Friday, 13 December 2013


This is what I got use to….

The sidewalks:

and short cuts through the woods...

Daily exercise…

Cooking with friends while working on a second language…. best way to study.

A great job…

with a great view… 

Great coffee…

and so many great friends.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Leaving Monteverde

They say that you attract people into your life that are similar to you. I can only hope that is true. When Douglas and I first came to the Cloud Forest School we were introduced to three other international families at the school. These three families became our friends, our support group and a great source of information and inspiration.

Ironically all four of our families started blogs about our experiences in Costa Rica. It seems we all wanted to share what we have done and what we have learned along the way.

The first family I was introduced to before we arrived in Monteverde. They came to Monteverde a year before the rest of us and were happy to share their knowledge and their experience in order to help and prepare those of us who were thinking about or already planning our visits. They have been an amazing help to all of the international families and to the school (and that does not even touch on the charitable work they have both done in their own lives which is plentiful). They have taught me the importance of a comfortable home, this is our sanctuary. They have also exposed me to a whole new level of 'giving' as I'm sure there were very few minutes in their day that were not devoted to helping others.

The second family became our neighbours as well as our friends. They are so giving that before they even came to Costa Rica they were thinking ahead to the people they would meet along the way and brought maple candy to share!! This is the family we shared the most with (not just because of the candy). They were the only other Canadian family in our group and the only other family staying for just 6 months.  They helped us create a sense of normalcy in this otherwise completely foreign experience. We enjoyed dinners and game nights together and theirs was the one phone number I committed to memory  These are the people I could ask for a cup of sugar and would be happy to share my home baked cookies with. Without realizing it they taught me to question, they showed what it looks like to be calm and level headed and keep a smile on your face in situations that would have surely driven me to react quite differently.  Even now in our last week of travels they are looking out for us as they want us to touch base before we leave to make sure our journey goes smoothly and that we make it to the airport safely.

The last family have decided to extend their time in Monteverde and are starting a business to reach out and help other families coming to Monteverde (or other areas of Costa Rica).  They will be here to pass along all that we have learned and help make this journey an amazing experience for those that follow in our footsteps. They have reminded me about the importance of getting our priorities straight, how to successfully support each other as friends, as spouses and as a family and how to see things through a different lens.

I can also add that all three of these families have become involved in the community and volunteered their time and/or their skills with the school, with their families and with the community. They are all hero's and amazing roll models for us all, but most importantly for their own children who will be our future.

This in no way completely describes who these people are or how much they have meant to me but I could not end my blog without saying that they have been a significant part of my life for the last six months and it has meant a great deal to me.

If this is what I am attracting into my life then I consider myself successful. I could not have asked for better friends to share this time with.  Thank you.

Rainy season is coming to an end

There are two seasons in Costa Rica, the rainy season and the dry season. 

The rainy season is finally coming to an end but not before it has done it's fair share of damage…

Clothes left stagnant too long have moulded.

Shoes that got too wet one too many times… moulded. 

Books, papers, food… all moulded.

There were a few weeks that the roads were almost un-navigatable. They were so wet and muddy that I carried a change of clothing in the event that I might slip and fall and be covered in mud!

Now they are dry and the road construction has started. It is time to repair all of the damage caused by the rain.

Friday, 6 December 2013


Skate park in Tamarindo

These tracks in the sand are from snails… that clearly lack direction.

The hotel was perfect. Not far from the beach, right across from the skate park and beside a grocery store. What more could you want.

A cactus taking root on a roof!

Cows wandering in the streets… what is this India?

Best sushi I have had in six months!

A bit of fun in the stores…

and back to the beach.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Un dia en la finca

Ayer los otros expatríados de la escuela y yo caminamos a San Luis a La Finca La Querencia. Tomamos el sendero de caballos que fue a veces un poco difícil a caminar.

Eso es un finca muy bonito donde todo fue construir para Roberto y Tim. Ellos son muy talentosos!

This is a community supported agricultural farm. I was getting my vegetables delivered from here.

The farm is completely off grid, completely self sustaining….

After milking the cows, the manure is used to make methane gas which is used in all of the kitchens except one. Apparently methane gas is lighter than air so it is easy to get the gas to locations higher than the storage container but much more difficult to get it to a location that is downhill. I guess the lesson here is don't build your house downhill from the gas supply.

The manure is also used to feed these plants in the ponds. It is the worlds smallest flower, called duckweed. The duckweed is then used to feed the fish in the pond (Tilapia). Roberto tells us that this plant grows so fast that it is too much for the fish and also gets used to create food for the other animals.

The milk from the cows is sold to the local cheese factory for income and any extra is used to make yogurt which was provided as part of our deliveries, or used for their own consumption.

As you can see the garden and greenhouse are plentiful!

They have pigs and chickens..

Coffee plants have been started but will take some time to mature.

The hydro is created from water. The pressure from the water coming off the mountain is plenty to provide power to the three families living on the property and the communal area. Extra power is stored in batteries which will provide 24 hours of power should they need it.

Water is heated on the roofs.

There are three families living on the property and it is also being set up to host students. What a great opportunity they will have…
This is one of the common areas. A wood fired oven, a gazebo and fire pit for cooking.

And last but certainly not least the main house on the property….amazing!!!

As much of the living space was outside as was inside.

Cada habitacion tiene una vista increible. Mi favorito esta el bano.

Después que todos tuvimos un almuerzo increíble.