On the Road Again

Walter usually drives me in one of his two vans but today was Monday and both personal cars and tourist vans with tags ending in 1 or 2 are not allowed on the road. Yes, it’s a coronavirus prevention tool, keeping more people off the roads and out of the towns. Well, he has 2 vans and both were disqualified, so he had to use his taxi today (no limit on taxis), meaning his driver Cristian had the day off, like it or not. Only 40 km of the road from south of Boca Tapada to the lodge is gravel, but you notice it more! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

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And a Birthday Dinner!

I got lots of attention all day yesterday but the biggie was dinner with a birthday cake and singing of Feliz Cumpleaños. Plus they decorated chair with flowers and gave me a bouquet of flowers to take back to my room in the tree tops! And I will eat more birthday cake today!

Bouquet taken back to my room.
Head Chef or Kitchen Manager posing with me.

¡Pura Vida!

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Maquenque Birthday Attention

They are giving me a lot of attention today for my birthday and I expect more tonight for dinner. Plus, starting last night the lodge went from one customer (me) to 12 over the weekend and they are spreading the word among the other guests, so I’m almost getting too much attention! 🙂

And because of Covid19 I’m wearing my mask when not eating and declining the group activities like the boat wildlife tour today. Playing it safe!

¡Pura Vida!

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The “Tarzan” Tree House

Can you believe that the tree house they assigned me to this year is named “Tarzan?” And I love it! Like they knew the little boy Charlie wanted to be Tarzan! Why it even comes with grape vines (see outside views) though I will not be swinging on them! And I was welcomed to my room by a visiting Keel-billed Toucan! See photo below.

And I doubt that Tarzan had a King sized bed or screens and ceiling fans, but I’m sure glad I do! It is hot and humid here like where I grew up in south Arkansas near the Louisiana line – hotter and more humid than Atenas which is in the hills.

CLICK a photo to enlarge it.

Outside Views

Inside Views

Our 3 hour drive took 4 hours with a lot of trucks on the roads today and the gravel road portion of the drive was in pretty rough condition – what it costs to get to real wilderness! 🙂 And yes, we are all wearing masks here, Costa Rica is smart enough to require it and everyone working here is in the same family – cool! And so nice! I’m the only guest until Friday when there will be 8 to 10 other guests for the weekend.

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

¡Pura Vida!

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Nature as Art – Up Close

Today I spent some time in the garden trying to be Georgia O’Keeffe with her oversize flowers, curves and colorful shapes in leaves, mountains or whatever she painted. I love her work! Here’s 10 of about 100 photos I made today in the garden.

It was also a “practice” for next week when I will be at Maquenque Lodge, not only photographing lots of birds, but hopefully some “Nature as Art” photos of many other natural creations in that beautiful wilderness setting, partly from my tree-house room!  🙂   Click an image to enlarge it or start manual slideshow.

Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.

~Marcus Tullius Cicero
See my Flora & Forest Costa Rica gallery for more of this type of “art.”
Or for some of my old Tennessee “Nature a Art” Photos, another gallery with images sized as I sold them in arts & crafts fairs in the 2010’s.
¡Pura Vida!
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My Nashville Zoo Photos Posted

As noted earlier, one of the things I’m doing more of during the “lock-down” time is trying get all of my old photos culled through and posted in one place.

One of the biggest collections is from my 10 years of volunteer work at Nashville Zoo and my Nashville Zoo Gallery is now completed. It includes one of my biggest collections of bird photos along with so many other animals and a really large number of people photos which was what the Zoo PR Dept. wanted a lot of. It was a nice re-living of many great memories at Nashville Zoo. And as I go through other photo files I expect to find more of Nashville Zoo, like when friends and family visited, I often took them to the zoo but haven’t gotten to those photos yet!   🙂

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Organized in 6 super-galleries with many sub-galleries under each.

 

And check out the current Nashville Zoo Website – A wonderful zoo!

¡Pura Vida!

