Bruce in kayak.

"We specialize in small group travel, which minimizes environmental impact, increases safety standards and allows for personalized, enriching and authentic experiences."

— Bruce Smith, founder and owner, Seascape Kayak Tours Inc.

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Posts Tagged ‘Raingsong Wildlife Sanctuary’

A Special GiftDecember 19th, 2009

The season in Costa Rica so far has been very busy: three multi-day experiences and a number of day trips with guests from Tambor Tropical. It is wonderful to be back in this warm, colorful Latin American country. Costa Rica is home. I have several days off prior to the arrival of the next group on December 26th.


Christmas is crazy in Costa Rica; families preparing special tamales for “La Navidad” and making sure regalos (gifts) are ready. It still seems slightly strange to see Christmas lights twinkling from palm trees and a Santa poking out from lush tropical vegetation.

kinkyA couple of days ago I received a very special early Christmas gift. Frances and I traveled to Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in the nearby coastal community of Cabuya. The sanctuary cares for and tries to rehabilitate injured mammals, birds and reptiles. One of the animals at the center is a Kinkajou, a small nocturnal mammal which is also called a “night monkey.”

When we entered the animal’s enclosure in the late afternoon, Kinky was just starting to stir from a full day’s slumber. I slowly reached into its den and softly stroked its silky soft fur and Kinky opened her huge round eyes and peered out. The connection was immediate….trust….caring….love and recognition. Kinky poked her head out of her nest and yawned, exposing a long, narrow tongue, and proceeded to reach out to hold onto me with her little paws as she stretched to her full length. We looked at each other for quite some time, acknowledging a kindred presence. Then, with almost a smile and a nod, Kinky moved lazily back into her den for a little more rest before waking for the night.

Several days (and nights) later, I still find myself reflecting upon this encounter. The physical sense of touch is very powerful… It can often convey a feeling or message that words cannot.

I believe in the true spirit of Christmas; however, I find it very difficult to accept how commercialized Christmas has become. Too often we are more concerned about what Christmas dinner will be, how the house will look for guests, or finding the perfect gift than reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.

It is important to touch people and animals and demonstrate love, kindness, acceptance and understanding. This is the true gift of Christmas.


Wishing everyone a very simple, peaceful holiday season.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel

Bruce and Frances

You can read more about Kinky and Rainsong here.

Photos courtesy of Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary, Frank Postma and Bruce Smith.