Pothole = Free Flowerpot?

Everywhere in the world governments are slow to fix potholes in roads. This Tico found an interesting way to reprimand our government here in Costa Rica. Just use the potholes for flowerpots! 🙂 I love it! In your face government people, “these potholes’ are in front of my house!” They are on the gravel extension of Avenida 8 in Atenas where I walk sometimes and find things to photograph. This is one of the more interesting photos to me. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!


Also seen on that walk yesterday:

These 2 photos are a part of my collection called “Country Lane” – Avenida 8 Photo Gallery.

Washington Post Article: Pace of climate change shown in new report has humanity on ‘suicidal’ path, U.N. leader warns

¡Pura Vida!

Partial easing of restrictions

Costa Rica will begin easing some coronavirus measures starting May 1, President Carlos Alvarado and Health Minister Daniel Salas announced Monday afternoon.
Theaters, gyms and athletic centers — which have been closed since March 18 — will be permitted to reopen during the week. But some of the country’s most impactful restrictions, including a ban on arriving tourists, will continue.

~Tico Times

Read these linked articles in English on the Tico Times website:

Costa Rica begins easing some coronavirus measures

Costa Rica likely to extend border restrictions; beaches remain closed

Coronavirus in Costa Rica: The country’s projections and long-term plan

How has Costa Rica contained the coronavirus?   (The U.S. could learn something here and the long-term plan above, but your president is too proud to learn from anybody.)

¡Pura Vida!


Free WiFi in Costa Rica!

One of the things the government is doing with the increased taxes is providing free WiFi all over Costa Rica in most public places: national and city parks, libraries, all government and public buildings and for university students access anywhere for free. The online world is expanding everywhere and more countries like Costa Rica are providing it for everyone. Read this article in Living in Costa Rica Blog:

Free WiFi Country-wide

If I wasn’t so lazy I could save about $30 a month on internet charges, but I really like the convenience of having it in my house!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Life is Good in Costa Rica!

Things are good in Costa Rica with a very stable democracy and a wonderful and progressive new president and we are the first country in the Americas to elect a black woman as Vice President! 

Ths and other things are discussed in my San Ramon retiree friends’ newsletter and in this edition they reprint their list of reasons for retiring in Costa Rica. I think you might enjoy it at link below.

Retire for Less in Costa Rica NEWSLETTER Current Edition:

I basically finished my photo book on Arenal Observatory Trip today, but need to double check it and then wait for Blurb to announce a sale. In the meantime check out my TRIPS GALLERY on this trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge. 

And I now look forward to my June visit to Boca del Toro, Panama on an island in the Western Caribbean, my first trip of 7 days since moving here. More time means not only seeing and doing more but more relaxation!

¡Pura Vida!

My First Government Doctor Visit

Yesterday I went to see my assigned government doctor (Dr. Zuniga) for my initial visit and he was not there but his substitute was a beautiful young lady evidently just out of medical school (Dr. Arias) and she spoke good English. So it made the first visit easy. No one else spoke English at the clinic. We discussed my medical history and what I am being treated for now and postponed the physical lab work until I finish my current round of heart medicine prescribed by a private heart doctor in San Jose. Then (September) they will evaluate with their own diagnosis and prescription if any. Not all doctors use medication for arrhythmia, even in the states where medicine tends to be overused.

My whole time at the clinic including the nurse weighing, blood pressure, etc. visiting with a doctor, waiting at lab for appointment was only about one hour. One perceived problem with government health programs like this is that you have longer waits. Not so this time! All went efficiently and quickly and I was quite happy with the service! I’m now in a health plan like Bernie proposed for you guys in the states. It is great! Sorry no photos this time. Didn’t think of it at the time.

