Lunch at Watsi Village

Experiencing the simple life of an indigenous people is a true blessing and learning experience!

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Live a simple life; you will own the most beautiful treasures of the world!

~Mehmet Murat ildan

¡Pura Vida!

Lunch with Mother

Around noon every day you see some of the elementary school children eating their lunch with their mothers in the park across the street from the school. Some grade levels only go a half day, morning or afternoon, meaning they eat lunch before or after school. But all ages of children are very close to their mothers making lunch with Mom very natural. Almuerzo con la madre.  

Sunday with Hogar de Vida Team

Children Performing at Iglesia Biblical Church Service
Atenas, Costa Rica

Mexican Lunch at my house.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Passionflower seen on our walk.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Momentarily in Kenya Today . . .

I had lots of running around business today and chose to eat lunch at my favorite bakery, Crema y Nata. I had a great Philly Steak Sandwich (my lunch & dinner!) then a scrumptious piece of chocolate cake with a cup of Te Chai, the real Chai Tea, like it was made on tea plantations in Kenya East Africa, with half a cup of hot milk and half a cup of hot chai tea flavored slightly with cinnamon and cloves and of course sugar! It was the best Chai I have had since trips to Kenya. The highlight of my day today. Simple pleasures!


On the back of the menu at Crema y Nata
translated to English:
Life is very short . . . start with dessert!

And some morning when I walk by there I may just start the day with a cup of Te Chai!


Gardeners Lunching at My House

Every other Wednesday they come work my yard & eat lunch on my terrace.
Last time William brought ceviche. This coming Wednesday it’s Sopa Azteca.
I’ll eat the soup with them this time, but I don’t eat ceviche (raw fish soup).
I provide the drinks!   La conversación es en español.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
My Garden photo gallery 

día de Navidad: Jesus, Family, Friends and Food!

Christmas Morning Breakfast View
My tamales came from La Coope Supermercado, 2 to a package, 2 meals.

Here’s a recipe for making Costa Rica Christmas Tamales. (Mine didn’t have as many vegetables.)
And to watch them being made, see this YouTube video of a family making them.

I’m sure the homemade ones are better than the ones I got at the Supermercado, but to be honest, I did not care for them. Mine had very few veggies and only a small piece of pork. The cornmeal and lard wrapping is what I don’t like.To much fat and cholesterol and not that tasty. I had to add sauce. These tamales are not part of my tradition unless I find better tasting ones! And maybe a healthier version?

And some more local Christmas decorations:

Maybe typical of governments, but the city hall had one of the few secular
Christmas decoration in town plus their decorated tree in the park.
This is a very contemporary tree with reindeer of all things!
The “Municipal Building” is opposite one corner of Central Park.

And the Catholic Church in center of town had this indoor nativity
and an outdoor one with live people at certain times which I never caught.
More homes have nativities. Jesus is more popular than Santa here!
My nativity collection went fast at the silent auction earlier.

Christmas Dinner with neighbors at Hotel Colinas del Sol nearby.

There is never an excuse for being lonely here! In fact, I sometimes have to work at finding my needed solitude!  🙂

FELIZ NAVIDAD
from Charlie in Costa Rica

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

Day of the Iguana! And Eating Report . . .

Spiny-tailed Iguana in Downtown Atenas

I’ve seen one on the apartment grounds, a female with a nest we think, but very skittish and never close enough to photograph. Today I saw this Spiny-tailed Iguana on the back side of ICE, the electric and cell phone company, on the base of their tower. It’s a cell phone image. There are three kinds of iguanas in Costa Rica, Green, Spiny-tailed, and Helmeted. On earlier trips I always saw mostly the Green Iguana and maybe a few spiny-tailed, but never a helmeted yet.

