Friday, December 26, 2008

This little sticky toed frog and his friend like my bathroom.

Erika and Humberto at the Christmas pig party.

On December 24th our employees had their annual Christmas pig roast at our farm. We hired entertainment for the event and everyone ate and drank too much.

Here is a photo of my new play stove made by Sunbeam. I never thought I would own one of these, but it is interesting. Unlike American stoves, my full size roasting pan or cookie sheet will fit by inserting the pan in length wise rather than sideways. This means that I can cook the same amount of stuff in the play stove. Who knew?

My first cooking event in the oven was potato and squash enchiladas with a lite mole sauce. This recipe from cookbook author Didi Emmons is a keeper. Make extra because there will be no leftovers. The mole sauce is fantastic. I used ripe bananas and walnuts, I never would have guessed this combination would or could be so wonderful. Wow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Rio Oro and Phil. Winter is coming to an end this month and we start our Summer,
I bought my stove with an oven and broiler. Only in the 3rd world do ovens come without broilers. Who knew? I still can not believe that a stove maker thought of this. It gets even more crazy. They also can come without an interior light, and with no glass in the door. Not a problem, I never could keep that glass clean enough to see through it anyway. My stoves were never for decoration, I am a sercious cook. The light I will miss, but it was not on the model I bought (with broiler). I was examining every detail of the stove for a half an hour at least, and, I had already been to every store in two towns when I realized that it did not say broil on every stove and every stove went to a different degree of hot on the dial. One model did not even give the temperature just low and high. How does that work for a cook using the oven? My model has 4 burners, oven and broiler, solomente, nada mas. I could not get it with auto ignition, that model did not have a broiler. Some models did not even have the storage draw in the bottom, just a fixed metal front plate. I never liked those stupid storage drawers. Ovens should be on the bottom portion and the little drawer should be above it and it should be a second oven, in my opinion. This configuration does exist already, I know, for a big price, not in Turrialba, and not in the little stove.

The broiler: Is located in the very bottom where that little storage drawer was located. The drawer does not pull out now, the door folds down, and the broiler pan slides in and out. Not one employee in any store knew this and they are still scratching their heads. I am not sure they know what a broiler is. They have no idea what they are selling, except a stove, whatever that means. It has an electric oven they said, no it doesn’t, it is gas, they were all gas. “NO, it is electric!” Really? Then why is there an ignition hole with the picture of a match here, I ask? They got the book out and are hurriedly looking through it. An electric oven would not serve my needs, I know that stoves can come like this but they are not available in Turrialba.

Like most stoves with one oven, you can not use the broiler and the oven at the same time. Okay. Then the geniuses at the store decided that you need the electric to regulate the gas. I don’t think so, that makes no sense to me at all, the knob does that... We will see.

I will light the stove with my butane BBQ lighter and use a flashlight to look in the oven. The cost for this gem was about $180.00 USD (96,040.00 colones) and it was on sale. If my electricity does not get better, the light bulb would not work anyway.

Phil wanted a different model that did not have a broiler, it had bells and whistles, a clock, light bulb in the oven, no broiler and the stupid drawer. “You don’t need a broiler”, yes I do! If I am getting a stove, I want the broiler!!! I don’t need the clock, I use the wind up timer for an alarm and I have a watch to tell what time it is.

Sometimes I wonder why everything is so hard to make happen. Will I use the broiler, I don’t know, it is literally on the floor…. But I use to broil, more than I baked until I started making our bread. We like broiled chicken, broiled steak, …… We no longer eat steak, because I don’t find cuts I can eat. I think they go to good restaurants, I give up.

So the stove is in the kitchen, still in its cardboard box. We need a part that fits in the back of the stove and connects it to the gas hose that goes to the cylinder. They don’t come with the stove and the appliance store does not sell them. They are at the hardware store my clerk, Raul, tells me. Oh, sure they are!!!!!!! Not!!! This is the 3rd #*&! world and it is little things like this that make it stay the 3rd world. No one can use the stoves without this part, so why don’t they sell them? Charge for them, overcharge even, and give one with each stove. No-no, that would make it too simple and we would not want to think of providing service to the customer, nor make life easier for anyone. So there it sits. Did I mention some assembly required? Yeah, we must put it together, like a gas grill from the Home Depot.

