I know a few of you love coming here and finding out what has been going on here in Costa Rica.  Well, I haven’t been doing much, as I can’t.  With my back the way it is, it is really hard for me to go out and have fun.  But next week I go for some new x-rays and hopefully find something else out.  I have been working on writing a book, but it has nothing to do with my daily life here.  More of a horror story. The dark side a lot of people don’t know about.  So, I have been keeping busy at home.  I haven’t even been able to practice my cello, the posture I have to sit in really hurts.  I will see if I can’t dig through some of my older photos and get some pictures up for those of you who haven’t seen them.  I have been doing some baking, I learned how to make homemade biscuits since you can’t buy canned biscuits where I live.  We live in a rural community and the conveniences that you have in the States you don’t have here.  Cinnamon rolls don’t exist here in my little town either, so I learned how to make a cinnamon roll cake.  I actually enjoy cooking and baking this way a lot better, from scratch.  It seems to make everything more worth while.  My husband loves it when I bake.  Now, since I have been baking this way, I haven’t seem to have had any problems with my blood sugar.  It usually drops really fast and low, but now it has been doing good.  I guess when you take out all of the preservatives it helps.  There maybe a connection there, who knows.   All I know that is if it weren’t for my back I would feel great.


Back to the clinic

Well, I had to go back to the clinic to see about getting all the paperwork and information that I need so I can make an appointment for physical therapy.  I guess I didn’t have everything I needed the first time for it.  So, I went in to talk to the doctor, he was very nice and apologetic about everything.  Even when I asked him to speak slower for me.  I am still learning the language.  He did ask me how my back was doing and I told him that it is a little worse every day.  He asked if I had x-rays done before, I told him yes but that was back in June.  So he wrote me up another order for new ones.  I go in a week and a half to have those done.  The first time I had to wait a month before I could get in.  After I get those, I take them back to the clinic then he writes up my referral then I take another long bus ride to the capitol to make an appointment.  My appointment for therapy could actually be a few months out.  I am not too worried about it, it’s not life threatening, just a real pain.  I don’t let it get me down and I find other things to keep me busy.  I can’t walk very far now and the long bus rides are extremely painful, but I keep smiling.  I refuse to let this problem control me or ruin my love of life.  I keep a positive attitude and that helps a lot, that and my wonderful husband.


This is baby Arainia.  She is doing so good now.  She is putting on weight, I can barely feel her spine and ribs now, but I can still feel her hips pretty good.  She has been playing and eating.  She hates taking her medicine, she still has 5 more days to go on it.  My other cats are starting to accept her now, even Spot is starting to play with her.  Spot had been doing nothing but growling and hissing at her since Monday, but today he has been playing with her.  I think she is going to fit in just fine.  I believe that she is going to live a long and happy life now.  I feel like we saved each other this past Monday.  She was so thin when I found her you could see the light in between the bones in her legs.  Now, she doesn’t let anything slow her down.  She has won us over.  I am just glad that I was in the right place at the right time to help her.  She is getting healthier by the day.

Hospital in Heredia

This is the hospital in Heredia, it is new and very nice.  I believe the construction design is supposed to be earthquake resistant.  I went there this past Monday to attempt to make my appointment for my physical therapy.  But of course my doctor here in town didn’t fill out all the information that was needed, so I have to go back.  It’s not that big of a deal for me and it was not a wasted trip either.  I went with a good friend of mine, who speaks no English at all, so I really got to practice my Spanish.  We also did a little shopping and had a great time.  We had stopped at a small indoor market to get something to eat.  The place we picked only had bar stools to sit on, when we went to go sit down the lady’s working there told us no because they had a table behind the counter that I could sit at.  They had it there especially for people who have disabilities.  I was very surprised.   They were so nice, they do their best to take care of the people here.

