Sunday, December 8, 2013

Technology vs. Coconuts

Wait. wasn't that an episode of Gilligan's Island?  Well, one thing's for certain, we aren't on a 3 hour tour!

We spent our first night in San Jose, at a pet friendly hotel called Hotel Kekoldi, to give the cats a break from travel and also for us, too!  This place was SO friendly and awesome, the rooms were clean and the breakfast was really good:)  All for $60 a night.  We bought some large foil baking tins to use as temporary litter boxes, and the cats used them so I'd call that a success.  They hid under the bed for a while but even the shy ones eventually came out for food and love.  We were even able to venture off for a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant, as we were confident the cats were doing well.  The next morning Dan and our friends went in search of a place to buy/activate SIM cards.  They found a store nearby, and were starting to make some headway when they were told the system was down.  Sigh.  No communicado  for us yet!  Dan managed to get one SIM card working that we had pre-purchased from a 3rd party distributor located in the States, so at least we could arrange for our friend's arrival as they are staying nearby with a wonderful lady I met last time I was here.

The back garden area of the hotel.  It was raining so we weren't able to eat our breakfast out there, but it was very pretty and a great welcome into the tropics!

The cats were getting antsy and upset that we put them BACK in the carriers, and our transport van to Nosara was running late due to insane traffic in San Jose, so I put them out back to look at birds and smell the air.  It *sorta* worked.  Yin yowled the whole was to Nosara, poor girl!

My friend left a key for us at the house because she was at work, so when we arrived we had an exciting greeting from dogs and kitties!  Then we settled our guys in the secluded guest room that was safe from other cats getting in.  They've been in there all week, getting used to the smells and greeting the other cats through the door, and also getting used to dogs barking as they've never lived with dogs before.  I think early next week we should be able to let them explore the rest of the house and eventually outdoors :)

The next day was full-on "I'm here at an animal rescue!" kinda day, as we received 3 puppies and 4 kittens.  Pups were full of fleas, so they got baths and everyone was given tasty nutritious food...probably the first time they've ever had a proper meal.  The puppies were about 5 weeks and the kittens about 4 wks.   So now there were about 15 cats/kittens (not including my 4), 5 dogs (2 belong to my friend), and 3 pups.  Welcome to the animal jungle!!

A *few* of the kitties in the house.  They're indoor/outdoor but love to cuddle together in these chairs

The bravest kittens waiting to see if Kabuki leaves any food behind.  She never does.  But they still wait...

New puppy and new kitten bonding :)  Soon they were all playing together!
Fortunately, we soon found a foster home for the 4 new kittens, and she also is fostering one of the dogs who is for adoption!  She's really great and has fostered for NAC before.  Also I believe all 3 puppies have found homes so they'll be going to their new owners next week :)

The next day there was an event in town at the local school, where they had different dance groups perform and it was an awareness event for the environment, to teach people to reduce, reuse and recycle!  NAC had an information booth there so I went along to help represent.  It was nice to be around Ticos and see their local dancing, and I saw a few people I knew from last time I was here, too :)  

Our information booth.  It was SO windy, so we McGyver'd the photos using string and duct tape.  Worked for the most part, though the temperature here can make even duct tape less than invincible...

NAC does an education program in the schools to teach empathy and awareness to youths.  Start them early!  Helping them appreciate life in all its forms, and treat animals with respect.  They receive a certificate once they complete the program so that makes them proud of their achievements, too :)

Some of the dancing :)
 The rest of the week has been spent adjusting to our new "schedule"...wake up with the monkeys at sunrise, lay in bed and decide whether to *actually* get up, then cater to the whims of furry creatures all day!  While my friend is still here she wants to spend as much time with her dogs as she can, because she can't bring them with her, so she's been doing a lot of the morning walking/feeding.  But in a few days that will change I'll be a morning person again!  I don't mind in this environment, and when waking up doesn't mean having to bundle up, take the TTC, and deal with crowds of rude people who hit me with their bags and can't look where they're going.  

I've been showing Dan and our friends around, walked the beaches and we toured the more popular beach town of Guiones.  Since we don't have a vehicle it's a little challenge to get around, but walking is great as long as it's not mid-afternoon when it's the hottest.  Also the main road is starting to get really dusty!  There's dust on all the trees that line the road, too.  Kinda crazy.  We try to stick to the side roads,  or the beach to walk to Guiones if possible.  But to get to Nosara town center (sounds fancier than it actually is) it's about an hour's walk on the main road.  We had to go one day to the electric/phone place to finally activate SIM cards so our cells work.  It was an adventure! Fortunately the day we went there was a great breeze so it was actually a nice walk.  Then we went to the Supermercado (or the Super Nosara) to get, well, all the things and a cab home because we got jugs of water, too.  The cab was about $15, so not cheap.  

Now that I've reacquainted myself with everyone here and the board members of NAC, it's a great community so I can just send out an email to see if anyone with a vehicle is going to the store and usually get a ride with them.  It's a good system of support, and I'm very grateful!  I had my first meeting with the NAC board last Thursday, which went very well.  We met by the beach, which I've since decided is the *perfect* spot for a business meeting!

The business meeting place :)  Also known as the place to get beers at sunset, or lunch after walking around the beach in the morning. 

My next post will detail the fabulous spay/neuter clinic that we had yesterday :)  They're typically once a month and target the low income local families, encouraging them to fix their dogs and cats!

My last thought for now is having a truly overwhelming sense of knowing that we're in the right place.  No matter the technology or logistic challenges we may continue to face, both of us have the same strong feeling in our hearts.  No life is easy.  The bonuses here of learning to be without the many conveniences of the city include living a healthier, back to basics lifestyle and really getting to know our surroundings...being in touch with all life around us. A lot of the land around us is protected preserve, so there's little chance of our immediate environment changing in the near future.  Eating fresh local fruit every day, sharpening my skills on opening coconuts, and caring for furry creatures outweighs pretty much any *thing* I might miss.  We do miss our friends, though!  Next on the technology list...organizing Skype dates :)


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