Eating Report . . .
And unrelated to the iguana, except it was on the same walk, I photographed my lunch plate at La Trocha del Boyero. My first time to eat there and I got a typical Tico lunch plate called a “Casado.” It is another one of the better restaurants that I will return to. They also have the reputation of “the best steak in town.” Maybe someday when I’m really hungry! You can get a casado like this for $4 in the little corner “Sodas” (Mom & Pop cafes) or about $5 at El Mejor Clima Restaurant. This nicer placed charged $8. But I got real china and a linen tablecloth! And a nice patio with many plants on a quiet street with just me and one other party at the time. And I read another chapter in the latest book.
Typical Costa Rican Lunch
Fried sea bass, onions, peppers, beans, rice, fried plantains, plantain fritters, and salad. 
La Trocha del Boyero, Atenas, Costa Rica
Covered Outdoor Patios are the most common style restaurant here.

And for Supper . . .

Since I’m on food, let me tell you about my “light” supper. When I buy fresh fruit now, it is usually too much to eat all fresh, so I cut up some and put in sandwich baggies in the freezer. Then; like tonight, I sometimes make a fresh fruit smoothie with some frozen fruits rather than ice cubes. Tonight’s was frozen pineapple, papaya, and strawberries with a not-frozen banana, a small container of yogurt, and some chilled guanabana drink for the liquid (I make this from the pulp of guanabanas and keep in frig as another drink choice along with a similar one from mango pulp). My supper smoothie all blended together to the texture of an icy milkshake and was really yummy! With that I ate a slice of watermelon and a little peanut butter sandwich on whole grain “fruit bread.” That’s like raisin bread with more than raisins and in the whole grain bread! Eating is fun here! And I am not losing weight! But I walk enough to not be gaining weight! 3.5 miles today, 5.5 yesterday! My phone measures mileage, along with being my camera, portable Kindle, calendar, and other neat tools. Life is good! Pura Vida!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, 
it would be a merrier world.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

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

Lunch at Park Again & Two New Birds!

Looking out the Open Air Window of Don Tadeo’s at lunch Saturday,
Central Park is always a hub of activity for locals

I tried Don Tadeo’s Sports Bar and Grill for lunch yesterday and had a really good lunch of their day’s special, Lasagna and Salad, plus enjoyed watching these girls climb the tree and many other people socializing in Atenas Central Park, from teenagers stealing kisses to old men sitting and talking. It is what small town life in Costa Rica is.

I did not post this yesterday because our internet service was down until about noon today because some employee did not turn something on when needed. Management of the apartments is the biggest blip in my tropical paradise, but a new manager has been secured from Holland and hopefully he will be efficient! Patricia, the girl I’ve been working with, has already been let go. I wrote a letter to the new management with my issues and what it would take for me to sign a long-term lease. We will see. 
Now for yesterday’s birds, both new and Thrush from my front balcony with Wren seen from back balcony in a Mango Tree. As always, click to see larger image. And in my photo galleries there is one titled Birds Photographed at Apartment if you want to see all the birds I’ve photographed from my balconies, up to 12 now! This was something I had hoped for about the apartments, but the reality meets my expectation even if not Macaws or Toucans! For even more birds from Costa Rica and all of Central and South America, see the bigger gallery Central/South America Birds. and soon I will create a gallery for all of my Costa Rica Bird photos separate from these.
Clay-colored Thrush, formerly known as Clay-colored Robin

Rufous-naped Wren

Went to church this morning and the novelty has worn off. I’ve got to improve my Spanish a whole lot quick to fully worship and learn from the sermon. But I will keep loving the people! Today was the day that early and late services were combined into one at 9:00 AM and always two hours long! Today I slipped out quickly at end of service and walked to Central Park again and today ate by myself at Antano Restaurant, some great rice with vegetables and shrimp.

Came home and drank a Guanabana for desert. I buy the Guanabana (soursop) pulp at grocery store and mix it one part with three parts water or sometimes with milk for a really rich smoothie! It is a big green, spiny fruit with white meat inside that is usually used in a blender for yummy drinks. It is also known as the “cancer killer” in some circles for natural remedies.