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When the Timing is Right

memoirs of a massuer headerOh, how time fascinates me! I remember obsessively counting in seconds the last five minutes of class before the liberating school bell would ring. If I felt energetic I could speed walk home and catch a 3:00 TV program from the start. My earliest time of stress was caused by my 5:00 “be home for dinner” curfew, how I hated cutting a basketball game short. I absolutely dreaded the fact that I had to wait 3 more years in time in order to graduate high school, before I could finally move to another state for college and finally be on my own. Yet, my summer months on the shores of Lake Erie I wanted to last forever. Time is prevalent to most human beings regardless of their culture or heritage. None of us can ignore it, and most of us both love and hate this…clicking clock. It is even said that to have too much time on your hands is the devils workshop, very scary indeed.

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Agoutis, Agoutis & More Agoutis

Camera Trap

Camera Trap

A Fun New Way of Monitoring Wildlife

by Jack Ewing

“Oh my God”, I blurted out to no one in particular. “Absolutely incredible”. A full grown puma was walking straight toward me on the computer screen. The two receptionists who were in office and heard my exclamation hurried over to see what I was so excited about.  I restarted the 15-second video so everyone could see. An adult puma came walking straight at the camera, its eyes glowing from the infrared illumination. It looked like it was stalking the camera. At the last moment the large carnivore veered to the right and walked out of the field of view. It was a very exciting day. The presence of large carnivores in the Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge was a clear indication of a healthy ecosystem. Since that first video in December of 2012 we have captured 87 more of pumas at four different locations within the refuge.

Hacienda Baru

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Blue Flags are Cool!

Blue flagIn September, Costa Rica celebrated its Independence and you were sure to see the colorful red white and blue flags all around the country. But if you looked closely, you may have also noticed another flag next to the national flag – a dark blue one with one or several stars. This flag means the school or institution is participating in one of the great conservation programs of Costa Rica, known as the Blue Flag or Bandera Azul. This program was originally started by the Costa Rica Water Institute in 1996 as a way to foster community involvement in cleanup of the nation’s beaches.

Blue Flag Beaches is a joint program with the Costa Rica Tourist Institute (ICT). Every year dozens of local citizen committees (110 in 2015 to be exact) are formed and agree to adopt a local beach to care for during the year. The participating beach is inspected 3 times during the year and rated on progress towards improvement in several different aspects: a) Ocean and potable water quality b) Waste collection and treatment c) Environmental education  d) Security and signage. If the beach qualifies then Blue Flags are given at different levels from1 star to a maximum 5 stars. Manuel Antonio National Park and its famed beaches has been the proud recipient of the Blue Flag since the programs inception, quite a feat!

Titi Conservation Alliance

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Fiddlin’ Around September/October

Fiddlin'AroundThe Hollywood Hoopla and show biz aspects of the American political election process are often embarrassing, and music is almost always part of the staged background. By the time this goes to print there will probably be radical changes in the political landscape, but ‘ya gotta admit it’s certainly been a banner year for comedy writers, impersonators and late night talk shows. I’m going to try to stay away from personal ranting and raving, though anyone who knows me probably knows I’m way out in left field. So let’s talk about how and why songs get used by the guys and gals trying to win our votes. Apparently politicians of all kinds think they are entitled to chop up and claim as their own the songs that musicians and writers have labored over and which often have a completely different intention than how they are used.

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Potato Latkes with Smoked Trout

Potato Latkes with Smoked SalmonBy Desiree Brassert

The locally farmed and cured smoked trout is a great substitute for smoked salmon that only comes from distant and colder waters.
Here’s a little spin on this classic bite-size appetizer.

Note: Vegetarian options are applesauce and cinnamon, or sour cream.

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I Need a New Signature

shambling through paradiseAnyone who has lived here long enough remembers the old days of going to the bank. There were no numbers to take, and few chairs in which to sit. Everyone stood patiently in line because the ability to stand patiently in line was in the DNA of most all Ticos. I have heard that the original Himno Nacional of Costa Rica even included a line that went ‘’esperando en fila con la paciencia de un santo’’ (waiting in line with the patience of a saint), before it was edited out for the sake of brevity.

