Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Water for Talapia!

Sunday we took a ride to our neighbor, Meli's, house to deliver a chain we had purchased to lock up her gate.  Meli and Jim live at the bottom of the road that circles our property.  It's a big circle!!
Here you can see the work that has been done on the road which was very much in need of repair.  This part of the road is below where we need to travel to reach our casa or our coffee. The trip to Meli's house, although still not smooth or easy, was much improved over our previous visits.

There is still much work to be done and they haven't even started on the public road down to our house or the main road.  We take an optomistic wait and see attitude on most things here and it seems to keep us somewhat sane dealing with the "poco poco" progress of events.  Today Don and Roberto are in San Ramon applying for permits to allow us to improve our private road and bring electricity to our casa once it is available on the public road.  I am home waiting for friends, Steve and Jennifer, to come for a visit and doing the ever mounting paperwork.  Don has returned and, of course, is missing one important piece of paper that we didn't know we needed!  So goes life in CR!

Here the road has been  widened in front of their casa and is great for parking our "New Old" vehicle which is still leaking some oil and needs a bit of TLC.

When we arrived at Meli's house she was having problems with her water.  Not an uncommon occurance here in Costa Rica.  We are very fortunate to have municipal water.  Anyway, we offered to help and headed to the woods.  There I am heading to the problem that we hope we can fix.

As you can see there are water line just coming down the hill resting on whatever is available.  The blue is the water line and we follow it up the hill through the dense growth until we reach the part of the trail where we need to climb a steep cliff with nothing to grab except the root you can see in the photo below.
Being the sensible one of the group I decided to remain at the bottom of this "cliff" in case rescue was needed.  Believe me the photo does not do justice to the difficulty of climbing this part of the slope.

While Don and Meli were risking their lives to bring water to the much loved Talapia, I enjoyed the beautiful pool full of floating leaves and the other incredible scenes all around me!

They survived the trip up and back, beat on the pipes, shook them and with hope in our hearts we headed back to Meli's house and the Talipia ponds which are in constant need of running water. The fish had water, however, just as we were leaving the hose for watering Meli's flowers stopped running!! Meli headed back up the hill and we headed home!

 Returning to Meli's we played a bit more with the water pipes and caught 3 Talapia for us to take home for dinner!  YUM, YUM!
With a little help from "Flat Mistaya" Don cleaned the wonderful Talapia which we enjoyed for dinner.

Thank you Meli for an adventure and a wonderful meal!!  Well friends and family that's it for adventures in Costa Rica today, however, I want to leave you with this beautiful scene I viewed in the middle of the night of a full moon and a spectacular view from my livingroom window! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Flat Mistaya" Comes to Visit!

While visiting our Daughter and her family in CO our Granddaughter, Mistaya, sent "Flat Mistaya" to Sharon to learn about Costa Rica.  "Flat Mistaya" has gone with me since I returned and we are sharing our Costa Rica experience with her.
Before we share what we've been doing with "Flat Mistaya", we want to introduce you to our "New Old" vehicle that has been so long in coming.  She is a 1995 Hyundai Galloper with 4 wheel drive, diesel engine, Turbo and "all the extra's."  She seats 7 and, so far, has not found the road she cannot navigate!

Although not glamorous, she is in pretty good shape for her age and getting all the necessary equipment to the finca is now possible. 
Speaking of equipment for the finca, here "Flat Mistaya "  is hitching a ride with Don on the Bomba that is used to spray the coffee.  Don and Roberto have been spraying the weeds since I returned home from CO and even before.  That process is completed until the rainy season starts and we will have to spray for fungus.   Now we are pruning, picking berries that have been left behind and cleaning up all the debris that has collected over the years.  There is no shortage of work and the 3 of us just plug along.

Can you see "Flat Mistaya" on the Bomba?
These are the new "steps" up to the cistern where our water is located.

This is the water faucet where Don and Roberto fill the Bomba's to create the right mix for spraying. You will notice that Sharon doesn't seem to be doing any spraying!   Well.....those Bombas full of water are very heavy and there are many other things for me to do.

