Pre-parade Dancing is Most Colorful!

In some ways this was my favorite part of the parade today because it was so colorful and new! We did not have this during the last two years’ parades. I love latin music and dance and the color! Nice!
Music is the best cure for a sorrowing mind.
Latin Proverb

Triquitraque or Flame Vine Blooming for This Year

The brilliant orange flowers of Triquitraque or Flame Vine is a great contrast to the blue Plumbago flowers.
I saturated the color so they’re not really this red, but are a deeper orange than next untouched photos.

If I remember correctly they will bloom 2 to maybe 3 months, February-April. I had hoped for year around blooms like some of my other plants, but this gives me something special for this time of year. And this year they cover more of my stark concrete wall, which is what I wanted! 🙂  ¡Me gusta!

AND PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR: 

See also my photo gallery Flora & Forests
And read about Flamevine which Costa Ricans call Triquitraque, Spanish for “a string of firecrackers” or sometimes can mean “creaking” or “rattling” in colorful conversations.  🙂

Portraits of an Atenas Parade (Post 3 of 3, Children Focus)

My third and last post on the Independence Day Parade 2016 in Atenas, focusing on Children:


You don’t have to be in the parade to enjoy it!


Two boys who watched the parade across from me. 



Watchers wear traditional clothing too!

Reluctantly in the parade.

Papa helps me see the parade better!

Carrying School Sign

A Tiny Watcher in Costume

Primary School Girls love to dress up! 

And boys love to play the drums!

And there were many drummers!

Role-playing a Farmer

And watching dressed as a farmer!

See All of the 2016 Independence Day Parade Photos in one place in my gallery.

AND


I went for birds and photographed many plus a whole lot more!  🙂
And yes, we have lots of beaches this un-crowded on both coasts.
How can you not love it here?
PURA VIDA!



Portraits of an Atenas Parade (Post 2 of 3, Teenagers/High School Focus)

The second of three posts on the 2016 Independence Day Parade in Atenas, focusing on Teenagers:  And obviously I focused on the people this year, thus the “Portraits” title!

Most of the high school kids here are beautiful and handsome!

One of many flag bearers.
And another . . .

with lots of flags it was very patriotic and colorful!

Serious sign carrier in one school. 

And I think a drum majorette?

“Freedom of Expression”

Including wearing your patriotism!

And dressing the way you want?

A Ceremonial Mask Tradition from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

“Say Yes to Tolerance and Respect”  (Anti-bullying Campaign)

And more drummers than anything in all the bands! 

See All of the 2016 Independence Day Parade Photos in one place in my gallery.

TOMORROW the focus is on Children!

Portraits of an Atenas Parade (Post 1 of 3, Adult/University Focus)

The Independence Day Parade or Quince de setiembre desfile (like the U.S. 4th of July). I’m presenting a few of my photos in three posts: Post 1-adult/university, Post 2-teen/high-school, and Post 3-children/primary.

Most of this post is of ADULT & COLLEGE STUDENT PARADE PARTICIPANTS

Literally thousands of Costa Rican flags were in the 2.5 hour parade
with every band, school, organization, etc. 

These three boys and the grandmother with small child were
directly across from me during the whole parade, so in other photos too.

Ladies in traditional dress on truck/float for one of the two
Adult Continuing Education Universities nearby.

The farmer’s university had beautiful traditional dancers in pairs
dancing down the street which was beautiful!

One of the above dancers up close.
This is the only time of year you can see the traditional clothing/dancing.

Even small universities have bands!

Seldom see a sax in a high school band

With trumpets being a little more common. 

All ages are training in farming and livestock raising.

Atenas is full of beautiful, friendly, and smart people!

Young cowboys everywhere love to show off!

And I couldn’t settle on just one roping photo! 

This reminds me of my days at Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
where we had ropers instead of baton twirlers leading our marching band.
And our ball teams were called the “Will Rogers Ropers!” There 1955-58.

Some of these young adults are the future of the farms surrounding Atenas!
It is a town about the size of Warren, AR where I was born, very rural,
but also just an hour from the capital, so more of a “bedroom community”
for the city than my little birthplace farming town.
Atenas is known for its coffee while Warren for its tomatoes and pine trees!

Tomorrow’s Post: Portraits of a Parade: Teenagers or the high school bands, etc.
Following Day: Portraits of a Parade: Children – everyone’s favorite, saved for last!
After That: Maybe several days of photos from my trip to the southern Caribbean town of Manzanillo

See All of the 2016 Independence Day Parade Photos in one place in my gallery.

