Newsletter - April 26 - 2013

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Rainy season is finally here.


For the first time in our tenure here in Costa Rica people all over the country have been posting in Facebook and in online publications…"bring the rain, it’s TOO dry, we need water NOW". Gringos NEVER say this… everyone has always wanted the eternal summer months here for the surf and the sun. But not this year.


The birds love it… almost immediately the toucans came back as well as the howler monkeys ( at least in our neighborhood ). Woodpeckers, from the pileated to several smaller varieties… flocks of parrots, we have several new nests ( no eggs yet… but soon ) near our house and the hummingbirds are back at the feeder.


The grass is slowly turning green and the peanut grass is finally filling in as well. Some varieties of trees are losing their leaves and others are growing new. Now… at least before the really heavy rains start (which won’t be until September and October) everyone rejoices and people know that they will be able to work a little less hard (legitimately )… and relax a little more during the day. And of course, it is cooler. The hot, humid weather of the past two months or so is finally disappearing. And for those of you who don’t know the exact nature of the rains here… in the early rainy season the rains are lighter and sporadic, not even daily… and with time they become more regular but generally the rains do not last more than an hour or two… it is not until October and into November that the rains become heavier. They are never… well, almost never… oppressive and depressing.


Rhonda and I were at our favorite coffee shop last weekend and we got long distance phone call from one of our all time favorite people… Janet from Nova Scotia. We had not heard, except in an occasional email , from Janet for close to two years. We had met her and her husband, Bob, when they had come to visit Grecia about four or five years ago. They were on an reconnaissance mission to “see if Costa Rica was suitable for them.”


I don’t know how many of you have met someone who you immediately feel comfortable with and know instinctively that you can trust with your life… but Bob and I had this type of relationship even though we did not ultimately spend that much time together. I can count the number of people in my life that I have felt this way about on one hand… and virtually none are left today. Friendship like this is one of the most precious gifts in the world.



Bob was the chief speechwriter for the Prime Minister of Canada. He could talk for hours about his experiences and he would listen to mine. Both of us had equally dry, sarcastic senses of humor. I still remember the time that he told me that for each major policy speech he would prepare two speeches… and when it was time for the speech... the prime minister would tell Bob what he wanted to accomplish and leave the choice of the speech up to Bob.


Bob and Janet met through work as Janet worked in Ottawa in the same office. They were married a few years before they both retired and moved to Costa Rica. They made each other laugh and they were starting the first leg of their retirement together. And they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and that alone was a treat.



They moved to Costa Rica and initially rented in Grecia. We didn’t spend as much time together as we first did, but whenever we did get together it was as if time had never passed.


Then Bob was diagnosed with ALS … Lou Gehrig’s disease.


With us … Bob never talked about the disease… but it progressed quickly.


The last time we saw them, we laughed as much as ever but Janet had to feed Bob (she had cooked us the spaghetti dinner that she had always threatened to do) and Bob had trouble swallowing. At the end of the evening, we hugged and told each other “we love you.”





Rhonda and I cried on the way home. And shortly after that they left to return to Canada… and contact became more sporadic. And Bob died last year.


And when Janet called, she said she wanted us to rent or sell the house they had purchased in Grecia for investment. She told me that Bob told her not to let anyone else handle the transaction except me… he told her that he knew from the first time we met that he could trust me without reservation.


And when she told me this, in our coffee shop, I cried… because I never cried when he died… because I didn’t know when it happened.


Bob was one of the best friends I ever had… even though our friendship was one of the most shortlived. And it is another reason why I love being here… because Costa Rica was responsible for us meeting. And there are no such things as coincidences.


Goodbye, Bob. And thanks for being my friend.



Thanks for reading.





























































































































p.s. Next week we will have pictures of our new Tico development,

Las Arabicas as well as a proposal for our newest… watch for the next newsletter!




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