Spring in the Tropics!

Yes, it’s “Spring” here (la primavera) and almost the beginning of “Summer” (el verano) or Dry Season which starts in December. There are some trees and flowers that bloom this time of year while other bloom at the end of dry season and I can’t explain why because I don’t know.  🙂

I call these my “Yellow Bell Trees” because the flowers are bell-shaped, but that is not the name of them and I can’t seem to get an agreement here on what their English name is. I recently lost two of these trees, so less yellow this year in my garden, but it calls for a Haiku anyway:

¡Pura Vida!


Book of Haiku Poetry

Click image or address below for electronic preview for free.


I have been playing around with writing Haiku about Costa Rica Nature for nearly 3 years now and this is my little collection of poems, each printed on one of my photos. I’m not a poet, but it was fun to do and I may continue trying from time to time. I write the American 2-3-2 syllables style of Haiku but like the original Japanese Haiku they only describe nature.

¡Pura Vida!


Eyelash Pitviper HAIKU

Yellow Eyelash Viper
Photographed at Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Haiku & photo by Charlie Doggett

Check out my Haiku Photo Gallery for more like this. Expect a book eventually!  🙂

Or if it is the snake you like, see my Reptile Photo Gallery for a few more.  

Good “Happiness” advice from Albert Einstein I read in The Washington Post today:
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness 
than the pursuit of success 
combined with constant restlessness.”  
~Albert Einstein
Supposedly he had no money for a tip after a meal and wrote this note to the waiter as his “tip.”  The note just sold at an auction for 1.56 million dollars!f Not a bad tip!  🙂
From Charlie, living a calm and modest pura vida in Costa Rica!

Tree Frog HAIKU

Haiku poem on photo made at Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
 by Charlie Doggett

Check out my Haiku Photo Gallery for more like this. Expect a book eventually!  🙂

Or if it is the frog you like, see my Amphibians Photo Gallery for many more.


Retire in Latin America?

And for those thinking about retiring somewhere in Latin America, I agree with Christopher Howard’s evaluation of the latest ranking from International Living magazine which I used at first but do not trust as they invest in property in places like Ecuador, then push it as the best place to retire. If you are even thinking about the possibility of retiring “south of the border,” you will find this article by Christopher Howard helpful:

I am thoroughly convinced that I made the right decision, not only with Costa Rica but also a small town in the Central Valley. But I am not pushing retirement here because I think there are already too many Americans here! Nor am I encouraging you do it like me, because we are all different with different goals. That said, I will be glad to answer questions or give my opinion about concerns you may have about retiring here or anywhere in Latin America. The economics depend on your lifestyle as do the specific location (beach, mountain, valley, city) and also the kind of services you require. I have visited Panama & Nicaragua twice each and like them both. Nicaragua wins on cost of living, while Panama is more developed and Americanized which is one thing I don’t like about it, though even it has a lower cost of living than Costa Rica. My best economic decision was to live without a car! Easy to do in Costa Rica! ¡Buena suerte! 

And oh yes, the question of do you have to learn to speak Spanish? The simple answer is “No.” But the many gringos who do not stand out like sore thumbs. You cannot fully enjoy the people and culture nor function effectively in the business, government and medical worlds here without speaking Spanish. I am a slow learner, but determined to learn and I get by in most situations, with fluency my long-term goal. And that is saying a lot for a 77 year-old! 🙂  Long term?  🙂

Tropical Blossom Haiku

In My Home Garden
Atenas, Costa Rica


Environmental agency orders suspension of pineapple farming project
which means that the American imperialists (Del Monte) cannot destroy any more of our wetlands and forests. Yay! I’m glad that the government here is defending our environment. This particular case is on the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado where I just traveled. Costa Rica is recognized internationally for protecting its land and environment and has 25% of the land set aside as national parks or reserves. And don’t feel sorry for Del Monte. There is plenty of legal land they can build pineapple farms on with plenty of cheap labor to make them rich!

The Dollar is at its highest value in Costa Rica right now, meaning a good time for U.S. people to visit or vacation or buy property here when you get more colones for the dollar, as much as C581 this article says. It had been at around 530 for a long time which was good, but this is better!  🙂 Best in the last 7 years says the article!


Fern Haiku & My Simple Life

Today I took the bus to Alajuela, getting off before downtown to get a few items at PriceSmart (our warehouse store like Costco). Then a taxi to Walmart for some other items they have no one else does, and then walked three blocks to the big City Mall where I finally found some thicker short socks, looked at some kitchen items in the expensive but nice Cemaco Store and ate a burger in the food court. Then taxi to bus station for bus trip back to Atenas by 3. That was my day. I watched the 30 minute ABC World News which is as much TV news as I can handle now. But even that makes me continue to thank God I live in Costa Rica! 
Rainy season is good and normal this year with late afternoon showers with some into the night and the rest of the day beautiful. Everything is green and attractive this time of year. My favorite. 
For my angiogram June 2, my young friend Jason Quesada is going with me and will stay with me since I will be put to sleep. I’m also using Walter Ramirez for my transportation to and from the hospital in San Jose. So I feel good about it even with my bad Spanish, I will have someone who is truly bilingual! And they don’t speak much Ingles in Hospital Mexico!
No more trips until July. I love my simple life!