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Wanna work for the OIJ?

July 23rd, 2007

There are a number of police organizations here in Costa Rica. All are terribly underfunded and thus badly understaffed.

I think the one police organization that receives the most respect is the Organismo de Investigación Judicial  (OIJ) and when spoken of locally is called the Oh EEE Hota.  They are sort of the FBI of Costa Rica, but with more powers and less silly limitations placed on their work.

They are certainly the most selective of all the police agencies and have a rather interesting criteria for accepting new recruits. Of every 100 applicants, only 10 make it. There are extensive psychological and physical tests that each must pass. They are also subject to an extensive background check that includes not only their behavior and records, but their life style and behavior within their own family. Automatically disqualified are those that show any signs of drinking problems, friendships present or past with anyone of ill repute, or any other behavior that shows lack of judgment.

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Getaway Weekend and Bird Watching Pt 2

July 22nd, 2007

q2.jpgI was so tempted to go back and change my last post promising Part 2 for the next day… but I figured someone would bust me in about two minutes… so here is PART TWO. Sorry for the delay… my BLOG was not displaying properly and I chose to update it before posting again. Not sure if this was necessary as most of my readers get updates by email or by RSS… but it makes for a good excuse.

On we go…. Part 2

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Getaway Weekend with Maria Part 1

June 8th, 2007

As a lot of you know, Maria Luisa and I are fond of taking weekend trips to places in Costa Rica that neither of us have been to before. For me, that is easy, but for my Tica wife, you would think she would have been everywhere after living for about a half a century. Not the case. One of the truly amazing things about Costa Rica is that for such a tiny country, it abounds in places that even Ticos do not know exist. Some are getaways just for weekends, while others are places you might really like to live! This is one of the reasons why I advise those moving here to not buy right away. Explore! You will find treasures and likely pay half of what you will pay of you don’t do this. The place we visited falls into the getaway category.

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Mouse Saves Family from Invader Bug Attack

April 29th, 2007

I was ashamed. I couldn’t speak of my family’s problem. I was ashamed our home and all living things in it had been overtaken by fleas. My pets were in agony. Their soft bellies were bitten, bloody, and scabbed. The scratched constantly, and so did I. The fleas thought my husband’s midsection a delicacy; my ankles a treat.

Buddhists believe in the sacredness of every living creature including fleas, leeches, and mosquitoes. I try to live in harmony with the insects that appear on my walls and floors. Since we live with our doors open year around, Continue reading »

More Questions from Readers

April 3rd, 2007

I need to apologize. I have not been able to Post here nearly as often as I would like. I am just buried in work, and sadly, income still must proceed pleasure… even in Costa Rica. The main site, The Real Costa Rica, is now up to about 25,000 new visitors each month, and between that and the Guestbook, I am just getting buried in emails as well. So once again, here are some of my replies to those emails.

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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.

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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.

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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 »

Important Change in Immigration!

January 3rd, 2007

Just found out today that an ages old policy has changed… and pretty much without notice.

Before, if a person had applied for any form of legal residency and had been assigned a file number from immigration, they did not have to leave Costa Rica after 90 days for that 72 hour period in order to renew their tourist visa.

Now they do!

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