the LCD watch

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Apparently this is a very dangerous spider that was inside one of our boots.....

3-toed sloth

Three-toed sloths are about the size of a small dog, with the head and body having a combined length of around 60 centimeters, and the animal having a weight of 3.5-4.5 kg (or between 7 and 10 lbs). Unlike the two-toed sloths, they also have a short (6-7 cm) tail, and they have three clawed toes on all four of their limbs. Three-toed sloths are sporadically active both day and night, typically for about 10-11 hours out of every 24.

They feed almost exclusively on leaves.They move between different trees up to four times a day, although they prefer to keep to a particular type of tree, which varies between individuals, perhaps as a means of allowing multiple sloths to occupy overlapping home ranges without competing with each other.
The three-toed sloth, unlike most other mammals, does not maintain a constant body temperature, being closer to a reptile in this respect. Because its body temperature goes down as the air temperature goes down, the three-toed sloth is only able to live in humid and warm environments.
Females give birth a single young after a period of around six months. They are weaned at about one month of age, but remain with the mother for several further months.

Visiting the communities

While visiting the communities, we used 4x4, crossed bridges like this, and even removed a boulder.
Almost this entire town (men & ladies) was working to repair the road; this has brought about 4 months worth of work. The pay is good and they even pay the ladies the same as the men. This has been a hugs blessing in such difficult financial times in Costa Rica.
We couldn't resist giving them a little help to move this boulder which Jose says was probably 200-250kg.

This little guy, Andy, is one of the kids we sponsor along with his twin Eddy. The towns are all so close that we often see the twins in each town we pass as everyone seems to take care of them. ;)

Flower arrangement

Just couldn't resist showing you this beautiful bouquet that Nelsie, who is Heiner's (the new pastor in Jicotea) wife made for me to welcome me back to Jicotea. The entire thing is made from plants. Even the base is the inside of a tree that already has holes in it that are the perfect size for the stems to fit in.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Costa Rica Kid`s School Sponsorship Program

In mid July, we visited over 350 of the children that we sponsor in January in the Northside`s Costa Rica KIDS Sponsorshgip Program (over 430 kids are sponsored in the entire program). Jose, Fabiana, Ivania and myself visited 15 of the 19 communities where these children live in just over 1 week. We were also joined sometimes by Pastor Mauricio & Marjorie.

We noticed many changes in these communities from when we visited them the first time in January 2007. There were many changes in the families, fathers who were staying home with their families, situtations of abuse that have been dealt with, mothers who now have work fixing the roads in their own towns (wages that a man would make), schools that have been painted and have vegetable gardens to provide food for the school. Also children who were just getting by in school are now passing and even excelling in their classes. Most of the children who didn`t pass last year and so did not qualify for support are now passing and will join the program again in January.

We are currently raising the funds to sponsor these children back in Canada, the cost is only $70 per child. We are working hard here to find the best prices possible to make our dollars stretch as far as they can go. Unforutnately in Costa Rica right now there are extreme financial hardships especially for the poorest of families. Rice prices have gone up considerably and gas prices have sky-rocketed. This doesn`t just affect the use of their cars but also the price of bus fare has gone up as a reflection of the increase gas and diesel costs and is the way most people get to work. Also the general costs of food have gone up as the trucks transporting goods are having to pay more for transport which gets translated into higher food prices. The country is actually in a critical state financially.

We have a few more communities to visit in the Limon area still but all seems to be coming together well for next year.

Father's Day Party........

well actually it was a farse, it was actually a birthday party for Cynthia but she thought she was planning a father's day party so she sent me to buy prizes for games and she was going to make a Happy father`s day banner which luckily Josiah and I were able to talk her out of. But we continued the Father`s Day theme for over two hours playing games and giving away special gifts to the Dads. Then finally we were able to surprise her. cute

Here's a few recent pictures of Joel, Josiah & Cynthia's little guy. He can speak a little of three languages English, Spanish and Dit'sai the local indigenous language that Noe and Rolias speak.

Pork..the other white meat

I'm finally going to catch up on my blog. These photos are from June 12th when I first went to visit Jicotea. Josiah purchased a pig from the neighbor. I hadn't realized it would be such an affair.

