Looking East Toward Colegio Gym Atenas, Costa Rica
And Down Near the Corner It will go around corner for another full block, then right to Colegio Liceo Atenas, Costa Rica
Like governments everywhere, they seem slow about getting things done and of course funds are not always there. But finally I do not have to walk in the street around “Dead Man’s Curve” or a blind curve between my house and downtown Atenas. And I imagine they hope the high school kids will use it. They now flood the streets around the school before and after school, slowing car traffic.
My favorite place is whichever sidewalk is beneath my feet because I am just constantly fascinated by walking and looking and learning.
And you will see much of my looking and learning from walking in my photo gallery called:
First to Fourth Place Winners of Casual Conversation Liceo de Atenas, Costa Rica
Winner of the Formal Speech Contest Liceo de Atenas, Costa Rica
One of the students delivering her speech before us judges. Liceo de Atenas, Costa Rica
Recognition of the Blind Student who participated in the speeches. Liceo de Atenas, Costa Rica
Pulling Judge Charlie into the festival picture frame Liceo de Atenas, Costa Rica
For the second day in a row this was a delightful experience with some of the nicest people I have met or worked with anywhere in the world! We had fun and though all could not win first place, all the kids were winners! And they do English better than I do Spanish! Being old is my excuse! 🙂
The teachers say they will expect me to help next year and Zaray is going to get me an invitation to judge in the regional contests.
One of the boys in his speech talked about the diversity of nature in Costa Rica and mentioned his Dad was a bird watcher. Afterwards I gave him my business card and he gave me his dad’s facebook address where he posts bird photos: https://www.facebook.com/arnoldo.garciaj
At the time I did not know that I had already discovered his Dad’s Facebook page and was already a “Follower.” He is one of the best nature photographers in Costa Rica. I must learn to speak Spanish to relate to guys like this! In a post on his page I referenced my Birds photo gallery, not as good as his but not bad! 🙂
Golden-hooded Tanager Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Clay-colored Thrush Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica The National Bird of Costa Rica
Great Kiskadee Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Barred Antshrike Female Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Kiskadee, White-ringed or Social Flycatcher Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Blue & Gold Tanager Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Sepia-capped Flycatcher Maybe Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Yellow-faced Grassquit Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Passerini’s Tanager Female Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Passerini’s Tanager Male Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Yellow-throated Euphonia Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Celeste Mountain Lodge, Bijagua, Costa Rica
I saw several other birds and a couple of others I got bad photos of, but these are the ones I’m willing to share!
Most of these are repeats for me but I’m always looking for a better photo of every bird! The new species for me here at the lodge are the Barred Antshrike Female, though I got a male in Nicaragua; the Yellow-faced Grassquit and the Sepia-capped Flycatcher.
Therefore I will go a week without making posts since I can’t post photos from my Kindle and don’t know how from phone. Then a lot of catching up with parade tomorrow and 5-day trip to Caribe Friday. Be back the 20th! When computer is suppose to be ready. 😀
What is a VPN? It stands for Virtual Private Network and the link is to a detailed Wikipedia definition. But the short answer and why I would want one here is to “trick” the internet to thinking I am in the United States instead of Costa Rica when I surf the web, and particularly when I use my digital download subscription to Netflix. The movie producers in Hollywood (not Netflix) won’t let a movie be shown in a country unless it is licensed for that country. Most that I’m interested in are not licensed yet for Costa Rica.
So I have a subscription to My Expat Network which means I can get anything from Netflix that I could get in Tennessee. Funny thing is that I hardly use it because I’m too busy enjoying real life in this neat new country. But I will probably use it more in rainy season and it is good feeling to “be connected.” There are other reasons like security and limiting some marketing efforts over the internet, but Netflix was my main reason to get a VPN.
I get same movie titles available in the states with a VPN internet connection. Including a lot of junk! But I have more choices this way.
UPDATE: VPN No Longer Works Here for Me!
Netflix somehow detected I was using one and knocked me down to their fewer titles Costa Rica version. At first I just canceled them, then decided it was still better than paying for TV channels here which I no longer subscribe to. And rarely watch Netflix now, though I like some of their nature documentaries.
The laid-back culture is really different from the USA and requires an adjustment!
The cost of living is not cheaper here unless you choose to live simpler than in states.
