.’ In local Tico culture it has become the expression of eternal optimism embodied by the people who live this peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family, and friends.
Kind of reminds you of the real “Christmas Spirit”!!
So good on ya brother Pio! This is a Christmas Story for the ages!!