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Friday, September 9, 2011

I Am Curious Gecko

Our driveway

Joy, oh joy! Layne is home! My heart went pitter-pat Wednesday night when at about 9:35 p.m. the lights of the taxi came shining down the driveway. Good grief! You’d think we were teenaged sweethearts heading for the prom instead of lovers for some 32 years now. And yes, we do know just how lucky we are to still be so happy together.

The best news about his return is that the medical prognosis for his sister, as the doctor reported to them on Tuesday, was much better than we had feared. At this point they are doing no treatment, just watching the situation to be sure she has no further problems.

Independence Day parade last year
So we are back to our Pura Vida life here in Costa Rica. Yesterday, after uncharacteristically sleeping in, we went out for our morning walk into town to pick up a few groceries and get our exercise. Along the way we saw a Tico friend Marciel, whose excellent Italian sausage (yes, I know - Italian?) is all the rave around town. After putting in our order for a half-kilo of the spicy version, we learned that Marciel is planning an Independence Day celebration at Roma Vista, reputed to be a beautiful resort up the mountain a few minutes out of Atenas. He showed us his flyer and asked for our help in spiffing it up a bit to attract more Gringos, adding a graphic and scanning in the map he had drawn. As former publishers/editors ourselves, Layne and I were only too happy to assist. And we’ll definitely be in attendance next Thursday, the 15th, to help celebrate the 190th year of independence here in Costa Rica.
One of last year's little dancers
Well, the rest of yesterday got away from me so now it’s Friday afternoon and I’m trying to finish this little post. We met up with Marciel at the feria this morning and gave him our new and improved edit of his Independence Day flyer; he seemed quite happy with it. Now we’ll send around some emailed invitations and hope for a good crowd next week. It sounds like a festive afternoon with barbeque, ceviche, corn-on-the-cob and typical Tico comidas (foods). Plus, with DJ music and dancing, you know we’ll be there!

A gecko audience of one
As a dancer since the age of five, I love moving to the music. And I believe in stretching before any strenuous exercise. So one morning recently as I was doing my stretches prior to a walk, I looked up and noticed that I had an audience of one. A curious little gecko was perched on the top edge of a painting and was eyeing me closely as I stretched my arms overhead or dropped down to touch my toes. I stopped and looked at him; he cocked his head and looked back. I moved closer and picked up my camera; he took a few cautious steps along the picture frame but didn’t run away. Instead, he continued to observe my actions for a full ten minutes as I did my warm-up and took pictures of him. Needless to say, it gave me a giggle to think my athletic efforts were of such interest to the tiny creature.

Other creatures in our neighborhood are less impressed with human activities than the resident gecko. Wandering up the wooded hillside behind our apartment one day while Layne was still away, I noticed dramatic movement in the trees above me and suddenly realized there was a troop of white-faced monkeys leaping through the branches, unconcerned about the human on the ground below. As I watched and took pictures and videos, they balanced effortlessly on narrow limbs as they munched on some kind of fodder. It almost looked like corncobs with the husks hanging loose and perhaps it was since we have several cornfields nearby, all ready for harvest. Occasionally one more dominant monkey would push another away, hoping to keep the food to himself, but in general they appeared familial and gregarious, as they scurried from tree to tree. Having capuchin monkeys migrate through our backyard is one of the best things about living here. They are adorable! I just hope they don’t steal the ripening bananas from our front yard tree. I have plans for those myself!

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