I have been reporting on the very slow progress the city of Atenas is making on the renovation of our Central Park, but have not mentioned they are working a little faster on an improvement of two areas of the Sports Park in front of Escuela Central (the elementary school). They are installing roofs over the child-sized football (soccer) field AND over the adult-sized basketball court. I guess these shields from both sun and rain will help both sports to be used more by both school and the community at large.
“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” -Mike Singletary
Monday I returned to my dentist to see if the infection was gone so they can finish my root canal, stuffing it with something they get from a tropical tree. Unfortunately it still had infection though improved a lot and not painful, but I need more antibiotics and time. I wait 2 more weeks for it to be completed. Patience!
And when I arrived I witnessed this new sign (feature photo) taped to the front door that they now accept only emergencies, but they assured me that my infection is included in what the government accepts as “emergencies.” So I do get to go back in 2 weeks for what I hope is the last time! 🙂
Everything is different now with Coronavirus! The whole world is in a state of change!
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
And if the virus caused you to cancel your Costa Rica vacation, try this very short 1 minute “Virtual Vacation” video clip. ¡Pura vida!
Because there is so much to write about now, I’m writing posts for several days ahead and these photos were made last Friday when I went grocery shopping after paying a bill at the Bank (which is also not normal and with fewer people, even on Friday).
Since no pharmacy in Costa Rica has surgical masks in stock, I am now using a bandanna tied around my mouth and nose when I go out such as to bank or supermarket. Bank employees have masks and rubber gloves (secret source?). My supermarket has now built a Plexiglas shield between the cashier and the customer (they can’t get masks either) and if I use my credit card I must insert it in the machine myself and then remove it, all for the protection of their employees which I really appreciate!
PLUS the next person in line must stay behind the black line (6 ft. from the cashier). People are taking the pandemic seriously here (except for a few Expat American Republicans here who are still saying it is exaggerated! Lord save us from Republicans, a minority here among expats, thank goodness!) and because Costa Rica takes it seriously, we have fewer cases here and fewer deaths. And businesses are working hard at protecting both employees and customers. Plus many businesses are closed now which is sad for those employees, but the government is helping them some. We must stop the spread of Coronavirus!
Note of explanation for below: The photo of my cart behind the black line has a sign which indicates it is a line only for the elderly, handicapped and pregnant women (just like the banks have always had, but new here). The black line is as close as the next cart should be to the cashier (caja).
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
The Green Orchid Bee or Euglossa dilemma(Wikipedia) is a Central American Bee found only here naturally (and occasionally in my garden) though recently introduced into South Florida (an invasive species there). I like them for their iridiscente green color added to my garden from time to time. I do have a Bees Gallery for more photos of this and other bees here. Just one of the thousands of interesting insects in Costa Rica that I enjoy watching! 🙂 See also my Butterflies and More Insects Galleries for more bugs!
I got usable photos of 19 species of birds from my little one-hour walk yesterday morning, 6-7 AM, in the neighborhood on Calle Nueva, the little country gravel/dirt road that separates Roca Verde neighborhood from the adjacent farmland. Nineteen is not bad and as good as some longer walks I take when at expensive birding lodges! 🙂 PLUS, if my identifications are correct, I got 3 new species, “lifers,” for me, though I may get corrected by an eBird expert reviewer after I post them on eBird. 🙂 The new ones are Giant Cowbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and a Yellow-green Vireo.
This road and my own street uphill above my house always yield a lot of birds early in the morning. And I have another neighborhood further away that I intend to try for even different birds, a place my birding friend Margaret found to be good.
Saturday AM Birds
Tropical Mockingbird Juvenile
“Every bird, every tree, every flower reminds me what a blessing and privilege it is just to be alive.”
― Marty Rubin
Like Costa Rica’s emblematic Sloth, the people here are always smiling and prepared for come what may – even Coronavirus! Feature photois by the Sloth Rescue Ranch, not me, and from Tico Times. Read on to see how better prepared little Costa Rica is than the big ol’ USA and thus we will get over it quicker too! 🙂
Thursday’s Tico Timesedition reminded us of how better prepared we are than a lot of bigger countries for the pandemic, like our great university is already making emergency respirators for when/if needed at only $140 each! (You think the U.S. would ever do that?) People are ready to sacrifice financially for the 25 days we are closed to all outside tourists (and it will be much longer before tourism is back to normal–like by next winter we hope). Here are the specific articles this week in Tico Times about the pandemic’s affects on Costa Rica:
Well . . . that is sort of what it looked like this morning on my return home from birding on Calle Nueva (our nearby country lane). Birding was great but I still don’t have all the wild bird photos processed, so here’s the domesticated ones I saw! 🙂
Okay . . . not really new, but like new to me as my 5 year old rockers on the terrace had become faded by the sun to nearly white in color and the old cushions were dirty, ugly and too small. I threw the old cushions away and hired one of my very skilled gardeners to sand (even in the little grooves of the carvings) and re-varnish the two chairs on his own time (he had earlier painted 3 of my flower pots much to my satisfaction). I am very pleased with his work on these two matching chairs and their “new” look now. 🙂
Sometimes when you are “quarantined at home” the little things make a big difference! 🙂 Social distancing from my house in tropical Costa Rica . . .
