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That’s Fishin’ – January 2016

Sky and ocean view from boatBy Sara Munro

I think I gave away all my fish mojo to my friends. Seriously. I’ve been out fishing twice in the past week and the only bites I got were baitfish! They didn’t even bite; they nibbled at my bait until it was gone. Do you know how frustrating that is?! All of us say that any day on the water is a good day and that’s true. However, when you’re a very competitive person, and fishing runs in your veins, when you go out and get skunked, more than once in a row, well, you go a little crazy.

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Bird Watching Fever. Ecotourism at its Best.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

The Dance of the Red-capped Manakin

By Jack Ewing

For the uninitiated, a bird watcher’s enthusiasm for hearing, sighting and studying our feathered friends, is hard to fathom. Why would anyone rise with the sun, walk for hours while toting binoculars, spotting scope, tripod, field guide, check list and notebook just to observe something so mundane as a bird? We all see birds every day, so what’s the big deal? Hard-core bird watchers have even been the brunt of jokes and cartoons. One of my favorites is a Gary Larson Far Side Cartoon with a view through a pair of binoculars, showing a large nasty looking bird sitting in an equally large nest, staring evilly at the observer — the person looking through the binoculars. Dangling from the edge of the nest are several pairs of binoculars, a birder’s hat and a tote bag with a Field Guide to the Birds of America. No caption was necessary.

Hacienda Baru

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Memoirs of a Massuer – January 2016

By Todd Pequeen

“The best is yet to come” is something I remind myself of every day. Our life stories never stop happening. Sometimes our actions may seem repetitive or boring yet our lives are in constant change, evolving us into who we are becoming next. Like day to night, like seasons or swell in the ocean, like our very cells time marches on and we are helpless against it. Optimism is in fact something we can adopt into our nature. A few amigos of mine who have had much misfortune and pain are some of the most pleasurable to be around, they take and hug the passing of the hours like it is a friend, not a foe. I seek out good company because somehow something transfers from them to me. The exact same feeling I project when I massage clients. Smiles are infectious, happiness can be addicting, and it is my job as a body worker to not bring my problems to the massage table (literally). That is why optimism is my middle name.

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Fiddlin’ Around – January, 2016

ViolinistsBy Nancy Buchan

During the first week of December the fine folks who run the Escuela de Musica Sinfonica de Perez Zeledon, a private music school in San Isidro, schedule the end of the year examinations for all the students who study and receive music instruction there. There’s all ages enrolled in the school, and this past year my dozen students ran the gamut from 7 year olds playing little bitty violins to teen-agers with tuner and metronome apps on their cell phones. They get nervous over the testing, not realizing that I am not judging them for their performance that day (unless they are arrogantly un-prepared and insolent about it—which has never happened to me here in Costa Rica), but that my grades are based on their overall abilities and progress. I wonder if they are enjoying themselves and try to evaluate if they have consistently gotten better. Do they appear to enjoy the process? Is this the right instrument for them? For the struggling student should I abandon the rigid classical approach for a friendlier, learn by ear method? Are they capable of the repetitive practice and focus necessary to learn the skills they need? And then it’s back to the most important question—are they having fun?

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Create a Warm and Inviting Guest Room

Guest RoomBy Shelagh Duncan

Now is the time of year when we enjoy visits from friends and family. We all want to make their stay as enjoyable as possible, so when arranging the guest room, think about your experience in your favourite B&B or 5-star hotel. Take your cue from the special touches that made your stay so memorable.

You may not have the budget to create a luxurious getaway oasis, but with a few simple tips you can offer a comfortable, quiet place to relax.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Happy New Year to All from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

Even if you don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, please do so this year by becoming more conscientious of saving energy so that we can all contribute to create a healthier planet! The average American ecological footprint is 5 times more than other parts of the world. Living in Costa Rica, we use less, but it is always good for everyone to cut back.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo
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What We Have Learned So Far…

By Os

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

¿How are you guys? ¿How were your holidays? I hope you and your favorite ones had a great last year and I wish you ALL a blessed 2016.

I suppose that there are new readers for this and the other columns from Quepolandia. Well, let me tell you that I have been writing this column “Spanish Sucks” for more than four years. There are (including this) 45 articles and each one is a Spanish Lesson itself… Easy to read, comprehend and follow!

Today, I would like to give you a little summary of the first 22 articles, but first of all, let me tell you that if you want any or all of them, you can go to this link and find them, read them and print them:  www.oscostarica.com/my-spanish-articulos/.
Spanish Pura Vida

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2016

January 2016 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to 2016 in Paradise! Happy New Year to everyone – we hope you are having a great time …you have come to a wonderful place to enjoy everything that Costa Rica has to offer-and more…we have the most exciting tours and most beautiful beaches, an awesome National Park with wonderful trails and views so play hard …We have the finest selection of awesome restaurants and the best of the best advertise with Quepolandia so check out their ads and tell them that you found them in Quepolandia…you will enjoy and eat well!… Everyone is invited to The 5th Battle of the Bands at Rancho Leon Jan. 31st to benefit PAWS- it will be an incredible afternoon of live music continuous from 1pm to 5pm–so come out and hang with the locals and help a great cause…our January Cover comes from the archives of Quepolandia…fruit vendors are a colorful addition to our streets this time of year..we hope you enjoy it. Make a trip to the seawall on Friday afternoon or Saturday mornings for the full farmers market…it’s great fun to see many fruits and veggies you might never have seen before! Go fishing with knowledgeable Capts and crew to provide you with an outstanding off shore or inshore fishing experience so get out there and make some memories… …..you can also get wet with white water rafting with Quepoa Expeditions or renting your own boat with Tres Ninas or go for a wild ride with Manuel Antonio Jet Ski or get some exercise at Mucho Musculo or MA Fitness… you’ll find all their contact info within our pages… Just a word about parking at the beach…when you first get there you don’t have to stop for the guys in the road wanting you to park…there is plenty of parking closer to the National Park…remember to keep an eye on your “stuff”, watch out for riptide and most importantly be safe and have a blast! We hope you enjoy our magazine and beautiful area – you can even follow us on line here or on  facebook.com/Quepolandia … we welcome your comments. …Happy New Year…ciao for now… ….P


