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The Little Things Count Big in Costa Rica

October 19th, 2007

This is sappy, I know. But there is so much to be grateful here. There is something about the simplicity of this country that nudges me to slow down. This is good. We make films at motherjungle.com and if you have just a minute to slow down enough to watch it. I thank you.

It takes so little to makes kids happy – even in Costa Rica.

October 17th, 2007

Addison loves the car. He’s the complete opposite of my daughter who usually threw up or threw a fit when she got strapped in. If Addison just gets a glimpse of our car, he starts scooting across the floor in delight. He stops occassionally to slap his hand on his knee and giggle in delight.

If I am running a little late or need just a second to gather keys, phone, money, bottle, diapers before we leave (for even the smallest of trips), I can safely put Addison in the car and he happily chats away while kicking his feet up and down and anticipating whatever journey we are going to take. If I am not taking Addison in the car, we have to sneak out the side door or he starts to cry when he sees the car pull away, which breaks everybody’s heart.

My daughter now loves the car, but once and awhile will throw up, just for old time’s sake. I’ve found one of the easiest ways to entertain the kids on a Saturday night is to load them up in the car, throw on the rain coats, and slurp down some Italian Ice at the cafe down the street (Costa Rica is growing up in gourmet!).

It just takes so little to please a kid, and me for that matter, most of all it is about feeling safe and knowing exploration is welcome; discovery is paramount; and raspberry ice a must.

Susan’s Got a New Name

October 10th, 2007

Did you remember Cheers? The bar where “everybody knew your name?”

I loved that show. No, I’d say it was almost religion. (I’m being satirical here.) I didn’t miss an episode. And, I felt like a regular when I placed myself on the couch to watch it every week. I was so sad to see it go, but I forged on.

When I arrived here nine years ago, Costa Rica was my Cheers. I worked for years to develop a neighborhood, “regulars,” a system, and a routine where I felt at home. Many began to know my name.

My show was cancelled. Like Frasier, Ted, and Carla, I found myself written out of the script I had written. In other words, in a matter of very short time, I became a single mother in a foreign country, and of course as many of you know, my son has Down Syndrome.

How did all this happen so fast? This is not as important of the new
life ahead of me.

So, I’ve developed a “spin-off.” There are a few new characters in my play, and a few old familiar faces. My name has changed, but really, I’m still the same. With a few changes to the script, the stories will continue. I’m staying in Costa Rica, and “belly-ing” up to the bar for the new and exciting episodes.

By the way, instead of Susan Carmichael, you can now call me Susan Lutz.

Thanks for tuning in.

TLC Si! TLC wins 51.7% to 48.3%

October 7th, 2007

Costa Rica has decided. The answer is SI – YES to the TLC. I am so proud to be living here during this time.

Turnout was about 60% of eligible voters.

Is this good for Costa Rica? Probably, but certainly not perfect. It has always been my opinion that Costa Rica had to vote yes for the country to continue to prosper. To say no would place her in a difficult, perhaps untenable position indeed as Costa Rica must be able to compete against other`Latin American Countries.

So now the process will begin with various parts of the TLC being phased in over`the next dozen years. For sure this will not go smoothly as many will continue to fight the process to the detriment of Costa Rica and her people.

But this is an enlightened government and the leadership is strong.

Costa Rican will benefit because of the competition. The big business monopolies of ICE, CAJA and the INS will no longer be able to asset themelves to the detriment of the people.

Viva Costa Rica!

TLC – A Civics Lesson

October 7th, 2007

Today is the Big Day.

Today the citizens of Costa Rica go to the polls to vote for or against approval of the Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) or in English, the Free Trade Agreement with the USA.

Copies of the TLC are currently available online, but only the brave need download and read entirely this document. It is mammoth and confusing and requires a huge amount of cross referencing to other places within the document. I admit that I tried, got through maybe 30% of it, then spent a little more time looking only for certain things like the effect on ICE (communications) and insurance. Thus here is my disclaimer that I am not an expert.

This is the first public referendum in the history of Costa Rica, and I will say that I am very impressed! They did this right and all Costa Ricans should be very proud of themselves and their country.

There have been debates, presentations and countless meetings given almost daily by both sides in all parts of Costa Rica. What has to be clear to all who live here is that any Costa Rican who wanted to learn about this document has had almost unlimited resources at their disposal to do so. The point is… if you wanted to learn, you could.

Some did. Some did not. Here is what I found.

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