ABOUT THE LIVING LIFE IN COSTA RICA BLOG

I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
VOLUNTEER TO HELP:
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

DONATE:
Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
ANY size DONATION is APPRECIATED!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
ADD INFORMATION:
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:
LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com

OTHER WAYS TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THIS BLOG

• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bird Feeders, BoBo's and Squirrels in Escazu, Costa Rica



Of Bird Feeders, BoBo's/MotMot's and Squirrels 
at the
House of Connections in Escazu, Costa Rica!


I have my own issues with feeling "confined" so I don't see myself as one to possess animals, as karmically, I don't want someone to "confine" me!!  I remember living in San Francisco and watching the animals from windows - staring out at the world below.  I could feel their longing! (ok - so maybe it's MY OWN issue around being "confined"!!).  Yet I seem to have this "Saint Francis" connection with all sorts of animals!  Even the meanest dog around will come up and lick me.  

So I moved to Escazu - where my office opens onto this patio that is surrounded by a little creek and a bunch of trees which of course brings in all sorts of birds, butterflies, squirrels and more.

The first animal to TRULY move me was this BRILLIANT 
BoBo's/MotMot's
(Momotus Momota) bird - 
with his turquoise crown, big yellow belly with black dot in the middle and irredescenty back with a funky tail!!!!  He came around and I started giving him bread (hey - I'm a City Girl - I didn't know what birds eat other than feeding them bread crumbs in Piazza San Marco in Venezia, Italia!!). 



WHAT THE BIRDS EAT

So I post on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CostaRicaLiving Message Board (the largest Costa Rican Message Board) asking what to feed them as I wanted to see more of this brilliant bird!  Henry Kantrowitz (aka CRBirdMan) shared that Plantains are more digestible for them.  Bananas are good but Henry said surprisingly bananas are actually hard on the digestive tracts of most fruit eating birds.  He also said they also like to eat large spiders, earthworms, insects, small lizards and snakes as well as fruits as well as bread from feeders.  (ok, so I own that when I don't have the healthy stuff, mine get crackers, bread and whatEVER leftover food that my guests bring back [and what they don't eat, whatever it is that comes out in the middle of the night will eat it].  I've gotten reamed by some people for feeding them the processed "stuff" because that's not their natural habitat but, trust me, these animals are NOT lacking for eating off the land!!!  They're just EXTRA SPOILED at my place!!)

Mine LOVE Papayas the most (which Henry said attracts less insects than bananas) AND MY squirrels do NOT seem to like that so out of all the fruit - to give the birds a chance to eat and keep the squirrels away - MY preference is Papaya!!


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THE FEEDER

I figured I needed some sort of FEEDER so I asked one of the workers 
("BB" [short for "Buff Boy" - you can see why below on the right - but his real name is Daniel]) 


to create something which was WAY COOLER than I'd ever dreamed.  He did it simply out of bamboo and some rope:

(photo by Dayna Love - Arizona)
  








(photo by Dayna Love - Arizona)


Now, each morning and afternoon around 3pm, 20++ birds (at least 10 different species) and 6 squirrels come to feed on this Feeder.



If they're not already waiting for me when I get up (which varies SOOOO MUCH), all I do is go out and call "Mr. BoBo, pajaros, benga comida" (ok, so I'll never win American Idol) and I swear to you, within 2-5 minutes - they ALL come flying in/ swinging/jumping from tree to tree!!  

It's the COOLEST thing!!!

And if I'm not out there - right around 3pm - trust me, they're out there reminding me!!


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(photo by Jerry Koenke - Sarasota, Florida)

MR. BOBO
My "BoBo Buddy" will TALK TO ME if I'm ignoring his food needs!!  He's got this DEEP sexy sound!!  And I sit there and tell him how beautiful he is (in English AND Spanish - I guess the tone is international!!!) and he "gives me tail!!" - he literally makes his tail go around in a circle (see video).




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SPAZ
I've named one of my squirrels "Spaz" because she's fricken SPASTIC if she doesn't get her food NOW!!  But she's the FUNNIEST/CUTEST thing around!!!

If the doors from my office onto the patio are not open, she (and all her buddies) climb up the grates on the windows and Spaz LITERALLY "knocks" on the window or throws her body against it!  

Once I open the door, she literally comes to the door and I swear - stands on her hind legs and goes into a praying position looking right at me!!  Then she proceeds up to the bookshelves where I USED to keep her food (now I hide it more since she was leaving such a mess with the shells).

