You may not know that my favorite kind of books or stories are the ones written partly for children or maybe it is “the young at heart!” JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and JK Rowling. I was about to start re-reading Tolkien (the most difficult of the above) when through the sharing of friends in the Goodreads club/blog I discovered The WingFeather Saga (link to author’s description of the books). They are children’s books in this general fantasy/adventure style of the above three mentioned authors, with it quickly obvious that the author, Andrew Peterson, admires CS Lewis the most and would like to create a Narnia.
Some of you know that I prefer traveling solo; maybe it’s selfish or maybe it’s the results of 20 years of marriage. 🙂 I also enjoy eating solo, reading my Kindle or just observing what surrounds me. Occasionally in the informal lodges people invite me to join them at their table and never wanting to offend, I often accept. This group from Florida asked me to join them on the second night and I think I told them I would, but for dinner only, since I liked to read at breakfast and lunch. They have also invited others to their table like this couple from St. Thomas with a teen son. It’s been interesting as long as I ignore political statements! 🙂 Our waitress made this image on a couple of our cellphones for us last night.
Like pretty much everywhere in Costa Rica (except San Jose) all our meals here are open air, just under a roof because of mucho rain! 🙂
This fabulous documentary movie from Brazil present hundreds of ways to deal with the “Nature Deficit Syndrome” of modern children, particularly city kids around the world. Available on Netflix and other streaming services for free with English Subtitles though the audio is a mix of Portuguese, Spanish and English. Beautifully filmed and Life-changing for the whole world! It shows how NATURE is what the world needs now! 🙂 I RECOMMEND!
Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.
I use Walter’s Transportation for all my surface trips with Walter driving sometimes and other times one of his drivers, Cristian, takes me. Because Walter had shoulder surgery Cristian took me last Monday and brought me back today (Sunday). He asked my permission to bring his wife and daughter with him on the return trip and I was delighted to have them! A child makes going to a waterfall even more fun! 🙂 And I know . . . I’m actually a child too! 🙂
The Feature Photois my driver Cristian and his family at the middle overlook. The gallery below has different views of the falls and the stream below the plunge pool which is safer for families with children to swim, while teens & young adults go into the plunge pool. Both too cold for me! 🙂 But many of the young seem to enjoy it, including Cristian’s daughter who is wading in last photo below. CLICK image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
This makes Waterfall Number 43 that I have photographed so far in Costa Rica and I will be adding it to my “Arenal Volcano Area Waterfalls” sub-gallery of my Waterfalls CR Gallery.
I have serval more “significant” falls I want to add to my collection before I publish a Costa Rica Waterfalls book, but maybe in the next year or two! 🙂
“Playing together in nature is as much about us as it is about the child. Children get to celebrate and be themselves, while we are reminded of our inner child – the essence of who we are.”
Well . . . a “blended” model of every other day in person and every other day online beginning February 8 for public schools and in January for some private schools with masks and social distancing required for everyone! Read about it in Tico Times online: Costa Rica will resume in-person learning in 2021.
Today I walked past Colegio Liceo during their “graduation” of seniors with everyone outside waiting to go in for diplomas, one family at a time. Unfortunately 2020 has not been the best year to be a graduating senior! But it is what it is and will certainly be memorable! 🙂
Costa Rica has had hardly any children with the virus and the country as a whole low in cases compared to the United States, though we are still dealing with cases, mainly in the big city of San Jose and some along the Nicaragua border with Nicaragua being hit hard and their 3rd world country government doing little to prevent cases, kind of like the USA :-). Costa Rica still has a national requirement of masks in public and 1.8 meter (6ft) distancing anywhere in public with restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other businesses limited to 50% capacity and automobiles only allowed on road every other day based on tag number with big fines for cheating. These kinds of precautions help! 🙂
The featured photo is one of my old ones of Escuela Central Atenas, the public elementary school here. During the down time workers have repainted it from this institutional beige color to a little brighter institutional gray and white now. Sorry I haven’t photographed it yet.
KLM names airplane after Costa Rican national park
Read about it in Tico Times article. The Boeing 777-300 was baptized “Cocos Island National Park” in honor of the Costa Rican Pacific island that’s an important conservation area for terrestrial and marine wildlife (and that was the inspiration for the fictional Isla Nublar in “Jurassic Park”).
In an effort to include some Costa Rica Culture in my blog, I copied this from the Golden Gringo Newsletter, which is okay because he copied it from a local online newspaper! 🙂 He came here a year or so before me from the states as a retiree (younger than me) who chose to live near a beach and fishing place, Quepos on the Pacific Coast near Manuel Antonio NP. He’s a lot different than me, but I semi-follow his newsletter for his impression of things here.
