And more awards for Costa Rica! We rank #1 in Latin American and #5 in the world, after Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark in the 2021 Press Freedom Index. Check out that link on the “Reporters Without Borders” website. Meanwhile the arrogant USA ranks 44th while one of its political parties fights against freedom of the press, calling them “Fake News.” Sad.
HEALTH UPDATE: Today I visited a geriatrics specialist for the first time in my life at my surgeon’s request“to make sure I’m healthy enough for surgery.” — I AM! — But in the process I’ve come to appreciate a new specialist whom I really liked and appreciated and who can possibly help me manage my lifestyle for my remaining years better than anyone I’ve talked to yet. Already he has helped me! In addition to approving me for surgery! 🙂
Tomorrow I go for a negative Covid Test and then I’m ready for surgery, I think. 🙂
Today, February 8, 2021, is the first time students will be in the physical school buildings in almost a year, having closed last March because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Some schools will offer the option of a “hybrid plan” mixing in-person with online school, fewer days in-person. And the many students who have no internet access for online school will be prioritized for in-person classes and parents who are not comfortable with in-person school for their kids can continue online schooling.
All photos are my older file photos from earlier years. The feature photo as header of page is of Escuela Central, the largest and main primary school, K-6. The kids in costumes are at Los Angeles Primary School and the teens at bottom are at Colegio Liceo, the university-prep public high school.
This past school year will have a major impact on several generations of students around the world with so many poorer students unable to participate in online education. Much work and prayer needs to go into helping these students around the world to “catch up” or fit in with the more affluent. And Costa Rica will do it well, always being a leader in education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Thanks to Goodreads that provided me with the above images and the list of books I reported to them as having read during 2020, most with a book review. I thought that by the time this blog post was scheduled, I would have finished my current book by Barack Obama, A Promised Land, that is not among the above images, but I was too busy at Arenal to read as much as I expected, meaning it will go down as a January book. And then there are others I’m “working on.” 🙂
I’m not a heavy reader because I tend to be a “doer” of adventures more a reader of adventures, plus I have a sometimes uncontrollable urges to “to create,” mainly with my photos. But I still love to read and no longer go to movies or watch TV. I currently have Netflix Costa Rica mainly for the documentaries and occasionally an old movie, though not as many titles available here as in the states, thus watch just occasionally. I no longer subscribe to any cable TV. So, when not photographing or creating something with my photos, I like to read Agatha Christie mysteries and select non-fiction books such as the Obama book.
Here’s a slide show of the book covers followed by a list of titles and authors. And note that in 2021 I plan to finish the entire series of Hercule Poirot mysteries with just 2 more to go! 🙂
My 12 Books This Year
Assuming I finish the Obama book which I’m sure I will. These are not in any particular order and I don’t remember exactly what order I read them, but most were good books. The sitting kills book was weak I thought and I was disappointed in the book on knowing God. The other 10 I recommend! The first 6 are non-fiction and the last 6 fiction – half and half! 🙂
Last week they took down all that yellow plastic crime-scene tape that surrounded the Atenas Central Park, but it is still mostly empty with no concerts or fiestas scheduled. There were a few old men on the opposite corner where they usually “hang out,” but that was all. And the colorful Marigolds that were planted on this corner that I shared earlier have been removed. Hmmm. And there has been no continued work on the park remodeling, probably because of a lack of tax money.
Atenas is still in the Pandemic Shutdown Mode with few people in Central Atenas on the above cloudy day and many shops closed, some permanently. A difficult year for many here and worldwide!
I feel safe walking to and through town with my mask (required by law here) and anyone else who is out is also wearing a mask and maintaining a 1.8 meter distance, also required by law here. It is a bit of trouble but at least we are not having the daily increases of cases and deaths like the USA! It is still beyond my understanding how so many people still support that stupid, lying, self-centered, racist Donald Trump who clearly is responsible for thousands of deaths he could have prevented and the equally evil Republican Party supporting him. God help America! At least one Republican expressed a little bit of common sense today on Trump’s refusal to concede the election:
“It’s just simply madness,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said. “The idea of supplanting the vote of the people with partisan legislators, is, is so completely out of our national character that it’s simply mad. Of course the president has the right to challenge results in court, to have recounts. But this effort to subvert the vote of the people is dangerous and destructive of the cause of democracy.”
Everywhere in the world governments are slow to fix potholes in roads. This Tico found an interesting way to reprimand our government here in Costa Rica. Just use the potholes for flowerpots! 🙂 I love it! In your face government people, “these potholes’ are in front of my house!” They are on the gravel extension of Avenida 8 in Atenas where I walk sometimes and find things to photograph. This is one of the more interesting photos to me. 🙂
The best thing I’ve read about climate change in a long time and it’s not all negative because we do “Choose Our Future” collectively as a society and they even give us a possible “dream future” in Chapter 3, while Chapter 2 has a pretty realistic picture of where we will be in 2050 if we don’t act now and it is not a pretty picture!
There are a lot of practical things in this book like the 10 Actions each one of us can individually take and of course one of those is to vote and influence your politicians and other government leaders to take positive actions to green our planet before it is literally too late.
This is from the people who brought you the Paris Climate Agreement. If every human on planet earth read this book and did half the 10 actions we would be headed in the right direction!
Read this book and plant a tree to help save humanity!
A post I wrote yesterday was scheduled to release at 4 am this morning and it did – for 30 minutes – then at 4:30 AM I woke up and felt compelled to delete it, meaning most of you who subscribe got an email linking you to “Whiffs of West Africa” and received an “Oops message” saying the post is not there.
I felt guilty that I was inflaming the few Trump supporters who still follow my blog, so at 4:30 AM I deleted the post that compared Trump to Yahya Jammeh, the Gambian despot who refused to step down when he lost the election and the featured photo showed him being escorted out by military troops.
Joe Biden has declared this “A TIME FOR HEALING” and I don’t want to make it more difficult for him. So I will honestly try to write no more anti-Trump posts and I hope you “other guys” will decide to work with Biden to bring America back together for peaceful progress as one nation, not two! And yes, the above flag photo is mine, photographed back in 2005 at the Everglades National Park Visitors Center. 🙂
E pluribus unum – Latin for “Out of many, one”
God Bless America!
StoryCorp.org and Public Radio are trying to organize “One Small Step” where you can join them in getting people with opposite views or politics to simply talk to each other. Click the link to check it out and see if you want to participate. Sounds like a great idea Americans!
Hurricane Eta Rains are gone and we have blue skies!
JOE BIDEN IS PRESIDENT ELECT of the USA!
And Trump is gone!
The featured photo is looking towards my house from my street along side the cow pasture. The visible house on the left is my neighbor across the driveway from my house which is hidden in the clump of trees behind that street light. I like being in the woods! 🙂
The “Big House” is barely showing on top of our hill which our landlord has rented out since he now lives on the beach north of Jaco. And that’s today in my neighborhood! 🙂
“Love thy neighbor — but don’t pull down your hedge.”