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Has it been over 2 years since my last blog?

Yikes!

I guess it really has been that long! A lot has happened in two years. People have come and gone in our lives. Many have left Costa Rica for good. New people have come to Costa Rica. They say if you can make it past the 6th month in Costa Rica you can stay the rest of your life here, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case. The old country (for us the U.S.) seems to draw people back for one reason or another. Friends who have been here for 7 or more years have gone back to the U.S. for one reason or another. Many where very happy here but their spouses were not. Sometimes they just missed their family too much. Others for health reasons, but this one I don’t understand as the healthcare here is wonderful! Maybe my next blog will be on the healthcare systems here. Whatever the reason they have left many others have come. Seems to be a net effect of people leaving and moving here.

So a little history: A long story short! Kay and Tom opened up Kay’s many years ago. 3 years ago they sold the restaurant to Harold and Lisa. They too have now left Costa Rica about 5 months ago. So they owned it for about 3 years or so. Now it is owned by Ania and Tomek. They moved here from Canada but they are both originally from Poland. Their families both migrated to Canada when they were 11 years old. Great people! They are doing the one and only original Kay proud no doubt.

Kay and Tom were  very missed by the community and we decided to see if we could get them to come back for a visit. We had been trying for years and schedules just didn’t seem to work out, but finally in May 2017 we did it! With the help of our Auntie Laurel (well we call her that and she is sister to Kay not by blood) we were able to bring Kay back for a visit. Tom had other commitments and was unable to join her.

Here are some pictures of Kay’s return:

Here are just a couple of videos:

Mercede’s and Katia see Kay for the 1st time. They had no clue she was coming for a visit. I had to lie to them whenever they asked me about Kay and if I thought she would come for a visit. I think they forgive me. 🙂

We had a party that day where a select group got to see her 1st as well. `

This was about 9 days of food, hugs, tears, and just plain fun! Kay stayed with us at our house for the most part and we were at Kay’s restaurant every day for lunch so people could meet up and get to see her. It was a great time no doubt.

As this blog started so it shall end. Kay returned to the U.S. and life went back to normal. More tears for her departure back, but it was fun! We will always remember the good times!

So to now this blog must end. I hope you enjoyed it. I will try to keep up with it once again. Have a great day and

Pura Vida! 

Categories: BestandWorst, Costa Rica Life Experience, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

I was just bragging how this stuff doesn’t happen here. :-(

A National Police officer overlooks a crowd gathering at the Fuente de la Hispanidad in San Pedro, San José, after the Costa Rica-Netherlands World Cup match on July 5, 2014. (Courtesy Public Security Ministry)

National Police arrested 90 people in brawls and other incidents during and after Costa Rica’s match against the Netherlands on Saturday, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry. More than half the arrests involved domestic violence, despite a government campaign to curb a recent spike in domestic abuse complaints during the World Cup.

Members of the national men’s football team, known as “La Sele,” hold signs in Brazil reading “No to violence,” as part of the government’s campaign against domestic violence.

Courtesy Public Security Ministry

 

One of the most dramatic events of the weekend took place in the Plaza de la Democracia in downtown San José, where a brawl broke out between several fans. Police confirmed Saturday evening that two victims were stabbed and another hit with a bottle. Eight arrests were reported, but no motive was disclosed.

More than half of Saturday’s arrests – 48 – involved domestic violence. Violent intrafamily incidents spiked during Costa Rica’s games during the World Cup. Guillermo Aroyo, president of the Costa Rican Red Cross, said that during Costa Rica’s June 29 match against Greece the organization responded to 200 more calls than usual. The Public Security Ministry, Presidency Ministry and other government bodies launched a campaign called “Give Domestic Violence the Red Card” last week to raise awareness about celebrating the games responsibly.

Some 23 suspects were arrested for fighting in alcohol-related incidents during or after the game that knocked Costa Rica out of the World Cup. Most of the arrests took place in San José, where police confiscated drugs and knives. Police also aprehended three suspects in the act of committing a crime, three for property damage, four for drug possession, one for robbery, and two for illegal gun possession, among others.