And note that the original list below was most likely aimed at and/or written by young adult or teen Costa Ricans (Ticos) as a form of humor. But there is some real culture here! 🙂
Feature photo is mine of young adult Ticos in an Atenas parade (for a traditional look), but the copied stock photo above is more typical of young people here! 🙂 Below copied from Golden Gringo Chronicles:
“We’re Not the Happiest on the Planet for Nothing” 🙂
You had your first coffee before you were 5 years old. Your mom would mix it with extra milk so it wouldn’t taste so strong. She’s the reason you developed an addiction to it and now drink at least 3 cups a day. (But their also have been numerous articles in the press in recent years on the health benefits of coffee)
You don’t refer to someone as a person, you say “mae” (pronounced my). ‘Mae’ is everyone and anyone, either feminine or masculine (esa mae or ese mae). When talking to your friends, it’s not uncommon to hear the word mae at least 50 times in one conversation. (especially among teenagers, the closest modern equivalent to “mae” in English being “dude”)
You include partying in your monthly budget. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing going on, you will find a reason to celebrate. You double your party budget if La Sele (the national soccer team) is playing that month. (in Covid times you can still watch the Sele on TV)
You don’t say 1000 colones, you say “un rojo.” (rojo, a “red” or un mil) In Costa Rica the 1000 colon bill is red in color (rojo in Spanish), so you denominate money as un rojo, dos rojos, diez rojos, and so on. For example, you say “I paid diez rojos for that ticket.” One million is “un melón,” just because it rhymes.
You use trees and house colors to give directions. From the mango tree, turn left and keep going 2 apples (blocks), it’s the third house on the right, watermelon color with a palm tree in the front. Street names — who needs them?
You know about Tico time. If someone says: “I’ll meet you at 4,” you know it probably means the person might be leaving the house at that time. Not proud of this one, but we Ticos are not exactly known for being punctual.
You say Pura Vida for everything. Used a hundred times a day to say hi, goodbye, thank you, you’re welcome, to express well-being, or to say something is good or nice, Pura Vida (pure life) is your mantra.
You eat tamales for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Your mom makes a huge batch of traditional tamales for the holidays and you are responsible for eating half of them, it’s your duty.
You honed your salsa dancing and merengue skills in family reunions. Your aunt, uncle, mom, or cousin made you dance with them at all family gatherings. You might have hated it back then, but at least now you can dance.
You secretly speak Pachuca (street slang). Even though you might not use it often, you can speak it fluently. You know that tuanis means good, that mopri (a mix of the letters of primo) means mae, that the police are los pacos, your car is la nave watched over by el guachi, and your job is el yugo. En ‘toas…it’s good, mae!
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!
“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.
I had a great dinner last night with Vera and Daniela off and on with others out – it was arroz con pollo or chicken and rice with a typical Tico breakfast this morning of Gallo Pinto or beans and rice with egg and coffee and bread and a big plate of fruta and glass of juice! I ate breakfast with Jose, I neat young guy from a little village an 8 hour bus ride south of here near the Panama border. He works for a robotics company and goes to the university in night school for more robotics skills. Lots of different things are manufactured here in Costa Rica and there are some really sharp young people here!
If there is any downside of a boarding house it is sharing the bathroom with many other people. No wait for my shower this morning, but after breakfast before leaving for school I could not brush my teeth because it was occupied. It is all part of “being family” or sharing which is ultimately a joy! 🙂
I had a good morning at school today followed by a tour of downtown Heredia with lunch at the Central Mercado, a typical lunch plate called a “casado” which is your choice of meat and an assortment of vegetables, rice and salad served for lunch everywhere in Costa Rica, like what Mamma would serve you at home. The word “casado” literally means “married” and implies that if you are married this is what your wife will serve you for lunch. 🙂 I will report on the school tomorrow and Wednesday I’m going to the Toucan Rescue Ranch for another interesting experience. Never a dull moment! Even when learning!
Casa de Garcia
A 4-bedroom Boarding House Apartment
Where we eat!
Inside that gate from street are several apartments.
Entrance & Patio of House
Church at Central Park
Historic House of a Former President
Central Elementary School
Me in Heredia! “The City of Flowers.”
Gazebo in Central Park
Historic Building by the Spaniards
Fountain in Central Park
CLICK AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE
And of course I have a “Trip Gallery” of photos from this week, titled:
One Tico family picked me up at the airport and took me to la casa de Doña Vera Garcia with a hardy welcome from a very energetic & talkative 4 year old Daniela. Her father, Daniel, was working late tonight at the shoe store in the nearby Mall. There are 2 other boarders here, college-age Tico boys from smaller towns going to trade schools here in Heredia, a very big suburb of San Jose. The students went out and will eat here later as many Ticos do, but I ate at about 6:30 (late for me) and talked the best I could with Vera in my malo español.
The small apartment complex where they live became more lively as it got dark and people came home from work with little Daniela running in and out of the house and relating to all the neighbors and many coming in our house visiting; a close, friendly community, like a big family with everybody talking, in Spanish of course, and usually much faster than I can understand. And who knows where the college boys went? But first, one of them helped me get on the WiFi which Vera didn’t understand. And I settled down in my private room working on my computer. It is much cooler here than in Atenas and noisier because we are near downtown Heredia. I’ll be in bed soon. Hope I can sleep. Big day tomorrow!
And of course I have a “Trip Gallery” of photos from this week, titled:
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
~Will Ferrell, ‘Elf’
And that is what they do in the annual Christmas Lights Night Parade in Atenaswith participants and viewers coming from other “pueblos” (towns) surrounding Atenas including the large Zarcero Community Band which marched in the Rose Parade earlier as well as smaller, rural bands and dance groups. Colorful, long, and loud!
A terrific Christmas Fiesta that continued after the parade with live music & food in the partly remodeled Central Park Atenas until midnight! Since I can hear the sound system from my house, it meant I was delayed going to bed last night! 🙂 And for some of us . . .
“The world has grown weary through the years, but at Christmas, it is young.” ~Phillips Brooks