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Nice to Meat You!

While sitting outside my little neighborhood market, I witnessed an unusual site. A delivery truck pulled up and the driver came around, opened the back, and hopped in. He disappeared in the dark of the back of the truck, then appeared again donning a hooded sweatshirt, zipped up to his chin, holding an entire half of a cow on his back, by it’s foot above his head. He jumped down and marched the carcass into the store, which is also a carniceria. He came back out and grabbed another, then returned and removed his sweatshirt, hung it in the back, swept out the, meat bits(?) and gave a perfunctory wipe of his hands on his pants and drove away. We have bought our meat here…

The Idiot’s Guide to a CR-Nicaragua Journey

*Since I wrote this in 2009, there is a large new immigration office in San Carlos, and other points of interest, etc. may have also changed, or may no longer be available. I’ve been MIA from this blog for a few weeks, as my mom came for a visit. Her first weekend here coincided with our tri-monthly vacation to Nicaragua. I’ve described our first trip up to San Carlos, Nicaragua in a prior post, but I have had lots of folks asking for details, because they want to experience this fun adventure for themselves. I am going to go into detail with directions, names and landmarks, which is necessary here in the “Land of No Addresses or Known Highway Numbers.” Contact Phillippe Tisseaux, the owner…

Sapos, Snakes and Things that Gnaw in the Night

I recently heard about the danger of toads (sapos) to dogs here. We lived through a whole rainy season up on a ten acre farm, without a sapo incident, but since we moved here our new friends have shared their personal experiences with us, and it’s frightening! If a dog takes a sapo in their mouth, or just licks it, a hallucinogenic substance on their skin is dog poison. The dog will quickly go into convulsions, lose muscle control, and will die in short order without getting help. The dog needs to be given egg whites with milk to counteract the poison and save their life. I understand that there is something that you can get a the local pharmacies also, but knowing we have…

Whassuuuup?

Gringas get two Mother’s Day here, the American one today and the Ticos celebrate El Dia del Madre on August 15. I was ready to commit to only one this morning, until my children and husband showered me with good wishes, so I’ve decided to indulge myself in two Mother’s Days this year! A few posts back I expressed my desire for a girlfriend, confident she would come…well lo and behold I met her two weeks ago! She is from San Diego, is married to a Tico and has two boys, almost exactly our kids’ ages. We spotted each other while picking up our children from school, being gringas and blonde we gravitated toward each other and began chatting animatedly. Her family soon came for…

It’s Brilliant!

Spend time around your favorite British friend and you’ll shortly hear…brilliant! Now it’s my turn. A few posts back, I discussed a structure going up nearby made out of four old shipping crates. Well it’s coming along swimmingly, and I spoke to a builder today about the plans for this multi-use structure. There’s a long well in the cement floor for oil changing, etc, and that is the area for the “lubricentro” with an office/storage located in the lower right crate. They’ve attached an exterior staircase, opened the end of the upper right crate and built a small balcony for a hair salon! But that’s not all…the left side crates are going to become a bodega, or store! Four, maybe more, businesses in one cool…

Vacation Time Again (part two)

We decided to visit Nicaragua for our second vacation. My mother was staying in Costa Rica for a while, so she would be coming with us. This meant, I had to be sure we didn’t select an itinerary that would be too physically challenging, as she has problems with her lower extremities. There is one formal border crossing that can be driven through into Nicaragua, and I had heard because of that, you can spend a lot of time waiting. That was not my idea of vacation time well spent! So, back to the map and Google-ing. In the middle of the Costa Rica northern plains, there appeared to be a road that went straight up to Los Chiles, a town that looked to be…

It’s A Small World After All…

The other day my husband was talking with a Tica friend in Lindora. She said, “I heard you had a birthday party for your daughter.” He said, “Yes we did,” and proceeded to tell her of the error of my ways, with wanting to throw a slumber party (refer to my earlier post, Trying to Party, March 22, 2008.) It turns out, his friend has family living in Grecia and they have friends that know friends, that know the family of one of the girls that attended, and my party was the talk of the town! The moms were actually taking notes of the activities and “parting gifts,” and were very impressed with the whole affair. I am so pleased. I see myself as blundering…

Get Back To Work!!!!!!!!!

Vacation is over, and it’s back to school and work! Actually, things started coming back to life on Saturday after Good Friday. There were parties, fireworks and even soccer games on Easter Sunday. We got our first good afternoon rain shower on Sunday, which is a harbinger of the rainy season that is headed our way! Everyone seems happy to greet the rains though, as the usually green Costa Rican landscape has turned a tad brown and crispy. There is a Hanes Brands Inc. plant in Grecia. It employs a ton of people, who look pretty content coming and going to their job, and there are also many couples who walk into work hand in hand. A funny thing, we bought my daughter Hanes underwear…

Semana Santa

Many businesses and schools are closed all week and beginning last Friday afternoon, the valley residents headed to the coasts in droves! Seemed like a lousy time for Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to tie the knot on the beach down here, but it sounds like they pulled it off without my help! Today is Good Friday of Semana Santa, the holy week, and most important religious holiday here in Latin America. I’ve been photographing the crosses, that virtually every family has in front of their home, during lent. They came out forty days ago and they are beautiful! Please take a few moments to check out my photo collection: Yesterday and today are the two days that most businesses are closed, but if you…

Random thoughts…

Twinkle, twinkle… We have a miniature poodle. He is our first small dog, and I am now a convert! He doesn’t destroy a new toy in a day, eats less = poops less, is easy to have in your lap/bed, and this one doesn’t shed. He falls asleep on our bed until my husband comes in, and then he heads off to our daughter’s room. Last night he was a good little perro bravo, or guard dog, when my husband opened the door, he alerted me to the “intruder.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I went to heat up some milk. There on the kitchen floor, I saw what I assumed was a wayward firefly making his way across the floor. I…