Goodbye to a Good Friend

Garden Art by Anthony

This morning at about 4:00 I said goodbye to my next door neighbor Anthony who has been a special friend this last year, as he was when he lived on the other side of me during my first few months in this house (before he traveled to Spain & Morocco for 9 months). He is the single artist guy, about 8 years younger than me, who is still driven to create. He did my garden art sculpture I’ve shown before and a painting I promised not to publish. You will have to visit me to see it – another contemporary bird!

Though Costa Rica is a great atmosphere for creativity, it is not the easiest place to get lots of different art supplies, especially for his clay and tile work. So he is moving back to the states, not to his native Indiana, but to an art community in Chicago where he can get everything he needs to create including many customers which he also needs at this particular point in his life. And he plans to take classes in a world renowned tile art school there.  So I wish Anthony the best of life in lakeside Chicago and a fabulous new career as an artist in the states.

The house he was in, next door in this same compound, has already been rented and soon I will meet my new neighbor and see what adventures that will bring! And very soon I could be greeting a new landlord, as the whole compound is for sale. I met one lovely couple moving here from Houston who are considering the purchase. They are originally from Louisiana and we hit it off when they visited as “fellow southerners.” It seems that people know immediately when I speak that I’m from “The South.” Wonder why?

We will see what happens. My current French Canadian landlords will still be in Atenas part time in a smaller house, with their main house being built on a Pacific Coast beach north of Jaco. And the now vacant house on the other side of me (Richard’s casita) has a couple moving in for two months that I met through my blog and the local evangelical church, Iglesia Biblical. Change is maybe the most consistent part of life! And it always brings new experiences and new friends! Pura vida!   🙂


The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam – It’s Us
Hoping non-subscribers to Christianity Today can get to this linked article by a Nigerian Christian. In many ways Africa is where Christianity is strongest today and there are many things Americans could learn from our African brethren! This article is a good example.

Layering My Private Jungle

Year-around blooming flowers for my terrace rocking chair view.
And behind my terrace planters are three layers of plants in my yard
and another in the neighbor’s. Soon we will be separated by a jungle!  🙂
One of the round pots I moved from inside because of a lack of sun there.
The other had ornamental grass which I will replace with something green.
Like my garden, the yard and terrace are always a work in progress!
And my poinsettias are still blooming to the right at terrace entrance!

Too Many Christmas Activities! :-)

Last night I went to the Christmas Dinner with live music at El Balcon del Cafe for a great meal

featuring a Christmas Ham! And a huge assortment of Christmas Cookies! But the best part was joining a lady from my second Spanish class and her 84 year old friend Jean who will become my new next door neighbor tomorrow! She is moving in the house that my sculpture friend Anthony left for his adventures in Spain and Morocco. It is a contemporary with lots of glass to the right of my house as the casita (little house) of another property owner, different landlord.

After the party my taxista had trouble getting through the traffic and bands for the big parade as part of that evening’s Festival de la Luz or Festival of Lights which begins the Christmas celebrations here. I’m now sorry I did not stay downtown for it because I learned later that it is the biggest celebration of the year in Atenas with a stage featuring constant musical entertainment, many booths with crafts and other vendors, the parade, and fireworks. But I was tired and had projects I was working on and decided to go on home. I heard most of it and saw part of the fireworks from my terrace. Next year I will not miss this!

Today our Su Espacio Spanish Class had our Christmas Party Lunch at Fred & Susan’s house two hills over from mine with their swimming pool being the big attraction for most, but also a great lunch! 

I was the only one not in a swim suit – just not my thing!

Thursday after the last Spanish Class at Iglesia Biblica we all go to La Finca Pizza for our end of year celebration and Christmas Party. A new friend and I are having lunch next week and then on Christmas Day I am joining other friends at a nearby hotel restaurant for a big Christmas Dinner again! At Hotel Colinas del Sol. I’m having trouble finding my needed solitude!  🙂


8 Great Holiday Songs in Spanish in case you think “Feliz Navidad” is the only one!  🙂

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. – Helen Steiner Rice

More School Relationships

They really get into decorating for these Spelling Bees! And they served me food and drink too!

I’ve been too busy to process 650 bird photos from the boat trip on Rio Tarcoles, thus that report will be delayed another day or more. So, a report on two more schools I’m relating to:

One of the Student Coordinators of the
Spelling Bee at Colegio Tecnico Professional

Wednesday I was asked at the last minute to help with the English Spelling Bee of a second High School, Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Atenas, more of a job & skills training school than Liceo, last week’s high school. It was wonderful and again the kids so friendly and helpful and hard working. I was “The Pronouncer” of words for this one. It hurt me every time a youth misspelled a word, as if I did not pronounce it clear enough, but we had to get down to one winner just like before. The winner was an extrovert 14 year old boy, one of the younger students, who was born in Dallas, Texas and moved here 7 years ago at age 7. He talks/acts like a real Tico, but did have an unfair advantage in the English Spelling Bee since his parents still speak English at home. But he won! He will go to the regional and maybe the national English Spelling Bee. I learned that the program was started here several years ago by a Peace Corps worker. And you wondered what they did?

Then today, I went with with Corinna, the wife of David Castillo and co-director of Su Espacio, to visit with the principal of Escuela Los Angeles (Los Angeles is a barrio of Atenas), received a tour of the school (as I got yesterday at high school) and she showed me their construction needs for and outdoor theater (to be their auditorium) and playground construction needs. They are going to have a Garage Sale, Venta Garaje, on October 3 that Su Espacio is co-sponsoring and I have been asked to help with marketing and promotion, especially to get expats to donate good clothing, etc. for the Garage Sale. Plus next week I will attend their arts festival!

I’m getting more involved with Ticos and local activities as opposed to just with expats like some. This has been my plan from the beginning and it feels good to participate in the local community. I love Atenas and the wonderful residents! Everybody helps me with my Spanish! And this evening I started a second Spanish Class, which emphasizes Costa Rica Spanish, which is unique in several ways. And I need all the help I can get to speak Spanish!   🙂   This is so much fun!

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Love your neighbor as yourself.   ~ Jesus, Matthew 22:39