There goes the neighborhood

Cars race through the barrio all day long, kicking up enormous clouds of dirt and causing everyone to scream for the animals that can barely get out of the way of each speeding vehicle. (There have been at least two casualties in recent memory, but I don’t want to go into detail.) In Costa Rica, if you want something done, you often have to do it yourself. So out came the shovels, and we built a home-made speed ditch near us, and other neighbors built the speed bump pictured here. Now, if you’re having trouble seeing the high dirt mound in a photo, imagine driving over it  in the dark. We finally put this pile of rocks in front as a warning. (Hey, you work with what you’ve got.) Now, you might be thinking that a more interesting photo would be me awkwardly holding a shovel. I decided that wouldn’t be fair, since I didn’t help with the actual physical work. But I do sit on the stoop and get excited at every single car that slows down. I always say, I’m not much of an activities girl, but I love to cheer others on!

Expat living in Costa Rica: Mom’s here!

Living as an expat in Costa Rica has opened up an exciting new world, but for me at least, it was also an adjustment to living somewhat isolated from my old life. Recently, however, I was special enough to nab a visit from Mom. Flying in from Albuquerque, NM, she couldn’t wait to see all of Coco. (Not hard to do; it’s small.) Lucky for me, Sandy traveled with one of my brothers earlier this year when he moved to China, so she was already used to the idea of her adult kids living in out-of-the-way places. But even the city of Zhongshan has 2.5 million people! (Coco? About 3,000.) Mom adapted by comparing my little beach town in what’s considered the countryside of Costa Rica to her growing up on a farm. (“This reminds me of driving through Tennessee, but I never thought I’d see an entire crop of cantaloupe.”)

After seven months of living here, it was a thrill to see the town through a visitor’s eyes (let alone my mom’s!). I thought that some of her questions might resonate with other Costa Rican newbies. So, what did Mom want to know about? Continue Reading »»

Working in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is packed with expats working remotely to the States, Canada and elsewhere. Want to learn more about how it’s done? One of my favorite bloggers just posted an interview (yes, he interviewed me). It was so sweet of him to think of me — check it out! I’d be the first one to encourage anyone to work abroad. It’s a dream come true!

Follow him on Twitter! @shawnosaurus

Man-hunting in Playa Guiones

There are so many choices of where to stay in Costa Rica, and as expats, we unfortunately didn’t get out of town as often as we should have. One exception: Playa Guiones, about two hours south of Coco, is a famous surfing haven nestled on Nicoya Peninsula’s western coast, next to Playa Nosara. And where there are packs of men hitting the waves, there are single women from no man’s land vying for some male attention. If you’re smart like us, that is. Thus, Denise, Alicia and I headed south, with a cooler full of beer, a few string bikinis, and a reservation at the Casa … Romantica.

Continue Reading »»