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Then, the Other Car Goes

March 2nd, 2007

So this other car we have, a little French van you can’t get in the States, choked in the middle of driving. The power went out – usually on the freeway. Needless to say, we’ve had it in many, many tallers – garages. No one could find the problem. We lived with the problem on and off for three year. Then, another problem began: it would take about 30 minutes of turning the key before the engine started. Problem was…. Continue reading »

When is it Time to Buy a New Car?

February 21st, 2007

The kids were being champs. We sat in traffic, 20 miles from home, after a long ride home from the beach. Rush hour made traffic lights long waits. My car had been well tuned-up after a few break downs. I was glad our old car made it through another trip. Friends of ours sat a few cars behind us. It had been a great weekend. Then a taxi driver Continue reading »

You Want to Put a Chair on My Back?

February 13th, 2007

As I lay on the bed, careful not to move so I wouldn’t disrupt the eight needles sticking in my chest and legs, my acupuncturist played his flute for the crowd in the waiting room. It had been awhile since I’d been pinned, but with my immune system a wreck and cysts growing on the back of my neck, I decided I better get re-adjusted.

The doctor’s flute playing has improved. The first time he played for me, I was visiting him Continue reading »

My Readers Write

February 8th, 2007

I receive a zillion emails, and try to reply personally to all of them (except the ones that are clearly answered in The Real Costa Rica or are written by folks too lazy to just read the relevant page… but I digress! Over the holidays, the sheer numbers of emails increase AND I am run ragged by my wifey and businesses and have less time to reply. These emails were sent from The Real Costa Rica, The RCR Guest Book and Hisfault.

Some of the questions are pretty good and my reply may be of interest to others… so here they are! As always, I generally do not edit emails though I DO protect the identity of the writer as, sadly, some folks appear to be borderline literate. I may also shorten them a bit showing only the relevant question. Continue reading »

Join Me Here Out on the Edge

January 30th, 2007

I’ve gotten quite used to this Down Syndrome thing, but sometimes the simplest things catch me off guard. Addison doesn’t walk yet, though all the kids his age do. In fact, they run, climb rocks, and stairs. I’ve gotten used to the little mile markers. Life happens slowly around our house, and we’ve grown to like it. When Addison sat up, I thought: Well, it will only be a few weeks, and he won’t need pillows around him anymore. That was 9 months ago. I’ve gotten used to hauling him around, though my muscles beg to differ. At 4 a.m. a few nights ago, I reached over to put Addison back in his crib after he woke up in the wee hours of the morning. When I tried to pull my arm away from his back, a nerve or a muscle snapped or pinched. It went deep. I couldn’t move.

Continue reading »

Blowin’ In The Wind

January 19th, 2007

The windy season gets on my nerves. Anywhere in the Central Valley, from December to February, the wind blows hard, very hard. It’s as though the wind becomes this evil stepmother lurking around and making my life miserable.

I yell at the wind: just stop for a minute, will ya! Here in the Central Valley, it doesn’t stop – day or night. It blows, and it blows. The air is dry; pools are chilly. Step outside and watch hairstyles go frizzy.

I’ve heard that skin drinks in the luscious humid tropic air – it keeps us supple. Take cover in the dry season. My son has breathing problems. His little nose just cannot manage major shifts in humidity. When it rains, I know Continue reading »

A Few Key Words You Must Know

January 11th, 2007

I learn Spanish from the people around me. I quit lessons awhile ago because time went to the kids. But, I continued to learn so much in a day from the children and the people in my life.
There’s a list of words you must know, of course, before traveling. Water – agua; bathroom – baño; those two are a cinch. But consider learning this word too…. Continue reading »

Crime in Costa Rica

January 6th, 2007

I get a fair number of emails asking about crime in Costa Rica… so maybe it is time to cover this topic once more.

Crime here, it is getting worse and I have no problem saying so. It is certainly different than when I first stepped off the boat. Saying that though, the crime is pretty well confined to two areas: San Jose (the city), and areas where tourists congregate. It is NOT country wide.

This is true for the US as well. A small town in Iowa is NOT the same as life in LA.

Continue reading »

La Luna Strikes Again

January 5th, 2007

With a full moon, I always wonder about change.

Last night, I went for a walk around the block after finally putting a terribly crabby 15 month old to bed. There is was, la luna, full and plump.

“It’s a rock,” my daughter said. Coco is a beautiful blend of concrete and mush. As I was getting dinner ready for my other child, my daughter came into the kitchen with tears streaming down her face. She held a dead humming bird in her hand.

“She’s dead!” she sobbed. She cupped the little bird in the palm of her hand. Continue reading »

My How Things Have Changed

December 18th, 2006

Five years ago, it was almost impossible to get a good espresso anywhere in Costa Rica. For a country that grows coffee, I was mystified why no one knew how to brew it.

I grew up with terrible coffee. That’s why I never drank it. The watery cup of java was acidic and bitter. I couldn’t see what my parents saw in it. Then, I discovered espresso. This is how the little bean that lifts us up was meant to be enjoyed. Unfortunately, a huge machine the price of a small car used to be needed to produce this wonderful brew. Only a few could afford it. Continue reading »

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