Some 3,500 police were out across the country and on the streets of San José, including at the Fuente de la Hispanidad, Plaza de la Democracia and Parque Central for Saturday’s game.

Originally posted Tico Times

Pura Vida!

Categories: BestandWorst, General, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What you can see and enjoy in Costa Rica

What you can see and enjoy in Costa Rica

A tropical paradise you could never imagine–that’s the simplest and most appropriate way of describing this stunning country in Central America. The Panama Canal is to this country’s southeast. Beautifully located, this country is home to the most verdant tropical rain forests, lush and dense.

It is also home to the most amazing variety of exotic animals and plant life. Here’s a peek in to what you can see and be fascinated about on your trip to Costa Rica or the “rich coast” in Spanish:

Pristine and stunning beaches: Perhaps you want a quiet holiday by the beach or you may want to indulge in thrillingwater sports. Whatever your level of adrenaline rush, you can visit this miniscule country of 1,200 miles-long of beaches, with rocky coves and bustling coastal small towns.

Lush, dense tropical rainforests: You can also see a wealth of birds, insects and reptiles at the tropical rainforests and the most spectacular views on Earth.

Active volcanoes: Bang on the Pacific Ring of Fire, you will have the opportunity to see Costa Rica’s five volcanoes–each of them active! You can visit them by hiking here and enjoy a lava eruption.

Take your pick of national parks: With over 60 national parks, biological zones in 12 ecologically dense areas, wildlife refuges, you can get a never-before experience of the national parks insideCosta Rica has more than 60 national parks, wildlife refuges and biological zones spread across 12 ecological areas, offering the ultimate rainforest exploration experience. Visit the Manuel Antonio National Park, which though small, is home to four stunning beaches, unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean, animal life like monkeys, sloths, ocelots, anteaters, etc. Coral reefs here will amaze you just as the occasional dolphin and whale will. You can also go scuba diving from here.

Another national park not to be missed here is the Corcovado National Park, home to over 100 amphibian and reptile species, and big cats, bats, jaguars and over 400 bird species. Don’t miss a trek from here.

Water sports–ride the waves here: If you’re a water sports buff, this is home for you. You can enjoy the water in an amazing array of water sports here, or go out for a small excursion where you can go bungee jumping, horseback riding or hot air ballooning.

Bird life watching: If you love being in the midst of Nature, you can’t leave Costa Rica without bird watching. This country regularly invests inenvironmental protection, so it has a huge and impressive wealth of biodiversity that is home to the world’s endangered species. This makes it a wonderful spot for bird watching tropical birds. You’ll be in the wonderful company of 900 bird species that you can’t find anywhere else.

However you may want to spend your holiday, you can’t do it better anywhere else than in Costa Rica. So, pack your bags and get here soon. There’s so much to see and enjoy here and memories to go home with.

Ready to book your vacation? Click on the link below!

Written by CostaRicaDave Best of Costa Rica Author

Pura Vida!

Categories: Costa Rica Dave, Costa Rica Life Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Tourism in Costa Rica

 Medical Tourism in Costa Rica

As we all know, our bodies are far from perfect. At times, medical intervention is necessary for recovery. Other times, medical intervention is essential for our comfort. However, American healthcare can be quite costly and a pain to schedule. A root canal, hysterectomy, (removal of the uterus) rhinoplasty, (nose job) or a shot of Botox to smooth wrinkles may not be readily available to eager patients. Some patients have opted to travel in order to receive medical treatment. This is known as “medical tourism”. Many choose to seek it in Costa Rica.

 RESEARCH

Of course, medical tourism holds many unique challenges in obtaining quality medical treatment. Firstly, the tourist would have to research the procedure, the doctor, and facility thoroughly. Some cases of malpractice due to unqualified “doctors” have been reported. However, in the age of information, it is quite possible to gain knowledge and a honest reputation of any medical practitioner, even if (s)he lives in a different country.

 TRAVEL

Even if someone is traveling for medical treatment, it is still traveling. A plane ticket and luggage is essential (or a lot of money to cover all the costs). A passport would also be necessary. And, of course, a place to rest (before and after the procedure) may also need to be planned before the trip. Depending on the procedure, schedule, and recovery, it is possible to enjoy and explore a different country. It would be a shame to travel anywhere and fail to explore its beauty and unique culture.

