Tom and our friend Doug (aka “the mule”) left this morning to take four duffle bags, a TV, and a projector to our house in Puerto Viejo. They also had carry on bags 🙂 They are now in Denver spending the day with Tom’s daughters and granddaughters since they will fly out tonight at 12:10 a.m. and land in San Jose a.m. tomorrow morning. A van will be waiting to pick them up at the airport and then they will go pick up our SUV that has been garaged since February, and our new cell phone. Then off to PV – should take about four hours unless the main road is closed from landslides and if that happens it will take around six hours. They will unpack and then hopefully have a great time!!! That actually is a no brainer.
The people who sold us our house and who have been living in it and taking care of it will stay at the house next door that they have also built for a couple of days and will then go to Bocas del Toro in Panama to have a brief vacation with some friends of theirs. Tom and Doug will watch Sascha – their dog. This arrangement has worked out so well for all of us – we haven’t had to worry about the house and they have had a place to stay. They recently sold the house next door so they will be renting for a while in town while they decide where their next house will be. They are a young couple – mid thirities – from Canada who had the courage to live their dream early in their lives. Pretty neat story.
Tom will be finalizing the things he can for our final move in August. He will set up our bank account, buy some dishes, maybe get a barbeque, and will talk to the carpenter who has done such amazing work for us and who we want to build a few more items. He will also pay the insurance on the house and touch base with with a few people we have met in our prior trips. I am still hoping that they can get to Arenal (the active volcano) – I know that Doug would absolutely love it and would get some great photographs. If they can’t though, they will be able to have other adventures that will definitely keep them occupied.
Yes – I am jealous that I am not there but I only have 44 days until I am!!!
We had developed a routine the last few years where we drove to Lewiston (30 miles away) every two to three weeks and shopped. We would get gas (MUCH cheaper), stop by Petco and get dog food that we could only get there, sometimes stop at Home Depot, and always go to Costco to stock up on food for the freezer. Today was our last shopping trip to Lewiston – we won’t need to go any more. I am completely certain that we will not be doing anything like that in Puerto Viejo. The nearest Costco like store is in San Jose which is, on the best days, four hours away. Limon, which is the nearest large town of around 50,000 people, has very basic shops. Most of our food shopping will be at the Saturday farmer’s market and at the fish shop on the beach that sells fish fresh from the ocean every day. I guess I can deal with that.
We also will write our very last rent or mortgage check tomorrow – now THAT is something to celebrate!!! For almost forty years I have paid someone else – either a bank or a landlord – every month for the privilege of living in a house or apartment. It is the most amazing feeling to know that I am done with that forever!!!!!
Today we took Kaya and Wiley to the agility dog trials being held at the Latah County Fairgrounds so that Kaya could see Tracie who is the person who rescued her. Tracie has dogs who compete in the agility trials but she is also the wonderful person who runs the Adopt-A-Husky rescue center in Spokane where I saw the picture of Kaya and ended up adopting her even though I had vowed that two dogs were enough. Even though the normal adoption process for the rescue takes up to six weeks, we were able to get Kaya right away because a friend (Sharyl) vouched for me and she also happens to be a friend of Tracie’s. Funny how things work out.
When we got Kaya her name was Justice. She was named that because it was her ordeal that ended up causing the humane society to go in and rescue 54 dogs at a place where the owners had decided that they would breed “sled dogs. She was only three months old when neighbors adjoining the dog property noticed that she could not walk and was dragging her hind quarters behind her. They called the humane society who found that both of her back legs were broken – probably by the older dogs who were fighting for food – she just got in the way. The Humane Society eventually rescued all 54 huskies and the woman who ran this monstrosity ended up serving time in jail and paying substantial fines. We renamed her Kaya, which means “resting place” but Tracie has trouble calling her that so calls her Baby J (for Justice).
