Friday, February 18, 2011

Close to Home!

Yesterday Don went and took pictures of the grade school that is just down the road in Berlin. The lady who cleans there is a friend of Danilo and Maria's and so he was able to get inside and show the adorable artwork on the walls, the bathrooms with the sinks outside and the class room. I forget how many class rooms there are, maybe 5 or 6 and and office where the principle and a secretary spend their time.

Rose, who cleans the school also has the Soda (Cafe/Store) at Maria and Danilo's home and is a very good friend of theirs.

Don's glasses bit the dust and he had to get an eye exam here for new glasses! Would you believe that all his complaining about not being able to see with his glasses was verified by Gladys, the Eye Doctor. His prescription was located improperly on his glasses making it impossible to see with both of his eyes at one time! Another young lady Doctor that we have been very impressed with and Don looks forward to having his new glasses in a few days and being able to see!

Today we rode to San Ramon @ 7:30 a.m. with Diego, Maribel and their neighbor, Marie! People share rides up and down the hill because the bus only runs 3 or 4 times a day and not always at a convenient time. We are meeting Jose, our Realtor friend who just spent time in the hospital here. He and his wife, Joanna, are meeting us for lunch. The rest of the day we will spend in the Cafe writing our Blog... and exchanging some more money into Colones at the bank. Also we will spend part of the day wandering around San Ramon trying to become acquainted with what is and is not available here. Yesterday, while doing some checking, we discovered a little shop that had foam for upholstery work and upholstery fabric! We have also located a number of fabric stores but cotton is not the norm and the prices are about $4.00 for a meter which is a little more than a yard. We are finding that many things are more expensive than 5 years ago. We looked at a lot of appliances checking on prices and want to get a wood cook stove for our kitchen like the one that Maria uses. Hers is located in a separate room with her washer and dryer but we think we want ours in the kitchen. It would take the chill off in the morning and cut down on our gas and electric expenses.
Still working on the electric and water situation. Looks like we are now about to ask ICE, the electric company, to check out our property and see what our options are. We are probably going to put in a well and may have our Tico friend, Agusto, oversee the project while we are back in the states.

We received a bit of bad news the other evening. When Diago and Maribel arrived home from work their home had been robbed. Maribel's beautiful and quite expensive diamond ring and 5 other rings were stolen along with some perfume and clothing. They left the t.v. and other electronics that were in the home. Very sad for all!

Danilo and Mario's home is so comfortable and Maria is constantly cooking and sweeping and mopping and just keeping everything nice. We now know the routine and after she makes us breakfast, as soon as we get up, we eat and clean up the dishes and then start sweeping the floor. Next, is laundry which is washed in a semi automatic washer. That means that the clothes are agitated in soapy water and then you put the clothes into the sink and rinse them in cold water. Next you put them in the other side of the machine that spins them so you can put them out on the clothes line to dry. Maria does a lot of laundry and very few days go by without clothes hanging on the line. I'm getting real good at rinsing out the suds!!

Ticos are very clean. They take wonderful care of their autos and are constantly cleaning, repairing and painting them. It's not uncommon for Giovanni, their 23 year old son who lives with them and goes to school, to be up at 6:00 and out cleaning a vehicle. They have a motorcycle, 4 wheeler, truck and an auto that they all share, except for Tony who has his own car. They even share with their friends. They have an amazing system of shifting people and vehicles around that is a mystery to us.

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