The BIG BOOK!

Finally –  “the big book” – what I’ve been planning for nearly 6 years!  Almost all the birds I’ve photographed since moving to Costa Rica in 2014. I haven’t finished photographing birds here, and next month at Maquenque Lodge I could easily get a photo I will regret is not in this book! But why not do it now, with the Coronavirus Down Time providing time to create and the year of my 80th birthday as a celebration excuse!   🙂  If I keep putting it off, there won’t be a book! And this one is so much bigger and better than my recent Roca Verde Birds book which was just birds in my yard!

Here’s the bookstore official description:

Click cover for preview. Best at full screen!

About the Book
Eighty-year-old retiree from Tennessee, Charlie Doggett, has lived in and explored the rainforests and cloud forests of Costa Rica for 6 years, sharing photos and experiences in his “Retired in Costa Rica” BLOG. This book has 420 bird photos from his blog – more than 300 species of birds, named in both English and Spanish with a complete English-names INDEX. At 230 photo pages, 10 X 8 inches, it’s a great gift or coffee table book about Costa Rica, printed on 100# Premium Lustre Gloss Photo Paper.

Available in a hardcover edition or a PDF electronic version. You can PREVIEW the book electronically for free at: https://www.blurb.com/b/10150063-pura-vida-birds

Check out what I’ve been doing for the last 5+ years!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

0

The Future We Choose

Cristiana Figueres
Cristiana Figueres

We have just entered the most consequential decade in human history. The scientific assessment of climate change suggests this can either be our final hour, or our finest. The Future We Choose is an inspiring manifesto from Global Optimism Co-Founders, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. It explains what’s to come, how to face it and what we can do.

Practical, optimistic and empowering, this is a book for every generation that shows us how we can move beyond the climate crisis into a thriving future.

Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010-2016. Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.

One of the best things you do with your “down time” due to COVID19 is to read this book and participate in saving the earth before it is too late! Celebrate Earth Day 22 April 2020!  FIND THE BOOK HERE or simply do a search in your favorite online book source or ask for it in your favorite physical bookstore.

My friends in the U.S. especially need to read this due to the “rollbacks” of policy or the backward movement on climate change the current president and Republican Party have brought the last few years. It is not too late, but if we don’t start doing something now it soon will be too late! And how you vote does make a difference!

Go Green!

VOTE Blue!

¡Pura Vida!

 

0

“There’s No Place Like Home”

Or almost no place better for birds than my home in the Roca Verde Neighborhood of Atenas, Costa Rica. My long-time intentions to do a photo book of birds photographed at home just got fulfilled!

Roca Birds Book
For preview, click image or address below:

Check out the free preview of this book of 80 photos of more than 40 species of birds found in my garden and neighborhood. Plus this book is bigger than my travel series books, a full 8 x 10 inches, making it acceptable as a “Coffee Table Book.”   🙂    The hardcover edition is printed on a higher quality of lustre photo paper, though the paperback edition is nice on standard paper. Enjoy!   🙂

 

https://www.blurb.com/b/10034408-roca-verde-birds

 

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

0

A “Like” from the Author

My review of The Adventurer’s Son got a “Like” from the author, Roman Dial. I finished the book and liked it much even if sad. A guess all of us who venture into the wilds realize the dangers but still go because of the great joys! I would have guessed that in Corcovado he most likely would have died from a deadly snake bite and would never have guessed from a tree falling in a storm – but such are the surprises in the wilderness and in life and death. And I’m glad it was not “foul play” from a bad human as some had thought throughout the story. It was an emotional read.

SEE ALSO: NPR Interview of Author: A Father Recounts His Search For The Son Who Vanished In Costa Rican Wilderness  – There is a short written summary and a 37 minute audio at this link.

Father-son in Bhutan

Guess I’ll now go back to a safe and easy Agatha Christie read now!   🙂

 

¡Pura Vida!

0

RETIRING TO COSTA RICA: ONE EXPAT COUPLE’S STORY

One of the many retirement blogs is titled “This Retirement Life” and the writer Dave Hogan, a financial planner, just took the Caravan Tour of Costa Rica which I highly recommend for a 9 day overview of the whole country as a tourist first, before you start the serious work of planning on living here.

