Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thieves stole the phone wires to the town in the middle of the night, right by Casa Turirre, our 4 star resort. At 11pm I had phone service but none at 7am. The police, many of whom do not have a gun, will not take their car up the mountains so the thieves wave bye until the next time. Nobody in our surrounding little towns from that point on has phone service because of the break. How petty. I wonder how much a couple of low life ladrones can get for stolen phone wire that contains a minimal amount of copper? Enough for some crack or guaro perhaps. Drug use is a problem in every country. Costa Rica has the compounded problem of being the drug route out of Columbia on its Caribbean side, unstable employment opportunities, untrained uneducated labor, and little money to control, catch, punish, contain, the bad guys. I see crack sales happening in Turrialba by the old railroad tracks when we go to buy propane for our tanks. I always have the urge to do something to ruin their day, or capture them, but I am still thinking about that. My husband has commented that he doesn’t know how I have managed to live this long. They have ruined their lives, and I am sure that death will pursue them all too soon one way or another. “It is easier to give birth than to breathe life back into the dead.” That is why we must focus on the children and provide useable education for them.

When a lone policeman pulled me over because my 2nd license plate had fallen off the front of my car, rather than just write me a ticket, he preferred to hassle me looking for chorizo (a bribe of $20.00). Which in the end he received and I received a $4.00 ticket in exchange. I remember that he had a little pea shooter of a gun stuffed in his pants waistband, pointed at his manhood (my cowgirl gun when I was 5 was more substantial and I had a holster to go with it), and I pictured it going off the whole time he had me. It was an ugly vision. It is also more lucratively rewarding for him to pull me over rather than deal with real crime such as drugs and theft.

I look forward to my morning phone calls from my husband and that won’t happen today. He has another surgery scheduled for this evening at 8pm. What I hope will be the last of too many, and then he can come home.

Useable education, think about that for a minute. They teach French in the 7th grade in my area. I will only address my area in this instance as there is no consistency regarding much of anything in this country except to say that Public Education for the most part is severely lacking. I am being very kind, it actually sucks big time, and it is just a matter of is your area worse than mine. French, what is that about? How useless in the scope of things. If you are French I am not trying to insult you, we really appreciate the ambulances you donated. But you also speak English as it is the world’s business language and you are educated. Most all Europeans learn English in school, so when you are a poor Costa Rican child, and you do not know how to use your Spanish dictionary, phone book, do simple math, read, comprehend and enjoy a novel in Spanish, why in the world is your educational system wasting your time on French? All job opportunities requiring a 2nd language in Costa Rica such as Call Centers or tech support require English.

Shop class, an elective in the US, would be an extremely useful class (useable education) in rural Costa Rica. You can see where math without a calculator could come in handy in this instance and they could count their money all the way to the bank. French will get them….,what? Sorry, can’t think of a thing, because they will never learn more than a few words to start with, they can’t read Spanish sufficiently yet. They need to focus on useable, useful educational tools, asking every step of the way, “Will this get me a job or provide me the ability to make an honest living?”

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