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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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Hola todos!

January 13th, 2006

Hola todos!

I’m Christin, and I’m leaving for Costa Rica in just 3 short days.

I’ll be flying from Port Columbus airport in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. through Miami, Florida, U.S.A. into San Jose, Costa Rica. I have a 10-hour layover in Miami (I hope the bar is open early), so expect to hear more from me then!
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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.

Festivals, Bullfighting and stuff

January 6th, 2006

This Post was originally in my personal blog, and is re-published here as I received a bunch of emails telling me readers here might find it interesting.

In teaching my son’s Costa Rican girlfriend how to prepare a Christmas turkey (with sage and onion dressing!) and how terribly important it is to use care in the preparation of these foods and to be especially careful of things like botulism, salmonella, athlete’s foot, and Chlamydia, I managed to poison myself (food wise) which is why I have not been writing. The good thing is that they have TV in hospitals, the IV thingy is pretty portable, and you can watch the bullfights between the bouts vomiting and diarrhea!
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Surprise! The new GSM phones still don’t work!

December 18th, 2005

Costa Rica signed a contract with the Ericsen folks to update the GSM cell phone systems in Costa Rica. This was in the wake of the scandal that sent three ex-presidents to jail for allegedly accepting bribes from the French company that originally installed the OLD GSM system that never worked worth a hoot.
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Protect your PC while in CR

December 6th, 2005

(or anywhere, really)

Every month at the ARCR Seminar, we discuss Internet security, Internet Cafes here in CR and how dangerous they are for web security, how critical is virus protection, why most of your well known anti-virus programs are next to useless, and why a two-way firewall is critical… especially if you use the cafes or wireless (wifi) locations. So here it is… What I use and why all in one handy location.

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)

Nicaragua Wants Guanacaste

December 1st, 2005

Costa Rica has been disputing Nicaragua’s refusal to allow Costa Rica police patrol boats to carry weapons on the San Juan river that separates Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I guess they are fearful that our staunch Fuerza Publica will cross the river and attack their country. Continue reading »

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