After doing the Caravan Tour Dave stopped in to San Ramon to interview my friends Paul and Gloria Yeatman who have done the excellent blog “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” for the last ten years along with a healthcare tour of Costa Rica and are slowing down now, about to phase out their monthly blog post that I highly recommend to all couples considering retirement here and I will likewise recommend the book they are soon putting together by the same title, in addition to Gloria’s CR Cookbook already available!   🙂

Read this great Interview with Paul & Gloria Yeatman on the Retirement Life blog. If you are considering retirement anywhere outside the U.S., it will help you with the big picture from another first-hand experience! And get to know a couple who did retirement as well or better than anyone I know! Enjoy!

 

“It is better to live rich than to die rich.” – Samuel Johnson

¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica

0

My Spanish Classes

My mornings are spent at Tico Lingo Language School where I am not up to speed with the classroom of students in their 20’s for 4 hours a day so they placed me with a private tutor for 3 hours a day which of course is better for me. The featured photo is of my Professora Ana. Below are more photos of the house converted into a school and where I spend my mornings this week. It is a trial week for me to see if this kind of immersion language study will work for me. If so I will continue more later.

At Tico Lingo

 

Art in the School

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They are all tourist souvenir art work, and yes, if it were me I would stretch those fabrics tight and mount them level, but that is not my job! And the high school and college kids who are most of their customers couldn’t care less!   🙂

Today after class I went to lunch at a different Soda for another Casado with one of the 20-somethings in the other class (to where he wanted to go) and he treated me! He acted amazed that an 80 year old was doing this. So? He ate fast and took an Uber to see his Costa Rican girlfriend called a “Novia” here. I walked around downtown again today and stopped for an ice cream cone, then walked back to my student boarding house where I make this post!   🙂   Tomorrow is a bigger treat as I go to Toucan Rescue Ranch in the afternoon.

And of course I have a “Trip Gallery” of photos from this week, titled:

2020 February 22-28 — Heredia for Spanish Immersion

 

¡Pura Vida!

FYI:     Costa Rica Is The Second Best Destination In The World For Foreign Investment In Tourism

 

0

Life-changing Reads

Back in 2015 in a Post titled My Library I told you a tiny bit about the life-changing book I had just read titled Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, about a little boy’s school project to change the world that actually did. And it was made into a movie that I cannot get here. If you have never read it, I encourage you to! I had learned about it from reading another book by her titled Electric God which was very good, just not as great at Pay It Forward!  

Well, recently I have finished two more books by Catherine Ryan Hyde that also can be life changing for some people: Stay, about another boy, age 14, who helped three people in his life not commit suicide and thus changed his world, their world and the world of hundreds of other people.

Then tonight I finished my 4th book by her titled Heaven Adjacent. It is about a workaholic, divorced attorney woman whose best friend was also a workaholic saving for a “good retirement” when she suddenly dies of a stroke. Rosie realizes in the loss of her friend that money is not what was needed for real life. She then does an irrational thing, telling no one, she walks away from her law firm, driving to a tiny rural area in an adjacent state, buys a tiny little farm house, planning to live the rest of her life in quiet solitude away from the mad rush of the city, work, family and search for money. (Kind of like me coming to Costa Rica.) But you could never imagine the life-changing adventure her bizarre action creates. You have to read it to see!   🙂

Catherine Ryan Hyde novels are too emotionally moving for me to read any more for awhile. But I will eventually read more.

Now back to escape novels by Agatha Christie (I’m working on completing all the Poirot mysteries now) and then I have pre-ordered the book coming out next month The Adventurer’s Son, a memoir about the National Geographic Explorer’s son who came to Costa Rica after me as a college-age young man and hiked alone into the magnificent Corcovado National Park (one of my favorite places here) never to be seen again. I read news reports for a short time, then nothing. Now I will get the full story or as much as his father knows. Another possible life-changing book and very close to home for me!  🙂   Much better than TV!

 

71l1-pURQ5L._SR500,500_

¡Pura Vida!

0

My Photos in an Art Gallery

One reason I was happy that Xandari would house my library of Photo Books is that the entire hotel is an art gallery with art literally everywhere, inside and outside. It was built by an Artist/Architect and his wife an Art Teacher. In another post I will display the art in my villa this time – different every visit!

The above stained glass window is in the reading room of the lobby and my photo books are on a book shelf at the entrance to that reading room. In earlier Tennessee days I tried to sell photos at art fairs calling them “Nature as Art” which fits this arty nature retreat very well. I’m happy to be a part of Xandari!