NEW COMPUTER ORDERED

And by then I should have my new computer, ordered Friday from a warehouse in San Jose and hopefully in and functioning with my all my files and programs by Monday evening, but typically things take longer here.  🙂  Unitec Computacion, the local computer store I ordered through said it would take at least a full day to transfer everything from my old computer to new one. More about the computer later and why I hate America’s Best Buy Store and their Japanese-made Asus Computer. In short, the processor was overheating and it had nothing to do with the fans. It can be ordered and replaced but the hard drive is damaged and cannot be fixed thus I would also need a new hard drive and on my Tamarindo trip I broke the glass on the screen which cannot be replaced but the entire screen must be replaced. Better to get a new computer and I’m trying solid state this time which hopefully will mean fewer problems. I’ll tell about the new one when I get it. Most available computers here have Spanish keyboards built in, so I had limited choices with English keyboard. I’m not quite ready for the Spanish keyboard yet, maybe next time!  🙂

FIRST FREE BUS RIDE!
Wednesday I did some errands in Alajuela and returned the rent car at airport there, then rode the bus back to Atenas. For the first time it was gratis! Free! For longer trips I will have to pay something but at a good discount! It pays to be old and have the Gold Card here! 
PRICESMART

And for those readers thinking of moving to Costa Rica, here’s an article about PriceSmart, our version of Costco or Sam’s Club in the states. It is where Gringos go for American products along with Walmart and a supermarket call Automercado. Of course all American products are more expensive here because of the import tax.  

Rewards of PatienceI

The Clouds are Colorfully Lit Most Nights
But only for a minute or two – for those who patiently wait see it.

Hundreds of parrots fly over each evening.
Maybe patience will give me a good photo some day!
Hoping one will land in a nearby tree!

I’m pretty sure these are Sulphur-winged Parakeets, the size of parrots.

MUSICAL CHAIRS PATIENCE

And my patience with Banco Nacional has started to pay off today. The first time I went I was second in line and quickly got to Ricardo who said I must have my real Passport not the photo copy I carry in my wallet. So I walked home to get it and when I got their I found it in my laptop case which I had with me at the bank! Grrrr! Old man forgetfulness? Ricardo told me to come back at 12:30 PM which I did and was again second in his line. (The line for cashiers had 37 people moving from chair to chair towards the front. Funny to watch!) But Ricardo didn’t get back until nearly 1:30! But I now have a local Debit Card in my wallet. The reason I had my laptop was that I was told he would train me in using the online banking. BUT, he said first I needed to go to one of the cashiers and buy a “token” (300 colones or 60¢) which appears to be some kind of electronic fob. I was not getting in the Monday line of 37 people, so will try tomorrow. (Monday & Friday are busiest days at bank.) Then I will take the token to Ricardo and he shows me how to do online banking on his computer. He said to not bring my laptop. Whew! It looks like it may take more than two weeks to have opened a bank account here, but there will be advantages! And tomorrow I get to play musical chairs!  🙂
TOPE PATIENCE
In my Saturday report of the Tope de Mercedes or Horse Parade, I don’t think I told you that all the advertisements for the Tope said 12 Noon. So I show up before 11 to get a good spot along the road. It was sort of like the Gambian Wedding that started two and half hours late. Nothing was happening except the setting up of beer tents in the futbol field. I asked someone and he told me that it sort of starts at 12 but that the parade would not start until about 1:00. So I went home and returned at 12:30. The parade actually started at 3:30. I sat on a wall across the street from the Mercedes Catholic Church, watching them get ready for a wedding that (you guessed it!) started at 3:30 with people dressed in their finest trying to drive cars around the horses, let family out at church, and park the car who knows where down the road. I told a friend that was a sign of a lack of planning for the wedding. She pointed out that it was bothering me more than the people it really affected! 🙂 And that was not to mention the lack of any traffic control with cars actually driving around horses in the parade and parking along the side of the road making it one lane. Relax Charlie! Tico Time!
Will Costa Rica make me patient? Sometimes I doubt it, but after three years in Gambia I was much more relaxed and used to delays. So maybe a little more time here will mellow the control freak!

A Colorful Day!

Colorful Dress Shop in Alajuela


Yalile came at 8 AM today to clean my apartment, my first time for a maid. I have scheduled her for every two weeks now. I’m pretty clean but she probably does more than me with dusting furniture, cleaning the floor and the bathrooms & kitchen. It makes me feel cleaner now.  🙂 The standard rate here is 2,000  colones per hour or $4. So for $8 I get 2 hours of cleaning! Spic and span clean! It is such a good deal I might even consider going weekly when I’m in town. But I’m not ready to give her a key yet, maybe in the future. Plus she is already helping me with my Spanish and I with her English learning. When you have to communicate is when you really learn a language!

After she left, I went to Alajuela again, which I always love and it is always a colorful place! I don’t think I will ever tire of walking around Alajuela! Especially with a camera! Just phone pix again. I’m tempted to take my camera bag and good cameras, but then you just call attention to yourself and its sometimes harder to do candid shots. I still don’t photograph many people which I’m afraid will be considered rude. But occasionally catch a candid like the umbrella guy below.

Methodist Church at the Alajuela Central Park
Made more colorful by the guy losing his umbrella to the wind!
A Fruit Stand on nearly every block in Alajuela.
Move Over South Beach! We have Art Deco too! In Alajuela Central. 
I finally found and ate at the raved-about Jalapenos Restaurant.
It is good and better prices than Tacontendo from yesterday,
but just Tex Mex food by a transplanted New Yorker serving mostly expats. 

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” 
― John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

“I have led a pretty colorful life.”
Corey Feldman