Happy El Nino!

The rains are back.

We are now in rainy season, which means that the mornings are sunny and the afternoons bring the rains. It’s amazing that the timing is so consistent. I hear that this year’s El Nino delayed the rains; we had a long dry spell (for Costa Rica) during the spring. I do like the change; it’s very civilized to do errands in the morning and work or stay home after that.

I’ve been here now a bit more than two and a half years. Yikes! The good news is that finally my Spanish comprehension is catching up with my speaking skills. I have been in the uncomfortable position of appearing fluent when I engage someone in conversation only to miss much of the reply. It confuses the hell out of the people with whom I’m having a conversation. When I say “I don’t understand,” the think I’m referring to the deeper meaning of what they’re saying. My old brain has taken its time, but it’s doing its job at last.

My consulting is going well; I’m about to send in the report I’ve been compiling for the past three years. It’s due by June 1. After that, I’ll be working on a grant renewal proposal. It keeps me sharp and connected to the education business.

Speaking of which, the online teaching work has slowed. Since the company communicates only when it has to, I never know if I’ve made some cultural gaffe (like the time I said that I’d never been to China, but I had visited Hong Kong). In my defense, that visit took place in 1978 before HK was “welcomed home.”

As those who have known me the longest know, I spent four years being trained as a professional actor during my New York years. As brilliant and intense as the training was, the studio did not give graduates much help in obtaining work. It did, however, impact greatly those of us who survived and gave us a deep understanding and appreciation of the dramatic arts. Alas, I just received word that our teacher passed away unexpectedly in early May. The mad genius lives no more.

As I mentioned previously, I am contemplating a change in venue- a next step in my senior adventure. I’m looking into places where I can live comfortably and enjoy temperate weather, yet more conducive to meeting and interacting with people who might actually want to spend time with an aging gringo. I do love where I am, but I am isolated. Also, I really want to get a dog in a country where there are high-quality accommodations for when I need to leave town unaccompanied. I had a great vet here, who remains one of my few friends, but there’s nowhere to board a dog where he can have his own place to sleep and be monitored while with other dogs.

All in all, things are quiet.  Well, almost.  Two Sundays ago, my neighbor across the street started cutting the grass in her front yard at 8:00 a.m. with a very noisy edger (a small appliance for trimming the edge of one’s yard). I guess she can’t afford a lawnmower, so she spends two solid hours on a task which, with the correct equipment (even a hand-mower) would take 20 minutes. I’m thinking of offering her my toenail clippers; it would take the same amount of time and be much quieter.

I almost forgot to mention my visit to Florida at the very end of April. I saw doctors and bought electronics to keep me from being kicked offline during my online classes.  I found a new doctor who kept me waiting a very long time and then sat with his back to me while asking questions over his shoulder.  Although this was my “wellness exam,” he never came within five feet of me. During this trip, I learned that I had symptoms of gout (which my dear old dad had) and I have, hold onto your hats, cataracts! It will be some years before surgery is required, but if that’s not hard-core proof of old age, I don’t know what is. The good news was that I got to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law who were, as always, loving and generous.  And they think I’m young.

Until next time, Pura Vida!