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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Canada Day Picnic Tomorrow!

The Canadian Club of Costa Rica is hosting a Canada Day Picnic tomorrow, Sunday, June 30, 2013, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to celebrate Canada's 146th birthday on July 1, 2013.

The location of the picnic is at Quinta Romavista (Atenas), Barrio Mercedes. Admittance at the gate: 2,000 colones. Children 10 and under free.

There will be live music, dancing, swimming, local artisans, a "buy it now" table, a 50-50 draw and, what I am looking forward to, a tug-o-war with the Atenas bomberos! There will also be a silent auction fundraiser, with the proceeds going to Costa Rican schools.

The Canadian Ambassador, Wendy Drukier, will be there. And let's not forget the food - Canadian bacon on a bun, Nanaimo bars, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, etc. will be available for purchase.

Everyone is welcome - this is your chance to be a Canuck for a day!

Directions to Quinta Romavista: From highway 3, turn north at the flashing light (by Biblica Church), go 2 kms, Quinta Romavista is on the left. This is the same facility where the Atenas Chili Cook-Off was held this year.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Short, Sweet Life of a Pineapple

I noticed today how orange in colour Ani the pineapple had become and there was the distinct scent of ripe pineapple in the air. Although Ani was not very large as pineapples seem to go, there was no doubt she was ready to be harvested.

I first started posting pictures of Ani some months ago when one of the pineapple tops I had planted started to show a tiny, tiny pineapple growing up from the middle of the leaves. This was a big thrill to me, a person from Canada where all the pineapples are imported, probably from here.

You'd think it would be hard to harvest a pineapple that actually been given a proper name but I have to say it was not ... and, although small in size, that was one juicy, sweet pineapple and the freshest one I have ever tasted!

Prior to harvesting

I'm now preparing Ani's top for planting and it's possible that the "mother" pineapple will send out little pups.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jungle Cat

Besides blogging about our life here in Costa Rica, I also paint - specializing in portraits of cattle and horses. Now and again I will do a dog or a cat.

You can see my work here. My latest painting is of Cleo, the Abyssinian cat, owned by our Canadian friends, Diane and John. Cleo came with them when they moved to Costa Rica. This painting is a gift to them to say thanks for all the help they have given us since we moved here.

In creating the painting, I wanted Cleo as the main focus of course, with special emphasis on her fabulous eyes. For the background, my inspiration came from the style of Henri Rousseau. I also wanted lots of colour, representing the many beautiful colours that exist in nature here.

The plant shapes in my painting came from my own imagination.

Cleo, Jungle Cat


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Firefighters of Costa Rica

The Benemérito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica are responsible for all fire protection and emergency services throughout Costa Rica. They fight forest fires, house and business fires, and deal with landslides, floods and rescues. Sixty three fire stations were active across the country as of 2012 and they are staffed 24 hours a day by several hundred professional firefighters and over 1,000 volunteers.

On February 15, 1864, the municipality of San José agreed to start negotiations with the U.S.A. to bring a fire engine to Costa Rica, which arrived on June 20, 1865. The First Official Rules of the Fire Department were approved on July 27, 1865.

Here in Atenas, our fire department opened in 1960.

The next time you are waiting for a bus at the Coca Cola bus terminal in San José, take a few minutes to walk around the corner and admire the display of old fire engines. They are beautifully maintained.







Monday, June 10, 2013

More Eyes on Costa Rica - Curiouser and Curiouser

In this blog on March 29, 2013, an outline was provided of countries from where people were viewing the blog. Some countries were rather unexpected - and one of the visits was a very rapid series of page views from someone or “something” in Washington D.C. (tongue-in-cheek but, in retrospect, could this have been PRISM at work?).

NORTH AMERICA: Bahamas, Canada (visits from 8 of 10 Provinces), Cayman Islands, Costa Rica (visits from all 7 Provinces), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, United States (visits from 45 of 50 States plus District of Columbia)

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela

EUROPE: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

AFRICA: Cameroon

ASIA: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam

OCEANIA: Australia, New Zealand

The total number of countries is now over 60. In addition, there has been one visit from “ - - - ” meaning no identified place, no identified region and no identified country. What might this be - a ship in the Atlantic, a plane over the Pacific, an alien from an habitable planet such as Kepler-62-e or Kepler-62-f, or more PRISM activity?

For Kepler, see:

For PRISM, see:

(Today's post is by guest writer Lance Turlock)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beginning our Third Year in Costa Rica

"It was a dark and stormy night" - actually, it wasn't stormy but it was dark and raining. Two years ago, on May 31, 2011, at 8:30 pm, our plane landed at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. We set foot on Costa Rican soil for the first time ever and thus began our adventure of living in a new country with a new language and new culture.

We knew no one but had a San José hotel booked, our immigration lawyer selected, our cat boarding with an excellent vet in Santa Ana, we knew the town we wanted to live in to start with (Atenas), six suitcases and were eager to start this exciting new chapter in our lives. We had left Vancouver, B.C., but had arranged it so we could easily return there if we decided Costa Rica was not for us.

Looking back on the past two years, we are very happy we made this decision to relocate here. Costa Rica suits us well. It is incredibly beautiful, of course, and the Ticos (as the Costa Ricans call themselves) are truly wonderful people - welcoming, generous, content, hardworking, innovative. I think they have the capacity to enjoy life more than many others. The tropical weather is another attraction, as are the incredible numbers of plant, bird and animal life here. The abundance of year 'round fresh fruits and vegetables is another plus. We have lots of seafood from the two coasts - the Pacific and the Caribbean.

We still have so much to see of this country but have been delaying any trips of more than a few hours because of our elderly cat, Genny. With failing kidneys, she needs to be monitored to ensure she is eating and drinking lots of water. We don't mind - this is all part of the responsibility of pet ownership. Costa Rica will always be here.

Chile and Equador are two other countries that we hope to visit one day and of course now we are perfectly positioned to do that.

I often think that, if we had not done this two years ago, we would still be sitting in Canada saying to each other, "We really should try this". Time passes by and, in the blink of an eye, it is too late to try anything except the next insipid meal at the rest home.

In the past two years, we have made many friends, both expats and Ticos. Yesterday, we received an invitation to a Tico wedding in November and are really looking forward to this new experience. The network of expats in Atenas and neighbouring towns is exemplary. We share information about where to find different foods, butchers, doctors, dentists, gardeners, vets, the lady who does clothing alterations, new restaurants, when a road is closed or when it has reopened, etc.

There is a Facebook page entitled "Atenas Costa Rica Info" where information is shared. It is open to the public and is interesting reading for those thinking of relocating to our small town.

I heard a phrase the other day that sums up what we and other adventuresome types have done. It is "Life Reimagined".

Boyero with Oxcart Team, Atenas, 2013