Phil at the Rio Oro checking out the damage caused by the wild river. We use to be able to drive across the river to the other side of our farm.

The heavy rains of November have been destructive to the rivers, roads, and crops. The potato crops on Volcan Irazu were mostly lost and the banana crop along the Atlantic coast is under water. In our area sugar cane was blown over and flattened in a random pattern. Every crop has been affected in some way by the winds and rain.

Cacao from our new rural tourismo project in Esperanza.

Cacao is a forest crop and we are going to plant it in our forest. Phil and Humberto harvested cacao (pods with seeds that become chocolate) from our trees and Humberto showed us how to eat the fruit of the cacao. It is sort of clear white and deliciously sweet. It does not taste like chocolate in any way, you spit out the dime sized seeds which are then fermented and roasted, later becoming chocolate. How cool is that? We will grow Cacao as a cash crop at the farm. CATIE is working on a new cultivar of Cacao and we will try that variety as well as what is here. I love chocolate, good chocolate, semi-sweet dark is my favorite.

Most of the world’s cacao comes from Africa, and most of that comes from Ghana and Costa de Marfil.

A new cultivar of cacao, bred for our area, will soon be available, it is suppose to have good disease resistance.

The cacao I photographed here comes from our new property that is part of our rural tourist resort in Esperanza. Cacao is a product of Central America but Costa Rica has only a small portion of the markets share.

Our small rural resort will create jobs and job opportunities for the people of Esperanza de Turrialba. We have beautiful waterfalls, mountains, trails, forests, rivers, beaches, pure water, organic food and birds of all kinds on our private 1,270 acre rainforest farm. Come, get away from it all and visit the real Costa Rica. Come meet the rural people and get a taste of the sweetest place on earth, Esperanza.

Here is a good close up of the indigenous child with the ear infection. I had cleaned his ear prior to this photo, and you can see the sores on his face. Because the child had no documentation, his parents did not make an attempt to seek help.

Food and foam mattresses were gifted by the Alcalde (Mayor). He is the tall man with glasses

Marcos is gifting a pair of used shoes to this small child who walked for 8 hours barefoot to get to our home from the reservation. Your gifts change their lives. Thank you.

Here are some of the faces that received sweatshirts that were donated by generous Americans. Thank you for your help.

This baby has a severe ear infection.

Cabecar Indigenous from the Chirripo Reservation were notified last week that they would receive emergency supplies. Today they arrived at our home and the Alcalde of Jiminez arrived with a truck load of foam mattresses, assorted food, tuna, beans, rice, soap, toothpaste and blankets. Before he came, I gave sweatshirts to the women and children. Our hefe’s wife brought used clothing and used children’s shoes. One little boy walked for 8 hours barefoot. He was delighted with his slightly used sneakers.

I held tiny babies today, none had diapers on, they have none. Cloth diapers would be a blessing.

A small child that I guess to be less than 2 years old had a terrible ear infection. I noticed the oozing crust that had built up on the now purple ear. I brought the hydrogen peroxide and asked permission to clean the ear and take a closer look, I quickly realized this child needed a real doctor. This young child was born on the reservation and his parents never documented his birth, so he has no cedula, no documentation. He is entitled to medical care but without official intervention he would most likely not receive it. The father wanted to go to Maqina Veija, someone there is practicing “natural medicine”. Whatever that means. I am all for alternative medicine and I use alternative medicine for us and for our animals, I went to nursing school, I also know my limitations. This same person treated the baby of Alexander and Sonja, with what I don’t know, but when babies and children have fevers you need to find out why. Their child had intestinal parasites so the magic potion was not going to take care of Mentos because no one asked why is my child having this reoccurring serious fever. When I picked up Mentos and his parents for the second time, again with the fever, I told Phil I think I can break this fever, but why is this child have reoccurring fevers. We need to find out why this is happening, there were no obvious signs of distress. Today I new the problem right away, but this baby has multiple problems and they were not just starting, the ear infection was critical, and sores on his skin could be signs of other problems.

