Thursday, May 17, 2007

Week 2 coming to a close

Finally my brother-in-law has DSL in his house. Half of yesterday and all of today I've been able to work here. We're still having trouble getting my Linksys router to talk to the modem. Hopefully that'll be resolved soon.

No more internet cafes for a while. I'll miss the atmosphere a little. Those places were mainly filled with kids from 12 to 23 years old. Some of them would spend hours playing these blood and guts shoot-em up first person shooter games. Others would spend hours chatting or looking at music videos or something.

I'm kind of rambling now: There were 2 internet cafes that I went to in Paraiso. One opened up at 7:00 am but my VPN would not work there. This one was like a dungeon and was way in the back of a building behind several shops. The internet cafe itself was long and narrow about 15 yards deep and 3 yards wide. Sometimes the kid running it had some incense burning. The walls were all black.

The other internet cafe just up the street opened at sometime after 9:00 am. This one was kind of like a party. It never opens at the same time. Many days I'd show up at 9:00 and it wasn't open. Same type of clientel as the other one, but the place was more lively. The guy running that place is Jimmy. He's 22 or so and is studying to be a computer programmer. I say it was kind of like a party because he was always playing party dance music there. The advantage that this place had over the other one was that my VPN worked there.

If you want a sample of the music. Go to this url. In the bottom right corner click "Radio en vivo". Then you'll have a chance to choose one of 3 programs for streaming.

Both places charge 100 colones / hour. That's about $0.19 / hour.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

First update

We arrived here in Costa Rica last Saturday (5 days ago). Today is Thursday. I've been able to successfully work form internet cafes all this week. I started with one in Cartago that cost me about $0.58 and hour. I've found another one in Paraiso (means Paradise in English) for $0.19 an hour. I'm mostly there now. Meyling's brother is tyring to get DSL in his house for me. When that happens his house will be my office during the day.

The views here are spectacular. I never can get used to them.

We're trying to find a house to rent or to buy. During the day Meyling is out doing that. In the evenings she shows me what she's found. Currently we're staying with her folks.

So far so good. This internet cafe is about 4 or 5 miles from the house. It takes me about 20 minutes to get here. Part of the time standing aroud waiting for the bus the other part of the time on the bus. The bus trip costs about $0.27 one way.

Last Monday night, I bent my right ankle by stepping on an even part of the side walk. The thought of not being able to run for a while really scared me. This thought came to mind becasue a similar thing happend to me in Costa Rica during Feb of 2004. I couldn't run for 9 months after that one! Anyway Tuesday it was bothering me. But now its almost better. I'm going to wait until next week before I go out running again.

My kids are having a big time with their grandparents.

Amy, Meyling's folks' dog keeps barking and nipping at our dog Tica. It's getting better though. They're almost putting up with each other now.

That's pretty much it for now.

Round 1over - a little back ground

We've been in Costa Rica for 5 days now. Our flight arrived last Saturday afternoon. That night, I slept 11 hours. It seems that since around my dog's birthday (January 14th) we've been moving non stop. Around that time we started working on the house to get it ready to sell for early Spring. We spent many weekends with the help of Miguel and Sarita and their son Esteban trying to whip that place into shape. ( Let me tell you, Miguel is one of the fastest people I've ever seen turn out quality work. Man he's fast.)

During the time of getting ready, our good friend from our small group, Rhonda (a real estate broker) lent us some of her wisdom by giving us key pointers on what to do in order to get the most bang for the least effort. This helped us tremendously. She even chose the colours for the paint and we even liked her colours more than ours!

After many hard weekends, we finally got the house on the market the 1st of March. Technically, it wasn't in the MLS until that Friday or Saturday afterwards. The long of the short of it is we had a bonified offer the following Tuesday. We worked with that and finally came to an agreement with the prospective buyer. After fixing all the things that the buyer and I agreed to fix from the inspection report, the house sold April 10th.

You would think that at that point we would be on the home stretch. The week before the closing date and the next week after we had 2 garage sells. We sold sold and sold. It was crazy. Then what was left we had to get into a 10x15 foot (8 foot ceiling) storage area (that was no easy task!) or ship to Costa Rica. (We did leave a few items with family members scattered around the north Atlanta area.)

Thanks to Meyling's sister Lindsay and her husband Bryan's generocity we stayed with them a little over 3 weeks after selling our house. (Incrediblely they still love us!)

During the 3 week period after selling our house, I even kept coaching my son's soccer team (the 3 year old Strikers). It was quite a haul from Lawrenceville to Newtown park in Johns Creek! Some days I even went from Buckhead to Lawrenceville to get my boy; and then from there to Newtown Park. (That was usually 2 hours of driving!) Concerning the game of soccer, I am by far no expert. I just love my boy and wanted to be his coach. I could not believe how attached I got to the other kids on the team though! One even told me at a practice: "Coach, I love you". It was heart wrenching!

During that 3 week period, every minute of every day was consumed by something. Finally, getting to Costa Rica has brought me from crazy busy to normal. Meyling on the other hand is still pretty busy.