 COSTS

It has been reported that costs for medical or dental procedures in Costa Rica is 40%-70% less than that in the USA. And this figure is a major reason for medical travel. However, there are other costs one must consider. There is the costs of the flight and travel, necessities during the trip, (such as toiletries and clothes) food, boarding, and anything else that may be needed for a successful trip, glitch-free procedure, and a full recovery. Costs should be carefully researched and considered.

 PROCEDURE

There are many procedures that could be obtained in Costa Rica, although cosmetic and dental procedure are among the most popular. Americans have sought treatment in fields such as dermatology (skin) and more serious medical issues. The need for any procedure cannot be life threatening as the patient will face an increased risk of death.

 RECOVERY

Although recovery can be an unpleasant time, it is just as essential to the patient as the procedure itself. There is no point in getting a gastric bypass surgery if the patient eats an entire pizza to him/herself daily. As with any surgery, it is important to follow instructions. Costa Rica has several ‘recovery spas’ to help patients recover. Of course, it is important to include those costs while planning the trip (or verifying coverage with your insurance company).

 RISKS

Every procedure carries potential risks every surgery has a risk of infection, for example. It is important to know these risks. Medical tourism, however, may present even more risks. As stated before, it is important to do thorough research on any doctor before receiving treatment from them. It is imperative that the patient confirms (or plans) that the costs for the procedure (and trip) is covered. Some insurance policies will dismiss the claim because the treatment did not take place in the USA, or in their network. Recovering in a foreign country may add stress to a patient, and that is never a good thing after a major medical procedure.

 BENEFITS

Obviously (as stated before) medical costs are much lower in Costa Rica than in the United States of America. Also, there is minimal waiting for procedures there. In the USA, patients could possibly wait a while before receiving treatment. And, you cannot ignore the excitement of being in a foreign land!

 CONCLUSION

There is much to think about when discussing medical tourism. Weighing the pros and cons is essential in deciding if it is the right move for you. But, with all the controversy in healthcare in the USA today, medical travel has the potential of becoming more popular than ever before!

source: http://www.anywherecostarica.com/travel-guide/medical-tourism

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Categories: Costa Rica Dave, Health, Healthcare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The True Meaning of Pura Vida

I opened my inbox one day to find an email with a peculiar subject line.  “Congratulations, you have won a trip to Anamaya Yoga Retreat in sunny Costa Rica”.  I promptly deleted it but a nagging feeling prompted me to retrieve that email and read it again to be sure it was, in fact, just another scam.  Four months after I reread that email, I boarded a plane for San Jose, Costa Rica. A long drive through the countryside that led to a ferry that took me across the gulf of Nicoya and onto the small Pacific Coast village of Montezuma was the beginning of an unforgettable journey…one that taught me an important lesson in life and in living it to the fullest.

There wasn’t much going on at Anamaya Yoga Retreat on my 4th day in Montezuma, Costa Rica.  I developed a routine of waking early, watching the sunset, reading in the hammock, taking a dip in the infinity pool and checking emails all before breakfast was even served. On this day, I decided to break the routine and do something a little different.   I didn’t want to waste the day sitting by the pool so I strolled down the hill into the village and spent the day exploring the little streets and surf shops and enjoying the beach.  The village had so much energetic ambiance.  Smiling, energetic people of all walks of life, embracing the day and one another.  I can still feel that ambiance now if I close my eyes and bring myself back there.

It was the hottest morning in Montezuma since I’d arrived and the walk down the hill was torture.  I was only half way down the hill when a young man on a motorbike stopped.   “Senorita, I take you to bottom of the hill if you like.”  He was wearing a nice shirt and khaki shorts which gave him an air of coolness and confidence – like he often picked up strange women who were about to pass out while walking down that hill.  I usually don’t take rides from strangers but I didn’t think I was going to make it any further without collapsing. I took him up on his offer and a few minutes later he dropped me off at the beach.  With a wave and a friendly “Buenos dias”, he sped off.