Yes there are alternative treatments for parasites, but babies who have deteriorated health conditions need professional medical treatment fast. I hope that the child today received the care he needed from a medical professional.

Friends and friends I have never met donate sweatshirts, durable clothing, skirts, and educational supplies for the indigenous and rural poor. Today, because of the generosity of others I was able to hand out gifts of warmth donated by visitors to Costa Rica and Americans who live here. When you come to visit you can help the Cabecar by bringing an old suitcase filled with used clothing for children and women in small and medium sizes. The good folks at The Pura Vida Hotel, just 15 minutes from the San Jose airport, will keep your gift for us until we can get in the pick it up. If you are not going in that direction please just print out the hotel address directions from their web site and pay a cab driver to take it to Bernie and Nhi. Please put a note inside and outside with my name and information on it, Bernie will call me to say it has arrived. If you need a place to stay near the airport, they are wonderful hosts, Bernie is a Costa Rican historian and Nhi is an awesome cook. If you stay there once, you will defiantly return for another visit.

KW Cabecar Indigenous, donations, educational supplies

Today was a great day of discovery and interaction. There is so much need and so little help available for the Cabecar. I wish I could help the children and their Mothers just a little more, for they have the hardest life within the tribe. Education is always the key to a better life and it is no different for the Cabecar. We must help them get to a point of sustainability so they are not hungry and we must also help them to understand and meet their hygiene and dental needs. They received toothbrushes and toothpaste today, but I know that they don’t know what it is or what to do with it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Phil was talking about a particular “old lady” yesterday and I said, I don’t think she is that old. He says she must be 65! Hello!!! I am 60, even if she was 65, it is just not that “old”. Yikes! Sometimes it may seem as if they must be way old based on the age of their oldest children (and he had that factored in), but,…no-no. They had the first child at 13, and that child had their children while they were still children, and those children were having babies at 13…... So you end up with this giant family of multi-generations, and the “old lady” is not an “old lady”. If you do the math based on my age 13 number, it is ugly, but not uncommon. Sometimes I question, “who does this baby actually belong to?”, because the great grandmother is not yet in menopause. This unfortunate circumstance means that undereducated breeders stuck in the poverty cycle are contributing to the population in a rapid repeat fashion. A person who’s really crappy education to begin with, ended at age 13, is not a educated consumer, nor an educated voter. This is how the communist party sneaks in and looks attractive to the poor, uneducated, over-babied peasant who is sitting on the sofa (no job) with the coil springs popped through the ripped red hide of a nauga, watching a beat up, old, tiny black and white TV with a snowy screen. This is not a made-up scenario in case you are wondering. Don Tonto just moved these folks. I originally called him Don Mark (the target) when I learned he was moving them, but he said he offered, which means I should call him Don Tonto (stupid), but a nice guy. I am not insulting him, these are tags of humor that we apply to ourselves, out loud and to each other when we find ourselves in awkward or embarrassing positions caused by our own stupidity, misunderstanding or inability to say no. This move made Jed Clampet and the Beverly Hillbillies look good, it should have been a bulk trash fire just for the purpose of sanitation. I am not trying to be unkind in my portrayal of this move, in fact, I have tempered the reality. I should have taken a photo (I was frozen in disbelief mumbling, “Oh my God”, and, it was raining). Our 20’ flat bed truck had a bicycle laid flat on top of the 7’ heap of mostly unrecognizable rubble (this was the second trip) and their skinny chained dog was quivering on top of the bike, in the now pouring rain. The beat up TV was wrapped in rotten nasty foam, and then covered in nasty soiled fabric, tied like a precious party gift with dirty string, and set on the front seat with Don Tonto. The women carrying babies were to find a place on the back of the truck with the rubble. Everyone has their priorities and pecking order, we know what is important here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

These three indigenous children’s father left them and their Mother and never returned. They have been in Esperanza for a sometime now. Recently, I found where they are living and tomorrow, manana por la manana, they will be leaving for parts unknown to me. The children are wearing sweatshirts donated by the Hyde family from Miami, Florida. Thank you very much for your gifts of warmth. Your generosity has changed the lives of a number of children. It has been very cold and the indigenous children have only the shirts on their back, nothing more.

