My World From Above This Week

When I checked in the hotel yesterday I was kind of hoping they would put me in the same Room 109 again because I really liked it last week. But I was assigned 407 which is 4 floors above and one room left of last week’s room. Wow! I like it better!

I like looking at the world from above and these photos show that difference, but also I am closer to the top of the big tree where more birds hang out, like parrots! And yes, the first afternoon I got some or one, but that will be another post, maybe tomorrow! And look below at how much better the mother bird and babies show up from above! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂

From my room & balcony, 407.

See the mother bird with babies from above in more photos . . .

Continue reading “My World From Above This Week”

Earth Day Hope

Wherever there are birds, there is hope.”

~Mehmet Murat ildan

And of course this is just one of the many birds who have brought hope to my terrace here in Atenas, Costa Rica – A Keel-billed Toucan in my Cecropia Tree (link to my Keel-billed Gallery). There is hope that the big rich nations are waking up to global warming and their long-time destruction of our planet. And there’s hope in the battle against my destructive cancer. Below is my update of activities that finally make it possible to begin Radiotherapy Monday.

Second Covid Shot this Morning

Quick and painless. I walk into the temporary vaccination clinic ahead of my 8 AM appointment, paperwork done quickly with shot even quicker and I was out of there before my appointment time. 🙂 I walked home, having taken a taxi to the clinic. With my knee no longer hurting I’m back into walking more and hopefully every day during radiation, though I will have to wear the big wide-brimmed hat they tell me! I must avoid sun during radiation.

Tomorrow Morning Stitches Removed

Tomorrow (Friday) morning at 9 AM I see my Ophthalmologist in San Jose who will remove the two stitches from my left eyelid and supposedly this is going too help me use my left eye for longer periods of time without an eye patch. So far I’ve gone up to 6 to 8 hours at a time without covering it. Reading tires it out more than general activities like kitchen work or even a little TV. I seldom watch more than an hour a day, if that much. For Earth Day I found a special on the internet streaming channel Curiosity Stream for wonderful nature documentaries and signed up for a year at just $10 or $2 more than one month of Netflix here. I will probably drop Netflix again. Seen all their documentaries I care about and the rest is mostly junk.

Got off subject there! 🙂 I assume the eyelid will stay partly closed now when the stitches are removed since she did something to make the top and bottom grow together at one corner. But, FYI, my left eyelid will never blink again or fully close.

UPDATE: 23 April – She did not remove the stitches today. She first said she would remove just 2 of the 3, leaving one to help protect from radiation. But because she used nothing for pain, I flinched and she said she would not remove them at all for now, saying I have a “low tolerance for pain” and I think she has a low sympathy level! 🙂 She was also very painful to me at beginning of surgery. So now she will wait until after radiotherapy and try again in June. Hmmm. 🙂 Permanent stitches? — But the Good News: both eyes are doing very well and she is pleased with the surgery results. I’m already using my left eye more than 6 to 8 hours a day, so progress even if I have a low pain tolerance! 🙂

Radiation Starts Monday

This coming Monday, 26 April, I get my first radiotherapy in San Jose and daily Monday to Friday for six weeks or through June 4. They were not comfortable with all these other overlapping medical appointments plus needed the time this week to prepare for my targeted treatments. She is studying all the reports on both of my left cheek surgeries, the earlier “skin cancer” one and the big one March 15 including biopsies, etc. to help her target all remaining bits of possible cancer. My future is sort of in her skilled hands. 🙂 Dr. Bonilla is both an oncologist and radiologist and my surgeon says the best here.

I’m still bargaining with hotels near the radiation center but hoping for the Best Western with four nearby restaurants and hope to schedule that today. I plan to spend Monday to Thursday nights there and back in Atenas Friday-Sunday nights. I will be giving regular updates from San Jose starting next week which I hope will be interlaced with some nature reports also! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

1st Covid Shot – No April Fool’s Joke!

