My Radiation Treatment Testimony

Siglo XXI Radioterapia, the private clinic that treated me post-cancer surgery asked if they could interview me on camera as a way of helping future patients understand a little more of what they will go through. So I did and it is now on YouTube with me speaking in English and of course they added Spanish Subtitles. I’m always embarrassed to see and hear myself on a video, but if it helps even one other patient face the treatment, then more power to them! 🙂

My Cancer Treatment Testimonial Video for Siglo XXI.

¡Pura Vida!

And that book in the feature photo can be previewed free at True Grit in my bookstore.

The Other Cow Pasture

Many times I’ve shared photos of the cow pasture across the street from my house, but never this one I walk by on every trip to town. I believe that it belongs to the farmer university nearby and I am yet to see a cow on it! 🙂 It’s the dry season until sometime in May so fields like this are very dry and susceptible to fire.

Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Starting Today Some Businesses go from 50% to 100% Occupancy with QR Code Proof of Vaccination

Read more about the lifting of some Covid Restrictions in the Tico Times Article.

More than 80% of adults in Costa Rica are vaccinated and this is why we are having fewer cases. Teens are now being vaccinated and children will be soon. Common sense health policies keep Costa Rica healthy! And yes, I finally got my “booster” or third shot!

Last Shot from the Pacific

Of course there’s more photos and even more wildlife I haven’t shown like the White-nosed Coati and more butterflies, but I have them in the Christmas Trip 2021 Gallery, so check it out if you want more! 🙂

This was another favorite rainforest shot from Cristal Ballena that also includes the sea, so I just had to add it as my last post on that trip. As you can see, the rainforest not only surrounds the hotel, but flows all the way down to the ocean and the national park beach. It’s a beautiful place that I enjoy visiting and will probably go again someday. Now back to shots from my garden, the neighborhood and the little coffee farmers’ town of Atenas. For awhile anyway! 🙂 I’m trying to schedule a one-day waterfall trip and then in February I’m back to a tree house at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada. 🙂

Rainforest & ocean view, Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita, Costa Rica.

“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”

~Peter Benchley

Tico Times article: Costa Rica Tourism in 2022: Demand is back

Most Read Blog Posts 2021 is Humbling

I finally figured out how to get to historical statistics on my WordPress Blog/Website, wanting to see what kind of nature photos more people are interested in. Well, it was not my nature shots in 2021 but the posts labeled “Cancer Update” that all had over 200 readers or “hits” with none of my nature posts over 200 except the weird exception of an old one on a Truck Centipede. So THANK YOU for being interested in my health! It has been a long slow recovery still in process but I am so much closer to “normal” now and I was quite active on the last trip. I see my oncologist tomorrow and hopefully not many more times needed after that. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

2021 in Photos

This year was unlike any other in my life, not only because of the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic, vaccines, mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing everywhere, but even more so as my year of major cancer surgery and radiation treatments. Yet through it all I managed to keep nature central to my life most of the time and even make a few photo trips.

I will not try to do a photo-a-month but rather 12 favorite photos depicting major life events, trips, and different types of nature starting with the 2 wonderful trips before the cancer surgery in March. The links in the photo captions are to my photo trip galleries for those events. I even have a gallery for radiation therapy (not one for surgery) and include surgery in my cancer journal and the combined photo book on my cancer adventure. 🙂 And the featured image at top is a Tiger Heliconian Butterfly on a “Hot Lips” Flower on my just completed Christmas trip to Uvita. 🙂

Resplendent Quetzal from January trip to San Gerardo de Dota & Hotel Savegre (gallery link).
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Why I’m Traveling with Covid Up?

The eye patch is not required here! 🙂 It covers my non-blinking eye for comfort.

With the huge increase of Covid Omicron engulfing the U.S. and other parts of the world, you may wonder why I risk traveling here in Costa Rica? At least 7 reasons:

  1. Covid is not increasing here but down to near nothing.
  2. We have a VACCINATION MANDATE for all of Costa Rica (Biden tried, Republicans said no). I have a cool code on my phone showing proof of vaccination + a printed version & my vaccination card.
  3. All our adults and teens are vaccinated now and the children in process and adults are in process for their 3rd or booster shot, with no one allowed in the country without proof of vaccination (2 shots minimum) or into some business here and in all after Jan. 8.
  4. MASK MANDATE is still in effect for anywhere outside your home!
  5. HAND WASHING is required to enter any business anywhere in Costa Rica.
  6. 1.8 METER DISTANCING (6 feet) is required anywhere outside your home!
  7. Costa Ricans listen to science and do what our Health Ministry says to do with no stupid American Republican Party fighting it. What a great place to live! 🙂
Continue reading “Why I’m Traveling with Covid Up?”