IF I ignore her are am not in my office, first she knows to go around the front to see if anyone has left the front gate open and she just walks on in and helps herself to the bag of girasol/sunflower seeds!!   OR - recently, she's gnawed through the screen in the windows in my "Well-Being Sanctuary" to get in. Like I said - SPAZ!!!

So recently I put a trail of seeds leading a trail from the office/patio door to my desk and put some on my desk!!  She GOT IT!!  

RECENTLY I got her EATING OUT OF MY HAND by feeding her a Banana!!!  It's SOOOOO COOL!!!


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So the lesson here possibly?  Do you ever feel CONFINED, not able to be free to roam/do as YOU desire??  Might there be some area YOU are Confining someone??  If you would like more freedom, then can you truly take away the freedom from anyone/anything else? KARMA!!  I welcome you to consider it.  Perhaps this is why YOU are not feeling free????

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WATER AEROBICS • Ejercicios en el Agua at RelajAguas in Escazu, Costa Rica

RelajAguas


ESPANOL:
RelajAguas es un muy buen 20 meters/65 Clases 'de largo por 8 mts/26' de ancho x 1,40 mts/4.60 "profundo y cálido (temperatura promedio de 28 ª -C/82 ª-F), que ofrece cubierta Piscina de agua aeróbic, natación libre y natación (para niños y adultos). También tienen una piscina de terapia!

No encontré el cloro demasiado fuerte como muchas piscinas son.

El Ministerio de Salud / Departamento de Salud exige que cada uno debe llevar un gorro de baño (tienen las prendas para vender por 2.000-c).

CLASES:
Gimnasia acuática
(45 minutos Día del Maestro Katia.):

Lun, mié, vie. - 7, 8, 9, 10 a.m.
Mar y jue. - 6, 10h, 18:00

Me voy a las clases de las 10am con Katia y ella le da un entrenamiento realmente bueno / TOUCH (por supuesto no he recibido de mi tush hacer ejercicio durante EDADES!). ¿Quieres venir conmigo?!?!?!

(el momento más fácil para entrar en una clase si eres nuevo que oigo es lun 9am, jue 10am, mié 9am).


Nado libre
(con instructor de 45 minutos. Sin instructor 55 minutos)



Niños • Niños
(3-4pm y 5pm-4)

PROPIETARIO:
Manuela  (Por favor, dígale que lo refirió Vicki!)

HORARIO DE PISCINA:
Lunes a viernes. 06 a.m.-8 p.m.. Sábado 9 am a mediodía.

PRECIO:
1 vez a la semana - 16 000-c. 2x/wk-19,000-c. 3x/wk-22,000-c, 4x/wk-27, 500. (más barato para los niños) + Cuota Anual / Matricula: 6000-c.

UBICACIÓN: Escazú (San Rafael) - En la Calle Vieja (la vieja ruta que va hacia Santa Ana) - 500 metros al oeste de Paco Plaza - 1 cuadra al oeste de World Gym - en el lado sur de la calle.



ENGLISH:
RelajAguas is a REALLY NICE 20 meters/65’ long by 8 mts/26’ wide x 1.40 mts/4.60’ deep, warm (temp averages 28ª-C/82ª-F), INDOOR pool offering WATER AEROBICS, Free Swimming and Swimming Classes (for kids and adults).  They also have a THERAPY POOL

I did not find the chlorine too strong like MANY pools are. 

The Ministerio de Salud/Health Department demands that EVERYONE MUST wear a bathing cap (they have the clothes ones to sell for 2,000-c).  


CLASSES:  
Water Aerobics 
(45 minutes.  Day Teacher Katia):  
Mon., Wed., Fri.  -  7, 8, 9, 10am  
Tues. and Thurs.  - 6, 10am, 6pm 
When I went before, I went to the 10am classes with Katia and she gave a REALLY GOOD/TOUCH workout (of course I haven’t gotten off my tush to exercise for AGES!!). 
(the easiest time to get into a class if you're new I hear is Mon. 9am, Thurs. 10am, Wed. 9am).  

Free Swim 
(with instructor 45 minutes. Without instructor 55 minutes)

Kids  • Niños
(3-4pm and 4-5pm)

OWNER:  
Manuela speaks REALLY GOOD English (PLEASE TELL HER that Vicki Referred you!)

POOL HOURS:  
Mon.-Fri. 6am-8pm.  Sat. 9am-noon. 

