Sunday, July 8, 2012

I can't believe it has been almost one month since writing on our blog. I guess the old saying 'time flies when your having fun' is true. In June, we were back in the US for Kais' brother's wedding reception. We enjoyed seeing Kais' mom who flew in from Washington and his sister and her family that drove from California. We were able to celebrate Father's Day as well as an early birthday for Kais. We also hit Red Robin for the Boca burger we were all craving (can't find those in Costa Rica) and did lots of shopping (mostly food items we wanted to bring back to CR). Top items on our list were: black licorice, canned albacore tuna, real peanut butter, real maple syrup, nuts, and supplements. Some of these items you can find here but they are extremely expensive, ie small bottle of real maple syrup - $30 us dollars or $15,000 clones. We arrived at the airport with 6 bags of luggage and two bins full of food. We didn't look as crazy as last time we left Denver as we didn't have the pets with us. Leaving was bittersweet as we enjoyed the time with family and yet we were anxious to see Ruby and Tigerlilly back home. We left the terrible fires burning in Colorado and came back to the clean air and sunshine of Costa Rica. The week of our return was Kais' milestone birthday. (he won't let me say the number anymore). My attempt to learn how to cook continued as I made him his favorite dessert From scratch, carrot cake. Our friends here are wonderful as they are always willing to tolerate my attempts. Kraig has started his cooking classes with the wonderfully talented Sue and Kasie continues to finish her Sophmore year. She is looking into attending the local school here as it would accelerate her Spanish. This week we also start with a Spanish tutor as well as begin surf lessons. Life is becoming busy as Kais saw 29 people last week and I am teaching yoga two days a week. However, unlike the states, we still have lots of time together as a family and rarely feel rushed. I have found great joy being more present, thinking less about what I need to do in the future or what has happened in the past. Every day is a new experience and we are blessed to be living PURA VIDA!

Monday, June 11, 2012

For this weeks post, I thought I would share what it is like to live among nature in Costa Rica. First, there is an immense number of birds from flocks of parrots that wake you up in the morning to black vultures that keep the area free of road kill (which unfortunately we have too much of). I began seeing what appeared to be mice or rat droppings in the house and quickly enquired of friends only to find out that it is left by the many friendly geckos that live amongst us. They eat the many bugs and spiders that find their way inside, therefore our friends in nature. Outside, in the morning, we would find similar droppings near the door openings but on a larger scale and were told these are from the bats that help keep the bugs and spiders out of the house. Unfortunately, their dropping are dangerous if inhaled so they are to remain outside.(Our neighbor came home to a bat inside). Our next creature which is much more common are the stray cats trying to claim territory around our home which causes our kitty, Tigerlilly to screech and the stray to spray her through the screen. Ruby is pretty good about running them off but it usually takes a few times. We were also left with what I thought was cat do-do on the back patio only to find out it was from the frogs and toads. Yes they are big enough to leave cat-sized droppings. Along with the lizards, iguanas (Harry is our resident iguana that lives next door that we see ever day) and occasional snake, we have yet to experience the tarantula in the shower or the scorpion in the bed (these happen occasionally if you live in the area long enough). The most dangerous are the poisonous snakes that we are careful to avoid as they can be deadly. You learn to truly respect nature living in Costa Rica and learn to be apart of the process and not fight against it. See more next week. PURA VIDA !