Today (April 1) is the day that our local Atenas Public Clinic & Social Security had scheduled me for the Coronavirus COVID19 Vaccination at 1 PM and I got it right on time! I earlier asked the radiation doctor if the vaccine would be any conflict with what they will be doing and was told “no”, thus continued as scheduled.

In Costa Rica they started vaccinating with healthcare workers and first responders, then the many here in their 100’s, the 90’s and 80’s, just now getting to us who are exactly 80 year olds this week. So when I got to the clinic they sent me around back to a storage building that had been converted into a vaccination clinic and joined about 10 or so other 80-year-olds waiting for their vaccination too. Quick and totally painless. One of the easiest shots I ever received and a guy nurse did it! I had earlier said that girl nurses give more gentle shots, but not over this guy! 🙂 And we are getting the Pfizer type here in Atenas if that matters to anyone. They brought the shots in one at a time in a little hand cooler from the big freezer, quickly jabbed me, and asked me to wait 5 minutes for any reaction – none! My arm is not even sore! 🙂

In a Storage Building Behind the Clinic
Covid Vaccination Clinic

My vaccination card showed that I had the first shot today and that my second one is scheduled for 22 April. I asked if I could get my second shot before beginning radiation on the 19th? The poor guy went all over the place trying to find someone with the authority to change my second appointment. Finally he told me that he was sorry, but I would have to reschedule it through the Clinic by calling them (en español). I handled all of the above in my limited español, but I never do good on the phone, so I will see if Radioterapia can call them and reschedule it as an official medical person speaking Spanish.

My New Vaccination Card with only Covid on it.

Front, folded
Inside, opened

On the way home I stopped by the Farmacia for some more stick-on eye patches (I’ve internet-ordered some better black cloth ones), got some groceries before all shuts down for Easter and then grabbed a Grande Nachos from Donde Bocha and on home. I ate my nachos and then a neighbor stopped by with two desserts for my Easter Weekend and now the day is nearly gone! 🙂 And that is what a big day is like for an old man retired in Costa Rica! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Got My Vaccination Appointment!

They have been calling people for Covid Vaccination Appointments by age, starting with the many people here in their 100’s down through the 90’s and 80’s until they just got to me at age 80 for an April 1 appointment! Yaaaaaay! BUT . . . will it make a difference that I’m about to start radiation? I don’t know! But I will find out tomorrow when I discuss everything with the logistics person at Radioterapia Siglo XI. I hope there is no conflict, but with my second shot due during my radiation treatment, I’m wondering if they will conflict. If so, we will do whatever is necessary and get it when we can. Just another little bump in the road! 🙂

I know that people much younger than me in the states have already gotten both shots and they are just getting to my first shot here. Why? Because rich countries like the U.S. can get anything that money buys quicker! You are approaching 200 million people vaccinated in the U.S. and little Costa Rica just passed 300 thousand. I just read that another 300 thousand doses have arrived this week so we will slowly catch up with a very efficient system that had healthcare and other first responders first, then everyone else by age, oldest first. We all get it from our local public health clinic, with all shots provided by the government.

National Geographic Joins Tik Tok with First Post a Costa Rica Video

That’s according to this article in Tico Times Online. “National Geographic launches TikTok with video of Costa Rica” To view, click on the second video in this article. The first video is a Tico Times promo video. 🙂 You’ll know the difference! 🙂

National Geographic photo of Green Macaw, Manzanillo, Costa Rica — Yes, I have a similar photo from the same place, just not as good as Nat Geo’s! 🙂

You can be sure that Nat Geo knows where to find nature and adventure! 🙂 And of course Costa Rica is the best place in the world! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica Returns to In-person School

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.

Primary School – Los Angeles

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.

Those in the physical school buildings must wear masks and desks will be 1.8 meters apart, with hand-washing and other precautions in place. Read more details in the English-language Tico Times article. Or readers here in Costa Rica can get questions answered on the Spanish language Education Ministry’s Coronavirus Website.

High School – Colegio Liceo

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”

– Nelson Mandela

¡Pura Vida!

