Thursday, August 2, 2007

First Report From Down South

This is the last place I thought I would be today but it turned out McDonald's was the best place to get Wi-Fi (until we figure things out).

I know everyone has a million questions for us so I will try to cover most of them but my battery is dying so I have to make this quick. I'll do this in order:

1. We had one piece of luggage (a hockey bag) which weighed in 16 pounds over the limit. We sweet-talked the guy into not charging us the mandatory $50.

2. Our airline wasn't supposed to let us out of the country with only a one-way ticket. Again I managed to sweet-talk the woman checking our passports. She actually booked us a fake return flight so if anyone at Costa Rica customs asked we could show them the flight number.

3. The airport/customs in San Jose went smoothly other than we had SO much luggage and didn't know if Colin, our realtor, was meeting us or not.

4. Colin did show up but we couldn't find the shuttle to our car rental company which may or not have been a sham- we reserved a car with Excellent car rental but Payless said they were affiliated and rented us a car for $85/week. Unfortunately yesterday I looked at the signed agreement and it says $175 (I don't know how they switched the price when I made a point to go over the costs before Patrick signed the document!)

5. Since our container hasn't arrived yet, we followed Colin to Hipermas on the way to our house so we could buy pillows and some food to get us through until morning. Warning- don't go to Hipermas on a Sunday afternoon because I think the entire Tico population was shopping there with their families- blocking aisles and all...

6. We arrived at the house at sunset Sunday. The neighbors who we hired as caretakers were there and greeted us like long lost relatives. BUT we were tired and the houses were full of dead bugs. YUCK!
7. We cleared a small space in the loft of the lower house and slept (not really) on the floor. All three of us huddled together trying to share one blanket. We found out the evenings are extremely cold in the hills of San Rafael!

8. We met Colin at the church in San Rafael so he could help us find our way to Azure's school the first morning. Plus, he had broken the faucet of the shower and needed to help us find the hardware store so we could replace the part.
9. We met the Director at the European school and her and the staff helped us get Azure settled in. Azure loves school except for Spanish class since she is so far behind and the teacher doesn't speak English. We will be finding a tutor soon!

10. Our neighbors, Donya Vicky and Don Isidro, both sweet Ticos, gave us a tour of their home so she could show us how she makes fresh tortillas. I thought she would invite us for lunch but instead Donya Vicky stopped by with her daughter and "kidnapped" us to go blackberry picking! We had no idea where we were going or why since we don't speak much Spanish and they don't speak any English. It was fun but we couldn't make Vicky understand that we had LOTS of cleaning to do!

I need to finish this later so please check back tomorrow. I would like to thank everyone at this time for their wishes of good luck to us on our new adventure. We feel lucky indeed!

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