Off to the Vet

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a tumor on the side of my dog.  This thing just popped up!  We are almost constantly petting him and giving him belly rubs; he’s pretty spoiled really.  So, I immediately called one of my vets and arranged to bring him in the following morning.

He loves going for car rides, all we had to do today was open the door and say, “Let’s go!” and he jumped right in.  He’s really a giant baby.  People are very intimidated by him because of his size, 77 pounds/35 kilos.  He’s an American Staffordshire Terrier, so he looks a lot like a pit bull; they are very close cousins.  All this dog wants is to be loved on.  We adopted him almost two years ago and he was extremely emaciated and very sick and he had been beaten.  The person who had him wanted him to fight, but he just wanted to love.  So we got him and he gets lots of love here.  Everyone who gets to know him falls in love with him.

Well, we get to the vet and she examines his tumor.  She is a little worried at first as it is rather large and pretty solid, but it was still movable which was a good thing.  She gives him some anesthesia and he slowly started getting sleepy.  He didn’t even flinch when he got his shots, he was a perfect boy.  I told my vet that I have never had a problem with anyone giving him his vaccinations and that he is special, she told me that he is very special.  He put his head on my shoulder and started drifting off until he could no longer sit up and slowly laid down on the table.  When he was pretty out of it she gave him a local to numb the area so she could get to work.  She didn’t want to put him under completely so he could have a quicker recovery time.

Five minutes later we are transferring him to the other room where she has everything set up to get the tumor out.  She picks him up to carry him and he whimpers the entire way!  I have never heard him whimper before and I was almost in tears!  I just know that he was confused and didn’t know what was going on and scared.  She laid him on the table and I spoke softly to him while petting his big block head.  He drifted off even more, his eyes were closed and he was sleeping.

She got to work right away.  I stayed with him the entire time and my husband was in and out to check on him.  He was like a nervous dad! She got the tumor out and cut it open and looked through it and told me that it didn’t look like it would be cancerous.  She suggested that we wait to do a biopsy.  If he develops anymore we will have those removed and then biopsy it.  I really trust my vet, she greeted Bruno with a big smile today and lots of pets and he even kissed her on the nose!  Just as she got him all stitched up he was starting to wake up.  Great timing!  She sent her husband out to buy an ace bandage to put around him as she didn’t have anything long enough to fit around him.  We gave him several minutes to look around and know that he was OK and to make sure he wasn’t going to freak out.  The vet carried him out to the car for us and laid him gently in the back seat where Bruno slept the whole way home.  I picked him up a new brush and a new collar today also.  Total cost of everything, including antibiotic injections…under $70!

My vet is an amazing woman and speaks great English.  We giggle at each other when she can’t remember a work in English and I can’t remember one in Spanish.  We work it out.  I can really tell that she loves the animals and wants what’s best for them.




Wedding with Friends

Yesterday my husband and I had our wedding here in Costa Rica.  It was amazing.  We never had a wedding before, we went to Las Vegas and got married.  We took turns driving from Cincinnati and drove straight through; it was 2,000 miles and took 30 hours.  We drove there and back.  I figure if we can spend a total of 60 hours in a vehicle together and not want to kill each other, then we were made for one another.  I tried planning a wedding back then, but it wasn’t going very well.  I had called up my father to ask him to walk me down the aisle and he said, “Why don’t you just go to the justice of the peace and get married?”  Needless to say I was pretty heartbroken.  So, we ended up in Las Vegas.  That was 11 years ago.

Now, with the new law here in Costa Rica you have to produce a new, notarized, apostiled, and translated marriage certificate that is not more than 30 days old when you go to renew your carnet.  My husband and I live in a pretty small town of around 8,000 people.  We got our new residency cards last month, it took us a full 30 days for them to come in.  Then we went to renew our carnets, we did not have the marriage certificate, but they didn’t even ask for it.  I am not sure if it just because they know us or what.  But it never came up and we weren’t going to bring it up.  But we still had our wedding and got remarried.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, even though it was really hot and humid; at least it didn’t rain!  We only had about 20 people there, which was perfect for us.  We had traditional Costa Rican food that was all homemade by our friends.  I did buy a beautiful three tier cake though, which was quit difficult to get it to the wedding.  We held the wedding at one of our friends houses, they live on a big property  not far from our house.  (We actually used to rent one of the houses on the property.)  My friend asked me a few days before the wedding about decorations.  I told her that it wasn’t important to me, just having our friends there is what really mattered.  I did buy some balloons though to have put out so people could find the place.  When we got there they had the place looking so beautiful for us.  They got a tent for outside, put fresh flowers up everywhere, got tables with really nice tablecloths, and had flowers on those too.  I was so overwhelmed.  I just wasn’t expecting all of that, I got teary eyed.

