Sticky Rice is known for its karaoke and Richmond trivia nights, so its patrons are already primed to participate in bar extracurriculars. Costa Rica's a natural outgrowth. It also doesn't hurt that local bartender Randy O'Dell, a friend of Yamashita's, recently purchased property in Costa Rica and plans to open a bed and breakfast. O'Dell helped with the setup.
Yamashita has a few tricks up his sleeve for the weeklong trip. The group is divided into two teams of nine competitors. "One team was excited because they have a Spanish speaker," he says. "Another team has a couple that's engaged to be married."
The new teams' missions include a surf competition, sport fishing and a tour of the rain forest canopy with a ride down a zip-line high in the air. Teams win points by completing missions successfully. Then, of course, there are the monkeys.
Yamashita has already taken two scouting trips to Costa Rica and says the howler monkeys lurk in the canopy. "You can't see them, but they roar and rumble. They'd scare the [crap] out of you if you heard them."
Those who couldn't make it to Costa Rica can see the results of the hunt at the awards ceremony, which will include a video screening, July 10 at Have a Nice Day Café in Shockoe Bottom. There will be no capturing of actual monkeys, however.
"Ultimately, I know that it doesn't compete with big budgets that other events like this have," Yamashita says. "This is just me trying to put together a cool event for my friends. And besides, everyone loves a train wreck." Amy Biegelsen
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