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Reiki treatmentUniversal Life Energy

By Danni Coyote

You have probably heard the term reiki at some point, andperhaps your immediate reaction was, Yeah, whatever, as you rolled your third eye to dispel images of healers laying hands on terminally ill patients. Admittedly, it
does sound preposterous and illogical when you consider that we live in a time in which we are so conditioned to disconnect the body from the spirit. So, what exactly is reiki, anyway? The truth is actually a lot less magical and more simple than you would imagine.

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Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

The two most important areas in any home are the kitchens and the bathrooms—especially to potential home buyers. Those two rooms will have a biggest influence on any purchaser. You know that feeling when you walk into a friends’ kitchen that is fabulous—you just stand there, and experience it. Then you lust after it!

We would all love to have huge fully tricked out kitchens, but often we are not that lucky. We don’t have the space, the money or sometimes even the ideas on how to make that happen.

Including some “must haves” into our kitchens can greatly increase its functionality, beauty and of course its value.

These are some of my must-haves:

Appliance GarageAppliance Garage

These are great for storing small appliances and can fit into corners or at the end of your work space. Add an electrical outlet too if possible, to add to the convenience. Think about what you want to go in there and you will have an idea of the size you will need. If you have lots of counter space—or lots of small appliances—you could have two!

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Stan Astrachan

Stan Obituary


Fiddlin'AroundLike many of us, I watched the sickening images from the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, then I watched the benefit concert that she and other musicians played after the dust had settled a bit. The spunk and attitude from the mostly young girls who are Grande’s fan base was inspiring, and I was moved by her closing rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’. I’ve played or heard that song being played a million times, usually in positive and happy settings, but the sweet and kind of naïve lyrics will never be the same for me. It is, of course, from the 1939 movie “Wizard of Oz”, and was sung by a young Judy Garland about 5 minutes into the film when she’s trying to tell her aunt and uncle about a bad experience she had with the local mean old spinster.
Judy Garland, Over the Rainbow LPShe’s told to “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” So Dorothy says to her little dog, “Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…..somewhere over the rainbow…..” A lovely song full of youthful innocence, is now an anthem because of an ugly thing. A profound and sad loss of innocence. It did get me thinking about how songs become anthems—and I figure I should fess up to my anthem experience.

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H2O  Escuela Villa Nueva Tree Planting

H2O Escuela Villa Nueva Tree Planting

The Titi Conservation Alliance was founded over 15 years ago to promote the sustainable habitat of the Squirrel Monkey, or Mono Titi, and other species as well, by focusing on 2 major areas-reforestation of lands within the Naranjo River Biological Corridor and environmental education of school children in the area.  Every year since 2001, we have planted between 3000 to 5000 trees on properties owned by more than 40 collaborating local landowners. The trees are planted by school children as part of the education program and by our member volunteers. TCA also donates trees to individuals and partner organizations who are interested in reforesting areas of their private properties.

This year we started our planting program for 2017 in early May with a celebration of Earth Day at the Escuela Villa Nueva. Villa Nueva is a small community located outside of Quepos, at the base of Cerro Nara where the watershed for Quepos and Manuel Antonio is located. This school has received the Blue Flag award for several years and also has an active nursery greenhouse for teaching plant biology to the kids. The school planted 200 trees on property owned by Guillermo Rodriguez.

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All In The Family

memoirs of a massuer headerDepression, feeling alone, constant fatigue, poor sleep, and heaviness within our heart and soul is a human state that everyone goes through. The best counter to this type of malaise is pulling yourself up by the shoestrings and to get moving. Drinking alcohol and poor diet selections only further the descent into a black hole. Beyond the physical change the best remedy can be socializing. Although we are far removed from primates (or are we?) an alone primate is a sick or troubled one. Humans need to be among others, we have forever been tribal animals that flourish when we feel important and are part of a whole. In my younger years it never occurred to me that this aspect of day to day life was so important. Granted, I rarely lived in one location for more than a year or two, but only until I moved to Manuel Antonio was I able to feel the love of so many. Even before social media (which is a false family) the pure act of running into people in Quepos, at the gym, or on the beach was usually delightful. Holing up in an apartment or home benefits nobody. As we lose ourselves to Netflix, the comfort of over-eating, and then despair, it is important to remember help is always available. The simple act of calling a friend can heal. We must remind ourselves that when we are at our lowest, we must reach out and get involved with others to increase our energy.

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Spanish Sucks – July 2017

¡Happy New 70 Verbs!

