That’s the night that the lights went out in….

Wow. What a week. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, hubby’s nephew came to visit and it was WONDERFUL to see a familiar face…especially one that is family.. We have heard from a number of friends and family that are “planning to visit” and we sincerely hope they come through with their promises. It truly is a brightener to see familiar faces.

This week we went out on one of our charters to experience it ourselves.  I can now take another “bucket list” item off of my list as I saw a whale. What a magnificent creature. You know they are big…but when you see them in their natural habitat…and realize that 1/2 of their tail fin is bigger than a marlin….well that puts things into perspective. As a nature lover, I love seeing the sea turtles and the many dolphins we see when we go out…but this whale was truly awesome. Another one who scratched a bucket list item off  of their list was my husband. He’s always wanted to hook a roosterfish and he got a beautiful one on this trip. We also caught some dorado and other fish..and it was just a great day for all.

My daughter and I did a pharmacy run  this week as well. We have been trying to figure out what we can and cannot get while living here. I tell you, as a woman who’s been on hormones for 11 years, I was dreading either a) going cold turkey or b) paying or refills in the USA without insurance. Well, not only can I get them here, but they are the more “natural” hormones vs the horse crap I was taking in the USA. It will cost me about $21.50/month and I don’t need a doctor’s appointment. Hallelujah. Hubby can get his cholesterol/blood pressure meds (hoping he doesn’t really need the BP meds much longer), and my daughter and I can get our migraine pills….so all is GOOD.

Speaking of health “ish” items…I have suffered for years from an eczema-type condition on the tips of my fingers. Once upon a time, my fingers used to crack on the ends (primarily index fingers and thumbs) during the winter months. Over the past 3-5 years, that timeframe has grown to be year-round. Well…guess who has the softest fingers and feet EVER? Yes friends, it is time to move the beach…..for health purposes. Oh my gosh…it is crazy how different it is. My skin feels smoother…especially fingers, feet and face.

I met my first deadly snake this past week. The nephew was thrilled…he’s a long-time snake person, having owned up to 3 at a time including some massive albino boa with a bad temper. (I know, why?) This snake is called a fer-de-lance. It is known as “one of the most dangerous creatures one can encounter in Costa Rica”.  Yep…that’s how I roll. My daughter and I were walking the dog one night and as we got to the house, I noticed a “big stick” that wasn’t there before. The dog then went to look at it and the freakin stick moved. Yep…raised it’s head up and started to move. However, it did not move as fast as I did by pushing the dog into the gate and running to get the nephew.  (Don’t worry, the snake did not move in my direction.) Apparently, the snake was shedding and so it was moving a little more slowly and blindly as the shedding skin was over its eyes. Wonder Nephew took a big stick (a real one) and moved it to another area.

Well to cap off the week..the Hurricane Nate came to the east coast of Costa Rica and then THE LIGHTS WENT OUT….we encountered what the locals referred to as the worst storm in over 10 years here. As October is already the rainiest month in the year, the storm came when the grounds were already terribly saturated.  It left the country with over 400,000 without water and 500,000 without power. That’s about 20-25% of the country’s population!  The President of Costa Rica referred to it as the “biggest crisis in Costa Rican history”.  At least 117 roads were affected with 40 impassable, and over 42 bridges collapsed. The main road through Costa Rica (the Inter-American Highway) was affected in more than 112 areas from potholes to complete structural failure.  So many MASSIVE trees came down due to the the all-too-saturated ground (and kept landing on power lines which exacerbated the problems). But through tragedy comes triumph and the community pulled together to help their people. The whole country has bounced back incredibly fast. Things are already back to normal almost everywhere.  This storm was unexpected and unprecedented.

We were very fortunate and I was very thankful we shipped the generator down. Funny, we bought it after a derecho hit Richmond in June one year and never got to use it….but boy did we here. I can tell you, I’m not a good “can’t get a shower” kind of girl. Three nights of playing cards by candlelight…no showers…carrying buckets of pool water in to flush the toilets, no ability to wash your hands or face…can’t wear contacts because your hands are dirty…no AC at night and can’t leave the windows open (this house has no screens and the bugs come in if you open the doors/windows)…yep…I was much more like bitchy Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie than I was precious and pleasant Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now mind you, I am perfectly okay with the quiet and reading and playing solitaire…but when the others around me are fidgety or miserable…there IS NO peace…regardless of the lack of sound. The generator was a saving grace in allowing us to recharge our phones,  salvage some things in the frig, make coffee and toast, and have periods of light at night. Again…thankful that the nephew was visiting…I may have been a planned widow without his presence.

It’s funny that when you live in a very small community (about 1,000-1,500 locals) you very soon start to run into people you know on a frequent basis. I left a community much larger, where I had lived almost 30 years. Due to business and social events, I ran into people that I knew all of the time (much to the chagrin of my kids). It really does makes you feel like you belong. In a small community, regardless of the country or the language, it’s easy to feel at home quickly. After all, you want to go where everybody knows your name…




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