Last week…


…we lost our internet service, and just got it back yesterday, after the repair truck somehow ended up sideways on our steep driveway, and had to wait hours for two tow trucks to extricate, and drag him back up the hill. But I digress, in my almost 50 years, I have never experienced downpours, lightning, and thunder like I have in Costa Rica! The rain comes down with a vengeance, the lightning is always too close for comfort, and the thunder rattles your innards like a roller coaster. Our friends warned us to unplug everything when a storm starts, including the phone line, but I figured the odds of lightning hitting our house and utilities was so remote… Then I heard stories of lightning destroying almost all of one couple’s appliances and electronics, because they weren’t unplugged. Another friend had lightning hit her satellite dish, come down through the wires in the wall, SHOOT OUT of an outlet, across the living room and burn a circle in the opposite wall! She was sitting there watching it happen, in terror. We had lightning hit our meter box, last year, and melt the contents of the box. One family we know, hides in an interior, windowless room, because they are sure it can come through the windows, and sitting in their living room, watching huge bolts of lightening bombard the yard, I “felt” their fear!

…Costa Rica had an unexpected visitor, Manuel Zalaya, the Honduran president, was rousted from his bed, by soldiers, and put on a plane to our peaceful nation. Our president, Oscar Arias, met him at the airport for a press conference, and now a week later he will be moderating a “conversation” between Zalaya and the newly installed president of Honduras. When I travelled through Latin America in the late seventies, coups were practically a weekly occurrence, but to hear something like that had happened in 2009, was rather surprising.

…the kids got out of school for their two week “summer vacation.” Historically the weather improves this time of year and we don’t have daily afternoon rain. The past two years were exceptions to this, and if the last week is any indicator, we may be racking up a third exceptional year, but hopes springs eternal among the ticos.

…my good friend flew to San Diego to visit family, since the kids are out of school, but truth be told, it’s a “fetch.” She left Costa Rica with six big, virtually empty suitcases, and will return with all of them completely filled. In our adopted home, we want for almost nothing. There are grocery stores that cater to the quirky needs of transplants from all over the globe, and even a Costco-like store with imported goods in bulk. Unfortunately, the quality of goods here is poor. High thread count sheets and bedding…nope. Affordable small electronics…no way. Durable towels and clothing…not a chance. A reasonable selection of books in English…’aint gonna happen, not to mention the numerous foods and snacks that ultimately just can’t be found. So what are we to do? We treat our visiting friends like pack mules. I’m not kidding. From our favorite scented candles, to waffle irons, and over the counter bulk medicines, don’t be surprised when a Costa Rican gringo emails you an endless list of things they want you to “tuck” into your bags. Not to worry, most international carriers still allow two 50 lb bags, and you don’t need much to wear here, so, be prepared to heft a bunch of junk when you come for visit!

I hope your “last week” was equally as enjoyable!

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