A Friend Laughs
Many of us dream of changing our life but few have done something as bizarre and drastic as moving to the Costa Rican jungle. In 2004, Jo and Crispin Freeman sold their London flat and did just that; with their six month old baby in tow. They purchased 165 acres on the southern Pacific coast near Pavones: sleepy surfer town and brainchild of an infamous convicted drug smuggler. Crispin soon forgets his lawyer background and is blissfully happy zipping around the jungle on his quad bike - crashing occasionally - with his faithful machete by his side. He becomes addicted to buying land, befriends the aptly named Crazy Lenny and the drug smuggler’s right-hand man and is incapable of saying ‘No’ when locals ask him for a loan. Sensible Jo doesn’t take to her alien surroundings quite so easily. The wildlife terrifies her (is that a snake under my baby’s play-mat?!), the locals bemuse her (you can’t really think your daughter’s birthmark is due to a lunar eclipse, can you?!) and the fact that it seems their new house will never ever be finished drives her mad (although having the good-looking builder around is quite nice). After horribly losing a horse to tetanus, unknowingly being involved in a wood smuggling operation, and having a disastrous time trying to get the new house ready for imminently arriving friends; Jo eventually realises that maybe the grass is getting greener but she has been too wrapped up in all of the disasters befalling them to notice. ‘A Friend Laughs’ is the funny and sobering true story of what happened when a young family followed their dream.
Published: 1 November 2011