Morning Hill Walk

This morning ( 2 weeks ago today, as I’m really writing posts way ahead now) I took the difficult steep route up to the top of the hill I live on the side of and completed the circle drive back around to my house. I’ve done this only 2 or 3 times since radiation therapy and I’m okay with it, just slow going uphill. 🙂 Because of dogs on this route I walk with my walking stick and not the big camera, only cell phone, which I regretted today, seeing a Keel-billed Toucan in a distant tree and unable to photograph it well.

I will include two cellphone photos of the tree, one crop-zoomed in on the bird, but not good resolution. Then I tried to do a selfie with the village of Atenas in the background below the hill but the sun was too bright to catch the town in photo and it is before breakfast or even me shaving, so I’m “unkempt” but I’m showing the photo anyway! 🙂

Toucan on lower limb to right.
Keel-billed Toucan in poor zoom-crop of above photo.
Early-morning Selfie on Hill before Shave, Shower or Breakfast! Distant Atenas lost in the glare behind me.

For those concerned about my health, you can see that the left cheek is still swollen from the surgery and radiation (can take more than a year to go down) but the left side of smile has moved up a little bit and the eye is good uncovered for 2 to 4 hours in the morning before it hurts/burns and I then wear the black patch. I remove patch again for short times in afternoon and evening (easier reading with 2 eyes). And my Covid Mask is on my wrist here with no people around! 🙂

The Covid mask, 2 meter distancing & hand-washing is still required everywhere in Costa Rica and come January 8 the proof of vaccination will also be required to enter all public places, including supermarkets and restaurants. But remember, Costa Rica has a lower percentage of Covid cases than the U.S. with their stupid Republican Anti-vaxxers! 🙂 And if you want to visit this healthy country, you will need proof of vax just like the rest of us! By December we will have a vaccination app for cell phones here that will show some code for electronic readers at the entrance to all businesses, etc. Interesting! We’re pretty “high-tech” to be a “developing country.” 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Got My Vaccination QR Code!

I got it 2 days ago, on December 1. This is to prove that I have been fully vaccinated against Covid and tentatively starting January 8 will be required to enter all businesses and other public places just like the mask and handwashing. Vaccination Required in Costa Rica! They will have scanners at the entrance to scan the QR Code on my phone (or on a paper). Until then it is optional for businesses that want to be open at 100% capacity. Soon Costa Rica will be totally Covid-free! Everyone vaccinated! 🙂 Then all restaurants can use all their tables! 🙂

Biden tried in the States but the stupid Republicans stopped him and the vaccination requirement. Sure glad I live in Costa Rica now and not the States! We are very safe here and tourists are returning (if fully vaccinated) 🙂 and we are one of, if not the safest & healthiest country in the Americas! Pura Vida! The Red X and line through number is in case someone tries to copy my code! 🙂 Though an ID Card can be asked for which would make a copy not work anyway! 🙂 But I’m trying to be safe!

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WALKING PATHS in My Life Today

Next to maybe “Nature” in general or “Birds” specifically, nothing describes my life of being “Retired in Costa Rica” better than “WALKING!” For seven years now without a car I have learned to get to most needed places on foot; walking to town, to the supermercado or farmacia, to a restaurante; and even better, walking for fun or the discoveries of nature on city sidewalks, my “Country Lane” or “Country Road” walks for photos of birds or other nature and best of all the many wonderful wilderness trails I’ve discovered in national parks and reserves across this beautiful, natural country of Costa Rica. My life here has made experiencing nature and walking (hiking) almost synonymous! The feature photo at top is one of the horizons I experience on “Country Lane” and other paths in Atenas with one of my trip trails below . . .

Titi Trail, Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
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WALKING PATHS of My Childhood

Walking was as natural as breathing. Everything we did included walking paths! As a child, walking became a natural part of daily life but somehow was never something the family photographed. 🙂 Thank goodness for that street photographer that gave us several shots like this one over those early years in Fort Smith!

1945 Downtown Ft. Smith, AR with Me between Mom & Grandmother, brother Jerry at right.
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