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Some things you may not have known about Sloths

slothby María Pía Martín, DVM

The sloths are part of the Xenartha order which also includes anteaters and armadillos. This bizarre order is only found in Central and South America. They are different from all other animals in that they have an unusual lower back vertebrae and two vena cava (returns blood to the heart, the other mammals have only one).


They are some of the most ancient mammals and have been on Earth for more than 60 million years ago. For example, they are so primitive that their reproductive and digestive tract open into a single chamber called cloaca, like birds and reptiles.

At the beginning, the Megatherium were 6 meters (20 feet) tall giant ground sloths.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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El Día de Acción de Gracias

tico-talk-headerEl Día de Acción de Gracias es una de las festividades favoritas en Norteamérica. Los estadounidenses lo celebran el cuarto jueves de noviembre.

La fiesta tiene relación con los colonos ingleses que en 1620 viajaron a América en el barco “Mayflower” y que más tarde serían conocidos como peregrinos. El difícil invierno en esa región de Norteamérica los tomó por sorpresa y más de la mitad  murió víctima del frío y el hambre. Quienes sobrevivieron lo lograron gracias a la ayuda que los indígenas de aquellas tierras  les proporcionaron.

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A Message from Costa Rica to the Sons of Al-Qaeda

Crazy from the Heat by Matt Cassedayby Matt Casseday

On the other side of the globe suicide bombers are blowing themselves up more than ever, and although it may sound politically incorrect, even appalling, I must admit I typically feel a bit of sympathy for these desperate young men. I can not imagine what it must be like growing up in that part of the world, living an existence so cloistered, so bleak, so futureless, that the notion of blowing ones self up to kill other people because you have been promised 72 virgins in the afterlife seems a good option. Any time I read or hear about yet another of these acts of terror committed by relatively innocent kids, I consider what, in a perfect world, could be done to dissuade them.

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by Todd Pequeen

“With nothing to risk the Gods need no courage.”

Courage is a relative word by nature. It cannot stand alone, by definition it is simply a response. An ability to welcome something new, difficult, or challenging. This process is positive and fun for some, negative and stressful for others. I propose that we all look at ways to welcome courageous acts into our lives. Day to day living normally isn’t seen as a courageous thing to do. It can be however, to a great advantage. Our daily routines and responsibilities can feel like new if we simply add awareness to the people and events of the world going on around us. By having the courage to do more, be more, care more, and spread more love our daily lives will feel more vibrant and satisfying. I have always been delighted by people who “put themselves out there,” only risking playing the fool. It is no easy task to go outside of our own boundaries, but if we do we can reap the benefits of evolving and becoming wiser. Read More…

Stuffing for a 3-pound Chicken

by Bruce Zabov

cooking-cornerWith North American Thanksgiving holidays and Christmas coming up I thought this would be a good time to go over a basic stuffing recipe you can individualize as you wish. Too, the availability of the packaged stuffing mixes can be pretty variable and being able to whip up your own reduces your dependency on its being available or not. And YOU get to decide on its fat and salt content as well. This is the season weight tends to increase as we feast and it can help to be aware of what we’re feasting on.

You can make stuffing ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you stuff the bird and put it in the oven — but don’t stuff the bird more than a few hours ahead of roasting time. Plan on about 3/4 cup of stuffing for each pound of poultry– for example, 9 cups of stuffing for a 12-pound turkey, or 4 cups for a three-plus pound chicken.

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Chris Cobb and Jenny Roman

By Charlie Berghammer

For our first time readers to “Making a Difference” allow me to review the 4 principal and governing factors which allow our multi cultural community to become engaged.

1. Inspire Change. Provide information highlighting some of our communities biggest challenges, raise awareness and motivate others to take action.

2. Build Community. Connect people with others who share the same vision for change and help them create networks to put plans into motion.

3. Facilitate Action. Offer tools for community members and visitors to our area to make commitments to act and track their progress and results.

4. Strengthen Engagement. Encourage citizen action throughout our local area and Costa Rica by the cultivation of partnerships with other world organizations like Sister Cities International to address our specific needs.