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¿What to do during the rainy season?

Spanish Sucks by OsOBSERVE THE ENDINGS,  ANALYZE THE BOXES,  LEARN THE VERBS,  MEMORIZE THE WORDS…

Four years ago we learned how to play with verbs in present and three years ago we learned how to play with verbs in past.  ¿Remember the endings?

Let’s review both endings using boxes…

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KSTR’s Challenge of Growing 94,000 Trees​!

_2003841_origBy Jennifer Rice

After CR Tree Plantation harvested their teak last April 18, 2016, they donated the land–277 acres (112 hectares) to the organization Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR). KSTR is known for its rescue and release of wildlife, but also works to earn its moniker, buying and restoring the rainforest of Costa Rica.

This beautiful rainforest property is in the hills of Parrita, Costa Rica and will reconnect the corridor on 3 sides when finished reforesting.

KSTR met with the Costa Rican Government (FONOFIFO) to plant 30,000 native trees on the newly acquired land. The organization will create a nursery on the property and subsequently plant 40,000 native seeds.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – September & October 2016

New Docks, new shops, new faces, more boats, and a few of the world’s largest mammals coming to visit are just a few items which are new around Marina Pez Vela. While the green season might mean a few less tourists in town, it is one of the busiest times for our local operations here at the marina and are months when our focus continues to grow on our local community, local and national celebrations and providing a world class space for locals to enjoy as the project continues to transform itself and our community. Here are some of the key news items for the project and we hope all of you will come out to spend time, support the new stores and enjoy this magnificent setting.

Marina Pez Vela logo

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Ticos Shine Bronze & Make History in Jaco!

Carloz Muñoz

Carloz Muñoz – photo ISA

By Sarah Elena

Congratulations to our Costa Rican surf team who took third place in the ISA World Surfing Games in Jaco, the finals of the 2016 Aloha Cup! For eight days, the eight teams gave it their all as they paddled for the gold through the heat and choppy waters. The Tico team, defending world champs from last years competition, received an incredible turnout and endless support from their fans who have traveled near and far to back the team. Locals and travelers from all over the world lined the beach in Jaco to celebrate the marvelous talent and skills that are displayed by our Tico team and other countries represented in the competition.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – September & October 2016

September October coverBienvenidos…Welcome to the Rain forest, green season has arrived. So enjoy the peace of it and the greenness it provides. Our mornings are normally beautiful the rain comes later in the day so get moving early and maybe an afternoon nap (guilt free when it rains haha). Are restaurants and tour companies are in full swing to make your stay here unforgettable and without the crowds more enjoyable. Marina Pez Vela offers outstanding restaurants and tours. Great shopping and MOST important this time of year underground parking and shuttle service. We recommended calling ahead to our fine restaurants beforehand because some will be closing for a quick holiday for themselves and staff. Always love this time of year being from the US I always look forward to the start of the NFL season. Catch all the games at Barba Roja and Byblos on the mountain. Hawg and Bills and El Sol at the beach.

We want to congratulate the Costa Rican Surf Team, Noe Mar McGonagle , and Jaco for an outstanding ISA Aloha Cup World Championship. The Tico team took the bronze in team competition. Noe Mar McGonagle brought home the bronze for Costa Rica in the individuals. We were fortunate enough to be there for the finals and Jaco deserves the Gold medal for hosting. The town was packed with surf fans from around the world and ended with a Cultura Profetica concert rocking the beach.

Costa Rica celebrates their 195th year of Independence on Sept. 15. Quepos will be having its parade with children in traditional costumes, floats and festive marching bands. So if you are in the area come celebrate with a country that truly appreciate their Independence….Pura Vida

We would like to thank Boris Marchegiani for our cover shot of one of the first babies born as part of the Scarlet Macaw reintroduction program at Gaia Hotel and Reserve. We also thank all its staff members and veterinarians Chris Castles and Ana Maria Torres for their work and dedication to bringing this beautiful species back into the skies of Manuel Antonio.

