Subscribe to Our Costa Rica Experience

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Earthquakes and Egrets and Illness, Oh My!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

         Layne and I are both suffering from, putting it delicately, intestinal distress today, he more than me, poor baby. As our neighbor coyly put it the other day when speaking in front of a small girl, the “d” word that ends in “a” with a lot of “r’s” in the middle. Apparently a few other Gringos here at the Villas have also had a bout of diarrhea since coming here.
         It’s the money, I think. One must be wary in handling money, especially in Latin countries. Money is very dirty, literally and figuratively. I would say the dirtiness of money is a metaphor for the ills of the world. Money is soiled by its passage through many filthy hands, all smudging it with their greed and hunger and covetousness.
         I remember well how desperately ill I became on a trip to Cancun with my mother some years ago. At the time, I was still a nail-biter and it was from putting my fingers in my mouth, I’m sure, that I contracted what is often called Montezuma’s Revenge. I was so sick I honestly wished I would die. My poor mother was distraught, helplessly watching me retch over and over and moan and wallow in bed in agony, all while losing precious vacation time. Within a day or two, I recovered but it was one of the lessons in hygiene that led to my current status as a recovered nail-nibbler.
         (In our case, I’ve since decided it was poorly prepared ceviche last night. Watch out for the raw fish. Ugh.)
         Yesterday Layne and I took a walk using our new GPS device and along the way, we stopped for him to get a haircut at a small local salon. With one person in the chair and another one in line, we had quite a wait, offering us an opportunity to practice the Costa Rican slogan: Patience, patience, patience and always carry an umbrella. While I passed the time, I picked up La Nacion newspaper and was surprised at how much I was able to make sense of the Spanish-language reporting. The top story related to the cover photograph of the Costa Rican legislature in session with a couple of lawmakers in discussion. The report said that one member was explaining to another about the need for the new traffic law currently under debate and which has been changed dramatically from one day to the next. First, it included stiff fines and instituted a “point system” for infractions similar to what we have in the US. Next, there was talk of lowering the fines and eliminating the point system, or reducing the points for violations, based on concerns for people who must drive to work or risk losing a job. Who knows where it stands today? Being constantly on alert for speeding and reckless drivers as we walk around town, Layne and I do hope that they introduce some kind of stringent rules to slow down the traffic and to encourage greater caution on the part of drivers. For all the many civilized aspects of life in Costa Rica, the driving here is really atrocious. I wonder at the number of dogs, cats and children endangered each day by such wild drivers.
         We experienced our first Costa Rican earthquake last night. It was about 10:45 and I had just set my book aside and turned out the light. The wind was truly howling outside, another of those gusty, blustery nights that we’ve experienced here. Then suddenly, it felt as if the wind had hit a new high and was literally shaking the building. But the tremor lasted several seconds more than a wind gust and I said aloud: “Oh, it’s an earthquake!” This one never gained strength or hit a loud and sharp jolt like other major quakes I have felt in my life in California. It simply shook the house for perhaps 8 seconds and then died back down; I’m guessing it was about a 3.5 Richter level. I’ve tried to find a news report on it this morning but nothing appeared in the English-language papers; perhaps I’ll try reading the La Nacion online to see if they have a report.
         Another story in yesterday’s La Nacion was on the recent swarm of tremors around Irazu Volcano, about which I wrote in my last post. A front page headline led to the story on page thirteen where a map with red dots showed all the places the small quakes had been felt down the side of the volcano. There were more than I had realized, perhaps 12 or 15, and I would guess that last night’s tremor here was part of the same flurry of activity Irazu is currently exhibiting. We shall say a prayer today to Costa Rica’s “Pele” that Her restlessness will soon diminish. (Attached graphic is from La Nacion website.)
         (Update: According to La Nacion, last night’s temblor measured 4.4 on the Richter scale and was centered near Sabinilla in the Central Valley below Irazu Volcano, somewhat southeast of us.)
         (Above is a photo of the longhorn cattle next door. Note the white Cattle Egret feasting on bugs at their feet. A symbiotic relationship.)

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info for my mission.
    My website : next page