Patience is Costa Rican!

Your have heard me brag about the tranquility and great weather of my little farming town of Atenas – and the “muy amable” or very kind people here. But one thing that many hyper and efficient Americans don’t always realize when they move to such an easy-going society, is that to be that way means everything and everybody moves slower here! No rush! ¡Pura vida! To not adapt to this slower way means you will not be happy here. Always frustrated at the inefficiencies!

My example of this today is my efforts since Monday to pay my surgeon for the work he did. (No pressure from him.) I made arrangements in advance with my Credit Union in Nashville to move the needed money from Savings to Checking so I could easily pay with my debit card. Hospital payment was quick and easy as I had planned, but the doc requested to be paid separately. Okay.

The doctor comes in my room with his little portable credit card machine, saying he doesn’t like to wait for the hospital to reimburse him if I pay through them (the most efficient way), saying they sometimes take a full month to forward the money to him. Okay. He tries repeatedly and his machine doesn’t work or at least he blames it on the machine and not my card which had just worked for the hospital. He leaves and returns in a little while with a bigger machine he plugged into the wall (still dependent on hospital WiFi). And it did not work. He then says we will take care of it when I see him at his office later this week (Wednesday). It still did not work there. He then gives me his account number at Banco Nacional and asks that I just transfer the money to his account from my account – but that account (my SS check auto-deposit) is just for housing costs, so I still have to get the money from Nashville.

Thus Wednesday afternoon I go to the bank with my CU debit card and ask them to get the needed money from it and put into my local account so I can transfer it to the doctor’s account. Sure! The teller aims to please, and tries repeatedly (7 times – service is important!) and he continues to get “denied” or “acceso denegado.” I call Nashville and they raise the cash advance limit (I thought they had already done) and say everything else is cleared – it should work! It did not! I told the patient teller (not the long line of people behind me) that I would return tomorrow and try again. Lo siento señor, mañana es un día festivo, no estamos abiertos. And I reply, Hasta el viernes.  Tomorrow is a holiday and we are closed. See you Friday.   🙂

Well, Thursday was Virgen de los Angeles day, (patron saint of Costa Rica) with only Christmas and Easter being bigger for Catholics here, when thousands make the pilgrimage to Cartago Cathedral to touch the black stone Maria. So nada yesterday! (Click above link to learn about the holiday.)

This morning I call the Credit Union again and make sure the card is good for a large amount of cash on this day and I’m assured it is. I go to the bank with teller lines going outside onto the sidewalk and street, more than an hour wait for a teller, so I tell the guard I need the “special services desk” and go wait nearly an hour for it, but those persons are more accustomed to “different” transactions like mine and I figured they could handle it better, maybe quicker, and once I finally got to a desk, it worked very smoothly, though taking another 25 minutes to do it! Remember – everything is slower here! Why rush? But she did go ahead and let me pay my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) with her and not have to go wait for a regular teller to do that.

Sooooo . . . an hour and a half at the bank, another chapter read in my latest book (which is so, so), my doctor bill is paid AND my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) bill paid! I breathed a sigh of relief and headed home for a more relaxed weekend! Pura Vida!

And, if you are wondering, the reason I didn’t use CAJA for the surgery, is that I would still be waiting to see a surgeon and I chose not to have patience for that!  Choices and Patience! Retired in Costa Rica!   🙂   ¡Pura Vida!

 

 

Inside Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles Church

An Eventful Day

8AM Spanish Class with Hilda my new “more mature” teacher who has been trying to help me understand past perfect participles in Spanish and I’m not sure I do in English! 🙂

An errand-running morning after class with about 5 stops and much accomplished.

2:30 bus to Alajuela gave me time for my late lunch or early dinner there before a 4:30 appointment with another new Jesus in my life, Dr. Roberto Jesús Gamboa Arend, Dermatologist. He looked at all my “tags” and other growths, moles, assuring me that I do not have cancer, then used the nitrogen or whatever to freeze-dry most of them. I have a cream to put on each of them until they fall off on their own, which took two pharmacies to find and I barely made the 5:30 bus back to Atenas which was standing room only. I stood less than a minute when a young man, maybe 20 I guess, got up and insisted I take his seat. This is typical of the high respect given to older people here. A good feeling.