¡Happy New Flashcards!

Parte V

¡Hola amigos!  How did you do filling the previous seven verbs?  Remember to check your answer on this link:  printable-spanish-flashcards/

This month there are seven new verbs.  Fill the boxes with the conjugations of the verbs in present tense…

Remember that I chose those 70 verbs based on the frequency of use, the importance of complexity and the pattern of conjugation…  Every month I will give you seven flashcards to feel!  Go to my website and compare your fillings with mine: oscostarica.com/printable-spanish-flashcards/

Spanish Sucks

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Torture in the Rainforest

Puma arrivingBy Jack Ewing
All of you cat lovers out there aren’t going to be very happy with my use of the word “torture” to describe what your beloved pets do to little animals like mice, frogs, birds, and geckos. It’s hard to think badly about your beautiful, soft, cuddly friend and easy to rationalize any behavior no matter how abhorrent. The justification usually comes out something like: “Oh! That’s just what cats do. She’s only playing with the mouse.” Humm, I see, ”only playing”. I wonder what the mouse would have to say about that euphemism.

Diane and I live in a rural environment, and our three cats roam about freely inside and outside. They all love to hunt, seldom eat what they kill, and often don’t kill what they catch. I have watched a cat grab a battered mouse in its mouth, toss it into the air, bat it around with its paws, scratch it, and, when the prey quits moving, leave it to die a slow and painful death. You can call that whatever you want, but I call it torture.

I love our pets, but I love nature even more. Though I never really thought about it, it never occurred to me that this type of behavior might exist in the wild. Somehow wild animals, even cats, seemed too noble to engage in anything as abominable as torture. Mark Wainwright, in his excellent field guide, Mammals of Costa Rica, describes how the specialized dentition and formation of the jaw of our wild cats is adapted to killing their prey quickly and efficiently. He tells us, “They kill with a bone-splintering bite to their prey’s head or neck, for which the canine teeth—the broadest and strongest of any carnivore—are essential. A gap between the canines and the cheek teeth allows the canines to sink deep into the prey.” Not only Wainwright, but many other sources refer to the death bite inflicted by the large felines. I’m sure that I have heard about it on Animal Planet more than once. Cats are almost exclusively carnivorous seldom touching any food other than animal flesh. Wainwright goes on to say that pumas and jaguars eat deer, peccary, pacas, armadillos, rabbits, agoutis, opossums, porcupines, spiny rats, iguanas, bats, and snakes. Other sources also include coatis and raccoons in the list.Hacienda Baru

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Shrimp and Grits

Chef's Corner logoYears ago, I learned that Italian polenta is a finer version of those exact little “grits” so beloved in the US south. Here to satisfy those soul food cravings, this is comfort food at its best. The topping is extremely versatile so you can use your favorite proteins, sauces, or leftovers…
Serves 6

Shrimp and grits For the shrimp and gravy

  • 1/2 kilo (one pound) medium to large shrimp, peeled, and deveined. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • A couple drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme and parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using your favorite frying pan, fry garlic in olive oil, add dried tomatoes, herbs, and finally tomato puree.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and brown sugar.
  3. Allow to thicken before adding shrimp.
  4. Stir-fry for no more than 5 minutes and remove the entire pan to keep warm.

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – July 2017

SUMMERTIME is here.. at least for our friends up north and what was once a sleepy time of year here in Costa Rica has become an important season for our marina, tourism sector and community. Costa Rica is an incredibly popular destination for the summer season with families, groups and travellers discovering the proximity, beauty, peaceful nature and diversity that the country has to offer. Here are some of the important highlights to mark on your calendars and to take note of in the project.


The July 4th celebrations here in Costa Rica have become some of the biggest parties of the year as the vibrant expat population, visiting tourists and locals join together to celebrate and enjoy the friendships we have all been able to build here in paradise. The Marina invites EVERYONE to join us here at the project as our restaurants will be running specials menus with everything from hot dogs to BBQ, with drink specials around the house! There will be activities for the kids and families to enjoy and a traditional fireworks display @ 8PM to close out the evening—or get things started depending on how your plans go! Stay tuned to our Facebook page or main website for more details on the schedule and events! It is IMPORTANT to note that locals, Costa Ricans, Canadians and EVERYONE are invited. The US Citizens living and visiting here love this place as we are treated like family and there is no greater honor for the expats, than celebrating a bit of their own history with their friends and families here in their new home!