I got to finally toss the bouquet, I always wanted to.  My husband and I had our dance, Phil Collins-Groovy kind of love.  There wasn’t any rum left over.  These people here have become my family.  It was a beautiful day with beautiful people and I don’t think I could have been happier.  I was so nervous beforehand.  But it was very relaxing and really stress free.  Everyone was smiling, laughing, and having a great time.  I’m glad we had a wedding here with close friends.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  Until mañana, Pura vida!




Update 3: Biopsy

I am really tired now from today.  This biopsy took a lot out of me, plus I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night; probably from just being worried about today.

We got up this morning around 7, that is a little early for me.  I usually get up around 8.  It is difficult for me to get a good night sleep because my back always hurts so I am always changing positions during the night.  We had our coffee and a bowl of cereal, yup I still eat cereal, and then headed out around 8.  My appointment was set between 11 and 1, but we were expecting heavy traffic.  Of course today, there wasn’t any traffic on the way there, there was a road closure so we thought there would be more but in fact there was less.  We get to Guapiles early and went and made the house payment at the bank.  Actually got in and out of the bank quickly today.  Then we decided that since we still had plenty of time we would head over to the Maxi Pali and do some shopping.  There was a tour bus in the parking lot and a whole bunch of gringos in the store.  I am not used to being out in public with a bunch of people from the US around me.  From there we stopped by the vet and stocked up on cat food for the month.  Some things are a little cheaper in Guapiles than where we live so we stock up on those few things for the month.  After that we headed to the clinic.

The same greeter was there again, always smiling, she walked us over to the counter to get registered and to pay.  Total cost of the biopsy was less than $250, cheaper than our monthly insurance premium in the States.  Then we waited.  We did wait quite a while until I got called back.  My husband went in with me.  I had the same, very nice, gentleman that I had before for my ultrasound.  He remembered me and made sure to speak English, even his assistant spoke good English.  He sat me down on the edge of the bed and got me to relax, he knew I was nervous.  My legs hung off the end and I had a pillow under my back so it made my head lean really far backwards; this makes it easier for him to do the ultrasound and biopsy.  He found the tumor again, it is still the same size.  Then he took the needle and inserted it into my neck.  Keep in mind that I had no numbing agent either.  I felt a little pinch going in, not so bad.  But then he had to take the needle and move it in and out a little to collect the cells, he did tell me everything he was going to do before he even started the ultrasound so I was prepared.  The needle was going in and out, think of a plunging motion, and boy did it start to hurt.  I wasn’t allowed to talk or even to swallow, I had to stay perfectly still.  My husband was next to me holding my hand, more like me squeezing his hand really hard.  At one point I noticed tears in my eyes, but I stayed still.  I just kept twirling my feet.  He pulled the needle out, then informed me that he had to do it again because he didn’t get a big enough sample.  I wanted to cry at this point.  But I went through it again.  I remember feeling myself tense up and he would calmly tell me to relax, then I would take a deep breath and try to relax a little.  It worked.

He finally collected a big enough sample to send to the lab.  He got a paper towel and wiped off my neck and he and my husband help to get me in a sitting position.  I got so dizzy at that point.  I was so hot too.  My neck was super stiff and it hurt to turn my head to the side.  The technician told me to take all the time I needed, there was no rush.  He was very polite the whole time.  Even as I was leaving he did the tradition Costa Rica farewell of a small hug and a kiss on the cheek and shook my husbands hand.

This is not anything that I would wish upon anyone, but it was a good experience.  The staff and personnel at this clinic are absolutely amazing.  Now we just play the waiting game on the test results.  Anywhere between 10 and 15 days.  If they call, it’s not good news.  If they don’t call, it’s good news.  These next two weeks are going to take forever.  Until mañana, pura vida!


