Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve and the refrigerator is IN!

It is Christmas Eve.

At noon today I got the best Christmas gift ever – from me to me – by way of two very hard workers, my Tico neighbors Oscar and Alonzo – and Oscar’s son, David. The rancho studio was completed last summer and now it was time to finish the dream – an outdoor kitchen and partial wall with an open view to the valley below. My workers speak only Spanish and have never before attempted many of the things I asked them to do. I’d sketch it out and describe it in words and gestures – and Oscar invariably responded with a big smile and a hearty, ‘no problema, Jan!’ So now my guests in the cabinas can walk down to this open air kitchen and cook, make coffee, look out over the city and just enjoy! And Frank and I will be enjoying it too!

So here it is! Pretty much exactly what I envisioned! And the piece de resistance will be the planter wedged above the tile backsplash against the rock retaining wall containing fresh herbs. Si!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tope is the Christmas parade - and a good chance to see Costa Rica in action! In the little town of Rivas, just a few miles outside of San Isidro de El General, Tope happened on a Sunday, scheduled for 10 a.m. but finally getting started around 1:00. First a float - festooned in aluminum foil and carrying a life sized version of the Virgin Mary along with several young girls all dressed up. Then the ox carts - pulled by matching pairs of oxen or cattle - one with Santa! The last of the parade featured horses and riders from the gaited, high stepping Costarricense Paso alongside riders on all sorts of other animals, including water buffalo!