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I walked a few feet to the beach and plopped myself down in the sand in a shaded area and relaxed for a bit.  A storm had passed near Montezuma the previous night and the water was extremely rough.  I tried to go for a swim but the waves were too powerful and the undertow too dangerous.  The smell of Cerviche and Empanadas in the restaurant a few meters away filled the air.  The sounds of palm trees rustling in the gentle breeze and locals and tourists going about their daily business lulled me.  A dog chased a stick nearby while some children egged him on.  A stray cat sat near a food cart, waiting for a hand-out.  The rhythmic sound of the waves coming ashore, like a lullaby, gently rocked me to sleep.

Shouting zapped me out of my trance to see people on the beach pointing to something in the water; some brave, fool-hardy surfers were attempting to surf dangerously rough waters close to some jagged rocks.  It looked like the scene might end in tragedy but, fortunately, the surfers made it safely to shore.  Welcome to Costa Rica – home of adventure seekers, lovers of life and daredevils!

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By late-morning, the heat was really getting to me and I started to feel dehydrated.  I was craving a refreshing fruit smoothie but didn’t want to pay the going rate of about 7 dollars for one at a tourist trap.  So off I went, up and down those little streets, in search of a reasonably-priced smoothie.  At the end of a side street, I noticed an interestingly-decorated, outdoor smoothie bar.  The thatched-roof and colorful plants sprouting from the walls caught my eye.  It looked like just my kind of place!

A free-spirited and friendly, young man was eager to take on the challenge of making me something that was refreshing but not-too-sweet.  It took a long time for him to make it as he carefully thought out each ingredient and made sure it was mixed to perfection by allowing me to taste it at intervals.  After some mixing and shaking and adding of various exotic fruit, some of which I never heard of, he placed his finished masterpiece before me.  For the price of 3 dollars, I received a delicious, orange-colored smoothie in a massive glass.

I stayed at the bar and took a seat.  “So, are you from around here?” I asked him.  “Yes, born and raised in Costa Rica, just down the road a little bit.”  He obviously loved his life in Montezuma and at one point, he asked if I knew what “Pura Vida” meant.  To me “Pura Vida” meant The Pure Life and it was what I had witnessed over and over again while traveling through the country.  Natural, untouched, simple and pure.  He went on to explain it in more depth for me. “That is how most people interpret it.  You see, ‘Pura Vida’ can be a greeting, a state of mind, a way of life.  You meet someone walking down the street, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You catch the perfect wave while surfing, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You have a wonderful day, instead of saying goodnight, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You find a great smoothie bar while walking the streets of Montezuma, you say ‘this is Pura Vida’.  It can mean anything but always something good.  Anytime something good happens, “Pura Vida” is the appropriate thing to say.”  Made sense to me.  How can you not be living the “Pura Vida” in a country that is considered to be one of the happiest in the world according to the Happy Planet Index?

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It was mid-afternoon when I started walking up that steep hill to Anamaya.  I made it to the top without collapsing in the ditch.  There was still enough daylight left to hike to Montezuma Falls.  I had gone there the day before and chickened out of jumping off the falls into the pool below but now I was determined not to leave Costa Rica without taking that plunge.

The path to the falls was steep and rocky.  I stopped to take a rest mid-way down the trail and that is when I became fully aware of my surroundings.  The growling of nearby howler monkeys, the buzz of millions of tropical insects, the sound of the distant waves crashing onto the beach below, the trees rustling in the gentle breeze.  The rainforest sounded so alive. It was like the forest itself was living and breathing.

I made it to the waterfalls and again, paused to take in the beautiful sight before me.  Beautiful, cascading water falling into a crystal clear, blue pool beneath a canopy of thick rainforest.  Before I could talk myself out of it again, I took the leap into the clear, refreshing water.  If there is one thing I absolutely hate, it is missed opportunity.  I take every chance that comes my way because, sometimes, you only get one chance to do something.  And to think, if I had not listened to that little voice in my head telling me to read that email again, I would have missed out on the time of my life and would never know what it is like to live the Pura Vida.

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Categories: Andrea MacEachern, Travel, Writers | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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