Monday, June 4, 2012

Friday was our one month since we arrived in Ojochal and this week will be 3 months since we arrived in Costa Rica. Kasie celebrated by going to a dance party for a friends farewell. She loved it. How is it different than in the states you may ask. There are fewer social establishments than in the states so they are attended by all ages. This establishment is owned by French Canadians and they still smoke in restaurants/bars. Also teenagers, or kids for that matter are not excluded from these areas. They dance in groups, young and old alike. It's nice to have adults to be able to watch over the kids (that village mentality) but you also have kids exposed to cigarettes and alcohol. Saturday, Kasie and I started our 1st women's self defense class that will be taught every Thursday and Saturday morning thru August. Our instructor is a martial arts expert who teaches in both English and Spanish. Kasie and I are the only non Spanish speakers so it is a great immersion opportunity. Our teacher is 71 years old and has the speed and flexibility of an athlete in his prime. All of the Ticos (people of Costa Rica) and most of the locals look much younger than they are. That poses a bit of a problem as Kasie meets friends we think are her age and they turn out to be in their 20's - if you know what I mean. Saturday is also market day in Uvita where we get fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, fish and many other homemade items. This past week we picked up the dozen veggie spring rolls we ordered form the fabulous Asian chef in our area. People are so accommodating to create whatever you want. Saturday night we had our weekly game night at our home with several friends we have met in the area. It always includes dinner and dessert so they have been wonderful guinea pigs as I learn to cook at this later stage in my life. Sundays we make the 75 minute drive to church and continue to meet more of the members of our branch. Many of the younger people speak English as do the two male missionaries. This is nice for Kraig and Kasie as they are able to communicate with most of those they attend class with. Today we continued our quest to explore all the beaches in our area and hit Playa Colon. The road there was difficult to navigate but worth the privacy and beauty. Unfortunately we pushed our luck a stayed a bit to close to the time of high tide (the waves were great) but my bag with my camera got wet. My camera card is currently in rice and I will post pictures to Facebook if I can get it to work again. Kais worked with a client (I'm trying to use the best legal term) again today and is creating some regular work helping people. I am now committed to post on our blog regularly and welcome any questions you may have. I still have not found an easy way to post pics on the blog because I am usually do this on a mobile device so I will continue to post pics on Facebook. If we are not connected there, please send a friend request if you are interested.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We know it has been over a month since our last blog, and so much has happened. We were finally able to purchase a beat up 1996 Toyota Rad4 for 3,900,000 colones (that's little under $8000). I handed the Tico a huge wad of cash and he was nervous holding that amount so he went into the back seat of the car, closed door and started counting. Cars are a lot more expensive here. So to date, we have a car, bank accounts, and official costa rica drivers license, which we needed. To get auto insurance. Auto insurance with road side assistance only costs $130 per 6 months, not bad. We visited Finca Bellevista, a tree house community in southern Costa Rica and spent a night there. It's a gorgeous property. We met our friend Mark Banks and his daughter Alamea for some nature hikes, zip lining, and swimming under waterfalls. When we were ready to leave, we discovered a flat tire. We found a service shop for tires and they fixed the tire for $3.00. I was so happy I bought the repair guy a soft drink. Life in Puriscal has been quite peaceful, but very isolated and it takes too long to get places. So we decided to make our move to Ojochal, a village in southern Costa Rica along the Pacific ocean. We are renting a home with a pool just 5 minutes drive from the beach. So far we are exploring different beaches and searching for waterfalls. We are getting ready to sign up for horseback riding tours, more zip lining and canyoning. Kasie is doing good with her online courses and we will expand home schooling once we get the materials. Ok,it's been about 3 months since really performing chiropractic services and I'm getting a little antsy. It's time to start up again and I'm looking for a place to begin. Hey, I made it 3 months! -Kais

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We are waiting for Kais as he went car shopping today. Opening a bank account on Monday was a three hour process but we were one of the lucky ones - it only took us two trips. Buying a car can take several days - Kais is on day two. Yesterday we spent the day in the Southern zone. It is hotter there but we sure love the area and the people are super friendly. We were house hunting and will probably keep looking over the next couple of months. I have attached some pictures of the closest town where we attend church - Puriscal. There is an old church in the center of town as well as the park. Electronics are very expensive here as they are all imported. They also have the best bakeries. What do I miss: real peanut butter, canned albacore tuna and real maple syrup. The have real syrup but it is $30 for a small bottle. And...our shipping container arrived at the port this morning - now we wait for it to get through customs.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's been another busy week in Costa Rica! Wednesday we went down South to meet with the designer regarding our property and home ideas. Felt good about the meeting but are still open to possibly buying if we can find the right place. Got caught in a downpour that washed out a dirt road we were taking home so we had to turn around and go home the highway. Then we got stuck behind a fatal accident at dusk with a semi and looked to be a motorcyclist. The motorcycle accidents here are atrocious. We sat in the car sitting for an hour waiting for the police to let us pass. Thursday. Celebrated Kraig's 16th birthday with his request, sushi and The Ghost Rider 2 in 3D. We came home and had cake and ice cream and then Kraig crashed before 9 pm. Friday while Kraig stayed home, the three of us went into San Jose to get our documents to the translator for our residency and then took Kasie to see Hunger Games. She was so excited to be able to see it here on the same day it premiered in the States. We made our first attempt to open a bank account now that our corporation is all set up but we were warned it can take three tries. Monday we will try again and hope we will succeed. We can not buy a car until we have this done first. Saturday, we attended a pool party in Escazu at the home of a lovely family we met at Stake conference last week. There were several American families there and the best part for me has been meeting the most amazing people. They are fascinating to talk with as most of them have lived all over the world. The worse thing this week - we really want our shipping container and it could be another 3 weeks before it arrives. YIKES!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Thursday, Kim and I walked to a new high school opening five minutes away from where we live. As I was sitting in the crowded space watching many Tico boys I realized that most of them spend a lot of time doing their hair. My opinion: They all tend to spike up their hair to make them look taller as many Ticos are smaller than the gringos around here. On Friday, we went to the IMAX (which let me tell you, was ten times better than any movie theater around Washington), we saw the movie John Carter which, thankfully was in English. On Saturday, we hung out by the pool with the family (including kitty and Ruby). Both animals seem to really enjoy the sun. On Sunday, Kais, Kim and I drove into Escazu (which everyone always says is "the Beaverly Hills of Costa Rica") and watched State Conference in English!! We met many new English speaking families who gave us good advice on house building. On Monday, we seemed to do absolutely nothing as the pool is starting to get boring for me. Now, I'm waiting for Internet at our house which will be put in on Wenesday! Also on Wenesday we plan on driving down south where out property is and looking at houses to rent. Kais is meeting with the attorney so we can buy a car and cell phones. On Thurdsay we will be celebrating Kraig's 16th birthday and as for me, I can't Wait till The Hunger Games comes out on Friday!! Hope you all are enjoying the week and as for the Washington people, as you are all Suffering from snow I'm relaxing in the heat:). -Kasie

