Friday, February 27

It's Not about The Wall

There is an invisible wall that exists between the locals and "the foreigners". It's there, regardless of how many years you live here. You can blend better if you've been here a real long time but you are still considered an outsider by the locals.
This is not about that. This is about a group of women doing something for a much neglected preschool in the community and using a wall to create interest and bring attention to their needs. The foundation work (prepping the wall) is beginning now. I'll keep you posted. Our hope is to encourage the community to help it's one and only little preschool. And get that mural painted!

Faces of Innocence

You might be surprised to learn that the government barely supports the schools here. There is talk the teachers may go on strike, like in Honduras right now. It's a real problem, funding. This photo was taken at the daycare center in Jaco for preschoolers and they are in need. For some kids, the meal they receive here is the best meal of their day. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to the "Rice and Beans" food drive.

Awhile back, I went with a group to most of the schools in Garibito. Some of the conditions were shocking. Photos can be seen on my Flickr account:
under "sets" with "escuela" name.

Sunday, February 22

MARDI GRAS in Esterillos Oeste

Leave to the good folks down in Esterillos Oeste to bring Mardi Gras to Costa Rica.
This is the FIRST Annual Mardi Gras event and the proceeds this year will go to the local school.
These guys just know how to have fun! AND do a good thing for the community.

I hope you enjoy the slideshow and will join us next year for Esterillos Oeste Mardi Gras in Costa Rica!!!
For those that want a quick view of photos, they are also posted on at

Friday, February 20

Here today, Gone today

There are so many changes going on around my house involving bulldozers and the like. This little bridge is a favorite of mine so, of course, when I heard hacking sounds this morning, I ran to see what was being chopped down. The bridge, it's gone. I've used this in photos many times but just the other day I stopped and got a photo specifically of the old bridge (photo above).
Making way for a bigger, better bridge. I'll miss that decrepit little bridge the guys used to cross over with their motorcycles.

postscript: I added a new song to TeriTunes, one of my "hit the road" favorites - seemed appropriate considering there was a execution style murder the other morning right around the curve, just spittin' distance from my house.
The song is Charlie Daniels, Simple Man. Says it all.
Pura Vida.
I finally got my Internet connection fixed so I'm back! I hope.

Thursday, February 12

Birdie in the Window

I have no clue why but this little bird comes every morning to my bedroom window and continuously raps with his beak on my window. I've taken to tapping back on the inside of the window to respond to his pecking. This same bird has been returning every morning for months now. My windows have solar film on them so maybe he was fallen in love with his reflection in the glass. He is so persistent going up and down the window sill, from one sets of windows to the other.
It makes me smile.

Tuesday, February 10

Dry Drowning, and stuff

I always learn something when Dr. Oz visits the Oprah show.
I had never heard of dry drowning which caused me to think maybe you haven't either. It's when water gets in the lungs and causes death hours later.
I'm posting it here so you can check it out and understand it for yourself, to protect your loved ones.
This little boy was only 10 years old...

While you are checking out this surprising info, check out what Dr. Oz has to say about cell phones and YOUR BRAIN!!!!!!
I STILL don't have a cell phone here. In the year 2000, no one had a cell phone on the streets here. NOW, everyone, I mean everyone and their brother has a cell phone. It's quite amazing to see. I figure if I have an emergency, I'll borrow theirs. It's really easy now to get a cell line from ICE (so I hear)...

Quick story - when I first started visiting here in 2000, I had read in books that freezers/ice was not common in the local "sodas" (restaurants) and the water was contaminated so using ice made with the water, well, it wasn't safe (parasites). I decided to just drink Pilsens and bottled water so it wasn't a problem. Funny thing was, I kept seeing all these "ICE" trucks all over Jaco. Back then, they were plain, enclosed trucks with the words I C E in bold letters. Not knowing anything and being a tourist, I was totally confused about the 'shortage of ice'.
NOW I know, ICE is King here and it has nothing to do with ice.

This was written a couple of days ago. The Internet went out before I could post it. Since the wind storm awhile back, we've had problems with Internet but ICE is on it, repairing the lines!! Internet comes and goes these past few days.

Monday, February 9

Hay Kids... It's COW TIME!!!!!!!!!!

I totally swipped these photos off the site:
They are displayed in 110x110 size so the quality isn't great. You can view the photos at the site above and see which country or state each cow is from.
Pretty amazing. What would your cow look like?
This post was prompted by a comment I received this morning from a mother of a three year old that was excited about seeing the cows I photographed at the Jaco Art Festival and hearing "I'm Yours".
The song and the painted cows are for you!!

For a better slide show of the cows of Taipei 2009, go to this link and click slideshow,
sit back and enjoy the beautiful Taipei cows:

Sunday, February 8

The Cows Come To Jacó

Today wraps up the Art Festival in Jaco. I was happy to see some of the painted fiberglass cows made it here. I thought they had been auctioned off after the parade in San Jose. I think now that they travel the world (see I saw them pass by on semi-trucks headed for Quepos awhile back and wondered if they were on their way to be shipped out of the country. I guess some of them are still making the circuit and I was happy to see them here in Jaco.
Article about the San Jose exhibit of cows:

The art festival was held at Jaco's new community park. It's beautiful, so far.

About my last post on Unseen Dangers.... A friend of mine told me after reading it he "felt bad". It was not intended for anyone to feel bad. My point was to shed some light on the unseen dangers here but not to dissuade anyone from coming to "my found paradise". Just don't be an idiot about it and think it's "just like the United States", it isn't. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, if you use it. Most people won't even check the links I inserted in the Unseen Dangers post.
The ignorance is bliss people. I once was one, too.
Regardless of all I learned about Costa Rica in my two year research before coming here and the six years living here, I have never regreted it.

