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Dia de Independencia en Costa Rica

In truth, today is not yet the Costa Rican Independence Day. That happens tomorrow. Tonight the big event happened at 6:00 PM, approximately 26 minutes ago. The Costa Rican national anthem played on the speakers all over the country and patriotic Ticos were supposed to stop what they were doing and sing along.I’ve read about the Costa Rican Independence Day in guidebooks and they sensationalize the ...
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Jennifer- Day 33- The Costa Rican Comfort Zone

Today was a very normal sort of day. I did what I normally do. All day. There were only a few things that were different from my regular routine at home in the United States. First of all, I went for a 4 mile jog UPHILL. This uphill jog was extreme. I am used to running on flat surfaces. There is much huffing and puffing while John and I jog and it isn’t entirely meditative like it is at home, but I’m ...
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Lydian – Day 30 – Poas Volcano, Sweet Treats, and Milkshakes

I woke up that morning to the sound of the door closing as my dad went out to the car to get it for another day. The night before, I had decided that I wanted to go with, but I had just gotten comfortable on my paper thin mattress that allows my butt to hit the wood holding me and mattress up. It’s not comfy. But, anyways, I heard him pull out, and figured that I couldn’t get out there in time. I found out ...
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Grateful to Be Complaining

There is nothing in the world as important as a comfortable place to sit when you don’t have one. Or warmth when you can’t get out of the cold. There is nothing like a really good book when you only have five minutes to read. And there is nothing like warm food when you’ve been eating Power Bars for every meal.I complain a lot in blog posts because I’m trying to keep our experience “real”. I mean, I do ...
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Poas Volcano vs. Reading Rainbow

Volcan Poas. What can I say? It is a major tourist attraction in Costa Rica. It’s near where we live. We had to go. Maybe I sound like a poopey-butt, but I didn’t want to go. The day before we returned from Manuel Antonio National Park and frankly, we were tired and all of us kind of wanted to stay home.But, we had rented a car and it was just too easy to go see Volcan Poas. We felt guilty staying home ...
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Lydian – Day 29 – Manuel Antonio National Park

We got to see a sloth. The likelihood of getting to see a sloth at any national park, anywhere, at any time, is a rare occurrence. I suppose that we’re very lucky people. Actually, I think that we got to see two of these rather adorably ugly creatures. We also got to see some crocodiles alongside a river on the way to the national park. They were HUGE! They were probably 10 feet or something like that. We ...
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Manuel Antonio National Park

It's a major tourist destination in Costa Rica. What can I say that has not already been said in guidebooks? It’s so hard to write about tourist destinations because they are a little bit “canned”. The experience of going to a tourist destination is a lot like riding a train. There is never any question about where the train is going or where it will end up. There are no digressions along the way. The only ...
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Seasons Here (in Costa Rica) and Abroad

It doesn’t actually get cold here, but sometimes I do feel cold. The reason why I feel cold, especially at night or during a major rainstorm is because of the unbelievably high humidity. I can put on a long sleeved shirt and still feel just as cold as when I was just wearing a tank top because the humidity is all-enveloping. It wraps around the body and bathes a person head to toe. Everything is just a ...
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The Uncomfortable Relationship between Low Probability and Possibility

We are nearing the halfway point of our travels here to Costa Rica. We’ve just moved to a new house where we’ve been for 5 days now. Last weekend we went to Volcan Poas and Manuel Antonio National Park. And today, we’re supposed to go visit the orphanage here in Atenas to see if we are “good enough” to volunteer.I have a generalized feeling of stress and I believe it is coming from the interactions I’ve ...
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Jennifer- Day 32- Working Online in Costa Rica

It is September when kids return to school and parents begin the arduous transition back to a busy schedule that includes very early mornings, homework, and extracurricular activities. Traditionally during this time of year, we tend to have less work. When we owned the web development company, our sales would drop back precipitously for at least 6 weeks into the middle of October. Now that we work online as ...
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Jennifer-Day 31- The Smell of Arrogance and Conceit