I picked up the oldest child, Isabella, and the youngest child in this photo about a week ago while I was driving through my farm. It was about 60 degrees, pouring rain and they were soaked in flimsy, thin, cotton clothing. The tiny boy had a runny nose oozing down his face and giant smile. His sister was trying to carry him across the stream and she fell half dropping him in the water, not that he could have gotten any wetter. It was hard to hold the slippery child and her rubber boots at the same time. I stopped the car, and they jumped in the front seat immediately. Surprised and alarmed, I thought what if it had been someone else instead of me, and they jumped into the wrong car. Even though they do not know me, everyone knows who we are and I suppose the children aren’t any different. They are not afraid of us, but are curious about the gringos. I drove them through the farm and to the center of town to the spot where I now took these photos. They stared and smiled all of the way, never once taking their eyes off of me. I may be the only white, blonde haired woman they have ever seen.

I have seen this little girl carrying firewood on her back that may have weighed as much as 80 pounds or more. They are the equivalent of pack mules, this is their life, I am sad say.

It is 7:40 in the morning and here are a family of 7 indigenous going through my farm and back to the reservation. Two adults, 5 children and 3 dogs. The youngest child is set atop of the pack on her Mother’s back and tied there. The father said good bye as they passed, in Spanish of course.

They have one umbrella between them and they will walk for 8 more hours to reach their home high in the mountains. It has rained for the month of November, it was in the 50’s last night. Today they have a sunny blue sky day to make their journey to 6,000 ft. I hope the weather holds for them.

Please remember these folks and the other 10,000 plus who have nothing, struggle to survive, and need your gifts of practical warmth. Please either bring used sweatshirts to Costa Rica and donate them to my indigenous, or please send a donation and I will buy used sweatshirts at the Ropa Americana for the children. We also need crayons, pencils, and educational materials for the children. Many of the children need shoes, rubber boots, sneakers and school shoes, some children have no shoes. If you are visiting our country, pack your donations in an old suitcase, put my name on the outside and inside, print out driving instructions from and you can then give the directions to a cab driver and send your donations in that cab to the Pura Vida Hotel just 15 minutes from the airport. It is a small cab fee for you and the children appreciate your gift.

If you need a place to stay while coming or going, please stay at the Pura Vida Hotel, you can thank me later for this recommendation. The food is fantastic, Bernie is a historical guru, and Nhi is the best chef in Costa Rica. After one stay, you will return to them repeatedly, everyone does. They are gracious hosts and the best, most generous people. Without your help and their help, we would not be able to help the indigenous as we do. It is a combined effort of friends helping friends. Thank you for joining our team effort. Together we can make great strides forward in bringing the Cabecar Indigenous to sustainability.

If you wish to send a check, please mail it to:

Finca Quijote de Esperanza
Ginnee Hancock
Apdo 178-7150
Turrialba, Costa Rica

I will send you photos of the purchases and post photos of the children.

Thank you for your support and help. THANK YOU!!!

If you wish to know more about the indigenous there are many articles posted here on my blog. Please contact me at for more info regarding donations. If I do not contact you quickly it is because we do not have internet access, we live off the grid at our farm that borders the Cabecar reservation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rural tourism gives the visitor a look at the real Costa Rica and it’s natural resources. We are working on our rural tourist project here in Esperanza. Finca Quijote is working with the community to create opportunities for the small town and it’s residents of 44 people, while giving you the opportunity to experience their lifestyle at it’s best.

On our 1,270 acre sustainable organic farm with waterfalls and protected primary forest, our guests will be able to experience the best of Costa Rica. Mountains, streams, natural swimming pools in the river and at the waterfalls, cows, horses, chickens, morpho butterflies and beautiful birds are all part of our daily life.

Our farm is the entrance to the Cabecar Indigenous Reservation and these gentle people traverse with their families through our farm. When you come to visit please help us to help them by bringing gifts of used sweatshirts and raingear, or toothpaste, toothbrushes, crayons, pencils and educational materials such as simple Spanish English dictionaries.

