|Part of the hilly rainforest I will be exploring between my house and the coast.
I shot this on my 2011 Panama Canal Cruise Excursion to Tarcoles River for a jungle river cruise.
Today was my second Spanish Class and it looks like the Spanish name Chris Howard gave me is what my Nashville Spanish Class likes best as they are all calling me Carlito now. Fun! Just getting my feet wet in the language and I like it and our teacher Maya! By the way, Charles in Spanish is Carlos, and the closest to the Charlie nickname is Carlito, which literally means “little Charles,” which is okay with me.
The letter from Social Security arrived today, so all my papers are in order for my residential application. By next week I will send them to my attorney in Costa Rica and the process will begin.
Also today Jane and Scott came to my house to see what all I have to sell in their “Village Treasure Shop” on campus. We are no longer allowed to have yard sales because of traffic among the cottages, so the Treasures Shop is a substitute. I have so much stuff that they decided to give me a whole room in the former cottage used as the shop and let me operate it as my store each Saturday until December. I do my own pricing and they just get a percentage of whatever I make. So that is what I will be doing for the next few Saturdays. It will be kind of like an indoor yard sale one day a week. Hope to make some money! 🙂 Come see me some Saturday, beginning October 11, the Grand Opening! I’m also deciding what I will keep and put in storage during my first year in Costa Rica. A few pieces of furniture, books, art, etc. will stay here until I decide to either return to states or make Costa Rica my permanent home. If the latter, then I will ship it all to Costa Rica. As the old TV comedy soldier of fortune used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”
Thanks for reading my blog! And please comment or write! -Carlito
|Another Species of Toucan, I photographed in 2010 in Braulio Carrillo
Click photo to enlarge
POLICE BACKGROUND CHECK MARKED “NO RECORD”
So one more needed document obtained today from Nashville Police pretty quickly and easily for $13. The Costa Rica officials will like the red ink rubber stamped declaration “No Record” below the colorful Metro Police logo. I’m good to go on that!
ONE-WAY FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
This was easy too and a free flight with air miles, except for tax I had to pay! And I decided on Christmas Eve to be there for the holiday and get away from what could be Christmas blues here. In Costa Rica everyone makes tamales for Christmas, a long time tradition! I’ll expect some! Plus I may get to see some colorful Catholic Church celebrations on Christmas! Plus I need to get rid of all by stuff before Christmas anyway, so Christmas Eve seemed to be the best time to leave with an empty house. And hey! I got great seats in front of the business class cabin on both flights! That is almost like first class (row 7 with bigger seat & more leg room). I will be flying in style through Miami on American Airlines. Another momentous Christmas for me!
LIMITED EXCESS LUGGAGE
But the hope that I could take 6 to 8 suitcases to carry my beginning stuff, is not going to work out. There is a max of 5 suitcases, but the escalating cost may mean only taking two and shipping other stuff. 1st bag is $25, 2nd bag is $40, 3rd bag is $150, and the 4th & 5th bags will be $200 each! So much for a free flight! I’m hoping air freight will be cheaper and plan to start with quotes from DHL which was my shipper from The Gambia, but will compare with FedEx and maybe find a freight company that will send footlockers. UPS is not in C.R.
WAITING ON LAST DOCUMENT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY
I will wait until next week before I try following up on their promised letter. Then I can stay focused on getting rid of stuff. So far, everything is falling together pretty quickly and easily.
|Phons sent me his photo of one of my future neighbors, an iguana.
Hope I get photos this good! I think he and I will get along fine!
I’ve made the deposit and it is confirmed that I will be moving into an apartment at Hacienda La Jacaranda in Atenas, Costa Rica the end of December. It is run by a lovely Dutch couple and he, Phons von der Bom, has been corresponding with me and sent the above photo plus one of a butterfly earlier. If you zoom in on a Google Map of Atenas enough you can find the name of the apartments on the map, just north of downtown within about 8 blocks of the Central Plaza and a Super Mercado and of course the weekly Farmers’ Market every Friday. And the Map Link above includes a map pin for Helados POPS, the best ice cream in Costa Rica and some of the best I’ve ever eaten. I had my first Fig Ice Cream there!
Birth Certificate has been returned with an Apostille on it, thus one more document ready for the residency application. I earlier printed out my filing with the U.S. Embassy (State Department) of my intentions called a “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” which Jose wanted on file. But I am still waiting on a letter from Social Security proving a minimum income for residency. Even though the last guy I talked with said he would do it right then, I really expected it to take a while. I just called our Metro Police Department and for the “police report” Costa Rica is asking for on me, they say they call it a “Background Check.” I simply go downtown to the Criminal Justice Building to the Records Window and for $13 they will provide one while I wait. So maybe tomorrow. When that is done, I will only lack the Social Security letter.
And the next step soon is to order my one-way airline ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica and I’m hoping I have enough air miles for it and they have space on their planes for an air miles ticket! If not, one way should cost less than round trip. Then the main job is to clean out this house, decide what to take, what to store, and what to sell or give away – the biggest job of all!
|My Corcovado Sunset from Luna Lodge – Click to view larger|
There is so much I do not understand about the mysteries of life, of God, of nature, and now of Costa Rica, the Spanish language, and what life will be like when I start living there. And that is part of the Costa Rica appeal for me. Last night I discovered a great little quote that I just must share:
“I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.”— Harry Emerson Fosdick
In the summer of 1960 when I arrived early for my Tentmaker Summer Mission work in New York, I made a solo pilgrimage for the Sunday morning worship at Riverside Baptist Church in NYC and heard Harry Emerson Fosdick preach. I cannot remember the message but do remember being impressed by his wisdom and that it was the first time I had ever heard a Baptist preach in a robe. Ahhhh . . . and then there’s the mystery of growing up! Mission trips and other travel brought that! And I’m still growing up! 🙂
|Image from AARP Website|
Also this real estate website has capitalized on the AARP’s proclamation with an interesting site of their own & good photos, one of which I copied below:
|Oxcart Parade in Atenas
OTHER WEBSITES ABOUT ATENAS:
YouTube 1 Minute Video
International Living Description
Atenas City Guide on “Visit Costa Rica” site
Google Images (Not all made in Atenas, like the beach photos.)