The Battle for a Wild Life

Operating on a PacaBy Elle McGraw (Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern at KSTR)

No one enjoys losing. Especially when losing means life or death of beautiful animals. Everyday at our wildlife sanctuary, Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR), we embark on the battle of life or death in the case of each animal we receive. For some animals the battle is the immediate intervention between life or death; and for other, less severe cases, it consists of preparing goals in order for them to return to the wild. For all of us here at KSTR, we put our heart and soul into every animal that comes through our clinic.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo
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Surrender the Selfies

By Todd Pequeen

The way we portray ourselves to the public is never how it seems. The lexicon of internet usage that has just appeared this century has a word that spurs on many thoughts for me. Selfie. This unique noun, brought to us from technology has gone beyond a picture, it is a word that has changed how people experience moments in time and brings a “mirror” to every situation that has a cell phone. Like anything, there are varied opinions on what a selfie is actually showing. A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone has an opinion, and very easily images can be misconstrued. Health, happiness, beauty, and achievement all are on a sliding scale and a matter of opinion. A projected public picture can translate to egocentric, self-involved, or pompous….for it is a very fine line indeed. The phenomenon of women pursing their lips (duck face) with an ever so mystic look in their eyes to me is downright idiotic. Sickening when it is a young girl just doing what she’s seen hundreds of times before. We are bombarded daily by television, magazines, and internet often saying that we are not good enough, that we just don’t measure up. Culture, trends, and the ever so popular cosmetic surgery all help to shape opinions on who is beautiful and what the “in thing” is…Hollywood reigns supreme. With Go-pro cameras making everyone think they are heroes (or not), body image is a major player in how we go about our work, play, and our very lives.

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The 7 Secrets of Successful Language Learning

 By Os

¡Feliz Navidad!

¿How are you guys?  ¿How are you preparing yourselves for the holidays?

This month I want to share with you ”The 7 Secrets of Successful Language Learning”.  I cannot take credit for these seven advice, I saw a video from each one in the YouTube channel of Steve Kauffman.  He knows his stuff. He has learned more than 11 languages… ¡Four of them since the age of 50!  You can listen more about his seven secrets here.
Spanish Pura Vida

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Hunting and Poaching

Paca

Paca

By Jack Ewing

At about 8 years of age I started going with my dad on Sunday mornings to his skeet club in Greeley, Colorado. I was too young to handle a gun, but loved watching him and his friends blow flying clay discs called “clay  pigeons” out of the air with their shotguns. Even though I wasn’t shooting, my dad hammered firearm safety into my head on those Sunday morning outings.

Hacienda Baru

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A Costa Rican Rarity: Las Duenas Coffee Finca

Owners: Ana, Dina & IsabelBy Gary Garrett

One thing for certain about Costa Rica’s coffee industry is that it is dominated by men. So what would cause three Portuguese women to move to Costa Rica, buy a remote coffee farm, and run it independently from the many cooperatives in the country?

“As young girls, we grew up on a coffee farm in Angola. When Angola became dangerous during their civil war, we moved with our parents to their birthplace of Portugal. We always had this dream of returning to our roots and owning our own coffee farm. When thinking about moving to Costa Rica we researched the possibilities for many months before finding a non-working finca at the optimum altitude and with the right volcanic soil and climate for sale” remarked Ana Gomes Da Silva, one of the 3 owners of Finca Las Duenas (Duenas is Spanish for female owner). They knew it would take a tremendous amount of work to even get to the point of producing coffee trees but it became their passion.

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Best wishes to all for a rockin’ good Christmas!

Santa FrogAnd may 2016 roll in gently and melodiously! There should be plenty of live music happening in our area, ‘cause whether you’re in the churches or the bars, the holiday season moves folks to sing and make music.  So, having spent way more time in bars than I have in church, I’m gonna talk about some of the rowdier and ruder songs of the xmas season. I really love weird xmas songs, and there are plenty of them out there. A shrink would have a field day with my holiday set list….

There have always been novelty type songs about xmas, like ‘I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus’, or ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ or ‘Frosty the Snowman’, and they are usually cute and kind of innocent and geared to kids. I get weary of those saccharine, happy little ditties, just like I get weary of the made-to-pull-at-your-heartstrings sad xmas songs. If you are crying in your eggnog over Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas’, or the Eagles version of Charles Brown’s ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’, or Loretta Lynn singing ‘Christmas Without Daddy’, then you need to upgrade to some of the grittier yule time sicko material that’s out there.

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Lyrical Prose Amid the Mangoes and Hammocks

Hammock under the mangoesBy Jim Parisi

Latin American literature is so old that the rocks were still warm from Creation when it began. It is as mercurial as the first fish you ever caught & then tried to land with only your human hands. Remember that?

It is a style of writing that is as indefinable as that very word itself. And that is a part of what makes Latin American Literature fun, unique, a self-defined art form.

As a North American, most of the literature I have read by Latin American authors has been novels, although I have read some Latin poetry, too. Let me also state that I am a big fan of the short story as an art form, in any language. I like the brevity, the maintenance of structure, the importance & impact of every word.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music
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