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – July 2017

July 2017 coverBienvenidos… Welcome to our piece of paradise, it is sure to please. We have almost everything Costa Rica has to offer. Zip Lining, White water rafting, ATVs, horseback riding, skydiving, sport fishing, parasailing, ocean cruises, mangrove and waterfall tours. Just to mention a few. There are amazing restaurants for every taste and don’t forget the ice cold drinks. So pop into one of our many advertisers and let them know we sent you….you won’t be disappointed. The summer rains have brought the greenness, so no complaining just get out early and enjoy the beautiful mornings. Rain normally begins late in the afternoon. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying the rain forest. We want to thank Paul Gerace for the July cover. Incredible shot. 

Have a great Canada Day (July 1) for all you Canadians. Happy Independence Day (July 4). Feliz Dia del Guanacaste (July25). Remember these Holidays commemorate freedom and peace that we all enjoy every day. It is not fireworks and parties…that is just what makes it fun.

We want to welcome our new advertisers Eva’s Garden & Plaza La Sele.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and that it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share here or on facebook.com/quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments and photos.

Peace and Enjoy…D

Happy 19th Birthday Quepolandia

Kids Saving the Rainforest – May/June 2017

KSTR logoBy Lexi Baka

Hello, once again! It’s me. I’m writing to you from Florida currently, although when you see this I will most likely be back in Costa Rica. My family took a very small vacation. But that isn’t what’s important…what’s important is that I’m here, and ready to deliver some good news!

Mother titi with babyOver a year ago, we received a grant from LATA (Latin American Travel Association) to release a troop of Squirrel Monkeys (affectionately known as “Titi” monkeys here). We were so thrilled when LATA granted the donation (thank you!), which gave us the ability to collect the information and supplies that we needed to conduct experiments that were absolutely necessary to ensure these orphaned monkeys safe release. We got busy and spent the next few months ensuring the monkeys would survive and thrive after release. Sadly, some did not pass and they will have to live out their lives in our wildlife sanctuary. (But don’t worry, they live in an enclosure that is 180 feet long and 30 feet wide, not to mention 50 feet high, so it is a mini-rainforest!)

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Fish or Visitors?

Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

Ben Franklin has been credited with saying something like “fish and visitors start to smell after three days…”

Bienvenidos - welcome signThat may have been true back in the day, but we all love to have friends and family come visit and want them to enjoy their stay. We are fortunate enough to live in an amazing part of the world, and naturally want to share this with them.

However sometimes space in our homes is limited. We live outdoors most of the time and don’t generally need a big house. You may have one or two spare bedrooms but one turned into your home office, or there are just too many people to sleep everyone comfortably! So, what do you do when they all want to come at once for that big family reunion???

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Turmeric: Nature’s Most Powerful Herb

TurmericBy Danni Coyote

Turmeric is arguably the most potent and powerful medicinal herb found in your pantry. If it isn’t in your pantry, it really should be. Turmeric is a plant native to Southern Asia, and is harvested for the medicinal properties of its rhizomes, or roots. It is in the same family as ginger, and of the genus curcuma. 

Science has recently started backing what Indians and Ayurvedic practitioners have known for centuries about this spice, thrusting it into the limelight of complimentary medicine and trendy nutritional supplements. Turmeric boasts a myriad of pharmaceutic and therapeutic properties, such as anti-inflammatory effects, powerful antioxidants, improved neurological function, relief from arthritis and depression, and may be linked to decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. This is due to the compounds found in turmeric, called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the primary active ingredient in turmeric, and can be extracted and effectively consumed alone for an amplified effect, since the curcumin content in turmeric is surprisingly not very potent.

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Row row row your boat music sheetThat is such a cool, Zen-like approach to life, and it comes to us in the form of an English children’s nursery rhyme. The song is actually a round—a musical composition in which 2 or more voices sing exactly the same melody, each voice beginning at a different time. The different parts of the melody coincide and fit harmoniously together. It is one of the easiest forms of ‘part’ singing, as only one line of melody must be learned by all the singers, and it can be repeated over and over. This simple ditty has quite a history—little kids sing it, Star Trek Five had Captain Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy singing it, another episode had a bunch of weird space kids singing it. It’s featured in the films Dante’s Peak, the Red Danube and even Hackers. Maybe it’s a metaphor for our passage here on earth—we propel ourselves with humor and joy in natural waters which bring us to the simple comfort of the abstract world. But the key word here is dreams.

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