Bartering – seems like something from the “olden days”, as my Grandmother would say. Before I moved here, I had read a snippet about it somewhere… and I thought, man – that would be so cool to barter one of my “talents” for something I wanted in return.
Well, I’m happy to report bartering is alive and well, here in Costa Rica! I love bartering – especially because we are on a pretty tight budget now. It is so cool, y’all! You just exchange something that you can provide that another person wants, for something that you want that the other person can provide. Sounds easy, right? Here’s an example:Juanita has chickens that produce several fresh eggs for her family every morning. Matthew is a computer/website master. Matthew loves having fried eggs for breakfast every morning. Juanita has been having problems with her computer lately. How many eggs would it cost Matthew to work out Juanita’s computer problem? Get together and work it, people!! It’s that simple!
One time we had been coming back from the states, and were asked to “mule” something in from the US for friends of ours. “Mule” is a term used by Gringos, that really just means to bring (fly) something back from the US to Costa Rica that you cannot find anywhere in Costa Rica. In exchange for our “muling” efforts? We were personally picked up from the airport at night (which is a 45 minute drive away and a hefty cab fare). Deal!
These same good friends, are taking us to the airport again to pick up Greg’s Mom who is flying in to spend Thanksgiving with us. They got to enjoy a few gourmet specialty items from Jen’s Bake Shop.
It’s not always a perfect trade-off – but you’ll typically barter again in the future, and if you weren’t friends already, you might very possibly become friends – how great is that?
So, if you live here, remember – I bake really awesome stuff… just let me know what you have to offer me. 🙂 Ciao — Jen