Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Perfect Match

Pretty Snickers posingYesterday I got the opportunity to meet two dog lovers who are as passionate as I am about those four legged heart stealers Smile  A few months ago I was contacted through my blog by a young man asking if I could recommend a veterinarian here in Puerto Viejo.  His twelve year old black lab named Maggie was not doing well and he wanted to find a trustworthy vet.  I recommended my vet and he brought Maggie down.  A few weeks later Maggie passed away.  Early last week, he contacted me to let me know he was now looking for a new dogfriend and asked me to let him know if I heard of a dog needing a good home.  I decided to post his inquiry on a buy/sell facebook page we have here in Puerto Viejo and that same day was contacted by a wonderful woman named Iris.  Three months ago she rescued a dog that she thought was about six months old who was starving on the beach.  The dog was unable to stand because he was so badly starved.  She quickly took her two dogsSnickers kissing Iris home and ran back to the beach to get the dog.  She got it to the vet and nurtured it into a most beautiful and loving animal.  She may have to leave Costa Rica and felt that the best thing for him would be to find him a good home.  I gave them each other’s contact information and the rest is history.  The young man came to Puerto Viejo yesterday on the bus and I took the two of them back to his farm north of Cahuita.  It was very hard for Iris to give the dog up but she could tell that Clay and Snickers on the beachClay was a dog lover through and through and so that may have made it a bit easier.  At any rate, Snickers (now Stegner) will be living the life of a very pampered friend.  He deserves it!!

Iris Clay and Snickers


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Reflections on our first year in Puerto Viejo

Tom at UvaYep – that’s right.  Today we have been in our new home in Costa Rica for one full year.  I can hardly believe it!  About this time last year we were on the road from San Jose after loading up our dogs, their crates (which would not fit with them in it so we had to break them down), nine duffle bags full of “stuff”, and four very tired adults.  We made the turn onto Ruta 36 and each kilometer we drove by felt more and more like home.  We got to the house around 11:30 and have not looked back. 

When I think of our decision to do this, I really do marvel at how it all came together.  Our House from the new backyardWe bought the house in June of 2009 (thanks Larissa with howlerLarissa and RamiRami for building it!!) thinking that it would be five or more years before we actually retired and came to live here.  But the more we worked day to day and dealt with the sometimes almost unmanageable stress – particularly of my job – we decided to figure out how to make the move happen a few years earlier than planned.  And we did.  It meant living on much less than we would have had if we had waited but when I wake up here every morning to the sounds of the birds and the ocean (and sometimes the howler monkeys) I know that no amount of additional money would have made it worth the wait. 

In the year that we have been here we have said hello and Tom Rene Sarah enjoying a brewJulia Rene Sarahgoodbye to new Tom Rick Kathleenfriends;Tamara Casey Tom Jana Sean met blog and email buddies in person; Backyard gardendesigned and planted a beautiful new garden in a lot that was overgrown with diseased cacao trees; Right after the rescueadded a new puppy to our household; Backyard Heliconialearned about new plants, birds, and wildlife; rescued a baby sloth and a hog-nosed viper snake (although the baby sloth died a few days later); watched a jaguarundi stalk a sloth way up in a HUGE tree (the sloth was okay); Horses on our roadwatched horses freely wander the beach and town; Volio waterfallhiked to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen and swam in the pool beneath it; Snorkeling at Punta Uva 1learned how to snorkel (and LOVE it!); The other sidecrossed a river to Panama in a rickety canoe to buy cheap goods; Female Iguana in Treewatched iguanas in a tree overhanging our yard; discovered the most amazing therapeutic masseuse whose magic hands have enabled me to finally be out of pain after thirty five years; Church (1)sung the Messiah at the cathedral in Limon with a tiny chorus from our town; Rambutineaten new fruits and vegetables; entertained familyJordan Sonya Maya DrakeBill and Betty at Flip Flops Shanti and Shaylynand friendsLori Clive Kaya Danny Tom and JimTom and Patrickwho visited (keep on coming – we love having you!); and are living a completely stress-free, relaxing life. 

This is not paradise – this is a third world country with all the attendant issues – poverty, theft, bad roads.  But for us, it is as close to paradise as we will get and we love it here – it is our home.

Pura Vida!!!


P.S.  Thanks Susan and Rex for getting us down here one year ago today!!! Rex and Susan

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Blockades, beaches, and no boredom :-)

Two Juvenile Brown JaysIt has been an interesting couple of weeks here in Puerto Viejo.  Two weeks ago the government decided that it was time to go forward with enforcing an order that was initiated in 1993 to demolish two hotels in our area.  It had been determined many years ago that both of the hotel had been defying the environmental laws and had contaminated both the ocean and the rain forest around their areas.  Due diligence allowed them to remain open for years.  However, all appeals ran out early this month and the bulldozers arrived to raze the hotels – accompanied by 200 or so policemen from around the country.  Before the police arrived, blockades were set up (by cutting down trees to fall across the road) so that the bulldozers could not reach their destination.  It was an exciting few days here in our laid back little town and the controversy will go on for some time as to who is right or wrong.  Tom and I will continue to take everything with a grain of salt on both sides………….

Tom and PatrickA friend of Tom’s from the University of Idaho came to visit last week.  He is a law professor from UI who came to Heredia in the central valley to teach a course on how the laws in different countries complement (or don’t) each other.  He finished his classwork last week so came over to our side of the country of a few days of R&R.  It was such fun to meet him and hear of his experiences.  He is not a novice visitor – he has been here many times – but this was his first visit to Puerto Viejo.  He definitely was enjoying himself and we are hoping that he and his wife will decide to come back for respite in the next couple of years Smile 

Other than than that we have been tending to our amazing garden, snorkeling whenever the ocean is calm, and trying to catalog new birds that come into our yard.  SofiOh – and watching Sofi grow up.  She is almost six months old!!!


Our first bananasThe first bananas from our very own yard!

Heliconias Our newest batch of Heliconias

Backyard Heliconia Ditto


Female Iguana Iguana hanging out in our tree

Our House from the new backyard  Looking at the house from the backyard

Hummingbird on a HeliconiaHummingbird on a Heliconia


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