Sorry! Human error! But have you sent me mail?

Part of “Pura Vida” is not getting bent out of shape when things go slowly or go wrong. That is part of the warm climate attitude or lifestyle and if you can’t adopt it, go with the flow, and live with something going wrong, you will never be happy here. That is probably one of the biggest reasons some Americans don’t make it here or they are not happy here.

If you have in the last four months to my Costa Rica PO Box, it was not delivered. Read on to see what happened to your letter.

In late February I announced I had my own PO Box and you no longer needed to send mail by way of the apartments PO Box (where I received several Christmas Cards and letters just fine). You may remember that I was proud of my own address, bragged on how much easier it was to get that than open a bank account, and even posted a copy of a business card with the new address and my phone number. Yet I never received any mail in it. But I didn’t really expect it to be used except for local and Costa Rica business.

When my health insurance policy was completed the first of April I was expecting hard copies of the policy and an insurance card for my wallet. I never got it. Around the same time a friend in the states sent me an important letter that I never received. That is when I told everyone to use my Miami PO Box address for mail from states. Well the friend had the letter returned two month later as “not deliverable” or something like that in Spanish. They emailed me a photocopy of the returned letter and today I took it to the Atenas Post Office.

The older man who had set up my box was not there (learned later he was fired). The first person, a younger man, had trouble understanding and seemed to be looking for the letter somewhere. Then he called the woman over (exactly what I needed to solve my problem – really!). She managed my poor Spanish better AND when she understood what had happened, she had the insight to go to my box 441 and look at it (from the inside). I heard the rip of tape peeling off. She came back and said “Discuple” (Sorry!). Then someone else translated her explanation: The guy rented me a box with someone else’s name still on it and did not put my name on it like he was supposed to. So the mail-sorter would not put mail for me in such a box! The guy who sold me the box evidently made other errors because he no longer works there! And now that I am adopting the Costa Rica ways, I took three months to figure it out! And I will not worry about it. But if you sent me anything important, let me know! 🙂

I just called my Pricose INS Insurance agent about my medical insurance policy and wallet card. They will re-mail it all today! (Yep! Their mail bounced too!) See! Everything worked out! The world didn’t end! Life goes on! Pura Vida!

And though it can take up to a month from the states, my local mail address will work now (they say!).

Sr. Charlie Doggett
Apdo. 441-4013
Alajuela, Atenas, Atenas

And yeah! It is not written like you do it in the states! That second line is my Province (state) first, then the Canton (county), and then Pueblo (town). Last line is the zip code BEFORE the country name. But honestly, the Miami address is still more efficient and usually here in 5 business days.

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 025-331
SJO 170066
Miami, FL 33102-5331