PRICE:  
1 time a week - 16,000-c. 2x/wk-19,000-c. 3x/wk-22,000-c, 4x/wk-27,500. (cheaper for kids) + Annual Fee/Matricula:  6,000-c.  

LOCATION:  Escazu (San Rafael) - ON Calle Vieja (the Old Road going towards Santa Ana) - 500 meters West of Paco Plaza - 1 block West of World Gym - on the South side of the street.



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PLEASE "SHARE" this link with EVERYONE you know that would like this!
LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com/2010/12/water-aerobics-escazu.html
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Friday, December 10, 2010

VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED - Santa on the Street/Santa en las Calles - San Jose, Costa Rica


YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
SANTA ON THE STREETS/SANTA EN LAS CALLES
SANTA ON THE STREETS/SANTA EN LAS CALLES Is a program that takes to the streets on SUNDAY - DECEMBER 12 - delivering blankets, a wrapped outfit & a warm meal to many less fortunate/people, most with NO FAMILY and no where to go - living on the streets in Costa Rica.  Santa won’t be knocking on their door without YOUR HELP!!


HISTORY:
SANTA ON THE STREETS/SANTA EN LAS CALLES is a movement that began in December 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela when a group of people decided to bring Christmas to those who roam the streets. In 2008 the movement spread to other cities within and outside of Venezuela, including San Jose de Costa Rica.


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VOLUNTEERS ARE STILL NEEDED:

SATURDAY - Dec. 11:  
Volunteers are needed Saturday in MORAVIA to help sort & wrap clothes, blankets and other goodies to gift to those less fortunate!  ANY time you have would be GREATLY appreciated as they will be going throughout much of the day & night!! 



SUNDAY - Dec. 12:  
Volunteers will take to the streets in a caravan around San Jose, Heredia & Alajuela, plus 3 shelters & 2 Group Homes and 2 Orphanages, delivering these GIFTS!  



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ITEMS STILL NEEDED:  
Blankets, people with Trucks, Juice boxes (the individual ones), people with Video Cameras to follow along filming.
You can drop things off still at my place - ON Calle Vieja just EAST of Calle Country Club
in San Rafael de ESCAZU.  Call me for directions - 8-378-6679 (Vicki)


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With YOUR help, this year they hope to share with about 1,000 less fortunate people in the Central Valley that otherwise WOULD be forgotten!!
Times are challenging for many of us - but at least we have a roof over our head & a hot meal.  
Help remind someone going through even bigger challenges than us that in the midst of feeling helpless/hopeless, 
there IS STILL some GOOD in the world!!   
Be the Hope!  
(trust me - YOU'LL FEEL GOOD also!!!!)


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CONTACT:
Ignacio - 8-335-8161 
(he speaks GOOD English - tell him Vicki shared the info with you)






PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE YOU FEEL CAN HELP 

(they will still accept donations afterwards that they'll get to various shelters)

http://LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com/2010/12/volunteer-help-needed-santa-on.html



Vicki


Friday, December 3, 2010

Where to find CHRISTMAS GOODIES in Costa Rica



CAFE TORINO  
(2-288-4476 / 2-288-4473 / Torino@racsa.co.cr
During the Holidays - this tasty restaurant has HUGE selection of HOLIDAY TREATS!
Their restaurant (with dining upstairs, in the back or out front ALFRESCO) features REALLY GOOD  ITALIAN pastas, Soups, Salads & SANDWICHES.  They have a GOOD DELI right there which even has homemade pastas to go & LOTS MORE including tasty BREADS  (make sure to have Richard take care of you! He's the tall cutie/sweetie that speaks Good English)!!   Downstairs & in the back (to your Left) they have tasty Italian Gellato/ ICE CREAM - especially their MINT CHIP & the Berry one (no dairy in the berry!) plus some other the other tasty/gourmet flavors along with tasty PASTRIES (including CARROT CAKE, a more real tasting KEY LIME PIE, GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE, BOSTON CREAM PIE, CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS & now DONUTS (Christian speaks good English)!!  Here they even have a FULL BAR (they also have alcohol for sale).  They have a WONDERFUL BIG GOURMET MARKET/selection of imported goodies like REAL Maple Syrup, mustards, candies, things like pesto or sun-dried tomatoe paste in a tube, pastas, jams, crackers & cookies, wines & LOTS MORE!!  Things I've not found elsewhere in CR!  They're THE PLACE for old style foreign/imported CHRISTMAS favorites.  Richard(who also speaks good English) is there to help you in this area!  They have FREE WiFi. HOLIDAYS:  Closed from 2pm Dec. 24 to Jan. 8, '10.  HOURS:   Mon.-Fri. 8am-7pm (lunch noon-3pm).  Sat. 8:30am-6pm.  (they're across the street from my place so if you're in the area - stop by & say “Hola!” to Vicki  8-378-6679
LOCATION:  Escazu (San Rafael)  -  Calle Vieja - in Plaza del Rio - 700 mtrs oeste/west of Mas x Menos  OR  100 meters East of Calle Country Club  