We stopped at the orphanage yesterday to talk with someone about doing a little bit of volunteer work. The woman in charge, luckily, speaks English. She’s American but grew up in Papua New Guinea with missionary parents. Her story is strikingly similar to the tale told by the vacation rental property manager in La Fortuna. He had grown up in the Congo with missionary parents. I’m not sure which place would ...
Costa Rica Destinations — By Jennifer Shipp
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Costa Rica Destinations — By Jennifer Shipp

This morning when I woke up, I felt as though I were sleeping in a hamster ball. My mattress must have been used by a very large person for a very long time and it felt as though I was sleeping in that person’s giant body-print. John is sleeping in the other bed because there is only one flat-ish lump in the middle of it for one thin-ish person. Very large giants must have slept together in his bed because ...
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The End of the World is Coming…

I have a habit. I flip through yahoo gossip stuff that is almost always stupid on a daily basis. Sometimes, this stuff pays off, and there’s something interesting. So, y’know how we were in an earthquake a couple of days ago? Well, now the Yangtze River in China is turning red. Seriously, check it out. I don’t know if this plays into Armageddon at all, but I’ve been dropping my phone on a daily basis. This ...
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Jennifer- Day 28- Tiny Living Nightmares

Moving to a new house or accomodations is stressful even if the move isn’t “permanent” or long-lasting. Yesterday we moved from our uncomfortable house with the hard furniture in Alajuela to a new, much cheaper house in Atenas with soft, but smelly furniture. Settling in is always an ordeal and this is especially true for places in the world where there is no winter. No winter means that there are lots of ...
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Lydian – Day 28 – The New House

So we moved to the house. Things are a okay. Tonight me and my mom are going to go to belly dance class in town at Su Espacio in Atenas… It seems like a nice place as far as I can tell. This morning, regarding the topic of exercise, we ran up and down the street, which is MUCH easier said than done. There’s a GIANT hill outside that we ran up and down about five or six times, and then there was another hill ...
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Lydian – Day 25 – Two Day Countdown to Comfy Chairs

So. In two days, we’re moving to a new location. I cannot wait. No longer will I be required to listen to the mournful yowling and yipping of the neighbor's dog. No longer will I be required to watch bad children’s programs of TV with the neighbors. No longer will the lawn chair I call my own be of great matter. No longer will these things be. And, at least after you walk down the hill from this new ...
Costa Rica Earthquake 2012 — By Jennifer Shipp
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Costa Rica Earthquake 2012 — By Jennifer Shipp

It was a beautiful morning for an earthquake. The past two days it's been extremely foggy and overcast here, but this morning when I went outside, the sun was shining brightly and the sky was blue. It's the rainy season in Costa Rica right now and I expected the thunderstorms, the lightning and torrential rains. But one thing I didn’t expect when we decided to go on a trip here was an earthquake.I ...
Our Costa Rican Earthquake – September 5, 2012
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Our Costa Rican Earthquake – September 5, 2012

Today’s 7.6 earthquake in Costa Rica was my first. My virgin earthquake. I have never in my life experienced anything like it and we were even 95 miles from the epicenter. I've always wanted to experience what an earthquake felt like (without dying, getting injured, or watching others die or get injured) and today was my big day. I feel like I should have a very dramatic blow-by-blow of the whole experience ...
The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp
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The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp

So, at about…. 8:42 or so, there was an earthquake here in Costa Rica. We’re currently located just outside of Alajuela, a city located just outside of Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. The earthquake's magnitude was originally a 7.9, but now the Internet is saying it’s a 7.6. It was somewhere around there. So far we’ve heard some helicopters flying overhead and some ambulances going by, but it’s hard to tell ...
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Jennifer-Day 23-Kittens, Cookies, and Craziness

If I only had a kitten, I think I’d be okay. I don’t want to admit that I’m homesick (Is that even possible for someone who's lived in 30 different places {+/-} in the past  15 years?). The word makes me think of summer camp and immaturity, but it also makes me feel less like a total loon and more like someone going through the very normal process of cultural acclimatization or whatnot.“Home” is a ...
Bruised Banana