Semana Santa, Crime Sprees, US Embassy Warnings, and a Grateful Expat

Yes, it that time again; Semana Santa, Holy Week, in which seemingly all the Central Valley descends on the two coasts of the country. The hotels are full, bars and restaurants are over flowing with customers, and we are staying in for the week. Yesterday there was a steady stream of traffic in front ofContinue reading “Semana Santa, Crime Sprees, US Embassy Warnings, and a Grateful Expat”

Lost Without Translation

Costa Rica News – ”Stop the car!” I yelled at my husband. “Maybe that guy knows where the place is.”This is an all too familiar cry when we are driving anywhere in the Central Valley. We are both excellent drivers, but the bulk of the driving has fallen to him. I invariably ride shotgun, acting asContinue reading “Lost Without Translation”

Mentors: Looking Through the Interstices

All during high school, or until I was old enough to drive myself, my mother faithfully dropped me off at the front door of the art museum in my hometown, Portland, Oregon. Evenings, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I entered the deserted museum–– uniformed guard in the front foyer–– and made my way past whatever currentContinue reading “Mentors: Looking Through the Interstices”

No Turning Back

Scintilla #7– What have been the event horizons of your life – the moments from which there is no turning back? There are times in our life when we stand at an intersection and more often than not it requires hindsight to know we were even there. Yogi Bera once said, “When you come to theContinue reading “No Turning Back”

I Don’t Fly Well, Or Rather, I Don’t Land Well

Returning to Costa Rica in the fall of 1998. The trip had gone relatively well, as flights go, although the weather was a bit rainy when we arrived in Dallas. We got on an American Airlines flight listed as non-stop from Dallas to Costa Rica. Once we were secured in our seats. the captain came onContinue reading “I Don’t Fly Well, Or Rather, I Don’t Land Well”

Wound Care + Sugar: A Very Sweet Solution

What would you say if someone told you the fastest way to heal a wound was to pack it with sugar? And what if you lived In the tropics, where infections run rampant and wounds are slow to heal under optimum conditions? If you are like me, a nurse, at best you would be skepticalContinue reading “Wound Care + Sugar: A Very Sweet Solution”

Mold and Mildew: Part of the Unholy Trinity of the Tropics

Several years ago I complained to a neighbor about the mold and mildew blight of the tropics. He announced –confidently– that he didn’t have mold at his house. Mind you his house is just down the road from ours. Not to be sexist, but I immediately had two thoughts: Wow, you must not be aContinue reading “Mold and Mildew: Part of the Unholy Trinity of the Tropics”

Squatting, It’s Not a Yoga Position

  I swore I wouldn’t post anything on my blog about squatters and squatting until our interminable legal case has been tried and a verdict rendered, but I couldn’t help myself this morning, and besides our case may outlive the Dickens’ Jarndyce v Jarndyce so I might as well forge ahead. Squatting in Costa Rica is aContinue reading “Squatting, It’s Not a Yoga Position”

Attacked by Gusanos!

“Edible: Good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.” —Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary) For those of you who read this blog and live in northern urban centers, theContinue reading “Attacked by Gusanos!”

Hand Gestures, Costa Rican Style

Today, on our return from marketing, I saw a man on a bicycle greet a friend. As they passed, one gave the other the standard non-verbal Costa Rican howdy-do, a raised arm, in a sort of reverse chopping motion, a flick of the wrist, and the index finger snapped forward. It’s fluid and concise. IfContinue reading “Hand Gestures, Costa Rican Style”