Ticos just call it “Caja” which is part of the name in Spanish. Here is a summary definition from Wikipedia:

The Costa Rican Department of Social Insurance or Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (as it is known in Spanish) is in charge of most of the nation’s public health sector. Its role in public health (as the administrator of health institutions) is key in Costa Rica, playing an important part in the state’s national health policy making.
Its services are available to all citizens and permanent legal residents. This governmental entity’s functions encompass both the administrative and functional aspects. It has the obligation (as a public institution) to formulate and execute health programs that are both preventive (such as: vaccination, informational,fumigation, etc.) and healing (such as: surgeryradiation therapypharmacyclinical, etc.) in nature.[2] 

Note that this service includes all medical needs including prescriptions, dental, eye care, etc. with no 
co-pay or additional charge after my $114 a month fee for medical services. This is where I really save 
money over living in the states. 

Sharp Knife, Dusty Volcano & Red Tape!

Whoever told me that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife . . . I might want to challenge you. I got a new kitchen knife the other day that looked really sharp like the one I have that is usually dirty from slicing veggies, meaning I needed another. Last night I used it the first time slicing some onions and peppers for my guacamole and I sliced the tip end of my finger off and never found the little flap of skin. (I probably ate it in the guac!) A painful, bloody mess! The Doc and EMT this morning fixed it sort of, but she cannot easily do stitches over an open hole. (A last resort.) I cringe just writing about it. Sometimes I do stupid things like slicing the tip of my finger off! It hurts!

So now I have a complicated cleaning and bandaging process every day for awhile. She prescribed a cream or ointment that is suppose to encourage skin to grow over the wound. Hope it heals fast! I’m allergic to pain! A big baby!

All that means to us in the Central Valley is more gray dust blowing in, which is a nuisance at times.  See it erupting on YouTube  The big explosion is more than 30 seconds into the video. 

I’ve got a month to hopefully get everything right for my CAJA appointment that will get me in the more affordable government health program, but bureaucratic red tape comes first!  🙂 And filling out the form in Spanish has become a Spanish Class project we will possibly finish tomorrow.  🙂  They are another support group! And I contacted the embassy today for proof of my SS income. ¡Poco a poco!

So yes, Pura Vida includes this messy stuff too! But I will survive!  🙂 And I’m enjoying another day with high of 79 and low of 65 with late afternoon shower! Sweet!

Getting Reimbursed for Medical Expenses

The private medical services insurance here is mostly through a government program called INS, a Spanish language acrostic. I finally completed the piles of paperwork with doctor signatures and original receipts (No photo copies! One of my claims was disqualified for this reason.) I mailed them to my insurance agent who got them to INS and I received an email pretty quickly telling me what was accepted and how much they would pay me with an electronic deposit in my local bank account when they received the account number. (I added to the time here by at first sending the wrong number dummy me!) When I finally got that right they informed me that since I still don’t have official residency yet, they could not auto deposit but I could come to an INS office or my agent. My agent requires 15 days, so I opted to go to INS somewhere close other than in San Jose. Alajuela is the closest and I went today and even with one problem, I completed the task within two hours! That is could! The problem was that my agent gave me the wrong address or directions to the office in Alajuela and I wasted one taxi fare ($2) in the wrong place. When I got to the right office, a typical government office with guards and take a number and wait until they call it to be served. It was surprisingly quick with only three employees needed to complete my task and they paid me in cash!

That is likely the last/only time I will do that since I canceled my expensive policy. I’m waiting to receive the government coverage after my residency is approved. Hoping that will start happening this Friday the 13th when my attorney appeals! Ironic? Probably! But I’m not superstitious!

And by the way, this experience today continues to strengthen the motivation to learn to speak AND understand Spanish. It is necessary to live here! 

Cardiologist’s Office?

Cell Phone Capture of Alajuela House that is now a Cardiologist Office.

At first glance I thought it was some kind of government building! Why? Because all government buildings are two-tone blue and white. But most have a lot more white than this one. The sign is for a cardiologist, Dr. Luis Fernando Valerio Soto. Yet he could work for the government as part of the universal health plan and it may be a government building after all.

Then all over Alajuela are these modern, curving park benches – giving the city a cosmopolitan look maybe? Or at least some city councilman thought!  🙂  Downtown Alajuela where I go a lot is mostly, old and dirty looking, so this building kind of stands out! Later I may do a post on colorful buildings in Atenas and in Alajuela. The Walmart in Alajuela where I went today is not colorful.