In fact as soon as the fire got going neighbors started arriving to see what was going on...I found out later they all new what was going on but it's part of the process and everyone shares when they roast a pig so this was their time to collect.

First the pig is brought over on a rope being bribed by bits of food on the way. Once it arrives the slaughter itself is very quick (I promise I left out all the gory pictures) and then begins the bath in hot water in which all the hair is removed followed by lemons being rubbed all over which makes the skin all white and clean (last picture). Once that is done they begin the cooking by fire.

Friday, June 06, 2008

9 months later

...has nothing to do with being pregnant!!!

Here I am back in Costa Rica 9 months later. I arrived on Tuesday at 8.47pm and have been staying with Jose and Fabi. I plan to move on Sunday into Nathan & Kathy`s place (Missionaries from the States who are home on Furlow till September).

It`s been great catching up with everyone but also a little annoying trying to recall some of my Spanish. But thanks to letters & phone calls from Costa Rica & practising with Sheryl Sanderson over the last few months, I haven`t lost it all but I just to practise to gain confidence again.

Josiah and Cynthia also came from Jicotea to say hi on Wednesday. Joel has grown so much and I`ll post some pics the next time I see him (seems I`m out of practise taking all my blog photos as well). They are now the directors of the Mission`s Council here in Costa Rica so I will be working under them along with Jose and Fabi. They have tons of great ideas so I can`t wait to see what is next.

I`m working on hooking up my cell phone still but I am very happy to say that I bought a car today. It just arrived on a barge straight from the States. This is good news here because it means it hasn`t been driven on roads in Costa Rica yet. Roads here tend to be very hard on the suspension due to the Huge Potholes that are unmarked and pop out of nowhere. You have to see it to beleive it!! Ask anyone whose been here & all the tourist books talk about it.

Anyway, it`s a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick (the same as I had before but bigger with 4 doors instead of 2) with only 85,000 kms. Cars here are almost double the price as what you would pay in Canada because the importers have to pay a tax (an additional 50 % of the value) so in order to make any profit for importing, the prices are nearly double here. It has air-conditioning which of course is for the visitors from Canada & the States but I guess I can suffer with it. :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Last few days In Costa Rica

Aug 1/07
Here is a bag and box (of course minus the computer) that are staying with Jose and Faby and awaiting my return with the Northside team in January. YEAH...Can't hardly wait!
Cuz wow, is it ever hard to say goodbye. I kept hearing, "well then just don't leave". I will always have a huge place in my heart for all the special people that I now call family.

I will write more of a summary of my trip but here are a few pictures of my last few days in Cartago & Jicotea.

Cynthia & Joel
Ana Maia Steven & Joel
Faby, Jose & I
(Cartago-out for dinner on my last night with)

Jose's mom & dad (Manuel & Miriam)

My little buddy Joel- don't get to big while I'm gone


JULY 25/07-posted in Sept.

Well, once again I was duped. I came home from a Mission's Meeting in Cartago to find Mauricio's car in the driveway. This was strange as he had been at the Meeting as well which is 2 hours from our place and over an hour in the other direction from his house. Didn't click...

Philip was there waiting for Jose and Fabi to arrive as they were driving me home and then heading out to Philip's; so that wasn't to strange BUT still didn't click...

when I opened the door, SURPRISE!!! DOPE, caught again

I found all of the people that had become family to me...Josiah, Cynthia, Joel; Jose & Faby; Pastor Mauricio & Marjorie Lopez, Andres; Philip & Saukeen Jones, Emily, Christy, Jakey, Anna; Timothy & Keiry Jones, Rebekah, (Hannah-not there), Marc,Ruthie, John, Abby; my neighbours Steven & Randall; My kids Noe, Ana Maria & Rolias (who all had special permission to skip school that night)....VERY SNEAKY (by the way, there is no word in Spanish for sneaky)
We had a special dinner, very Costa Rican...PIZZA? okay, maybe not too Costa Rican

Keiry & me

Ana MariaMarjorieAndres

Rolias & StevenTimothy, Jakey, Philip & Annie Cynthia & Rebekah Marc, Noe, Joel, Anna,Philip, Ruthie, Josiah
Saukeen Jones & baby Anna Christy, Emily, Abby & John
Pastor Mauricio & Jose