Last week I took friends to the medical clinic about five kilometers away in Hone Creek. I have been wanting to go to see what the procedure to follow is if Tom or I happen to get ill or injured so it was happy to be able to tag along. When we arrived at the building, we stopped at the first glass window and were directed down the hall to another glass window. At that window we were directed to another glass window – the one designated for emergencies or no appointments. Once there my friends explained the problem and gave a copy of their passport, phone number, and the place that they are staying. We them were told to sit down and wait. I have read that it can take several hours to be seen so I settled in for a long wait. However, within a few minutes, my friend was called back to have her vital signs taken. Once that was done, she was back to wait again. Within about fifteen minutes she was called back to see the doctor. She said he was very professional and spoke English (BIG bonus!!). He knew immediately what was wrong and talked to her about what he was going to give her. She said he was very kind and gave her all the time she needed to ask questions. Once the visit was over, we waited about half an hour for the prescription to be filled and then off we went.
Once Tom and I are granted residency we will be joining the CAJA (the national medical plan). It will cost us about $60 a month for both of us and the medical care system and will not have to pay anything additional. After our visit, I feel much more comfortable with how that will work. So – thanks Sarah and Rene for letting me come along!!
While waiting for the medication, we sat outside and were entertained by this absolutely darling little boy who was playing in the kids area. He had the greatest smile!!!
Recently we cleared the lot right next to us that we purchased when we moved here in August. It was full of diseased cacao trees so we decided to cut the majority of those down and replant the area with flowers and fruit trees. Because we are on a fairly limited budget we have been begging cuttings from everyone we know and have been successful in getting a nice start. Yesterday our gardener, Pedro, came to do his monthly gardening and he noticed that across the road there was a plethora of new plants. As we got looking we found that some the leftover food that we were throwing out for the animals had here were tomato, papaya, avocado, pepper, mango, and orange plants growing all over the place in our compost pile!!! So Pedro and Tom dug up many of the plants and moved them to the cleared lot. It won’t be too long before we don’t have to buy much more fruit at all in the store
Over the last few weeks we have had several guests and now they are all gone. Jordan, Sonya, Maya, and Drake arrived on March 10th and left on the 17th – a full week of soaking up family time!! It was so nice to have them spend some time here and see where we live and hang out. Maya and Drake are now twelve years old –almost teenagers – and the older they get the more fun they are. We were able to spend some time on the beach and in the ocean, at the Jaguar Rescue, and at a couple of new places for us – the Tree of Life botanical garden and animal rescue outside of Cahuita, and the Volio waterfall just outside of Bri Bri. I have wanted to go to the waterfall ever since we came here and so Rene and Sarah were gracious enough show us all where it was. Words and photographs just can’t do it justice.
We also spent a lot of time in downtown Puerto Viejo shopping and “people watching”. The night before they left we had a BBB night (Bocas, Beer, and Blues) and Sarah and Rene and Don (our neighbor who is back from Portland for a while) all came. It was great fun and Tom is clearly beginning to enjoy playing his new guitar And Maya picked up one of the guitars and had a quick lesson from Sarah on the basics. She may just be the next Alanis Morriset or Stevie Nicks!!
One of the things that I did with the kids was go to the farmer’s market last Saturday and buy fruit to try that they had never had. Drake and Sonya were real troupers and tried every one but Maya, Tom, and Jordan were not as adventurous. I have to say that I liked the taste of all of them but had to agree with everyone that the texture was sometimes a bit yucky. I am thinking that juicing is the best way to get the taste but not the texture.
The weather was absolutely wonderful almost every day – unlike the weather that we had for Lori and Clive’s visit which, except for a couple of days, was rainy and cloudy.
So – now they are back home in Gunnison and Jordan and Sonya are busy back at work getting ready to open up their new Tic Toc restaurant in Gunnison. It will probably be quite a while before they are able to get away again so I am glad we were able to get this visit in now!!!
Last week one of our neighbors, Jeffrey who has lived in Puerto Viejo since he was a child and who owns a restaurant at the end of our road, brought by several fruit trees for us to plant in our newly cleared lot. He also brought some Cas fruit which is a citrus fruit that tastes somewhat like a cross between an orange and a lemon although even more tart than a lemon. I read up on how to make a juice drink using Cas (love the internet!) and so made some. It was wonderful! Very refreshing and light. Since some of the trees he gave us were Cas trees, I am looking forward to when I have them to pick fresh right off our own tree
Since I was in the experimentation mood, when I went to the farmers market on Saturday I picked up some passion fruit so that I could try making some juice from it as well. Passion fruit looks pretty normal from the outside but when you open it up it looks like a glompy, oozy, gray mess. However, I didn’t let that deter me and I once again looked up passion fruit recipes on the internet and decided to try another fruit drink. Once again I was delighted with the outcome. The juice was not nearly as tart as the Cas drink but wasn’t too sweet. I can’t really compare the taste to anything but it kind of tasted a bit like a cross between a pineapple and a peach. Pretty yummy!!
Whole passion fruit
Passion fruit pulp
Our friends Clive and Lori from Washington D.C. arrived last Friday afternoon and left on Wednesday and three of the days they were here were rainy and cloudy. We have had gorgeous weather for the last several weeks so I fully anticipated it to be nice during their visit. That’s what I get for anticipating………….. However, all was not lost. We haven’t seen them in several years so we spent most of the time just catching up and relaxing and that was great fun!
We went to our friends’ house one night and Tom was jammin’ with the best of them We did go out to lunch and dinner several times and I have to say that the Flip Flop restaurant in Puerto Viejo is my favorite. The prices are very low and the food is fantastic!! Lori and I also went to the Jaguar Rescue to see the monkeys, sloths and other assorted animals they have. It was rainy but Lori did get a chance to hang out with the monkeys for a bit and we did get to see the national icon – a red eyed tree frog . We also went to Manzanillo and had lunch at Maxi’s and then walked on the beach and in the ocean for a while. All in all a very nice day.
Since they have gone the weather has been nice once again and we have been able to work in the newly cleared lot in back of our house. Tom has been planting new bushes, trees, and flowers and I have been weeding and chopping in the established yard. This is work that is never ending – ensuring that we will never be bored!!
Clive, Lori and Kaya
Clive and Lori on his birthday at Loco Natural
Lunch at Banana Azul before they left for the airport