Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ghost Town Stay-cation

Who wouldn't like a stay-cation when you live in Costa Rica?  That's what we decided to do this week, Semana Santa, probably the biggest beach-travel week in the country.  We spent Monday and Tuesday stocking up, taking care of errands and chores around town.  Wednesday, I was all set to enjoy the day at home, when I saw the news report - Thursday and Friday, by law, are *DRY!*  That is, absolutely *no* alcohol can be sold on those two days.  Having never personally dealt with blue laws (only even heard about them well into adulthood), and often relied on 24-hour supermarkets for "oops we're out, gotta make a beer run" emergencies, this was a bit new.  Lickety-split, I took the cart down to the store and piled in the spirits - 'cause, you know, if a day is supposed to be dry, well, ya just gotta drink, right?  (I exaggerate just a bit)

But we did while away the weekend in our cave, and it was lovely :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What a Week!

What a week (to miss out on)!  Yes, I'm going to whine...

I was not up to snuff this week, and missed out on a *lot!*
Saturday:  dragged through class, hopefully absorbed something, but I was certainly not a stellar student.
Sunday:  no visiting with friends.
Monday:  missed Juan Santamaría Day in Alajuela; parade, festivities, museum events.
Tuesday:  chores at home, but did not experiment as planned with a hoped-for butcher delivery.
Wednesday:  missed afternoon festivities at UCR, but at least we walked through it on our way to the clinic;  *REALLY* missed the Art City Tour!  Had planned to meet friends and make a real night of it.  Back-up plan was to go to the Alliance Française for a Milonga.  Too tired for even that.
Thursday:  no painting workshop with friends.  At least I can hear some of the music wafting over from UCR while I rest up in my recliner.
FridaySemana U will still be going on at UCR.  Maybe...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Phew! Not Dengue!

I do not have Dengue!

We had a little scare here this last week - I got sick on Thursday, and by Saturday morning, I had all the classic symptoms of Dengue Fever.  Fortunately, ALL in miniature, so not a whole lot of pain or life-derangement :-).  I felt well enough to go to class Saturday, although I was not really with it (but no tests, so lucky me!).

By Monday, we had decided that I'd better see a doctor to find out if it really was Dengue.  We had read that not everyone has the severe symptoms, so even though mine were minimal and very short, it was still possible.  The most important reason to know for sure whether or not I had it, is that the second time someone is exposed to the virus, it can be life-threatening.  Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a high risk when someone has the dengue antibodies from a previous bout. 

Well, it turns out that the EBAIS is closed on national holidays* (imagine that!), and Monday was Juan SantaMaria Day.  We made our trek to the clinic, not really expecting it to be open, but we didn't know for sure (now we do!).  We couldn't go Tuesday, so that left today.  By the way, each trip to the EBAIS means getting in line somewhere around 6:00 a.m., getting an appointment for later that morning, perhaps returning for tests, etc.  Basically, you get up too darned early, and your day is shot.  But, you get pretty much everything taken care of all in one day.  Today was only slightly different, because dengue is a public health issue, and so the blood test for it is "urgent."  So, after my morning doctor's appointment, we went to the urgent laboratory at UCR, got blood drawn, then went to the cafeteria there for brunch.  We returned to the clinic for the results.  We had a little language mix-up**, and so were two hours late :-| but they fit us in!  And... NO DENGUE!  Turned out it was a bigger relief than I anticipated!  I'll still worry a bit about mosquito bites, but if the bugger is carrying dengue, at least I am back at square one in that progression.  Square one is a *good* thing sometimes!

* In case you didn't know, next week is Semana Santa, and Thursday and Friday are national holidays too.

** language mix-ups are no fun!  And here's an easy one:  12:30 sounds like "dosayeemedia" and 2:30 sounds like "doseemedia"  - say that fast and see what happens...  The fix is this - write down the numbers and confirm those with the person giving you the appointment.  It's a bit harder to *remember* to do this...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glazed Ginger Carrots

Glazed Ginger Carrots

In a small amount of water, cook to desired texture (I like al dente)
- 2 sliced and peeled carrots

Drain off the water, and add:
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 TBS brown sugar
- 2 TBS dried cranberries (available at most AutoMercados)
- 2 TBS chopped candied ginger (available at Super Sony in San José)
- a *very* slight sprinkling of cayenne pepper and cinnamon

Cook an additional minute or two over medium heat, then serve.

Excellent with baked pork loin or chicken.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Norman in Action

Lunch at Jalapeño's in Alajuela is always a treat!  Not only do we get great food, but watching Norman and his crew in action is fun (and informative!).

------ where is it? -------
From the North-East corner of the Cathedral, go North 1 1/2 blocks.  It's on the right.
Go 1/2 block South from the post office.

Note that all streets inside the Calle Ancha in centro Alajula are one-way streets.  This one goes North. Of course, if you're walking, that doesn't really matter :-)

Sometimes a map helps:

Monday, April 4, 2011

We're in the Pink

There's an explosion of pink, and we're right in the middle of it!
And just to balance things out, one non-pink flower: