Wednesday, November 22


Amapola is the name here for a Hibiscus.
They grow everywhere. Mostly they are used as a natural hedge for a property line. They are easily propagated. Cuttings can be taken from the more mature Amapolas. From the cutting, just cut off both ends, the bottom cut at a slant, strip off smaller branches, and stick them in the ground. They plant them in a cross-hatch pattern for fullness later. It's a fast grower so in a year, you have a beautiful natural fence.
I trimmed my hedge until it grew thick and now it is ten foot tall.
It is full of flowers and the iguanas and birds use it as their haven.
Different birds make their nest in the inner part. Hummingbirds flit from flower to flower. The iguanas crawl throughout the hedge and go out to the end of the limb to reach the flower. I never knew iguanas ate amapola flowers.
Definitely, full of life and color.

Tuesday, November 21

River Reflecting Tree

Photo up-side-down and blue hued

Sunday, November 19

Church on Sunday

Iglesia at Villas Lapas

Open-air church. That is a lily pond in front of the Chapel.

Friday, November 17

March Against Drugs and Crime

Locals walked the main strip of Jaco this afternoon in a united effort to protest the crime and drugs here. They began at the Municipal and walked to the opposite end of town, ending at the Best Western Hotel. Officials met at the hotel to address this escalating problem. The new Chamber of Commerce was behind organizing the march.

We had three MURDERS just last week. Lately, every time I go to town, someone tells me about being robbed. It has gotten WAY OUT OF CONTROL. This time of year (rainy) is considered the "slow time" for tourism and the robberies typically increase. A lot of people are out of work. I call it "the rats are out", especially when it rains. Now, the rats are using guns and knives. Some clever (non-confrontation) rats
gas a house before they rob it. When the owners awake, they realize they were robbed. They also poison dogs before a robbery. Robberies increase during the rain because the rain muffles the sound of glass breaking, they're not easily seen, etc. Robbery is reaching a new professional level here.

We finally have a serious developer that is changing the face of Jaco in more ways than one. He paid for the pot-hole ridden road on the Jaco strip to be repaved. A real PRO job. Not like the usual muni-guys with brooms, shovels and buckets of asphalt (or whatever). Around here, when the roads get too horrible, the taxis go on strike until the Municipality does something. It's usually a band aid job. This is the same developer that has organized our new Chamber of Commerce. He has seven major condominium projects on Jaco Beach at present. Clearly, he has a vested interest in seeing Jaco improve.

I was resistant to the radical change of Jaco's skyline with all this new construction. I wanted things to stay the same and Jaco to stay small. That is just not going to happen. At least someone is putting up the money to give Jaco a chance to survive it's inevitable growth. (Double edged sword)

Fact is: The more money that comes here, the more rats that will come for the money.

Photo of Jaco Street
June 2004 (left)
June 2006 (right)

Shining IPO - Trade Talk

Today, the New York Mercantile Exchange (symbol - NMX) started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The long awaited initial public offering began trading yesterday after close at $59
and NMX opened today at $120.
It hit a high of $152. in the same day.
Now, that's a shooting star!
Some millionaires got a few million richer.

I'm not rich by any means but in this country, a little philanthropy goes a long way. Today, I saw this rather elderly lady walking down the street with the corner of a burlap bag on her head. The rest of the bag draped over her shoulders and covered her back. Her make-shift raincoat. I watched her go from garbage bag to garbage bag, picking out aluminum cans. This sight touched my heart, she was much too old to do this "line of work". I stopped and handed her c5,000 (about $10 here). She smiled, thanked me, and continued with her work.
For me, that may represent one less breakfast outing.
For her, it's feeding her entire family.
Thanksgiving is coming, it's never too soon to start giving.

Wish Upon a Shooting Star

You'll have plenty chances this weekend.
Check out this link for info on Leonid Meteor Shower expected Saturday night around 10:45 in Costa Rica.

Thursday, November 16

Hermosa Palms

Before the rain. Surely, condominiums will be built here one day.
Taken in August 2006


"Hermosa Beachfront" - Properties Available and "Sold"
* New asphalt road along beach in front of Properties - No speed limit
** fading estuary for birds and wildlife

Also available - Swampland in the Everglades of Beautiful Southwest Florida

*Hermosa Palm Investors would'nt comment money for condos until the road was paved
**Hermosa Paradise developer developed problems with CR when he diverted the river

Wednesday, November 15

"Raining all over the world"

Times like these, the song, "Rainy Night in Georgia", comes to mind.
I went to sleep with the sound of rain and woke to the same.
This morning, the birds were protesting with their wake-up peeps
and shrieks instead of chirping harmoniously to greet the new day.
I mop up water that has flowed under my doors and think about times passed
when I saw houses in my area completely flooded.
I remember a few years back, seeing a family carrying out their
belongings with the water in their house nearly to their waist.
I am grateful my little flooding is manageable.
It has rained for months now so the clay ground is 'full-up'.
The rain water flows through my yard, making mini-rivers.
My dogs just look up at me as if to ask, when will it ever stop?
They don't understand, it's all part of "Paradise".

"How many times I wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it or think of it
It's life and you just got to play the game"

Click here to hear the song, "Rainy Night in Georgia".

Tuesday, November 14

Future Condo Site

Hermosa Beach, near the Pig Farm
I've heard the Costa Rican owner refused to take an very good offer so maybe it will stay like this a little longer. It is Prime Property but money can't buy everything.

Monday, November 13

Family with Balloons

You can click onto photo to enlarge.
Should I crop out garbage cans?

Sunday, November 12

Church on Sunday

Catholic Church, Jaco
Service is on Saturday night (it's cooler)

Saturday, November 11

"Inverted Jenny"

I said I was going to take a break but this is just too incredible not to mention.
This 24 cent stamp was attached to an envelope holding a Florida absentee ballot and was received in Ft. Lauderdale.
There was no return address, so the ballot was invalid.
The 1918 U.S. Inverted Jenny 24 cent air-mail stamp is estimated
to be worth $500,000.00!!!
Good ole U.S.A., where a stamp never expires, it just increases in value.
Here, stamps expire like stock options, if not used in a specified time, they are worthless. That's Costa Rica.

The Dark Side

Instead of ranting about Costa Rica and it's drawbacks (the dark side),
I will refrain from posting for a few days until I feel well again.
It's hard to see things in a good light when you feel bad.
Just check back sometime next week for the "Sunnier Side"
of life here, hopefully.
If you care to subscribe, it will notify you of a new post.
'Till then...

Thursday, November 9

MOHO in Jaco

"Moho" in Spanish is mold or fungus.
For months, I've been trying to twist a spin on "moho" as a joke
since we do have mo' ho's in Jaco than you can shake a stick at.
But MOHO is no laughing matter. I have been battling a fungus
infection for over a month now. I took the prescribed treatment
and thought I was cured. The infection boom-a-ranged on me
and hit me even harder on the next go around causing migranes, fever,
coughing, and a whole plethora of new symptoms.
During the rainy season, we are aware here of the dengue infection (caused by mosquitos)
but rarely connect our "ailments" with the fungi created by the constant moisture.
(link - Wikipedia list 435 types of fungus infections)
Link to Doctor Fungus website

Just giving you a heads up. If you stay sick and can't figure out what's wrong with you,
it's probably due to MOHO.
Eight months of dry season is coming (El Nino) so there will be some relief, sort of.
Blistering hot, everyday, so dry the ground cracks and you sweat while standing still. (Big Sigh)

Wednesday, November 8


In English that means EARTHQUAKE!!!
Yeppers, Wednesday morning at 12:40 a.m.,
my house rocked/shuttered for about three seconds!
It's so hard to describe but being on the second floor,
I could really feel it. It seems to last longer than it is.
I'm sure most people slept through it but I was wide
awake, watching Joan of Arc for the second time.
I am from hurricane country. Hurricanes, I understand.
Earthquakes, that's a whole new terror.
IT comes from NOWHERE, out of the blue.
Like the raging lightning here a few nights ago
with barely any rain.
From out of nowhere, but it passed fast.
Same for the earthquake.
My first earthquake here was novel and exciting.
Later, after I saw the damage on t.v., my respect grew.
Raging Mother Earth - She ROCKS!
You gotta have respect.

Monday, November 6

CMA Awards

Thank you God I stumbled onto the 40th Country Music Awards
tonight on ABC.
It's back in Nashville! Something I can relate to.
It's on ABC network which is new here at Cable Tica.
CBS comes and goes and tonight usually is the CBS line-up for me.
Not tonight. I get to hear those songs that are so close
to my heart and "my home" doesn't seem so far away.

Since I've been gone for SOOOOO long, the songs are all new to me but
the southern accents, I know well. No country music here in Paradise.

Sunday, November 5

Church on Sunday

Catholic Church in San Mateo taken on different days

Saturday, November 4

Big Box of Love

I found this Cadbury refrigerator at the "old" Frutastica Grocery Market in Jaco. Frutastica is not air-conditioned and their chocolate is always melted. Cadbury has given them a refrigerator to store their (Cadbury) chocolate.
It's like that here, you sell Coca-Cola, the Coca-Cola company supplies the refrigerated storage for their products.
Same for Pepsi, Dos Pinos, etc.
But Cadbury? At first, they had it right at the front entrance.
You couldn't miss it. Now, they've moved the box more to the interior.
It was love at first sight for me.
The chocolate is the perfect temperature, too.
Not rock-hard refrigerated cold.
I can't help but wonder though,
why such a big cooling box?