On our way back on the bus, which is a couple hour ride, the bus stops at another terminal so you can get out and stretch, get something to snack on or go to the bathroom.  I got out to stretch, at this point I was in a lot of pain, when I looked down and seen a tiny kitten that was in horrible shape.  She looked up at me with this tiny meow, it was almost like she said, “help me.”  My pain vanished and all I could think about was how much pain she was in.  I picked her up and tried to clean her off a little.  I couldn’t just leave her, so I asked the bus driver if I could bring her on the bus, he just said for me to get on through the back door.  I called my husband and told him, I don’t think he was too happy at first.  When I got her home I gave her a bath and could feel every bone in her little body.  She was so emaciated.  I made her some soft food, I have two other cats, and she tore into it.  She was so weak that she could barely hold up her head.  She drank a bunch of water and went to sleep in a large carrier.

The next morning I took her to my vet, another two hour bus ride.  She weighed exactly 500 grams, about a pound.  She is about 7 weeks old.  The vet gave her some medicine, took her temp and did a little lab work, good thing was that she had no fever.  She has a bacterial infection and parasites, she is also a little anemic.  So now she is on two medicines and vitamins and is doing great.  She is already putting on weight and playing constantly, when not napping.  Total cost at the vet, we got two medicines, bottle of vitamins, lab work, 42 pound bag of cat litter, a new litter scoop and two cans of soft kitten food, all for $49.  I have never been able to walk into a vet office before for under $50.  Right now she is in my lap just purring away and being so happy.  My husband has already become attached to her and will not give her up.  I will post some pics of her soon.  Her name is Arainia.


I hate to tell you this, but you will never be considered a citizen here in Costa Rica.  You will never have the right to vote.  These rights are strictly reserved for people who are born here.  When you get your residency the first time it will be what is called temporary residency.  You will have to renew this in two years.  After three years of being a temporary resident you can the apply for permanent residency.  Once you have your permanent residency you still cannot vote or be considered a citizen.  They are very strict about immigration and about hiring migrant workers.  As an immigrant you can open and operate a business and earn an income off that business, but you cannot work for a wage in that business.  This is mainly for the pensioner status.  They don’t want you to take the place of local workers.  Basically it is hire them and pay them, but don’t come down here and take jobs away from our people.  Feel free to spend your retirement money though.  I actually like the ideal of it.  It protects their people in the work force.

Everything you need to know about immigration

I came across this website the other day and love it.  I was looking up on how to renew our residency for when the time comes.  We were told to start the process of renewal about three months in advance.  But this site gives you everything you need to know and a step-by-step of retiring here.  If you come down as a pensioner, you don’t need an attorney.  My husband and I did it all ourselves.  Just make sure that you either speak Spanish or take an interpreter with you.  They don’t speak English.

Go to immigration and residency then click.  Next go to number 8, residency-general information and click.  This will take you to everything you need to know.  Wish I would have had this last year when we came down here, it is so much easier to understand and follow.

A little more on banking

Checking the ATM at times can be a little…frustrating to say the least.  When you have your check coming direct deposit down here, it doesn’t always show up at midnight like it does in the States.  Last month it showed up around 10 in the morning.  That gave us a little scare.  This month, we checked it at 10:30 and it didn’t show up.  So, we went to the bank and checked at the ATM there, it was finally there.  Not sure what happened.  One of two things.  It was already there when we checked it and for some reason the first ATM we used just wasn’t updated, maybe because it is not at the bank.  Or, they were late turning on the computers at the bank.  I do believe that they turn everything off at night so there is a backlog in the morning and it just takes it time to catch up.  So, just wanted to let you know that if you move down here and get an account, it is a little slower than in the States.  Your money will be there, just not at midnight like you are used to.  We do keep one account in the States, it is easier for me when I go to the States and the hubby is here.  This way we each have easy access to funds.  If you have an account in the States and don’t want to move your money to a bank down here, be prepared to pay lots of fees.  This is with any bank in the States.  You will pay a conversion fee, from dollars to colones.  Then if you need cash, you better check with your bank first on how much they charge for using an ATM outside of the US.  My bank charges $5 every time I use the ATM, then you might get hit with a charge from the bank down here.  Every so often I get a $12 charge from them.  So, the fees can add up quickly.  Check with your bank first before you leave.