"Flat Mistaya" is checking out the inside of the old cistern.  At one time we were going to recement it but have decided not to--at the moment.

"Flat Mistaya" met our Employee, Roberto, and is hitching a ride.

This is the Cana Plant which is used for windbreak and natural fencing in the coffee fields.
"Flat Mistaya" is hiding in the Cana leaves can you find her!

It wouldn't be a day at the finca without checking out the bananas. They are looking good! Not ready for picking but filling out.

"Flat Mistaya" said she really liked bananas!  She loved sitting there and didn't want to get down! Can't blame her we love bananas too!
Here we are introducing "Flat Mistaya" to our Mango tree. Unfortunately, they are just in the flowering stage so we have no fruit to see or eat.  From June on is Mango season and I can hardly wait!  

When Don was here  2/3 years ago he planted 3 mango trees in among our coffee plants and this is one of them.  They are all about the same size and are covered in booms!  We have never seen a Mango on a tree and are looking forward to seeing how well our trees produce!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Weeks in Denver!

As many of you may know I, Sharon, have just spent 2 weeks in Denver with our daughter, Kristin, and her husband, Paul, helping with our new granddaughter, Madeline Grace.  The precious little bundle arrived January 6th at about 5:30 p.m. at 8# and 21".  She's perfect, no bias here, and Mother and daughter are doing well.

This post is light on pictures, sorry, but we still have lots to share.  My trip went well and I returned with a number of items we were craving--peanut butter, chocolate, etc., and a few things for friends.  Shopping was a treat and both Kristin and I had a great time on New Year's Day at the local Thrift Store's 1/2 price sale!  Madeline was very happy inside so Kristin and I were successful getting all the items on our list while we waited for her birth!

While I was gone things really happened here!  Don bought our "New Old" vehicle and has had a window and a minor oil leak in the diesel somewhere repaired!  The vehicle is a  "95 Hyundai Galloper, standard, diesel, 4 wheel drive. 7 passenger, silver and blue and, although not glamorous by any stretch,  the interior is in good condition for the age and we are thrilled to have wheels!
Since the arrival of our "New Old" vehicle, Don has had a few scary moments with the local fog that resembles pea soup at times.  It seems fog lights are soon to be added to our "New Old" vehicle.

Don and Roberto were very busy in my absence and both ended up with minor injuries!!  Roberto fell off an edge while raking and got some nasty bruises and a sore ankle.  Don ended up with cut up hands and one hand that is quite swollen after a slight mishap! Paul and Kristin sent home a number of gloves as a Christmas gift for Don!  Hopefully these small incidents will make us all a little more careful working in the Coffee fields that are full of hills and things to trip over not to mention the critters Mother Nature provides.  In spite of their injuries, Roberto and Don pulled many weeds and vines and managed to do some much needed spraying of the coffee plants.  Remember the weeds??  They have been gathered and burned but there are always more to tackle and eliminate!  The hillsides around our homesite look great and I promise photos on the next blog.  So much of the area around the Coffee plants is overgrown and the Cana Plants that are used for natural fencing and wind break are all in need of cutting back.  Plenty of work for all of us and once I'm done catching up here, I'll be pitching in.

We have been told that work has started on the roads near our property!  There are rumors that the road to our property is possibly going to be improved as well.  Believe me, it can use a little improvement!

As for electricity, we are hopeful that things are moving forward, although we have seen no activity in that area.  ICE has been out to check our property and advised us that they are willing and able to give us electricity, however, there are some hoops we need to jump through including hiring an authorized electrician to do the work.  Hopefully, our next post will have something more definite to report.

Tomorrow will be our first private Spanish lesson.  Jorge, the mechanic who has helped us with our  vehicle, has a sweet wife named Gretel who teaches Spanish and has agreed to take us on as students.  She must really enjoy a challenge, because we seem to be pretty slow at picking up the language here!!  We are hopeful, however, and look forward to working with her.

There is probably lots more to report but my brain feels empty at the moment so I will end here until next time!