MapQuest Map of Atenas (Just zoom in)
Vista Atenas B&B (Instead of my guest room? – for more privacy maybe?) And their site has photos, video, & info on Atenas & check out these hotels:
Eden Atenas Boutique Hotel, Atenas
Barons Resort Boutique Hotel, Atenas
El Cafetal Inn hotel in Atenas
Hacienda La Jacaranda (apartments where I will live)
Poco Cielo Resort in Atenas
RE/MAX Real Estate in Atenas
Properties in Costa Rica – Atenas Real Estate
Atenas on “Anywhere Costa Rica” site (3 photos, no info)
Vacation Rentals in Atenas
|A branch of the Savegre River, Costa Rica, 9/2014
Photo by Charlie Doggett – Click photo to View
Here’s a summary of things I’m working on now for the move and at least one sorta funny story in it. This could especially be helpful to those of you considering a move as you see what I actually did on some of the steps I outlined earlier. Pura Vida explained at end of this post.
FIRST, THE CORRECT APARTMENT LINK
The email version of last night’s post had the wrong link for the apartment I’ve settled on, let’s try again because it is a good website with lots of photos I can’t copy: Hacienda La Jacaranda and I just tested it and it worked, but just in case, here is the address: http://www.atenasapartment.com/ And yes, I have a two bedroom, so a guest room for you! Knowing I can get off the plane and go to my new home is the first big relief! Pura Vida!
“One Exchange” is the proxy for health coverage plans for LifeWay Retirees. They mainly help you pick out a policy that they sell you for their percentage. I talked to two people, the last of whom kept putting me on hold while she talked to her supervisor. They are all ignorant of what to do and even though I told them what my research indicated was possible through a Medigap Plan for 60 days, they knew nothing about it and said they would have to research it and get back with me. A big waste of 45 minutes!
Then I call my Medigap Insurer, Mutual of Omaha, and told them what my research showed and asked if my Medigap was one with the overseas coverage. They were the opposite of One Exchange. Misha was knowledgeable, polite and helpful. In just a few minutes she confirmed my research and told me that my Mutual of Omaha Medigap will cover me overseas at 80% for the first 60 days for all medical expenses that Medicare would cover in the states with a $250 deductible and $50,000 maximum. That will give me 60 days to get the Costa Rica policy I was told would take 5 weeks (35 days). I will not cancel my Mutual of Omaha Medigap Insurance until AFTER I have the local policy in hand as recommended by Mutual of Omaha and common sense, in case something doesn’t work out. (If INS took longer than 5 weeks and I have an emergency, I can fly home and be covered as I am now.) I am so relieved about something that was beginning to be a concern. There is now a plan in place to keep me with medical insurance at all times during the transition. I believe I will make it through this move just fine! Due diligence, planning and proper timing pays off!
Pura Vida! (A Costa Rica slogan, literally meaning “Pure Life” but used to express the joy of life, happiness, greetings, etc. The above efforts are part of my cost to soon gain Pura Vida!)
|Beautiful apartments with valley & mountain views|
|Pool from patio and BBQ area where I’ll entertain you
on your visit
Thank you for your reply. One unit is reserve for you. We are working on our paypal reservation payment in our website. Might be done tomorrow then I will let you know. You can stay here upon arrival.
You will love Costa Rica since you are a nature lover. Atenas also has the best climate. We will have several of mangos trees in the property and during mango season the monkeys visit here to eat the fruits. Iguana’s are just also in our premises. Right now, we have flowers in the garden so different kinds of butterflies is visible here. Good subject for photography. Here is one photo for you.
Phons van der Bom
Hacienda La Jacaranda
Contiguo al Rio Cajon Atenas, Alajuela,Costa Rica
Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Wikipedia
|Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Hotel Rio Mar
Dominical, Costa Rica
|Black-billed Nightingale-thrush at Trogon Lodge
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
|Resplendent Quetzal, Trogon Lodge
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
|Collared Redstart, Trogon Lodge
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
Los Quetzales National Park, Costa Rica
|View from Atenas|
One of the couples on the tour with me had come to “try it out” for 4 to 6 months before they totally move to Costa Rica. They did a better job of apartment hunting than me and are now living for at least four to six months at Hacienda La Jacaranda in Atenas. (click to see how nice it is – they don’t allow copying their photos)
My driver did not “have time” to take me to Atenas which was one of the places I wanted to see apartments. I’m sorry, because I really like the look and feel of this place and they have a waterfall on property! And it is a 5 minute walk to the central plaza, groceries, bust stop, etc. An office for printing from my laptop, gym, pool, and more! So it will be one of the first places I will look when I return or might trust my friends recommendations and try to make a reservation in advance for the last week of December or first of January when I tentatively see myself going to live without moving furniture yet (if ever). It doesn’t have to be permanent, but a great start on my newest adventure! Pray that I make the best decisions and that God is in on whatever I do. That’s important to me!
|Colonial Church facing Central Plaza, Atenas|
|Central Plaza, Atenas|
And oh yeah! National Geographic says Atenas has the best year-around climate in the world! It gets to a high of 80 in the day and a low of 60 at night, all the time. Great sleeping without a/c and great daytime activity weather.