Check out Sally's video at about living here in Costa Rica. Her and her family moved here from Key West a few years ago. Sally is the type that does her homework and researches her questions until she finds the answer. I think of her as a pitbull with a bone. Determined. I've learned a lot reading her blog.

Friday, February 6

Unseen Dangers

"DANGER, Will Robinson, Danger." - from Lost in Space (1960's). Google it if you're too young to know these things.

I was raised to see the "danger" in just about everything. My mom was a fanatic about keeping us safe (God bless her). She was quick to spot the potential danger and point the peril out to us girls. Her fears kept us from participating in many activities but I have never had a broken bone or serious injury (nor my sisters). My mom would have approved of me following my dream to live in a foreign country but she would have been crazy with worry over the "what ifs". My sisters handed out a dose of the what ifs before I moved to Costa Rica, like "what if you get sick" or "what if you die over there". I thought through the whole scenerio and long ago decided, I do plan to die here or there, one day but the burial part I've already specified.
(my past post:
I love Costa Rica and consider it my home now, it's where I live now. All of their worries didn't come close to the real fears I live with here, living in the tropics. (...and I'm from South Florida (Everglades area) which is considered "tropical" - read hot, humid, wetlands...)

For instance, the other night there was no rain - just twirls of strong wind now and then. Spooky like. I was immediately on alert. It prompted me to close some of my windows but not all of them like I would if it were raining. Then all of a sudden, a tremendous wind force whipped through my house. It was frightening. I wondered if the old tall palm tree (past posts - "the nesting tree")
would hold or fall to the house. If my tiles on my roof would be scattered all over the neighborhood but mainly, I wondered what was coming next. A few years ago, we had a tornado come through crossing on both sides of my house. There was damage all around but I was untouched. Raging Mother Nature is alive and well here. We have it all, from earthquakes to tornados, floods, even hurricanes and possible erupting volcanoes (112 volcanoes in CR - google Pacific Rim of Fire and you'll find Miss Costa Rica). My mom would have been worried sick the whole time I lived here. Both my parents have been layed to rest or I would have never been able to live here in peace. The strong winds the other night reminded me of "The Three Little Pigs" fairytale, I was proud to be living in a strong brick (concrete) house like I was raised in.

For me, the real dangers living here are unseen. It is not crime, drunk drivers, bad roads, or even the deadly snakes, it's the diseases! Tropical diseases, from the dirt, bugs, water... I enjoy watching Dr. House and last night this sick guy takes everyone hostage at gunpoint to diagnosis what is wrong with him. No one had been able to detect his disease in past years and he just had to know what was wrong with him at the fate of going to jail. Of course, Dr. House did diagnosis his disease within the hour (with much drama) and he had MELIADOSIS! Ever hear of it? Me neither, so I googled it. Check out what it is at this link: You'll be surprised. On Dr. House, I learned about the Chagas disease, too. I blogged about it (search - "Chagas", upper left corner of Yo-Yo). I've blogged about the MANY parasites that are found here (search "parasites", warning-this one is really scarey) but I really didn't research the tropical diseases. Here is Wiki's list: It's a real eye opener and it makes me wonder if the writers of Dr. House draw from these lists for their "tropical diseases".

If you check out these links, it will put things into perspective as far as where your real fears should be. Most people coming to Costa Rica are so focused on the crime and the extreme weather, they don't put much thought into those things that are present but unseen.
I do, I was raised that way.
Pura Vida.

So you know, I do go barefoot on the beach and walk my dogs through the river
and I sometimes drink the water (can't help but to).
I feel my fears are in check,
"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" message
and truly, my biggest fear has been resolved.
I feared dying without realizing my dream to live in Costa Rica
...and do as I damned well please.
Remember HGTV's show, The Good Life?
That inspired me, to "sale out and sail away" to Costa Rica.

For those that don't know about the three little pigs, here it is:

"Three Little Pigs
Three young pigs leave home to make their way in life. They have to construct their own homes. Two of the youngsters play around all day and simply put up a house of straw and the other of sticks. The third little pig is industrious and works hard to build a sturdy house of bricks. A hungry wolf happens by and huffs and puffs and easily blows down the flimsy dwellings of straw and sticks and eats the first two little pigs. But the wolf cannot blow down the tough house of bricks and thus this pig is saved. A tragic ending for the wolf in a version of this fairy tail is that when he climbs down the chimney of the third pig he falls into the boiling cauldron, is cooked and eaten.

Moral: hard work and enterprise triumphs over evil forces and misfortune (the wolf)."
- quoted from Wikipedia.

Thursday, February 5


I was told a long time ago, when you see one of these, something you have been waiting for (hoping for) will appear. I sure hope so.
Once, I rode all the way down Hermosa beach road and back with a grasshopper on my windshield. I was taking my dogs for a joy ride, they never noticed the creature on the windshield the whole way.
I apologize for the long lapse in between post. I'll get back to blogging soon. Between my dogs having another fight over a pitbull being tied next to their fence and my back tire almost falling off coming up the Hermosa mountain after a simple tire rotation, I've been pretty stressed. I did manage to read "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" while I was recuperating from the dog fight (I had to really struggle to separate them and I was bitten in a couple of places, like my hands). The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a great read, especially if you love dogs. I read it off my computer since I can't find a copy of it here. Once you get into it, you can't stop reading. Just a warning. It's a BIG BOOK too, like 600 pages!

To see the three-legged "esperanza" - click here.