Important decisions

The husband and I had been trying to sell the house.  We were thinking of going to either Nicaragua or Panama.  Our main reason for this was the cost of living.  It is high in Costa Rica when compared to other countries in Central America.  But we sat down and really talked about things.  We aren’t getting any younger, we had to have one of those conversations that you hate having when you get older.  At our age, why would we want to go through this whole process again of immigrating to another country.  That is a lot of time and money right there.  Plus, getting all the paperwork to take the pets and take them on the long trip.  The main thing that got us is that we bought this house.  Yes, we do still have a mortgage, but it’s not that much.  If we move to another country we would be going back to renting.  Again, at our age that could be a problem.  If something happens to one of us, the benefits are going to be cut down and it will make it difficult to afford rent with everything else.  If we stay here, the house can be paid for and the other one will always have a place to live.  So, we took the sign down today.  We figured why not just stay here?  We have great friends, neighbors that treat us like family, completely covered healthcare, and it is a great town that we live in.  I asked our neighbor the other day if he would cut down a tree for us in the yard; it was really in the way and causing problems with the car.  My husband and I both asked him how much to cut it down and he told us nothing.  His son even came over and helped him remove it from the yard. I think I need to bake him a cake or something for this.  We have planted other trees in the yard.  This tree though was going into our power and internet lines, the leaves were very small and falling into the car clogging up the vents also.  So now that it is out of the way we can also build our car port; if it ever stops raining.  We have a lot of plans for our little home.  We have been slowly adding to it since we bought it, it was an ugly little house and now it is a beautiful little home.  My new cleaning lady started today and she did an amazing job!  Very happy with her right now.  So, here we are and we aren’t going anywhere.  Until manaña, Pura Vida!  (Oh, and if you can’t tell…I love the color purple!)

When we first bought the house.

When we first bought the house.

The house after a lot of work. ( The roof is now green though.)

The house after a lot of work. ( The roof is now green though.)

Animal welfare

This is a topic that really bothers me at times.  Most of you have already seen my post about Bruno, the American Stanford that we adopted.  Now, I have a huge soft spot for animals; I like them more than most people.  Animals, dogs and cats, have this way of giving you unconditional love.  They don’t care if you are rich or poor, if you are fat or skinny, if you have a big or little house, what kind of clothes you wear, whether or not you have the latest technology.  They will love you no matter what.  All they ask is to be loved and cared for and they do the same in return.

The first dog we had here was a street dog that came up to our house one day.  He was a beautiful German Shepherd and we named him Duke.  He was very emaciated and sick.  He was also under a year old.  We fed him, took him to the vet, and he stayed around for a long time.  He protected our house, and our neighbors house.  He was a beautiful dog.  But one day he up and left.  We seen him several months later walking with a little boy.  The boy loved the dog and you could tell Duke felt the same way about him.  Long story short, we let the kid keep him because we could tell they were happy with each other.

Then there was Grace, a black German Shepherd that showed up one day in our neighborhood.  She was very skinny and sick also.  She kept hanging around the neighborhood so I tried to get her to come to me.  I would throw out little bits of food for her to get.  It took me three days, but I finally earned her trust and she let me pet her.  That was all that it took.  She had so many problems it wasn’t funny.  She was anemic, a very low blood platelet count (so we couldn’t get her fixed any time soon) and she also had ehrlichia, which is a tick disease, and something else I can’t remember.  We had all sorts of blood work done, including an ultrasound.  She was a mess, but she turned into the sweetest dog.  We were waiting for her to fully recover before getting her fixed, then she went into heat just as she got better.  She got out on us and ended up pregnant.  Poor thing had to have a cesarean section to have the puppies and my vet spayed her at the same time.  Just over 4 months later she died of a heart attack.  She was still very young, maybe three years old, but we believe it was because she had the ehrlichia before.  It can have side effects that last a lifetime.  I cried my eyes out over her.

Before all of this was Spot the cat.  He was a stripped kitten with a little spot on his nose.  He was about 4 weeks old when he came to us.  He was thrown out of a plastic garbage bag at our front gate!  He was so tiny, his eyes were still blue.  We took him in and our older cat took him under his wing and helped him every step of the way.  I had never seen an adult male cat care for a kitten the way Boo-Boo did.  They even napped together.  Boo-Boo was from the US, we brought him down with us.  He was a rescue too.  He had been hit by a car when he was found and brought to us when we were living in Ohio.  Boo-Boo passed away just over three years ago.  He was a very good boy and is still missed.  Spot passed away about a year and a half ago.  They both passed away from the same thing, a urinary track blockage.  My vets tried their best to get them unblocked but couldn’t.  There was nothing they could do.  With my medical background they even showed me what was going on, let me in and explained to me what they had tried to do.  I cried like a baby.