This month’s profile belongs to Chris Cobb and Jenny Roman from the Portalon area.  Recently the school at Portalon was blessed with 15 computers which form the basis of the new computer lab.  We all know that ¨blessings¨of this sort do not just happen.   School Director Jenny Roman, one always known for her persuasion and perseverance was instrumental in procuring the computer lab equipment and thanks to expat Chris Cobb, they now have their first program of computer web page design.  Together they have created the elements necessary to begin classroom instruction for several interested local students.   Read on with excitement as Chris Cobb explains how it all came about!

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Fishing Report – November 2009

By Jerry Glover

Welcome and Bienvenidos to Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Fishing continues to be good in our area. The Sailfish bite is a little slow this time of year but the hot bite is the Mahi Mahi. Our boats have been boating up to 10 Mahi a trip and most are in the 25 to 35 pound range. All of our local restaurants will gladly cook that catch for you. Rooster fish action is fair, with one or more fish being released on half day charters. Several have been in the 30# to 35# range. Fishing in Quepos is always good year round. Don’t delay! For your fishing adventure contact Luna Tours Sport fishing, our office is located in the Hotel Best Western Kamuk lobby, downtown Quepos central. We own and operate 4 Sport Fishing boats (27 ft to 33 ft) and can also arrange other boats for charter up to 46 ft for half day or full day charters. Contact us at 2777-0725 (office), 8869-4808 (24 hour cell), visit our web site at www.lunatours.net, or stop by the office for a fishing report, and talk some fishing.

Fishing Report

Cosmic Confetti’s Horoscopes – November 2009

These Horoscopes are meant to be fun and enjoyed. They should not be taken too seriously.

scorpioSCORPIO – October 23-November 21

Woop! Woop! It’s your Birthday! The phrase “having your cake and eating it too” has always troubled you…Today, cakes all have a “best before” date on them, so if you don’t eat your cake before the date-guess what? You lose your cake! My point? The planets are trying to tell you to make the most of time, and don’t listen to old sayings about cake from elderly people.

It’s also time to lower your standards regarding love, be aware that marrying your own pets is not allowed in most countries!

CELEBRITY SCORPIO: Theodore Roosevelt

IDEAL JOB: Royals for the throne
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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – November 2009

Bienvenidos & Welcome to Paradise!

Here it is November all ready – our rains will be coming to an end soon – we haven’t had our usual amount – prompting AYA (CR water authority) to ask for water rationing or at least a 20% reduction in consumption – sighting showering for less than 3 mins (we suggest showering with a friend!) and don’t let the hose run when you’re washing the car—or the faucet while brushing your teeth – all little things that can help………….now on to more fun ………… we hope you are having a great vacation and we are happy to have you here for a visit—don’t forget to visit the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio celebrating 37 yrs. this month—-we have other great tours & wonderful restaurants so ENJOY – Check our ads for special menus for  Thanksgiving so you won’t have to miss your Turkey Dinner! …………….Congrats to our Cover Winner Lauren Lipton of Tallahassee, Fl – Lauren sent us about 12 great pics of a wonderful vacation……………we are happy to Welcome some new folks to our little corner of Paradise…………….new businesses will be opening this month…a Jaime Peligro’s Book/Music Store (music review this month will be our own Benjammin!) owners are Jeffery & Carolyn – from Colorado Springs, CO the store will be between Century 21 & Lynch Travel so check it out…Grand Opening in late Nov.…………also a new Bakery!! Dan will be opening soon across from Vetcomer on the side street. Dan’s from Glacier Park, MT – we heard something about cinnamon rolls!! AND a big welcome to Myla & Craig from Fl who will be starting construction on a new home & plan to live here full time – Myla is a great addition to Tues. Bridge Club @ Dos Locos –all fun-lovin’ folks! AND now for the really BIG NEWS – as you can see, the all new www.quepolandia.com is up and running!! You can now follow all the happenings of Quepos/MA when you go back home! We are very excited to be offering our advertisers another avenue to enhance their business and our readers a chance to keep in touch……..so check us out – often – as we will be updating frequently!…………….our friend “Papa” Bill is stuck in Syracuse, NY getting much needed treatment on that bum knee – looks like he will be away thru the holidays – send him an email at williamcrossley@hotmail.com if you would like to keep in touch  – we know that hearing from his friends at home will keep him smiling!……………that brings us to the end of my rambling………….so get out there and have some FUN!