Just this morning a family with two small children were walking back up the mountain with their 3 skinny dogs. The little boy had his favorite little dog in his arms to protect it from our dogs. He obviously loved this dog very much as it was tightly held to his face and chest. It was raining, 64 degrees here at our elevation, and they had only thin short sleeve shirts, no raingear, no warmth. They will travel to about 6,000 feet today, an 8 hour walk through rivers and in the rain, it will become progressively colder as they climb the mountain. They carried no backpacks as they usually do, no food, no clothing. Often they only own what they are wearing.

Visiting rural Costa Rica gives you an affordable vacation opportunity to see the lives of these folks as they live them. If you are fit enough we can arrange for an overnight (2 night) visit to the reservation (hiking is the only way in) and you can participate in a community service project. Few Costa Ricans have ever seen an indigenous person which will make your visit even more special and meaningful.

We have 3 casitas that we are preparing for rental guest housing at this time. We also offer homestays with local Costa Rican families in Esperanza. This enterprise helps add to their income and give the women of the house a chance to participate. Your visit and stay will help raise the educational level of their children as well.

It is important to bring your knowledge and resources, which provide jobs to the rural people. We need rural people to stay in their rural areas, protect the forest and it’s animal inhabitants, while helping them to make a living. They have much rural knowledge and history of the land to share with us.

We hope that you will join Finca Quijote and the people of Esperanza for the most memorable visit of your life.

Visitors have said:
“This place is like going to another country.”
“This visit was the best part of our whole vacation.”

Finca Quijote serves healthy organic vegetables and flowers freshly picked from their gardens. Turmeric, ginger, romain, bok choy, tomatoes, chayamansa, frijoles, string beans, yuca and other root vegetables, pumpkins, plantains, and bananas are garden staples. A wide assortment of fresh exotic fruits are also grown.

Come taste the rural culture that is Esperanza de Turrialba and Finca Quijote.

We bought several little houses that we will renovate into a rural tourism project for our little town of Esperanza.

This sweet chicken, who lays white eggs, has made a home in a paint tray left behind by the old owner. When you get too close she says, “Ohhh no”.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Poverty with dignity, this home has no electricity nor running water, it is immaculately cared for by the woman who lives here. I was parked across the street and was moved to photograph her home. Amazingly, there are sidewalks. I love how she fashioned an elevated portico at the front door.
Who wants to be a part of an intentional, sustainable, organic community? Hit the comment button at the bottom of tis post and tell me what you want to see for your community.

We want to continue towards the goal of an intentional community. A small community of people who bring many skills to the table while protecting the forest and elevating educational opportunities for the local children.

The ability to have, grow, and make most everything you need, is here. Technology can be had via a transceiver satellite. I visited a transceiver that is installed in our area this past weekend and I am impressed sufficiently to purchase my own installation. This will solve many of my communications problems (and that of the intentional community) and give us SKYPE for a phone line.

Felipe was reading Bill Mollison again last night, from his book Permaculture A Designers’ Manual. If you have not read the book, you should, there is wisdom and knowledge within the covers of this book that everyone should indulge in.

An intentional community is or should be a community designed to be sustainable. Unlike the planned communities of our past. I grew up when planned communities were the buzz words. I remember the “all electric house of the future”. None of these communities were sustainable but I suppose they were part of the evolution. Now, some of us know better, and we want a better quality of life for today, the future and for others as well as ourselves.

Quality of life means different things for different people. Where is your head? What does quality of life mean to you?

Do you look at things a bit differently today because of the economic collapse, mortgage failures, and the slumping stock market? Has the economy affected your life, or your job?

What is real wealth? The Extremest, Hal O’Boyle, has some interesting thoughts on real wealth. What do you think real wealth is? Or, what is it to you? What Hal thinks or what I think, really does not matter much in your world, although your personal world impacts our world and planet. Perhaps not always in a positive way, but maybe you did not realize that in the past. Our life has certainly evolved to where we are today.

