We are learning how to live in Orosi (poco a poco - bit by bit).
Our house in Orosi is definitely Tico style, and not fancy. But it is giving us a taste of how we will live here long term.
It has two bedrooms, a living room (with a TV in a cage - it must be dangerous ;)), a bathroom, and a shared kitchen. Sometimes I feel like I am camping - we have a two-burner gas stovetop (no oven), and we pour hot water thru a filter to make coffee. We have a few plates and silverware (I bought two steak knives, so we have more than one big chef's knife now), and so we wash dishes as soon as we use them - even during cooking, because we use the eating utinsels to cook with :) . Then we bring everything into our living room to eat (the kitchen is outside our apartment, and the fridge is outside under an overhang). We go shopping every day (especially good since the electricity is going out a lot now - no food to throw away). The grocery store is only a block away, so it is *really* convenient.
Orosi is interesting, and cool enough when the rains hit. There are quite a few places we haven't been yet, but plan on visiting - Cartago, swimming hole,
We were just going to ask our landlady if we could borrow some cleaning equipment, when she asked if we wanted to hire her cleaning lady. Good timing! We hired her on the spot, for $4 per visit (she cleans the main - big - house for $5, so we are probably paying more than if we had bargained). Interesting though; when we asked about caja and taxes (like social security here), they both almost gasped and said no, no, no. So we are trying it out for one day per week. She will also wash our clothes for an additional charge (our house has no facilities for this). We also found out that our landlady will take care of our sheets - we had assumed that she was just lending them to us, and we had to wash them.
Visiting friends and family is very important here - we moved out of Teresita's house on Sunday, and saw them on Tuesday - they said "didn't you miss us? why haven't you visited?" They see each other several times a day.
We had lunch at Susan's house last Sunday, and met her Tico neighbors (Susan is a gringa who bought a house in Orosi - we met here at the Spanish school). On Friday, we walked down to see her (the walk takes about 15 minutes). She was sick, so we brought her a book and some soup. On the way there, we talked with her neighbor for a few minutes. When Susan didn't answer our call of "upe," we figured she was asleep, so we left the goodies with her neighbor (and visited for a few more minutes). As we were leaving, they invited us to lunch on the coming Sunday :D.
After the electricity came back on last night, Rick wasn't feeling well, so I went to Teresita's house to say we weren't sure we could visit the finca with them Saturday (today). I brought a list of baby names Rick had put together for Mariela, and I spent close to an hour with them - talking about electricity outages and baby names. Teresita said she would come by our house soon to visit - I couldn't state a date and time, since our kitchen set-up is so limited. I think cafecito would be best - I think food (or at least offering food) is an important element of these visits.