I’m home and tired now with only 1 little errand for tomorrow. Whew! Photo is of sunset from my terrace last night.

¡Pura vida!

Mainland Birding Near Bocas del Toro

Only a sample of the many birds we saw driving from the coast up the mountain in mainland Panama at closest point to Bocas del Toro Archipelago of islands. For all that I photographed on this trip see my TRIP GALLERY 2018 Tranquilo Bay, the Birds sub-gallery.

Green Ibis
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Passerini’s Tanager
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Pale-vented Pigeon
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

 

Cattle Egret Juvenile in Nest
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Boat-billed Heron Juvenile near nest
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Swallowtail Kite
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

 

Silver Throated Tanager
Mainland Panama near Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

See my “Trip Gallery”:
2018 Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

 

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ALSO OF POSSIBLE INTEREST TO YOU:




 

Check out BirdLife International for ways you can be a better conservationist.
Their People & Nature Program!
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And of course the serious birder must join eBird and the
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And for Costa Rica Birders I recommend the Facebook Group

A Little More Progress on Website Today

Banded Peacock Butterfly

I continue to see more butterflies which is part of June & July here and want to keep my nature theme even on posts about the website.

Today was the day for my online video visit with a specialist or “concierge” who was Nancy and very helpful, answering all my questions and giving me a boost forward in my understanding of technical things that can be frustrating. And one of the best things she did was recommend WP101 help videos online. I have already watched 6 of them and again got another boost forward making me more hopeful that this site will be successful eventually. She claims that moving my blog from Blogger to WP is “pretty straightforward.” But I will get the site working a little smoother before I try that.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Grass Fire Approaching – Left House

Shot on cell phone from my terrace.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Shot from behind my landlord’s house on cell phone. Fired headed our way – lots of smoke!
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
This fire is behind my làndlord’s house behind mine. Bomberos or firemen are on scene but there is no water. I decided it not good to breath smoke plus nothing I can do and no power, internet or water. So I am camped out at a fav restaurant.

Will go back after dark and hope I still have a house!

First ever post by my phone.

Tarcoles River Today – First 7 Birds

This morning I got to go to Tarcoles River again with new friends John & Kit Loesche. But I have only had time to process first 7 bird photos. More coming tomorrow and maybe another day!

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
My favorite and closest I have been to this species.
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Green Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Osprey

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Mangrove Swallow

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Snowy Egret

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Little Blue Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

None of these were new species for me, but the pygmy-owl was the big treat and closest I have been to the two I have seen. Closeness makes a better photo even though he was in the shadows (another bird photography difficulty. We saw him off the parking lot of the boat facility we used, Jungle Crocodile Safari, my favorite because they emphasis the birds rather than the crocs and don’t feed the animals like some of the other tours do.
¡Pura Vida!


See also my BIRDS Photo Gallery

Poas Lake Reappearing – Maybe Park Open Soon

Official Photo with water returning.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

My 2015 Photo of Active Volcano
I think the same place as their photo
OR is the lake they are talking about the one below?

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

My 2015 Photo of the inactive crater, a blue-green Lake Botos
but I think they are talking about the active cone,
don’t know if this one went dry too.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

It is a positive sign that the lake is starting to reappear which I hope means the park will be opening again soon. Read the article at:
https://news.co.cr/lake-poas-volcano-costa-rica-reappears-rainfall/69998/

Another “official” photo of Poas erupting August 24, 2017
One of several eruptions, mostly gas and soot but not lava like some.
It has been closed for more than 9 months now and no longer active.
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

Reopening the park is important to the Park Services budget as one of the most visited parks and to all of the local people who depend on the area tourism. The nearby La Paz Waterfall Gardens has remained open all this time and continues to be a popular tourist site. 
Me at Poas.2015

Poas Volcano on Wikipedia

Did you know?  Poas Volcano has the second largest volcanic crater in the world:   vacationscostarica.com  

I have taken more than one visitor there and not been able to get in because of cloud cover, especially during January-April. In fact my only visitor who got to see it was Kevin Hunter, so consider yourself lucky Kevin! The second largest volcano in the world to visit and the most popular in Costa Rica. 

And here is the TRIP Gallery:  2015-With Kevin at Poas Volcano


¡Pura Vida!