Now there is Arainia.  I found her as a kitten at a bus terminal.  She was severally emaciated, I held up her leg and could light coming through because there was no muscle tissue.  She was about 7 weeks old and weighed 500 grams, 1.1 pound.  I got her onto the bus with me and took her home.  We made some soft food for her to eat that night.  She was so weak that she couldn’t even hold up her head.  I was afraid that she would be dead by morning.  I got up the next morning and went into the bathroom and got the carrier I had her in.  She was meowing at me.  I got her food and she dove into the bowl, not even giving me time to put it on a plate!  We knew we had a fighter here!  We rushed her to the vet and got her checked out.  My vet about cried with how small she was.  One month later she had tripled her weight!  She has grown into a beautiful cat now.  Very sweet and loving, she just still doesn’t like Bruno.  But my other cat, Coal, likes Burno and even puts up with getting dog kisses!  (Coal is from the US, and is 7 years old now.  We adopted him when he was only four months.)

Well, that is the background on our babies and some of what we have been through with them.  That is not even close to being all of it.  I am writing this today because of what I saw yesterday at one of the vets I go to for cat food and cat litter.  The kind I use I cannot get here in my town.  It is a small town and cats are not that common to have as an indoor pet.  Yesterday I saw three of the tiniest kittens, their eyes were just starting to change colors.  They should have still been with their mother, but they don’t know where she was.  They were very dirty, their ears were a nightmare and their little bums needed to be cleaned off, something their mom would have done for them.  This is not even the worst part.  Outside the door they found a bag, similar to a big burlap bag, with three cats inside it.  Someone put these cats inside this bag, tied up the bag, and then just dumped it off!  They were so beautiful.  I think the one was the mother of the other two.  They were very hot, as they were panting, and you could see the confusing on their face.  I wanted to bring them home, but there is no way I could have.  We already have two cats and two dogs and are on a fixed income.  But things like this happen more than people realize.  There are plenty of dog rescues around and people that work with dogs, but I have not found any that work specifically with cats.  I want to do something about this.  But it would take a lot of money and time.  It would also take convincing the husband.  (He is a good husband.)  I would like to build a catio and take in up to five cats at a time and adopt them out.  This way, I could continue the work of saving these precious creatures of God.  But it all comes down to money.  I would have to build a wall around my yard first, put in drainage ditches, put gutters on the roof, and then build the catio.  There is only one place that I could build the catio and that is on the front porch and when it rains it gets a lot of water on it.  So there is a lot I have to do to keep the water off of it.  No easy task.  Then there is the problem of coming up with the money of feeding them and getting litter for them while they are here.  We would have to have donations.  I feel like this is something that is worth while doing and I feel that it is a good cause.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.  You can always comment and I will get it in my e-mail first.  If you don’t want me to publish your comment let me know first.

Looks like he was laughing.  This was when we first found him.  He was still thin.

Duke-Looks like he was laughing. This was when we first found him. He was still thin.

She was so sweet.  This was when she was still sick and we had to keep her close.  Hated having her on a chain, but we spent a lot of time outside with her.

Grace-She was so sweet. This was when she was still sick and we had to keep her close. Hated having her on a chain, but we spent a lot of time outside with her.

The Princess Arainia.  Precious kitty.

The Princess Arainia. Precious kitty.

My favorite picture of Spot and Boo-Boo.  They were a pair!  Always playing together.  Now they are together across the rainbow bridge.  I miss them both so much.

My favorite picture of Spot and Boo-Boo. They were a pair! Always playing together. Now they are together across the rainbow bridge. I miss them both so much.

My Coal kitty.  Been with me for 7 years now.  Loves to give me kitty kisses on my nose!

My Coal kitty. Been with me for 7 years now. Loves to give me kitty kisses on my nose!