P.S. I’m writing posts 2 or 3 days ahead now, but decided last night to add this postscript note that I hope to get up at 5:30 this morning and go walking for birds again on Calle Nueva, so look for that birds post in 2 or 3 days! A friend walked it yesterday morning and saw a parrot and a trogon. Hope I’m as lucky! 🙂 I am so blessed! Retired in Costa Rica!
Though we have fewer cases of the Coronavirus here in Costa Rica, our government has done a better job than many countries of educating people and keeping the number of cases low and thus as an “older person” I am staying in my house now (as recommended) except for these limited people contacts:
Supermarket – And I finally wised up to going when they are not crowded, like early morning.
Bank to pay 2 monthly bills and get cash at ATM (avoid Monday, Friday, & 1st)
Maid comes once a week and we keep our distance
Neighbor delivered Carrot Cake to several of us live-alone singles 🙂
And what keeps me from having “cabin fever” or boredom staying at home all the time? Well, that is easy to answer! I keep doing what I’ve always done since I retired in Costa Rica (minus the travel now):
What I Do Without Other People
(1) Birding that I can still do early mornings right here in my own neighborhood or even walk to other parts of Atenas away from the crowds solo as I prefer anyway.
(2) Blogging started becoming a regular thing for me back in 2014 before I even moved here as I focused then on the decision-making of such a move and now it is my replacement of many failed attempts at journaling, plus I actually have regular followers now and enjoy helping others who are considering retiring in Costa Rica, plus it is still a report to family and friends back in the states who want to keep up. Its a fun and creative outlet! 🙂
(3) Life History Recording (very slowly in the background) as it becomes much of the undated portion of my blog/website, the way WordPress blogs/websites have been organized from the beginning (dated blog & undated “static” pages). And in some ways a part of this history is my . . .
(4) Photo Gallery which was originally going to be pages of this WordPress website, but because of the future potential problem of using too much memory and slowing down access, and me not liking their gallery templates that well, I chose to use a photo gallery specialist at a separate address with a link from my site menu where I can put the full-size photo files (WP wants me to “web-size” photos). Though it is only a click away from my website/blog Home Page, it is actually located on a different server where I have a plan with unlimited space, thus putting all of my important photos, both historical and current on it. And I’m still working on the historical part! 🙂 Hey! I have thousands of photos made just since 2000 and still picking through them for the best to put in the gallery. And oh yes, I chose SmugMug.com as the best looking and easiest to use of the many options today! (Having tried Flickr & Pbase.) And from my gallery you can even order prints or wall art of any of my photos! 🙂
(5) Spanish Lessons Online now! No people contact there! 🙂
(6) The heaviest people contact I’ve had in the past was in almost monthly trips to lodges all over Costa Rica. I postponed two trips, one next week to San Gerardo de Dota and my May trip to San Isidro del General, which had included going on public bus (not healthy now). After that I’ve planned a July birthday trip to Manquenque Lodge in a tree house room as I turn 80 and things will have to get pretty bad for me to miss that! 🙂 I’m using my personal driver to get there and its in “the middle of nowhere” jungles where there should not be any virus. But I wait and see! 🙂
“At this point, it is believed many of the world has come in contact with the virus. And for that reason, we all have to experience social distancing and self-quarantine at various levels.”
RAIN — RAIN — a real rain with a lot of water yesterday afternoon, not the little sprinkle we had on the 24th. This is good news! The gardens and trees will love it and maybe the rainy season is starting early this year – we will see. But at least I don’t have to water for a few days now! 🙂
I still find it hard to show rain in a photo, so I won’t share my effort. But this is a big deal because there has been no rain since early December and we sometimes have to wait until May! I am not living in a rainforest, even though nearby. The Central Valley is in between the cool/wet cloud forests and the hot/wet/humid rainforests, thus our claim of “the best weather in the world” needing no a/c or heat ever here! But we do have rainy and dry seasons and it is still considered “tropical.” 🙂