Happy Holidays

Sorry it’s been a while.  My world and life have changed dramatically since the loss of my sweet companion. I was unprepared for the changes in the many rituals which informed my day-to-day life with him.

A kind friend invited me to Atlanta for Christmas, so here I sit.  After this, I will visit my oldest brother in Jacksonville.  The trip from San Jose to here was easy and uneventful– that is, until I got to Atlanta airport. I expected lines at Immigration, but I never imagined that ATL would provide only three agents to admit over a thousand Americans into the country.  The frustrating wait was interrupted by a young woman who had a psychotic break (and had to be escorted out) and a young girl in line who stopped, bent over, and produced an impressive amount of vomit.  Welcome to the US of A.

The reasons for the trip are many: so I can spend time with an old friend; so I won’t be alone for Christmas; so I can see my brother, so I can get my passport stamped upon my return to CR (which will revalidate my US driver’s license); and so I can renew my prescriptions with my US insurance for the next three months at a very low cost. Since my visa has once again been delayed, I am not yet eligible for health insurance.  (CR has socialized medicine, and prescriptions are free.)

Life has been pretty good in CR. As previously mentioned, I am working with a travel agency and trying to build their client base in the US. I’m in a difficult position in that I am attempting to improve efficiency in a country where it is not a core value. In Costa Rica, which consistently rates among the happiest countries on earth, people tend to not stress over time.  “I’ll be there in an hour” means only that someone is planning on visiting; he/she may show in two hours, four or not on that day.  Now, I know that there is no way I can or should change anyone’s concept of time; however, I’ve explained to the agency partners that time does matter for US client agencies.  My one condition for working with them was that I be allowed to try to keep them on task and on time.  They agreed that they need that, but I have concerns that the challenge might be too great.  Vamos a ver! (We shall see!) I’ve also asked to be trained as an agent so that I can just handle the clients myself.

I miss selecting and mailing out funny holiday cards; I arrived too late to do that. Mail, as we know it, doesn’t exist in CR, so just know that I am thinking of you all.  I hope you all have a great time over the holidays with whomever you spend it (or alone).  And here’s hoping for a great and better year next year.