Staying Local Today!

We started today after breakfast with a visit to the Feria or Farmers’ Market. See my photos from earlier post or how I use fresh fruits in an earlier post. The Feria is always a place my visitors want to see even if we don’t purchase anything.

The little Railroad Museum is nearby, so we went by it to make sure I knew how to get there Sunday afternoon which is the only time it is open. So some snaps of it before . . .

Ice cream at POPS, then we hang out at home rest of today.

And have dinner at a neighbor’s house nearby, Richard next door. It was really nice! I’ve included a shot of the view from his house looking over the roof of my landlord’s house. Quite a bit more expansive than my view!   🙂

View from Richard’s house at dinner tonight, looking over the roof of my landlord’s house.

Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of his visit here!

Friday of Healthcare Tour

Old Man Tree in Breakfast Room

A stop by CPI Spanish Immersion School in Heredia for one short lesson.

Visited the smaller public hospital in San Ramon.
Public hospitals aren’t as fancy and pretty as private,
but very clean and functional inside.


Paul & Gloria’s view with a Poro Tree blooming. Now is time for Poro.
Lunch at home of Paul & Gloria Yeatman with guest speakers.

Visiting the San Ramon Feria or Farmers’ Market Friday afternoon.
Paul & Gloria emphasize this as a part of healthcare!

We also visited a small neighborhood clinic, farmacia, bank, community center, Red Cross which does all the emergency ambulances, a museum, and talked about insurance, the CAJA government healthcare, homecare provided by CAJA, and even a presentation by a volunteer organization encouraging us to volunteer. Whew! A full day! But very helpful. They were showing us what it is really like for medical care in a local community, in this case San Ramon. I will do a separate post on San Ramon and give my comparison to Atenas. This ended the Healthcare Tour at dinner time in San Ramon. I spent the night there and tried to post these photos but the little La Posada Hotel had very slow internet, so I saved them for today, Saturday and will purposefully do two posts. The next one with a few shots of San Ramon sans-healthcare!

Costa Rica Fresh Fruit!

On Feria Day (Farmers’ Market Day) I process some of the fruit purchased . . .

. . . and then have a fruit plate for lunch!  🙂

I cut up half or more of the mango, pineapple and papaya into little squares and put in zip lock bags in the freezer to use in my fresh fruit frescos, refrescos de frutas, batidos, jugo de naturales or just smoothies for people from the states. And there are a lot of other names for drinks made from fresh fruit, plus a rice, cinnamon, and milk drink call horchata or an even better version with vanilla ice cream called leche muella. Fruit rules in Costa Rica!

Images, Descriptions & Uses of The Tropical Fruits of Costa Rica  NEAT PAGE!
Probably at least one fruit here you have never heard of! And sorry, but I have not tried all of them yet! And this list is not all of the fruits found here. 

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.
~Vietnamese saying

Central Park is the Center of Atenas

Central Park Atenas, a cell phone 3-photo panorama from Gelly’s Jardin Restaurant

This view is from Gelly’s restaurant facing east. Don Tadeo’s Bar & Restaurant faces the park on the opposite side, facing west, a vista place to eat on both sides! The Atenas Catholic Church is to the right, facing the park from the south side looking north and on the north side is Banco Nacional facing south. On the southeast corner is the Courthouse, called Tribunal, and northwest corner the City Hall. On the northeast corner of the park is POP’S Ice Cream Shop while southwest corner has Pizza Olivera.

The Post Office is a half block west of the back side of the church or block and a half from the park. Another block and a half from the park is the Bus Station, Taxi Stand, and Indoor Farmers’ Market open all week. And this doesn’t count all the many little shops, Sodas, a hardware store, two small supermarkets, a dollar store kind of place, good office and school supply store, and more restaurants as the circle widens. Plus the electric company and phone company two blocks off the square, as is my spanish class, the bigger supermarket, etc. 
And realtors don’t understand why I want to stay close to the Central Park? Each realtor has a house they just know I will love, but I have to pay more for it, get a car or spend more on taxis! I’m now 5 or 6 blocks away and that is far enough to! This is the way towns used to be built! I sometimes feel like I’m living back in the 1940’s or 50’s with this town, and likewise when washing dishes by hand, hanging laundry outside in to dry, and walking everywhere! I love my new retro-life! And I love being near the center of Atenas! Think I’ll stay! And if the apartments don’t work out for any reason, I’ll take an apartment or little house near the city center without the view! 

Friday “Feria” Today

I got lots of fresh fruits and tomatoes today at the Farmers’ Market.
They call it “Feria,” Spanish for “Fair” – the weekly Farmers’ Market.

And what did I get? Papaya, Mangoes, Watermelon, Strawberries, Pineapple, Bananas, Tomatoes. I’m just not into cooking a lot of vegetables and things like potatoes or cassava. I eat those in restaurants! 

I have a new favorite place to eat, El Balcon del Cafe and Bakery run by a German woman. I had the best-prepared fish since moving to Atenas and a heavenly German Apple Pie Alamode. 
I have lived here 6 weeks and two days. Today it is partly sunny and 81° at about 3:45 PM. 
El Balcon del Cafe and Bakery

Farmers’ Market Today

Best place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables!

I walked to the Central Park (where the weekly Farmers’ Market used to be on a street downtown)
but has now moved to a big pavilion outside of town with a big parking lot for all the rich Americans to park their SUVs. Like while I was in The Gambia, I continue to be embarrassed to be an American. 

From Central Park I ride the free school bus to the market with the local Ticos and I think 3 other gringos. There are a few of us without cars, but the contrast of rich Americans and locals seemed to be more evident at the “Feria,” their name for the Farmers’ Market which is literally translated “Fair.” I bought coffee, blackberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, avocados, lettuce, and a smoothie to drink while there, fresh-made from local pineapple, strawberries and mangos. Yum! Here’s a couple of photos to show that it looked pretty much like the Nashville Farmers’ Market now that they have a big shed and more expensive space rent (meaning higher prices).  The price of progress and American intrusion! 

Atenas Friday Farmers’ Market

Us Poor People Road the Free Shuttle Bus to Farmers’ Market

There was going to be a long wait for the shuttle after I finished shopping, so I splurged and took a taxi to my door for $3.

Central Valley Day 1

Whew! Sitting in a seminar for two days was tiring, but a full day of touring was just as much so but more fun! We circled through all the neighborhoods and important places for living of San Jose then into suburbs of Rohrmoser, Escazu, Santa Anna, Heredia, Barva, and San Rafael. We saw a large house with a grand view (photo) that is now a boutique hotel plus inside a North American style suburban neighborhood home with two-car garage that was for sale. At the hotel we had tropical fruits and a short Spanish lesson. Then we had lunch at a place where the chicken is roasted over a wood fire using coffee tree wood. Nice! We had our “farewell banquet” a night early tonight and exchanged emails. And oh yes, we went to one of the largest Saturday Farmers’ Markets near Escazu in Rohrmoser and a big Walmart that had marimba players entertaining. Great! Here’s just a few of the photos from today:

The August 2014 Live In Costa Rica Tour Group of 17
Group at Hotel Posada el Quijote
Autopista from Escazu Walmart
 The multi-lane is only in the city and to airport with rest of country two-lane highways.
Marimba Entertainers at Escazu Walmart

View of Central Valley from Posada el Quijote
And oh yes . . .
Rohmorser Saturday Farmers’ Market