October 31 is Halloween so get your costumes ready for fright night in the jungle. Marina Pez Vela will be having a Halloween Bash as well as many bar and restaurants around Manuel Antonio and Quepos.

Also want to welcome our new advertisers Blue Restaurant & Social Lounge and Pura Vida Pest Control to our pages.

Sept/Oct is a double issue here at Quepolandia so we will be back to guide you in November. We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us at Quepolandia.com or on facebook. We appreciate and welcome your comments.
Happy Independence Day Costa Rica!!!

Peace and Enjoy…D


An Important Article

memoirs of a massuer headerSharing is one of the best qualities in the world. It as an action taken with joy and caring and celebration. Whether you are sharing your life with another, giving someone a ride, or simply gifting another human by being kind, sharing is a trait that many tourists here in Manuel Antonio appreciate, as well as around the world. It is easy to forget about the importance of sharing when one is preoccupied with him or herself. To hold and grasp to one-self, and the material things one earns is a lonely dead end street. How many times have we seen a person who looks as if they have it all, and in the end is ultimately unhappy, probably because they chose not to share. To “have it all” is a misnomer. It does not exist. Depending on your religious philosophy we all, have it all by simply being born. Sharing ourselves openly and completely is enough. To be true to oneself some find to be a mountain too high to summit, others live within it with ease, where are you on that scale?

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Cajun Inspired Stuffed Chayotes

Stuffed chayotesBy Desiree Brassert

Elevate the humble chayote (or mirliton in Louisiana) with this Cajun-inspired recipe. The miniature version (or cocorro in these parts) makes for an attractive party appetizer or side dish. Try this unfailing southern technique of: boil–hollow–stuff–bake, and you’ll be on to something!

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Saint Clownfoot

shambling through paradiseRight now, as you read this, someone in Costa Rica—most likely a foreign man—is walking down a street in agony. This man has just bought a pair of shoes from a local zapateria, and the agony is because they convinced him that all would be bueno if he bought the size 44 shoe for his size 46 feet. This man, exhausted after having visited a few dozen shoe stores, finally relented and forced his foot into a shoe meant for a man with slightly smaller feet. Every step produces a wince and the beginnings of a ripe and bloody blister.

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High Lonesome Sound

Fiddlin'AroundThere’s a feeling that can quietly creep over us and which is painful, but also kind of unique to each of us, which makes it even more powerful. I’m talking about being lonesome. Some sounds and musical efforts to explain this isolating and singular sorrow do better at defining this very un-definable word than words ever could. Musical sounds that can’t be described very well but we all know what they ‘feel’ like. Lonesome is the sound of one trumpeter playing taps in a quiet graveyard. Lonesome is the sound of an unseen paddle wheeler blowing its steam whistle to warn other boats on a foggy and dark Mississippi River. Lonesome is a train whistle somewhere in the distance on a hot summer night. Lonesome is Carlos Santana’s distinctive guitar echoing through a hushed and reverent stadium before the rest of the band kicks in. Lonesome is hearing two coyotes (some Native Americans called them ‘song dogs’) singing to each other across a vast mountain meadow. Lonesome is the sound of a frightened kitten abandoned in an urban alley. The great and often troubled Hank Williams wrote a song called I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry in the 1940s that perhaps says it best:

Hear the lonesome whippoorwill, he sounds too blue to fly. The midnight train is whining low, I’m so lonesome I could cry. I’ve never seen a night so long, when time goes crawling by. The moon just went behind a cloud, to hide its face and cry. Did you ever see a robin weep, when leaves begin to die? That means he’s lost the will to live—I’m so lonesome I could cry. The silence of a falling star, lights up a purple sky. And as I wonder where you are, I’m so lonesome I could cry.”

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