Last night I commented to Felipe that our house was energy efficient. We were eating dinner by candlelight while wearing heavy sweat suits and Felipe was wearing his knit wooly skull cap, it was about 60 degrees or less and wet. He laughed and said our house was energy deficient, the truth is that it is energy frugal.

We have I think about 21 giant window openings with no glass, just screen. We like fresh air, every now and then it is briskly fresh. We make some electricity and plan to make more with a new pelton and generator. Just because you have power does not mean that you need to light yourself up like a Christmas tree. We use less than we make. I have electric candles that I bought many years ago at a 70% off after Christmas sale. My obsessive compulsive self had purchased at least of case of these on several occasions as they were a great bargain. I never used them so they were still boxed up waiting for this time in my life. Good thing I have them now, because they use almost no electricity and I have them placed about the house. Now the wind can not blow out my flame and I only use the wax candle at our romantic dinners every night. I always liked living with night lights and now we do, because we can.

Basically, we live in the non-electric house. I use the hand potato masher, pressure cooker instead of crock pot, methane, and propane for fuel. We need to work on the hot water however. I am cooking water right now so that I can wash my hair. There is no solar hot water system that would give us hot water this week. We are in the back wash of a cold front, or so they say. I can use the methane to heat abundant hot water when I need it. We just need to redirect a few things so it is easy to do. Having a plan is really important but first you must realize the need and sometimes that takes time. I need hot water now, I realize that more than ever at this moment. See how that works?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The clouds are so beautiful as they fall over the mountains.

The new baby horse and his Mom.

Waterfalls on the farm

One of our wild boa's.

The farm view on a really clear morning, the Turrialba volcano is in the distance.

The farm and our home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My daughter Erika is engaged to a really nice Costa Rican man. Here is the happy couple, Humberto and Erika. We look forward to a fun wedding this coming year. We also look forward to Humberto being a part of our family.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Everywhere I look I see need, and you can help me to help them.

The Cabecar, Costa Rica’s most primitive Indigenous group live on the Chirripo Reservation, part of which borders my farm. They have nothing, and they ask for nothing. It breaks my heart to see their children pass my house and come into my life because I can not look away.

This family came to us on their way down, an 8 hour walk from their home, and today they are returning to the reservation. They picked coffee this week to earn a little money. They just left my house, it is noon and they will walk up to 6,000 foot elevation, to their village, in the rain. It will take 8 hours which puts them there about 8 this evening, in the pitch black, cold dark. So dark, with no light pollution, that I can not see my own hand.

Please look at this typical Cabecar family. The Mother is a beautiful young girl herself, with big dimples and the most beautiful skin. She has the blue colored basket. Do you see the young child, just a baby himself, carrying the other baby tied to his body and head. They are eating a frozen iced fruit treat that Dona Carmen, a local woman makes.

I asked permission to take these photos and the father said yes. I took his photo first and when I showed him his picture he could not believe it was him. He had never seen himself before. He burst out laughing with his hand across his mouth. Really, was this really him? Yes it was.

The Cabecar are tiny people. A medium shirt fits the largest man. My hands (I have large hands for a woman) could fit around this woman’s waist, and she has had at least 5 children that survived child birth. Today I gave them my last 3 sweatshirts.

Please collect sweatshirts for them, it is cold at 6,000 ft. There are between 10,000 and 14,000 people living on the reservation. I only see the young ones as the others are not capable of making the journey. The girls and woman need skirts, they love skirts. They all need rain gear, sweatshirts, back packs, and tote bags.

I need small clothes for the children. Look at these little faces, these are Costa Rica’s first people. They were here before Columbus, before the Spanish, and their life has been downhill ever since as they fled to the high country to avoid extinction. The Cabecar are direct descendants of the Guayabo people. You can visit the Guayabo National Park in Turrialba to learn more about their historic life.

They are human beings, sweet, passive people, who will drucken rather than confront you. I reach out to them every chance I get. I want to know where they came from, why they are here, and I want them to know that I am their friend, to whom they can come for help. The difficulty of their life breaks my heart.