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The last three days have been busy! On Saturday we ventured to Escazu (probably the largest Ex Pat community) to do some shopping at ... Walmart. It is similar to Costco in Washington with the ability to buy anything and multiple sample stations down every isle, just no giant sizes. I have never seen so many employees in a store before. We then checked out Price Smart, their Costco equivilent, and found it to be identical to Costco. Decided buying in bulk wasn't for us in this environment. We then headed to their high-end mall and found many of the stores you would find at BellSquare and then some. It was three stories tall and went on forever. An IMax theatre was nearby showing John Carter; we hope Hunger Games will be there later this month. On the way home we looked at an old Explorer for sell by a German Pediatrician. Kim and Kasie convinced Kais it was a no go.
Sunday we drove the 30 minutes into town to attend the Puriscal branch for church. We guessed it started at 9 am but were wrong. They start at 8 am but have their meetings backwords. We met the branch president and a few English speaking members. We were in time for Sunday school and then sacrament. All in Spanish of course but we did well singing the familiar hymns and following along in the scriptures. There were about 70 members present. One of the  young men is leaving at the end of this month for his mission in Long Beach, CA. There is one American couple at church from Montana who have lived here for 2 1/2 years. They invited us that night to join them and many other gringos who get together every Sunday night for dinner. The group included Americans, Canadians and French; a few retired dentists and a couple doctors and an artist along with others. We all enjoyed their company and they were most welcoming and helpful. We found our Spanish teacher through them as well as Kasie connecting with the horse whisperer lady who will be instructing Kasie in her horseback riding. This woman and her husband run a lovely bed and breakfast near our home for anyone wanting to visit.
Monday was a dirt road drive to Parrita beach while our house was being scrubbed from floor to ceiling. After lunch, we headed south to meet our attorney and then spend the remainder of the day at Playa Hermosa. The ocean water was warm as always and Ruby had fun with a stick on the beach. She is still getting used to the waves. When returning later that night, we heard Tigerlily in a cat fight. Minor injuries; I just think she is establishing her territory.

Friday, March 9, 2012

We arrived in San Jose early Thursday morning and after getting wickedly lost trying to find our rental house,we pulled in a little before 2 pm. We used the time we were lost to get much more familiar with San Jose (found out where to do our downtown shopping), Escazu and the little towns on the way to the property. We were a sight with a car packed full of suitcases and two large boxes and a dog crate strapped to the roof. Ruby and Tigerlily were happy to finally be out of moving vehicles. Went into town yesterday (about 18 km)to get stocked up on food and basic essentials and grab a bit to eat. 4 sandwiches, 4 drinks and 2 loaves of homemade bread for $13. We also found the LDS meeting house in town. Will spend the next few days setting up house.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Arrived in Denver safely. Drove over 1160 miles in the last two days. Kraig and Kasie are happy to be out of the truck and the pets are well. We were also blessed with beautiful weather. Leaving for Costa Rica Wednesday night.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Drove in 4 different states today: California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

Arrived in St. George, Utah - Day 4

Arrived in St. George, Utah tonight safe and sound. Missed seeing the Debenhams in Las Vegas by only one hour. Had a great time at Kais' sisters and now looking forward to spending a couple days with his brother in Denver. Should arrive there by tomorrow night. Kids have been amazing during the drive.

Friday, March 2, 2012

First night at Jasmine's house in Atascadero. Thankfully, we made it through it bad winter storm in Oregon but, it didn't last long. Now we have a few days to relax till we are on the road again.The worst part of the road trip has yet to come. As for the weather in Utah and Denver, let's just pray the storms pass.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Surprise Farewell party for Dr. Kais

Thanks to Rachel and Susan for planning the great surprise party. A special thanks to Patty Spear and family for hosting last minute, we were able to have a successful goodbye party for Dr. Kais. He will be missed. And thank you all who were able to come. We will miss you all terribly and were so blessed to have you in our lives.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pictures of our new Rental house in Costa Rica

 back of house
 community pond
 community swimming pool
 front door
 front of house
 gated community 
 master bathroom
 view to back of the house 
 back of house view
 sliding doors to back of house

Monday, January 30, 2012


Why did we start our blog today? Because we have set the date to begin our big adventure. We are planning on leaving Washington on February 28th. We will be driving to Northern California to visit Kais' sister and her family, then heading to Denver to see Kais' brother where we will be leaving our car. Our direct flight to San Jose, Costa Rica is a red eye on March 7th.