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”

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”

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”

Truck Trouble for the New Year

Our truck is 26 years old. It is a Jeep pickup and one tough vehicle. In fact, it’s the oldest vehicle still operating down here on this Atlantic coast, a place with punishing salt air that plays havoc with metal and all things electrical. Or, I should say, it was operating until the Saturday before NewContinue reading “Truck Trouble for the New Year”

Water, Water Everywhere

The rain started with a pit, pit, pat on our metal roof,  the sound relief. It had been stifling hot for weeks on end, and like the old ladies here, I took to carrying a cloth to wipe my neck and arms as the humidity climbed to high-five the temperature already in the 90s. WeContinue reading “Water, Water Everywhere”

I is for Importar un Rábano

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Or, le importa un rábano. Literally this means “it has the importance, or worth, of a radish.” I have also heard no importarle un pito. For a translation of that just think of Rhett Butler’s comments to Scarlett O’Hara when she begged him to come back. I am pretty fond ofContinue reading “I is for Importar un Rábano”