Friday, November 3


Tantra is our local sex shop at Galleone Mall in central Jaco. The windows are blacked out so if you want to see what's inside, you have to go inside.

Maybe I'll venture in one day just so I can blog about it and possibly find something of ahhh, interest. Point being, it's not hidden down some seedy side street, it's front and center, here in Sin City. One other sex shop was shut down, probably because you could see inside driving down the Jaco Beach main street. It was located in the "Red Zone" but it just didn't fly. .... TOO in your face.

The photo on the right is our local head shop, 420. Truly, I never connected 4:20 with "it's time to get high" but here, it's common knowledge. Who here waits 'till 4:20 p.m.? If you're a typical Jaco surfer, you "wake and bake". You would never guess it's illegal here. Not too much care is taken to conceal it. One evening while having dinner at a "nice restaurant", I actually saw a "local" empty out a bag of weed ON THE TABLE next to me to show some tourist what exactly they were buying. When your bill is $50, you don't expect drug deals to take place right next to you. The owner of the restaurant was out of town at the time.

I was taken back by the gas masks on display at the 420 Shop. I thought they were for a fall-out or something. The attendant explained to me how to use it. I felt so "virginal". I guess it could come in handy in case of a volcanic eruption.
We have five active volcanoes out of 117 total.
We have earthquakes too but there's no smog here in Babylon Jaco.

Little Jaco is changing so fast, I don't think they (or me) will be able to handle it in a few years with it's downward spiral expansion. The crime will scare off the tourist. Jaco already has a bad reputation. Some talk has been made of having "Tourist Police". Wonder what it would cost to pay-off these "special guys". Some Transitos (traffic police) have already gone from 10,000 colones ($20) to $100 cash (U. S. dollars).
I remember when 5,000 colones could get you out of a Whole 'Nother World of BIG trouble (that's another blog). Fifty dollars is your Get Out of Jail pass. It will keep you (The Foreigner) out of the Big Blue Paddy Wagon if you don't have the proper paperwork on you when you're out drinking at the Hot Spots.
...So I've heard.

As far as the "R & R" in the title, we're not talking Rock and Roll.
I should leave something to your imagination.

p.s. I keep seeing "Borat" clips on t.v. - Him and his sister would fall right in here in Jaco hell.

Thursday, November 2


Trust me, I'm not alone on this. I have heard many women say that while they were visiting, they met many men here that "seemed" eligible. Well, I have news for them, when moving to Jaco,Costa Rica.... B.Y.O.B. - "Bring Your Own Boy"
I had never had a problem "dating" until I moved here, a tourist beach town.
It seems that all the Gringos (American males) feel "American Women are
toooo difficult" and they would rather date a Tica (Costa Rican girl),
the younger the better. As far as dating a Tico (Costa Rican man),
there are plenty of them but monogamy just isn't part of their culture.
There are rare exceptions and those guys are already happily married.
It's very common here to see a Gringo over 50 years old with a Tica barely "legal". Since "Poverty" is the key word here, these girls jump at the chance to be taken care of by a North American in the hopes that they will have a baby, get married, and go to the United States.
This rarely happens, going to the U.S.A. part . They all have babies.
The solution -
B.Y.O.B. and lock him up in your "bodega" (storage house) when you get here!
If he ever gets to town and sees all the beautiful girls, for hire or not,
you will loose him.
...and that's the truth.

Wednesday, November 1

"El Angel"

Hello, my name is Tica Macha
and I am a choc-la-holic.
I only consume chocolate when absolutely necessary
and only in small amounts.
That is why I was so thrilled to find, here, the perfectly packaged chocolate product for a chocolate junkie as myself. It is very hot here and most places aren't air-conditioned so the chocolate melts or it's very soft (unless it's refrigerated, which is rare). Also, there's that ant problem. Once the package is opened, it's free game.

Costa Rica has surpassed my expectations by packaging liquid chocolate in the perfect "dose".... a small plastic pouch. It is easy to transport in my purse or car, conveniently accessible in emergencies for when I need a quick fix. Just rrr-Rip open the corner and squeeze out the smooooth chocolate.

"El Angel" - Sabor con Amor (Flavor with Love).

It's best thing I've discovered since Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.
"El Angel" is non-alcoholic and I can rationalize the benefits.

"To some chocolate is as good as love. To others it's better"