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Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown

Have your days seemed pass slower or be longer and then your weeks and months passing faster? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon you can read about on BBC at this link:  Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown 

Or if you are one of those weird Americans who prefers to read American publications, try this one in the LA TimesIs time flying by oddly quickly during COVID-19? Here’s why you may feel that way

CLOCKS

Now . . . back to the future in Costa Rica!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Some time ago I canceled my cable TV subscription and used the money for stronger internet service through which I occasionally watch a documentary or older movie from the Costa Rica version of Netflix (fewer titles than in the U.S.). Tonight (Wednesday) during my dinner of a pulled pork sandwich and cole slaw from Atenas Poco Loco (“To Go” or “Para llevar” here), I watched the BBC/Netflix movie The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, based of course on the book by the same title available from Amazon.com Books. I was so touched by the movie that I felt compelled to recommend it or the book written by the boy himself as a now adult engineer.

Having lived in The Gambia West Africa for three years, I of course related to almost everything in this excellent true story of a 14 year old boy in Malawi who had to drop out of school and help the family farm because they could not afford the school fees. In the midst of a common African drought the boy sneaked into his old school library and learned about windmills and thanks to his old science teacher’s device to generate electricity with the moving bike wheel he adapted it to a homemade windmill that generated enough electricity for a small pump to pump water from the well and irrigate the drought-stricken farm. I saw the life-changing effects of windmills in The Gambia too.

A moving family story with authentic African culture, scenery, and hardships. When I returned from The Gambia I often said that every American should live for 3 years in Africa to see what the real world is like. Well, this movie or book will give you a taste! I highly recommend it.

“Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.”

— Kofi Annan

¡Pura Vida!

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Central Park Renovation Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve reported since not much obvious work has been going on except for 2 to 4 men most days working on this one radial sidewalk from the central kiosk to the northeast corner of the park since January. It has taken much of 5 months with 7 more sidewalks to go, it may be awhile before the renovation is complete!    🙂

At least I’ve learned that the sidewalks will be concrete rather than the old brick sidewalks, which at first was disappointing for the historical look, but they are definitely going for a modern look and concrete will also be more practical and cost less I would imagine and the younger generations everywhere definitely prefer modern. There is a trough down the center of the sidewalk which will probably be used to hide electrical wires, since the storm drain is a bigger pipe already buried under all this.

I like the two half circles off this walk with built-in seating for groups to assemble or people in general to visit. And not only are there built-in seats in the circle, but all the sidewalk walls are at sitting level, meaning there will be a lot more seating than the old park benches have provided. And that fits the purpose of bringing people together and the new modern look of the park too! I like it! When finished, the Central Park will really be the center of life in Atenas!

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My date on this is March 30, so from this point to below in 2+ months, though they really started here in January of 2020. A long time for one sidewalk with 2 seating areas!

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Entrance from the NE corner of park across from POP’s Ice Cream. Brick is city sidewalk.

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There are two of these sitting areas off this radial walk.

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This is same as above seen from the other direction.

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The other sitting area is closer to center of park and has steps & wheelchair ramp. Tarp is workers’ for rain and sun during this construction.

 

“Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.”
― Marty Rubin

 

The Architect Plans Facebook Page has been taken down or the old link doesn’t work now. Sorry.

See my Central Park Renovation Photo Gallery  with chronological photos of the progress.

¡Pura Vida!

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Grieving the Downfall of America

I envision Jesus weeping over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37-39 and Luke 19:41-44, and wonder:  Has He already given up on the United States? Or is He still crying and hoping? Or maybe rolling his eyes in hopelessness? 

I grew up assuming I was in the greatest country in the world. I was told so repeatedly as a child and was proud of being born on the fourth of July! I enjoyed the patriotism of Boy Scouts, flags, school programs, marching bands and the holiness of church. That was while growing up. Then I became a cynical adult, progressively seeing more of the under-belly of that “don’t Tread on Me” snake, the self-centered hypocrisy of leaders, even in church, and was becoming disillusioned. Today, living in another country, it is embarrassing to admit that I’m an “American” – though the title rightfully belongs to more than just the states; to all of north, central and south Americans. (That’s another issue!)   🙂

I believe that the Racist & Fascist Republican Party and their immoral idiot president are destroying what is left of an already failing “great nation.” They promised to “Make America Great Again” and now . . .

MAGA is the . . .

1. GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH FOR RICH PEOPLE with the biggest inequities between rich and poor in the world and constantly getting more so as Republicans continue to give tax breaks to the rich that the poor and middle class must pay for and do everything they can to keep the poor and racial minorities from voting. Great? No, pitiful!

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”     –Plutarch

 

2. GREATEST RACISM in the world with a white supremacist president they fully endorse and mimic while calling KKK and killer cops “good people.” I’m not sure if racism is the country’s “original sin” as some say, but it is something real leadership would help the country to come face to face with and correct! It is a major factor in the downfall of the states, while Republicans show much more concern over the looting of millionaire businesses than the murder of an innocent, unarmed father. Not Great! Pitiful!

“At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being.”         – Friedrich Otto Hertz

 

3. GREATEST AMOUNT OF VIOLENCE IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD with so-called “Christians” embracing the NRA, Tea Party, international warmongering, the military industry, and the political party that kills in every realm while supposedly championing “Right to Life” so they can control someone else’s body. Why is the hypocrisy not obvious to them? Why do they look the other way as gun violence in America increases almost daily along with police violence? Trump cheered the gun-toting demonstrators against life-saving pandemic closings but says to shoot those who demonstrate for justice. Why do they accept money from NRA and the war industries to continue promoting violence daily in America and war overseas?  Greatness? No! It is selfish power and control like the fascists of Italy or Nazis of Germany. Great? God help us!

“We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence.”
― Elizabeth Warren

 

4. GREATEST IMMORALITY IN THE WORLD! Republicans and evangelicals support an adulterous president who averages 15 documented lies a day, brags about sexually assaulting women, name-calls worse than any spoiled brat, encourages violence and hatred, demonstrates bigotry daily, has caused the death of thousands more because he would not accept the world pandemic and do something early, and well, the list has no end with so much immorality in the White House and the Republican Senate that it is nauseating. And to think that some of these hypocrites used to call themselves “The Moral Majority.” Ha, ha!  Greatness? Not in my book!

“How can one be well…when one suffers morally?”
― Leo Tolstoy

 

5. GREATEST FAILURE OF HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD. Oh? You like it? Then you must be rich! Like almost everything else in the U.S. it is for only the rich and about money – with Republicans helping insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and for-profit hospitals get richer by the day and if you are rich, money can buy you almost everything, even good healthcare! While the poor, most middle class and the elderly without money suffer or do without. And they are still trying to destroy the one Affordable Healthcare Act the government has provided in years. The private healthcare system that rules in the USA is a disgrace to the country and just one more of the reasons I left. 

“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
― Walter Cronkite

 

6. GREATEST ANTI-DEMOCRACY “DEMOCRACY” IN THE WORLD!  The whole Republican philosophy of governing is for select rich people to rule and keep the poor and the minorities under their thumb. They’ve continued that in so many ways as they support the most autocratic and self-centered president in the nations’s history – a true fascist and racist. And in their unfair ways of making the judicial system political, and their systematic ways of suppressing the public vote they thumb their noses at the people. They believe the country should be run by the rich plantation owners and the poor people be damned! While in my opinion, so-called “leaders” like Trump, McConnell and Barr belong in jail.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

7. GREATEST ANTI-ENVIRONMENT COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! Totally ignoring global warming and the huge climate crisis that will destroy much of the world we know today is almost a requirement to be a Republican and especially a Trump supporter.  You must support the destructive oil and energy companies but never the health of the earth! 10 to 20 years from now some of you will look back on this time and wish you had taken a different attitude. The climate crisis is real and destructive! Your children will pay for your sins.

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”   

~Barack Obama

 

8. GREATEST ISOLATIONISTS OF MODERN HISTORY and maybe all history! We used to be the world leader and now the USA has become the selfish rich kid, building a wall around himself as we pull out of WHO, UN, NATO, the Paris Agreement, etc. ignoring our friends and becoming a more selfish or self-centered nation. And you wonder why the U.S. has little respect around the world? It used to be different, even with some Republicans . . . 

The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. America rejects the false comfort of isolationism.
― George W. Bush

Yep! That’s MAGA! If you like that, then, by all means Vote Republican! 

But if you want to save America from its selfish self before it is too late, vote Democrat at every level of government! This November election may be the most critical ever in our history! Please vote Democrat!  Save the U.S.!

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