Friday, September 28, 2007

Still hanging in there and enjoying life

I know it´s been a while but we still haven´t gotten our laptop back from the repair shop and now our desktop has ¨died¨. Otherwise, things are going well.

We met Azure´s teacher for a conference today and she had high praise for Azure´s adjustment to our new life.

Nothing else new to report. Same old same old. Rain, learning Spanish slowly, and as always Patrick has been dodging cars, motorcycles, dogs, and walkers on the roads!

I hope to have more time to email everyone soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy Independence Day, Costa Rica!

Saturday September 15th Costa Rica celebrated it’s Independence from Spain. Azure’s school invited parents to enjoy a kid’s parade followed by a program of singing, dancing, and refreshments Friday morning. Each elementary class performed something different. Azure’s class performed a traditional Costa Rican song on the ocarina and then sang a song. Patrick and I had been listening to Azure practice her song on the ocarina for weeks but when the class started to sing, I was shocked. Azure loves to sing and this was the first time I knew about the song. She told me later she had been trying very hard to keep it a secret. Nice job, Azure (she can never keep secrets)! I enjoyed the entire program!

Saturday the three of us walked downtown because we heard every town in the entire country would be having a parade at 10am. We arrived in town shortly before 10am and were lucky to catch the beginning of the parade. After 90 minutes into the parade with no end in sight, we decided to head to the church. We all loved the parade but it seemed almost every school in the entire area attended which wouldn’t be so bad but they all played the same song on the drums and wore almost the same costumes. The strangest part - which I feel inclined to share because I need to know from the readers if this is something that happens everywhere or just in Costa Rica - the kids were roped off with parents holding the ropes and walking alongside the kids. They literally blocked the kids making it impossible to get good photos! Why? Only a handful of schools didn’t do this…

Friday, September 14, 2007


After all the storms these past few weeks, we finally had two days in a row without any rain. It seemed very strange indeed. The best part as far as I was concerned were the gorgeous sunsets. I love sunsets which you can probably tell by the header photo. Anyway, since nothing much else is happening here, I thought I would share my most recent photo.

Azure would like me to let everyone know that the next blog post will be regarding Independence Day so stay tuned!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It’s always something…

I feel bad that once again I have dropped the ball and not kept up with my blog. Hopefully you’ll understand when I explain that we haven’t even been to an internet café since last week Tuesday. I will however recap for you our past week.

I’m sure everyone heard about Hurricane Felix? Well, we did feel the affects of that storm. We were hit here the hardest on Monday afternoon. The drive to get Azure after school was interesting considering we drove through one street and I was positive the water would start to flood into the car, We made it safely to the school but the on drive back home we noticed a van full of students stuck in the ditch on the same stretch of road we had just passed. Needless to say, we turned around and took a different road home.

Wednesday we planned to pick Azure up at school at her normal 12:15 early release time and head to the US Embassy to get our passports renewed. After enjoying a quick lunch at Campio Pollo, a local fast food chicken place, in San Jose, the heavy rains turned to hail! I don’t think they get much hail here in Costa Rica because half the cars on the road pulled over and stopped. The guy in front of us actually got out of his car and grabbed a handful of hail! We weren’t sure if he thought he was going to show his buddies once he got home or just wanted to touch it (since no one was in the car with him)… Azure didn’t get it since she knows it just melts immediately. Anyway, we found out the Embassy only processes passports from 8am-11:30am!

Okay, so it’s always something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Our hot water heater was leaking at it got to the point where we had to replace it. Thursday we went to the local hardware store to try to explain what we needed. After some time, everyone understood one another and we purchased the “new” hot water heater and the pieces of pipe we needed. A plumber recommended by the hardware store told us he would be by later that day to help with the install. He didn’t show and so Patrick installed it by himself. Good thing is that we now have a larger tank and therefore more hot water! Yeah! Thanks, Patrick!

Monday, September 3, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the ….

Thursday after leaving the internet café, we were all in a good mood. Laughing and joking until all of a sudden, our car alarm went off and wouldn’t stop. With the horn honking loudly and all the car lights flashing, we panicked. People passing stared but no one said or did anything out of the ordinary. Finally, Patrick turned off the car but it was too late. There was no turning off the alarm.

I kept praying a policeman wouldn’t pull up next to us asking (in Spanish of course) for proof of registration. Since we just received an email from our lawyer stating she had the document at her office and when would we like to pick it up, it was not in our possession. I was sure I would be making a call to our lawyer from the nearest police station!

I was busy standing on the corner trying to push all the buttons on the key chain when Patrick screamed, “hand me my tools”. Azure dug them out of the back and passed them out to Patrick. He screamed, “Pop the hood” and then next thing I know Patrick was removing the battery cable. Sure enough, the alarm stopped. Convinced that the alarm would start again the second he made the connection, I tried to cover my shock when he started the car and we drove home, nervous but all laughing again. Until…

Friday morning, sure enough, the alarm started again as soon as we pulled out of the driveway. After some hassle (of removing and reconnecting the battery cable) and screaming at each other, we all made it to Azure’s school with time to spare.

BUT, Patrick had to turn off the car so he could speak to Jeremy in accounting since he was helping us get a bank account started here (long story). I definitely was much more embarrassed when the car alarm went off in the school parking lot. Plus, Patrick removed and re-connected the battery cable SEVERAL times but the alarm just wouldn’t stop! I tried to stay out of his way and keep my mouth shut but I have to admit I wasn’t very hopeful about getting home. While pretending to read my book, mentally I went through all our options - call a tow truck, walk to the mechanics? What exactly were our options when neither of us could explain in Spanish what the problem was?

Finally, I noticed that there was a wire to the alarm cut-off that was not connected. I pointed out the potential problem to Patrick and immediately he went to work trying to connect the wire again. At this point, the school guard figured he better check with us to make sure everything was ok. Again, we can’t speak Spanish so Patrick tried showing him the loose wire and just said “esta bueno”. The guard appeared to understand and he walked away.

After about 15 minutes and lots of cursing, Patrick started the car. No alarm sounded this time (which was good because it probably went off 5 times before). We left the parking lot with a wave to the guard and my fingers crossed. Even though Patrick pronounced the situation permanently resolved, I asked if we needed to stop at a mechanics on the way home. He firmly said “NO!”
He was right. It’s resolved and the car doesn’t even beep anymore which was not the case when we purchased it 2 weeks ago. At that time, we used to have to wait until the car alarm started beeping then push a little button to signify it should stop. Now when starting the car, Patrick can push that button before the beeping even begins. Therefore, in the end, this experience actually resolved a slight problem….