Kaya immediately was all over Tracie – licking and jumping and talking to her. Wiley was a complete gentleman and just stayed close to me and barked occasionally at the dogs who wandered near. This is the last time that Tracie will see Kaya as we will not be bringing her or Wiley back to the United States. I got a bit emotional about that though not around Tracie or anyone. It is the first “last” thing that has made me a little bit sad. However, neither Kaya or Wiley will be deprived in any way in their new country 🙂
Yesterday I heard that my friend Rex was appointed the interim provost at Eastern Washington University in Spokane. He and his wife Susan are two really remarkable people. I met them when I worked at Colorado State University in Pueblo where he was the Dean of Business. I have been in higher education long enough to know that Rex was one of those rarities in the field who could gain the strong support of his faculty, students and the administration, but who could also make a decision, even if it was a difficult one. He will be a great provost.
Tonight we watched “Invictus” – the film about Nelson Mandela and the South African rugby team who won the world championship in the nineties. What a great film!!! Definitely one that I will buy and watch over and over. The message is clearly one where forgiveness triumphs hate and I can listen to that message forever.
The last couple of weeks at work have been very unusual. I have noted before that I sometimes wish I could have had the detachment that I now feel the entire four years I have been here so that I would have not become so caught up in the nonsensical politicals and small mindedness of what is going on. There are truly some of the most wonderful people I have ever met working at the University of Idaho as well as some of the most annoying and irritating people I have yet encountered. I know that it will be not too long after I leave that I will completely forget the annoying, irritating ones and only remember those who I really admire and respect. I will miss them – but I will not miss the others. I will never cease to be amazed at the time these people (that I won’t miss) spend working on trying to “one-up” everyone else. What a waste of time!! I will take the earthquakes, volcanoes, torrential rains, bugs, heat, humidity, as well as the wonderful birds, animals, flauna, flora, no stress free existence in Puerto Viejo any day…………
This weekend we watched a movie called The Blue Butterfly about a boy who has been told he is dying and wants, as his last wish, to go find the blue butterfly. He convinces a renowned scientist to take him to the rain forest and they do find it. The movie was filmed in Costa Rica, right in our new neighborhood. It was such fun to watch and it actually made me homesick – even though I don’t yet live there. The film showed all the animals and birds we have seen as well as the rain forest itself.
It is now nine weeks before we will be living there permanently. It was just a year ago that we closed on the house we bought and, at that time, still thought that we would not move for at least two years. However, once we got the bug to make the move, it seemed silly to put it off any longer. Now – just nine weeks out – we are almost there. Tom and a friend will be heading down with four more duffle bags on June 29th. Needless to say I am a bit jealous but it won’t be long until I am there for good. I am ready……..
I came across a website while googling one day – www.onehumantribe.com – and ordered a DVD about a Bri Bri medicine man who uses plants in the rain forest to heal diseases. His name is Don Candido and I have heard of him from a number of different people. The movie is interesting in that it talks about the life of the Bri Bri to some degree as well as Don Candido. When we were in Puerto Viejo in February we talked to Barry Stevens and his wife Nanci who work a lot with Don Candido. Barry swears that his leg was saved because of the medicine he received that came from the plants in the rain forest. He had cut his leg and developed a terrible infection and the doctor told him that he would have to have his leg amputated. He went to Don Candido who gave him a tea to drink every day and in six months his leg was better. Others talk about how he has used plants to cure cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. have heard that the movie “The Blue Butterfly” which was filmed in Costa Rica is based on someone who went to see Don Candido. I’ll have to see the movie…….
Lately there have been lots of earthquakes (two 6.1 magnitude in the last four days) and the volcanoes are really active. There has been no real damage from them but lots of internet chatter. In addition, two of the major volcanoes have been very active. The lava flows from Arenal are near record and the ash spewing from Turrialba is covering the villages below causing the cattle to be moved to new locations. In addition, the rains on the west side of the country are causing mud slides and closing roads all over the country. The route that we have to take from San Jose to Limon has been closed off and on all month due to the slides.
So why are we so crazy about this country? Because the very things that can cause life to be difficult on occasion are the very things that make the country so diverse and interesting. To be able to watch Arenal at night as the lava flows down its side is a sight that will never be forgotten. It is the second most active volcano in the world but is not considered to be dangerous. The earthquakes are a nuisance but so far have not caused any damage. We are not in the hurricane zones so while we get the rain, we don’t get the terrible winds that cause so many problems. I won’t be a pollyanna though – odds are that we will experience a strong earthquake that does cause damage or a volcanic eruption that disrupts the country. But that is the small price we will have to pay for being able to experience this remarkable country.