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CHRISTSTOLLEN / STOLLEN (German Christmas bread)??

THIS Saturday - December 4 from 8am-2pm, you get get FRESH Stollen at the *Feria Verde de Aranjuez (organic Farmers Market)  - properly aged and everything!  

Can't make this but still desire some FRESH CHRISTSTOLLEN / STOLLEN?  Contact him directly at:

MARTIN CHRISTSTOLLEN
Martin Acuña Solís (he speaks Spanish, English AND French)
(8-310-6797 / ProsanaFoods@gmail.com)

*FERIA DIRECTIONS:  Polideportivo de Aranjuez, de la Iglesia Santa Teresita 300 Norte y 300 Oeste.
(THANX Julie!!!)



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Do you know of other places to find special Holiday Treats???   Please e- me at Holidays@CostaRicaResourceGuide.com

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Where to find CHRISTSTOLLEN / STOLLEN in Costa Rica

Where in Costa Rica can you find CHRISTSTOLLEN / STOLLEN (German Christmas bread)??


THIS Saturday - December 4 from 8am-2pm, you get get FRESH Stollen at the Feria Verde de Aranjuez (organic Farmers Market)  - properly aged and everything!  

Can't make this but still desire some FRESH CHRISTSTOLLEN / STOLLEN?  Contact him directly at:

MARTIN CHRISTSTOLLEN
Martin Acuña Solís (he speaks Spanish, English AND French)
(8-310-6797 / ProsanaFoods@gmail.com)

FERIA DIRECTIONS:  Polideportivo de Aranjuez, de la Iglesia Santa Teresita 300 Norte y 300 Oeste.
(THANX Julie!!!)


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CAFE TORINO  
(2-288-4476 / 2-288-4473 / Torino@racsa.co.cr
During the Holidays - this tasty restaurant has HUGE selection of HOLIDAY TREATS!
Their restaurant (with dining upstairs, in the back or out front ALFRESCO) features REALLY GOOD  ITALIAN pastas, Soups, Salads & SANDWICHES.  They have a GOOD DELI right there which even has homemade pastas to go & LOTS MORE including tasty BREADS  (make sure to have Richard take care of you! He's the tall cutie/sweetie that speaks Good English)!!   Downstairs & in the back (to your Left) they have tasty Italian Gellato/ ICE CREAM - especially their MINT CHIP & the Berry one (no dairy in the berry!) plus some other the other tasty/gourmet flavors along with tasty PASTRIES (including CARROT CAKE, a more real tasting KEY LIME PIE, GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE, BOSTON CREAM PIE, CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS & now DONUTS (Christian speaks good English)!!  Here they even have a FULL BAR (they also have alcohol for sale).  They have a WONDERFUL BIG GOURMET MARKET/selection of imported goodies like REAL Maple Syrup, mustards, candies, things like pesto or sun-dried tomatoe paste in a tube, pastas, jams, crackers & cookies, wines & LOTS MORE!!  Things I've not found elsewhere in CR!  They're THE PLACE for old style foreign/imported CHRISTMAS favorites.  Richard(who also speaks good English) is there to help you in this area!  They have FREE WiFi. HOLIDAYS:  Closed from 2pm Dec. 24 to Jan. 8, '10.  HOURS:   Mon.-Fri. 8am-7pm (lunch noon-3pm).  Sat. 8:30am-6pm.  (they're across the street from my place so if you're in the area - stop by & say “Hola!” to Vicki  8-378-6679
LOCATION:  Escazu (San Rafael)  -  Calle Vieja - in Plaza del Rio - 700 mtrs oeste/west of Mas x Menos  OR  100 meters East of Calle Country Club  


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Do you know of other places to find special Holiday Treats???   Please e- me at Holidays@CostaRicaResourceGuide.com


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Thursday, December 2, 2010