Import Taxes are very high, making cars very expensive. Otherwise buy local!
Commuting to and from the city of San Jose is expensive and stressful unless you do it by bus. Reconsider if you plan to drive in and out for work!
Working here can be legally complicated unless you work online. See a local lawyer first.
And my more practical suggestions for a retiree that I’ve listed before:
ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica) I joined early on and they have by for been the most helpful with moving, residency preparation, medical, legal and lots of every day practical stuff plus they have a monthly newsletter/magazine with helpful articles. And maybe best of all is their monthly 2-day seminar on living in Costa Rica that I consider almost a requirement for moving here.
Some kind of relocation tour – there are several – Though the leader is a rather arrogant know-it-all, I found the Living in Costa Rica Tour to be very helpful and it included the ARCR Seminar above
I’m having computer problems and difficulty getting the computer help I’ve paid for but will be back writing more soon. Can’t get to my photos to post any. But I am fine and staying busy with two more trips to Alajuela this week, one for Walmart and one today to visit Escate Animal ZooAve today. A report soon on that. Tomorrow morning the residents of the apartments have a meeting with the attorney of the family that owns the apartments, so we are hoping for the best. I have looked at another rental possibility, but hoping to stay where I am.
I made this photo from the “Hanging Bridges” in the area in 2010. It is the most popular volcano because of its nearly perfect conical shape. It also reminds me of the strength and steadfastness of God in my life.
I just shared this on my spiritual blog called HIS SPIRIT which has been neglected lately with my focus on Costa Rica (and no longer using), but because it is as much about my move to Costa Rica and the risk so many here in Nashville think I am taking, I decided to share it on this blog too: As I am two days away from the move to Costa Rica, I am trusting God more and expecting Him to give me more purpose in life than I have felt in my simple volunteering in church and other places here in Nashville. And the fact that I don’t know everything that will happen is part of the adventure and excitement of the move. I am abandoning a lot of supposed security here in the states, though financially I know it will just get more difficult for me in the states. (And friends will still be friends from afar!) In the process of this thinking I was reminded of the poem/prayer by Thomas Merton which I may have shared somewhere earlier. I discovered it in 2012:
Prayer of Abandonment
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so.
But I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing.
I hope I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
My initial thinking was either Panama or Costa Rica as a retirement home and at first I focused on Panama, my most recent visit. The InternationalLiving site and products were the first ones promising I could live very nicely on my social security check or $1,500 a month in most Latin American countries. Then I found both Panama and Costa Rica sites saying something similarly. My hope were up! I can live a tropical life and have money left to travel to the other countries I don’t live in and all over the one I live in. I subscribed to the InternationalLiving Magazine, which I now would not advise, though I’ve only received one issue. Actually, there is good information, but that organization is pushing buying property and I will definitely rent for many reasons I’ll list later. They also have a free InternationalLiving Postcard (daily email) which has some good stories of people who have retired in many different places around the world, but focused on Latin America which is good for me, but again they are selling something in each email. So I’m learning from these but peeved at the way they keep asking for my money.
The first focus on PANAMA led me to these sites with various amounts of help:
Panama City from Cruise Ship in Canal, Photo by Charlie
Panama For Real which is an unprofessional blog kind of site by a young man from Tulsa who married a Panamanian is the “Panama Gringo” and writes straight-forward opinions about various parts of Panama with his added home videos. It is interesting and certainly not a hard sell on Panama. He only wants to sell ads on his site.
Panama Relocation Tours which is modeled after the long time tour in Costa Rica and would be a must to take if I were still considering Panama.
Google will take you to many other sites including real estate sites, but my initial searches discouraged me on Panama and I started focusing on Costa Rica
So I started searching for COSTA RICA information and found much more:
“Blue Jeans Frog: in Tortuguero by Charlie
Christopher Howard’s Live in Costa Rica Relocation/Retirement Tours which also has books, web information galore, a blog and simply the main guy to go to if thinking about moving to Costa Rica. I will be talking about him more in future posts.
The Real Costa Rica which is a less professional page with lots of information and his own tour
InternationalLiving site has some good articles on Costa Rica too, but you have to sign up to get access to some of them. Again they seem to be more interested in real estate sales than anything
And of course Googlewill give you more than you want