Gospel Music in Costa Rica

Wade in the Waterby Jim Parisi

Religious hymns and spiritual music have played a role in Costa Rican culture for more than two centuries. Traditionally, however, the practice of organized groups celebrating and singing these songs has been confined to within their respective church walls, primarily in Limon and San Jose. Enter music historian Manuel Obregon, who is also the president and founder of Papaya Music, Costa Rica’s premier music label. Obregon felt this musical legacy deserved to be shared with the general public. So he enlisted more than thirty participants from a variety of denominations to perform live for two nights for an audience at National Theater in San Jose, which is truly how gospel music should be heard; live rather than canned studio work. Appropriately, a recording of this event, “Wade in the Water” has recently been released.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music

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Milo Bekins Faries

Milo-and-Tey-Bekinspor Carol Vlassoff
(in English)

Milo Bekins Faries y su agradable esposa Tey se reunieron conmigo en su hogar en el bosque, a cuatro kilómetros de Londres en el camino a Cerro Nara. Nos sentamos en la galería que rodea la casa por los cuatro lados. Fiel al modo de vida de los Bekins, la casa está construida con cedro amargo y teca. Milo plantó esos árboles en su propia propiedad años atrás, con la idea de sembrar su “futura casa”. Está rodeada por jardines forestales y un canal de agua corriente que mantiene su casa sorprendentemente libre de insectos. Read More…

Milo Bekins Faries

Milo and Tey Bekinsby Carol Vlassoff
(en Español)

Milo Bekins Faries and his attractive wife, Tey, meet me in their forest home, four kilometres from Londres on the road to Cerro Nara. We sit on the veranda that encircles four sides of the house. True to the Bekins’ lifestyle, the house is built of cedro amargo and teak. Milo planted these trees on his own property years ago, with the idea of seeding their “house-to-be”. It is surrounded by forest gardens and a running water ditch moat that keeps their house amazingly insect free.
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One-dish Chinese Dinner

by Bruce Zabov

Cooking CornerBefore I forget again to mention it, a friend took one look at the recipe a few months back for Tuna Pie and immediately thought it could be made using leftover chicken or shrimp instead of the tuna. Either of those variations of the original sound terrific to me, too!

To move on to this issue, this one-dish dinner is a variation of the red-cooked dishes so popular in all regions of China. They all have in common the seasoning of soy sauce as one of the ingredients central to them, but there are also some regional variations. In Shanghai they contain sugar, in Peking just the soy sauce is favored and in Szechwan they are made hot and rich, full of garlic, ginger and scallions or green onions with a flash of hot red pepper.
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The Art and Science of Pruning

by Donna Porter

donna_porter_colourPruning a plant has been defined as a cross between an art and a science. Understanding the physiological aspects of the plant makes it the science while having an eye for balance and a sense of design and beauty makes it the art.

Ok, so I can already hear you locals laughing at this. Pruning here is simply a cross between the machete or chainsaw and the plant. Both shrubs and trees benefit greatly from pruning – proper pruning that is – but for ease of explanation this article will focus on trees. If you have a tree(s) that you desire to keep in your landscape then some basic knowledge on this subject may be helpful to you. If possible, conveying this knowledge to your gardener would be the most advantageous, since they are in charge of the machete. Knowing a few simple facts, and applying them, will result in healthier, longer lasting trees in your landscape or garden and less damage to your property by falling tree limbs.
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Fishing Report – Sept/Oct 2009

Welcome and bienvenidos to Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Fishing continues to be very good in our area. A few Sailfish are being released daily and Marlin are being teased into the spread (a good sign of things to come as Marlin move back into the area). Mahi Mahi are still being boated with Yellowfin Tuna being the catch of the day. Rooster fish action is excellent, with two to three fish being released on our half day charters. Several have been in the 35# to 403# range. Fishing in Quepos is always good year round. Don’t delay! For your fishing adventure contact Luna Tours Sport fishing, our office is located in the Hotel Best Western Kamuk lobby, downtown Quepos central. We own and operate 4 Sport Fishing boats (27 ft to 33 ft) and can also arrange other boats for charter up to 46 ft for half day or full day charters. Contact us at 2777-0725 (office), 8869-4808 (24 hour cell), visit our web site at www.lunatours.net, or stop by the office for a fishing report, and talk some fishing.

Fishing Report