Rain and more rain

Sorry it has been so long since I posted.  I finally got a new laptop and can type again!  I was actually able to find one here that was already programmed in English and has an English keyboard.  This was hard to find in the area that I live in because I live in a very rural community without a lot of other Gringos.  It is a very local community.  Also, the term gringo is perfectly fine to use down here in Costa Rica, it has no negative connotation to it.  Just if someone asks you where you are from, never tell them America.  You tell the you are from the United States, as they consider everyone on these two continents to be Americans; and they are correct.  But I am very glad to be back on here and writing again.

Well, a lot has been going on lately.  We have had some serious rain for this time of year.  I know it is a rainforest and that I have said before get used to it.  But this has been ridiculous.  But we have had widespread flooding.  Many rivers have come over their banks and taken out homes and businesses.  Several bridges and roads have been washed out too.  For a while, our community was pretty much an island.  There was no way to get out of our area.  Sunday morning I was awoken to the sound of the siren going off at 4:50.  I had one cat look at me with huge eyes and a scared look, my other cat started growling, and the dog just laid there like nothing was happening.  This is the first time I have ever heard the siren go off and it is very close to my house.  I got up and turned the radio on and heard nothing about it.  So I knew it wasn’t anything national and that it was only for local.  I stumble out of bed, in the dark, and look out the window which faces the main road.  I could see police lights and a spot light in the trees.  That is when I think I woke up enough to hear the  noise.  It was the river.  Now, we live up on a hill and back off the main road and the river is on the other side of the main road.  If I had to guess how far the river is from the house I would probably say about 1,000 feet.  You could just hear the rushing sound of the water coming down from the mountains.  All I could think of was all the people who live close to it, including a friend of mine who is from the States.  There being nothing I could do, I crawled back into bed and waited until I could call someone who could really tell me what was going on.

I did a lot of texting and calling that morning.  Found out there was a landslide up the mountain on the river and it sent a huge wave of water rushing downstream.  We had people on the way to visit us for a few nights and didn’t know if they would be able to stay or not as our water main broke.  They were quick about it and had it repaired in under two hours.  I was very impressed with that.  There was an entire community stranded on the other side of one of the bridges as the water washed out part of the road by the bridge.  As of right now there are at least 450 people in shelters in and around our canton, that is like a county in the US.  So many businesses had to close because of all the rain, tourist places were closed because of fallen trees and flooding.  It was really a scary couple of days here.  We are hoping that the worst is over.  I did see a rainbow yesterday and the sun is out now.  Our company only stayed for one night because there was nothing to do in our area with everything being shutdown.  We completely understood.  It is times like this that Facebook really comes in handy.  There are a lot of pages for our area to keep people up to date on what is happening in and around the area.  I was able to see photos and get lots of information about the outlying areas about road closures and where the worst is to help my friends get around and to pass information along to others.  Glad we are through this now.  Just hope that we have at least of week of no rain.  We need the sunshine.

The first photo is in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, a few towns over from where I live.  Normally this walking bridge is 15 feet above the water, there was a bridge below that you could drive across.





These photos are here in my town of La Virgen de Sarapiqui.  The first one is where the river has washed out part of the road leaving an entire community stranded.  I would estimate there are probably close to 1,000 people who live back there.  The next two are of the Rio Saraipiqui.  This is a common river to use for rafting, but it is too dangerous now.  Normally there is a little beach on the right hand side of the second photo, that is where a lot of people go to go swimming.  The beach is gone.  On the third photo, the little island in the middle usually goes almost all the way across the river with just a little stream on each side of it.  There is normally a good 20 feet between the river and the bridge, this day there were only a couple of feet between the two.  Luckily, it is going down now and life will return to normal, it will just take a little time.  The community is coming together to help everyone out, it is like one big family and they care for each other.  It will take a long time though to get many of the roads open and the bridges repaired.  One such road they are saying it will take three months to fix and clear out because of a landslide.  Mother nature is a serious force and not to be messed with.  This river came up quick and deadly.  A simple reminder not to mess around with water and rain and to always be careful.  Pura Vida!