 

Today was my very full day with an early morning birding hike with excellent guide Jose and a lovely couple from England, followed by breakfast and a tour of the only Starbucks-owned coffee farm in the world which I will tell you more about later, then an afternoon late lunch, relaxation massage, a desert at dinner time and I’m ready for bed! With lots of photos to process tomorrow, my last full day here.

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari 2018-Enchanted by Nature
Just one of 29 books in the library!
Brilliant Book cover
And the other one about Xandari!  Plus all of my other Costa Rica photo books!

To see all of my Costa Rica Photo books, go to My Bookstore at Blurb where you can preview any of the books for free electronically! Best if viewed in full screen mode of course!   🙂

0

All Over Costa Rica!

I was thinking of doing a Costa Rica Map on a cork board with map pins showing where I’ve been – which is a lot more places than most people I know here among both Ticos and Expats. Then suddenly in my electronic mailbox appears an email from Google Maps titled: Google Maps Timeline 2019 Update.  Yep, it included the feature photo map above and some other stuff  that seems to go back to 2015, my first year here when I began traveling Costa Rica. It seems I approved them tracking me (my cell phone) back then and this is what I get! Should I be afraid of Google or send them a thank you note?   🙂

The big red blob in the middle is the space between Atenas & San Jose that includes Alajuela and all the places I go there including the big SJO Airport. I cannot explain the red dot in the Pacific Ocean, but if you study the map more you will see the large green area in the south-southeast above Panama that has no red spots for my visits. One main reason is that it is the Talamanca Mountains, much of which is indigenous reserves with no public roads going through there plus protected national forests not allowing travel. My May trip will put me on the Western edge of that area at Chirripó and my visit to the Bribri Yorkin Reserve had me on the eastern edge. And that is it!   🙂   So just 17 more parks/reserves to go!   🙂

After 37 national parks & reserves are visited, I will do a photo book like I did with all of Tennessee’s State Parks in my photo book A Walk in the Woods Through All 54 Tennessee State Parks. There are technically only 28 national parks here! But the nine reserves count as equals and for my nature photography purposes especially, so I’m saying 37, with only 17 more to go! I don’t have a car which slows me down a little! But I will get there!   🙂

See links to the photo galleries of the 20 National Parks & Reserves I have already visited  or for all of my travels over Costa Rica browse through the family of galleries:

Costa Rica Trips (80) which is the best collection of my photos here!

 

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”

~Claude Monet

¡Pura vida!

0

The Old High School – Still a Place of Learning!

So what does a community do with an old high school building when it is replaced? This old high school in Atenas, Costa Rica was replaced many years ago but is still educating some of the same people as an adult education university extension school. We now have two public high schools, one a college-prep high school (Colegio Liceo) and the other a technical high school that prepares one for a job at graduation (Colegio Técnico).

The old high school building was recently repainted and I think looks nice sitting across from Central Park or on opposite corner from the main Catholic Church. It houses UNED, UNIVERSIDAD ESTATAL A DISTANCIA or “Distance University” with 45 locations across Costa Rica (see map below)!

Already one of the best educated countries in the world with free education through college, Costa Rica continues to educate its adults and make life better for everyone here! Just one more thing that makes it such an amazing place!    🙂

Locations of UNED across Costa Rica! Continuing Adult Education!

 

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”     –Jiddu Krishnamurti

¡Pura Vida!

FUN NOTES ABOUT THE PHOTO:  At the corner waiting to safely cross the street is a mother with baby in stroller and primary school child in tow – a common – typical scene of this family-oriented community where almost all children walk to and from school and the younger ones with a parent.

Behind the little family is one of several “street sweepers” in Atenas who literally sweeps the streets with a push broom and picks up with a dustpan. He also empties the little street trash bins like the one beside him in the photo above. Or see my old 2015 Street Sweeper Post on this blog.   🙂

And lastly at this central point in Atenas, corner of Avenida 0 and Calle 0 you can see how much traffic there is in the middle of the day! Of course there is more at times, but generally this is a very tranquil town with more walkers than car drivers and friendly at that! Such a contrast to the big city noise and traffic of San Jose & Alajuela or the rude, tourist-congested beach towns! A peaceful little coffee farming town in the central valley of Costa Rica with the slogan of “Best weather in the world!”  “Mejor clima del mundo!”  Why live anywhere else?   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

0