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Visit the new Real Costa Rica

June 10th, 2006

RCRI am not sure what on earth possessed me to do an entire re-write of The Real Costa Rica, but I did and it is now online for your viewing pleasure or displeasure. The most obvious thing you will notice is the new color scheme and menu system. There are also a lot of new pages, new pictures, about 500 new links… ugh. I still have to install the new search engine though the olde one seems to be working perfectly. Go figure!

Thanks to those who tested the site. Reading the same old pages for errors is booooring, but you really helped!

Anyway… here it is: The REAL Costa Rica

Enjoy!

The REAL Costa Rica (redux)

May 23rd, 2006

Every since I published the Real Costa Rica web site, I have received a zillion emails and comments in the Guestbook. Most are complimentary and a few are from people who have really dug into the RCR and found errors (precious few!), typos (a LOT) and have made suggestions on how to better the web site.

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Preparation Catch-up

January 14th, 2006

Since many of you may be wondering about what sort of preparation goes into planning to study abroad, I thought now might be a good time to give you a run-down on everything I’ve done for this trip so far.

First, I researched study abroad programs, then applied to the one I was interested in. Many people hedge their bets and apply to more than one program, but I knew that I met all the criteria and the application process is fairly time intensive, so I opted to bet all my chips on one hand.

After waiting forever to find out, I was finally accepted and even offered a small scholarship. Then came the real work.
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University Admittance Here is Tough

January 14th, 2006

In the US, it is the private schools.. the Harvards, Yales, and others that are tough to get into. In Costa Rica, however, there are only three public universities and those are the ones where the competiton for entrance has become tough indeed.
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Chagas Disease in Costa Rica

January 10th, 2006

Never heard of it?

Me neither! However thanks to alert reader Julie Becker, I now know we have another nasty thing available in Costa Rica.

After doing a bit of research such as checking with the WHO and the CDC, and, of course, asking my wifey to check the CAJA hospitals and physicians here in Costa Rica, I found out that:

A. Chagas Disease does exist here, but

B. You’re going to have to live in some pretty nasty places to get it!

Your chances of catching Chagas disease are truly remote unless you’re into living adobe style.

Because it is pretty near impossible for the average person to get Chagas, I almost decided against adding it to RCR. In fact, unless you’re a Peace Corp volunteer or living with the indigenous people of CR, you’re pretty safe. Still, as I want our section on Disease in Costa Rica to be as complete as possible, I have added Chagas to the list of things that can be a downer while visiting or living here, including all, and probably more than you ever wanted to know about this disease.

So you travelers planning on switching your reservations from The Four Seasons to a some mud shack or adobe, better read about the whole thing in the section on diseases.

Those of you who prefer a somewhat higher standard of accommodations, well you can pretty much ignore this whole post.

Traveling to Costa Rica?

December 5th, 2005

Bring the Repellent!

Despite truly heroic efforts by the government of Costa Rica and specifically the Health Ministry, Dengue Fever is rampant here right now with the number of reported cases up a stagering 311% percent this year. The daily rains have certainly exacerbated the problem. As I discuss in the sections on Disease in Costa Rica and the ever popular “Things Your Travel Agent Forgot to Tell You“, Dengue is caused by a daytime only biting mosquito. Dengue is very easily avoided by simply using an good insect repellent, so if you are planning a visit to Costa Rica, don’t panic! Simply bring a supply of bug spray with you or plan to buy some here when you arrive. All popular brands are available here. As of today, 23,000 Ticos have or are now infected with dengue and 36 have been diagnosed with the more serious hemorrhagic type. (Source: La Nacion)

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