As American’s we are so concerned about our children’s childhoods. We want the best for our children. I have a bow tie sitting on my desk that I made for my son to wear when he was a very little boy. And now I see these little elfin children and I don’t even have enough shirts to keep them warm. As many a 25 people will sleep laying on the reeds of a huts floor, huddled together for warmth. They have the clothing on their backs and maybe one other outfit. Look at them, this is their life, and I am the one who is having difficulty with it.

Okay, I know I must let them be Indigenous, but we must also allow them to be proud of their heritage. Why should they be cold, sick, live with internal parasites, have dysentery, fever and become delusional? They should not, and this is where we can help. When the parents are picking coffee the oldest child is babysitting the other children on the side of the road. (It takes me 40 minutes to drive this distance, they walk) Why can’t the children be at the local school receiving early or primary education? Imagine what all of the children could learn from this relationship, tolerance, understanding, and Cabecar history. We can do this, Steven’s Mom cares for her young child, it would be wonderful if we could find a little money to pay her and start a preschool program. What would this cost? No more than $50.00 a week including lunch and breakfast, all of the children in the village could go. I am sure that Angie would help after school and we could find a few dollars for this intelligent young woman in our little budget. How many children are we talking about? It would vary from about 8 to as many as 20 or more depending on how many Indigenous were here that week. Wow, we could change a lot of lives for less than $7.00 a day. Imagine, these children could enter school knowing how to read. That is a big deal as many of their parents can only make their thumb print. Can you help me to make this come true? Will you commit to help finance this program?

Please facilitate me, they need crayons, pencils, skirts, and sweatshirts, size medium and smaller. They need children’s clothes, practical wash and wear clothing. Last week there was a young girl half naked in her rags, and my husband was deeply disturbed. We should all be deeply disturbed, as human being we have an obligation to care for these poor and beautiful people, Costa Rica’s first people. If you are coming to Costa Rica or know someone who is, please send an old suitcase of clothing and supplies for the Cabecar. You can put the suitcase in a cab and for a small amount of money a cab driver will deliver the gift to the Pura Vida Hotel just 15 minutes from the airport. Please go to their website and print out the directions and phone number for the cab driver. Please put my name on the suitcase and Bernie will call me for a pickup. I will then ask the Mission to pickup the gift when they are in San Jose and bring it to us . Thank you.

People often ask me is we can meet them at the airport. It is simply not possible. We live 3 hours from San Jose and I go near there maybe once a year, by bus, if I have to. Logistically it does not work for us not to mention the $40.00 in gas added to a day’s journey, if your plane arrives on time. I hope you understand. We are farmers, and our 1,270 acres requires every minute of every day.

Yesterday and today we are building gabbions, boxes of rocks in steel cages, to keep the flooded streams from washing away the road that is currently in peril. The men will spend the rest of the day starting to plant 4,000 trees, or at least relocating them to the nursery. I rarely get a day off and if I do, we only get as far as Turrialba to do our banking and shopping. Felipe treats me to a dinner date while we are in town. The big city (San Jose) is not for me. Sorry, I just can not cross the mountain range and drive there. This is where we need to be. As you can see from my posts, we have important work to do.

I need your help!!! The indigenous children need clothing. Small sizes and sweatshirt. I gave my last 3 sweatshirts to this family with 5 children. They left my farm and walked in the rain to 6,000 feet elevation for 8 hours. They are cold, and this is all they own.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bubba is a laid back water dog who seizes every opportunity to lay in a steam, puddle, mud, or roll in something disgusting. His mother is Perla, the predictable rottweiler, (I predict she will bite you), her father is Ralph, a neighboring retriever who had a thing for Perla. He was probably a nice guy, we never really liked him. We did not dislike him, we just did not like him. Fortunately for all concerned, Bubba does not have her mother’s fierceness and is a very sweet, funny guy. He is also smart and knows how to open doors, and tear into the dog food bag at will. Last night he ate the crotch out of a perfectly good pair of my underwear. What a guy!

The volcano is peaking out above the clouds. This photo is looking down from the horse pasture. Our various buildings are in this photo. Lots of roofing is showing, we wish it were not so visible but you must have dry space in the rainforest or you will begin to mold. Perhaps when all of the roofing is painted the same color green the buildings will drucken.