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.