RS1 - Copy RS2 RS3

I know it’s been a while

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything.  Sorry.  I have been busy with dogs.  About a month ago I had a very shy and thin dog show up at my house.  She was scared at first, but I manged to gain her trust.  I named her Grace.  She looks to be part shepherd and part black lab.  She is very sweet.  She got sick on us and I rushed her to the vet.  We had blood work done and an ultrasound.  Turns out she had three different infections, plus anemia and an extremely low blood platelet count.  She got lots of medicine and three different injections.  She is doing pretty good now.  She has put on some weight and looking good.  Well, a week ago, we have a small dog, part Chihuahua follow us home.  We tried to shoo her away, but when I woke up on a Sunday morning, there she was on my front porch.  She ended up attaching herself to my husband.  Turns out she is pregnant.  Now we have two cats, two dogs, and more on the way.  I do love animals.  But this got me thinking.  We live here in a rural area of the country, most people don’t make that much money, but most people have at least one dog.  It is difficult for them to afford basic veterinary care.  I am trying to start a non-profit organization to help low income families with this.  I want to help them get their pets spayed/neutered also.  We do have a serious dog population problem down here.  The thing is, I need help.  We live on a fixed income.  If you can’t donate, I do understand. All I ask is that you share the post for the donation site, please.  Grace is on the right and Peanut is on the left.

Thank you.



House for sale

Well, my husband and I have decided to continue our adventure elsewhere.  So, we are selling our house here in beautiful La Virgen de Sarapiqui.  The area is still not full of tourists, which helps to keep the cost of living lower here than in other parts of the country.  Our neighbors are wonderful and sad to see us move.  Give you an idea of how sweet our neighbors are.  I had surgery this past January, and everyday for a week my neighbor would bring me something over to eat that was homemade.  All the people on our street always wave and say hi as they are walking by if we are out.  We can walk to town and have people honk and wave at us.  It’s not a big town, but it is a wonderful town.  The bus stop is close, and we can get to anywhere in the country by bus.  We have never owned a vehicle here, the bus is cheap.  There is a lot to do in our town and surrounding area.  There are canopy tours, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, guided nature hikes, chocolate tours, coffee tours, river boat tours and so much more.  Our house sits on top of a hill, so there is almost always a nice breeze.  Plus, it is a quiet neighborhood.  The house includes all furniture and cookware.  It is 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom, 57m2 and the lot is 200m2.  Furnishings include: flat screen TV, futon, stove with oven, small refrigerator, cabinets, pots and pans, plates and glasses, silverware, toaster oven, blender, small dinning table, twin bed, dresser, lap top desk, full size bed, closet, hot water shower, three fans, washer and dryer.  Already has internet and home phone, they run around $35 a month.  Utilities run between $30 and $45 per month, just depends on how much you use the dryer.  Local satellite TV is $25 per month, many channels come in in English.  Also, included is a prepaid local cell phone and a bicycle.  (kitten in the cone on the dinning chair is not included!)

We are asking $45,000USD for everything!  Comment if you are interested.  Thanks!



Independence Day




Happy Independence Day Costa Rica!  This was in my little town of La Virgen de Sarapiqui.  There is only about 8,000 people who live here and it’s a great place to live.  The people are super friendly, helpful and outgoing.  My camera went on the fritz today and was only able to get these two pictures.  Bummer!  But as you can tell they even get the kids involved here.  Had a great time with my family today.  There is a lot to do here in the Sarapiqui area, a lot of people still don’t know about our area.  Somewhat of an undiscovered part of the country.  It is very beautiful.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens


We had an amazing time yesterday, if you can’t tell!  La Paz Waterfall Gardens is absolutely beautiful and worth the trip.  Yes, that is me and my hubby together; and yes he is a little older than I.  Holding and petting the toucans was probably the highlight of our day.  They are so soft and light.  I also couldn’t believe that I was able to get a picture of the Blue Morpho butterfly with it’s wings open.  That is the national butterfly here.  The waterfalls are beautiful, there are four of them.  We also got to see the big cats, monkeys, other species of birds and butterflies, and reptiles.  There was so much to see there.  We did notice also that the cages the animals are in, were very clean and they had a lot of their natural habitat in there.  There are around 500 steps to take, which just about killed my back.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, though.  I am paying for it today, but worth it.  We were able to get a discount there since we have residency here, it was only $20 per person for us.  Foreigner are $36 a person.  This does not include meals.  I really didn’t mind paying high prices for meals because I know it cost a lot of money to take care of the animals and to pay the workers.  They do have beautiful rooms, but they are very expensive.  Out of my price range.  I highly recommend this as a day trip for anyone considering coming to Costa Rica, it is well worth it.  One of the nicest places I have been to and many of the employees speak English.