I Registered for a Coronavirus Vaccine Today!

On my round of errands this morning, one stop was at the public clinic to sign up for my Coronavirus Vaccine as one of an expected. 3.7 million to be vaccinated in Costa Rica this year, basically the whole population. It has begun all over the country as a free vaccination provided by the government with millions of doses already in country. As an older adult I should be called in before younger people and within the month the technician told me. I just wait for the phone call, in Spanish, and hope they speak slow enough for me to understand! 🙂

Though millions of doses are already here, more have been ordered says this Tico Times article: Costa Rica to purchase coronavirus vaccines for 648,000 more people

I also saw my female private practice GP doctor this week and already my hurting knee is much better and less swollen. Medical services here are really good! Both public and private and cheap or free!

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica Schools Restart in 2021 February

Well . . . a “blended” model of every other day in person and every other day online beginning February 8 for public schools and in January for some private schools with masks and social distancing required for everyone! Read about it in Tico Times online: Costa Rica will resume in-person learning in 2021.

Today I walked past Colegio Liceo during their “graduation” of seniors with everyone outside waiting to go in for diplomas, one family at a time. Unfortunately 2020 has not been the best year to be a graduating senior! But it is what it is and will certainly be memorable! 🙂

Costa Rica has had hardly any children with the virus and the country as a whole low in cases compared to the United States, though we are still dealing with cases, mainly in the big city of San Jose and some along the Nicaragua border with Nicaragua being hit hard and their 3rd world country government doing little to prevent cases, kind of like the USA :-). Costa Rica still has a national requirement of masks in public and 1.8 meter (6ft) distancing anywhere in public with restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other businesses limited to 50% capacity and automobiles only allowed on road every other day based on tag number with big fines for cheating. These kinds of precautions help! 🙂

The featured photo is one of my old ones of Escuela Central Atenas, the public elementary school here. During the down time workers have repainted it from this institutional beige color to a little brighter institutional gray and white now. Sorry I haven’t photographed it yet.

KLM names airplane after Costa Rican national park

Read about it in Tico Times article. The Boeing 777-300 was baptized “Cocos Island National Park” in honor of the Costa Rican Pacific island that’s an important conservation area for terrestrial and marine wildlife (and that was the inspiration for the fictional Isla Nublar in “Jurassic Park”).

Cocos Island National Park Airliner

¡Pura Vida!

Central Park Open to COVID Quiet

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.”

~Washington Post, 10 December 2020

Thank God I live in Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

A Lockdown Puzzle

It’s rumored that many people went back to working jigsaw puzzles while on COVID19 lockdown. My neighbor’s sister came for an extended visit from the States just before our airport closed for the pandemic and she just returned to the states this week. In addition to books, she had this puzzle to work on while here. She gave it to me on leaving since her brother was not interested. I started on it immediately, liking a challenge!

I normally work only “nature” puzzles, especially landscapes and since moving to Costa Rica I have only worked puzzles online, electronically, and usually a much easier image than this 1,000 piece Coca Cola nostalgia painting. ! THIS WAS DIFFICULT! I spent an hour or two every day for six days but completed it solo. Now I will give it to my maid whose children and niece will enjoy working it while also feeling “trapped” at home. And I will go back to online 50-piece nature images that I can solve in 4-5 minutes before going to bed at night! 🙂 Hey! Its just to calm me down and clear my mind for bedtime! A tranquilizer. 🙂

A difficult jigsaw puzzle. Un rompecabezas difícil.

¡Pura Vida!

Most Read Bible Verse in 2020

Isaiah 41:10 was searched for and read more online than any other this year during the pandemic:

Don’t panic. I’m with you.

    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.

I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.

    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

Isaiah 41:10, THE MESSAGE

New plastic currency begins November 26

CENTRAL BANKING announces: Costa Rica to issue first polymer banknotes

For photos of what they will look like go to: Q Costa Rica News Article

¡Pura Vida!