Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last week Bernie and Nhi , who own the Pura Vida Hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica, were kind enough to deliver donations of school and art supplies to our home. These gifts were left at the hotel by visitors who have read my blog. You can learn more about their hotel on their web site . Guests rave about the accommodations, the gardens and Nhi's cooking. They are also just 15 minutes from the airport and they will arrange to pick you up or drop you off as you leave our beautiful country. I can not think of a better way to end your vacation, than with Berni and Nhi. They are lovely people with beautiful facilities.

We are very grateful to them for accepting donations at their convenient location. No, you do not have to stay there, but it is the best hotel around with the finest food, great innkeepers and they get rave reviews. Friends helping Friends to help the poor rural children and Indigenous. Your help makes it possible for us to help children stay in school. Many of the Indigenous never actually go to a school, their contact with education is from a teacher or from folks like Daniel and Hector at the Mission who hike for 5 or more hours up the mountain to the villages. We supply them with paper, pencils, crayons, art supplies, sweat shirts and practical clothing for the children. It is your generosity and caring that allows all of us together to help make a difference in the lives of others. We each have a role in bringing education to the children. Thank you very much.

Here is a map of where our farm and rainforest is located in Costa Rica. We are at the point of the arrow. The Indigenous Reservation is an 8 hour walk to the South of our land. There is nothing between them and us except rugged terrain and rivers to cross.

If you would like to donate good practical clothing, school and art supplies and will be coming to Costa Rica you can drop off your donations near the airport. Please contact me at for more info and directions. We have kind people located near the airport who will except donations and we will arrange for me to pick them up or if someone is coming my way they will deliver the donations to me. Friends helping friends to help others.

It is very convenient to pack your donations in an old duffel bag or suitcase that you may want to get rid of, or purchase an old bag at the Salvation Army. Many thrift stores will give them to you when you tell them what you are going to do with it. They are not big sellers.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I picked up an indigenous man last week towards dusk. He had walked down from the reservation and I pasted him as I drove 2 of my workers home. On my way back down I stopped and motioned for him to get in. It took me a few minutes to talk him into getting in my Rhino. He may have never been in a vehicle before, and no one here has ever seen a vehicle like mine. He put his hand out to shake hands, they don't know how. I took him down to a road on our farm that leads to a dilapidated footbridge that I would not slither across on my belly. I have a posted a photo below. Indigenous live on the other side of this sad bridge , it is their only way in and out.

My Classmate Jackie from Fort Lauderdale High School, Class of 66 put me in touch with the daughter of a friend of hers. Regan and I emailed this past year and she spoke with her children’s school about helping the poor and indigenous children in our area. The children sold lemonade and the teachers donated and shopped for the children in my area of Costa Rica. Regan and her husband John came for a visit bringing gifts.

This morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed to the farm with our houseguests. I had planned to bring a gift to the indigenous, who live across the river from our farm and today was the day. I put a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, lollipops, crayons, pencils, pencil sharpener, a pad of ruled paper, and some coloring books into a new bright purple satchel that was donated along with school supplies from Jennifer Hays, Tonya, and Kara at the Primrose School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. My houseguest, Regan and I took the Rhino and went down to the river, near the footbridge, with our gift. This time was different from all of the other times; they did not all hide from me. Airminnia, a lovely young indigenous mother of 4 or 5 little children came forward and walked across the rickety bridge to greet Regan. She spoke Spanish and accepted our gift as I took photos. One little success at a time; today was a really good day. Perhaps the indigenous man that I gave a ride to last week told her about me as Airminnia’s casita was his destination for the day.

If you have not been to a third world or developing world destination point, you can not imagine the impact that small acts of kindness can make. If your vacations are to all inclusive resorts, you are missing the blessings that await us all. Simple pleasures, beautiful smiles, momentary friendships that mean something and the best part is that you are the one who also benefits from that act of kindness as well as the recipient. That little bag of donated goodies was huge for Airminnia and her family, it may have been the biggest gift they have ever received; it may have been the only gift so far.

Last week an indigenous man came down from the mountain, someone was very ill. Because our farm manager now has a cell phone, Marcos was able to make a phone call and a very old Viet Nam vintage helicopter swooped in, landed and picked up a very ill indigenous man. We are the closest communication point and saved him several hours more foot travel to get help. It had already taken him 8 hours to get to us. Small acts of kindness can change and save lives.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is Mikhol, one of our workers and son of our caretaker. Today while working down by the river Mikhol found this poisonous snake, a Terciopelo or Fer-de-Lance as it is known. He calls Phil on the cell phone and wants to know, do we want him to catch it or kill it?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Here is a great shot of the male Quetzal with his beautiful long tale feathers. They are fruit eaters who love avacados. Quetzal's are often found at higher altitudes and birdwatchers seek to spot them.

This is a female Quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. This is a rare sighting, the photo was taken by Ethan.

This lovely little tarantula is on the wall of our colorful downstairs bedroom. They are not that poisonous. The kids just relocated him to the outdoors. When you live in a rainforest you must learn to share it with the other animals in the forest. Occasionally a little creature makes a mistake and gets lost in the house, we provide relocaton for them if possible.

This is a poison dart frog. Beautiful, tiny little creature. Ethan photographed him while on the rafting trip.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Phil was at the farm today playing with our dog Chikka and the horses. Here is the filly flying by. She moves so smoothly as if she is simply gliding. It is difficult to film her as she is often just a blur.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Here is a view of the Turrialba Volcano from space thanks to the folks at Wikipedia. This is very cool. I found this link today while researching the last eruption of Volcan Turrialba.

Love the internet, here I am with really, really slow speed dial up, in a rainforest and I can get this kind of information at the speed of copper wires. Amazing. Even more amazing is that people are finding their way to my blog, allowing me to share my world with their families and friends.

My husband Phil is deep in our rainforest using the walking stick that our friend Gonzalo made for him. Gonzalo builds beautiful bambu furniture and bambu homes in Costa Rica. I have two of his sofa's in my living room and I enjoy them very much.