They Call Me Marteen!

Marty isn’t a very common name here so I’ve adopted Martin which is common and it’s pronounced Marteen! I don’t know why but I really like my new name. It goes with my new life. Haven’t taken a lot of pictures because I haven’t really gone anywhere new lately. There is a gal that comes to my apartment and cleans, cooks, does my laundry and helps me with my Espanol 4 hrs a day 5 days a week. She has really helped me to learn how to eat cheaply here and more importantly she is really helping me with my pronunciation and helping me to remember all the words necessary to carry on a conversation. After she leaves I’ll run any errands I need and then head back to my apt to study Espanol. On many evenings I’ll go with Carlos or by myself to the beach and will take a 40 min or better swim. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful sunsets while we were swimming and the water temperature is just perfect.

I’ll be arriving in Portland on Aug 13 @ 11:06 pm. This will be my first time returning to the USOA in just over 10 months. I’m somewhat expecting sensory overload and I know I’m going to freeze at night. The low here is often higher than the high there. I was always cold in Washington and I’ve never been cold here so it will be an interesting experience to say the least.

I should have my old telephone number working once I arrive in Denver barring any technical difficulties and would love to hear from and see as many of you as possible when I get to Longview. Until then buenas suertes! good luck😉

Rodeo Costa Rica Style

I drove to Santa Cruz on Monday to meet up with my friend Silene. She’s one of the students in the university that I met when I was living with Cecilia. I’m really impressed with Silene. She is majoring in ecotourism management and hopes to one day be the director of some sort of business related to the ecotourism industry. Obviously, Costa Rica is the perfect place for her decision. Santa Cruz is a 40 min drive to the south and has a population of 60,000. July 25th is the celebration of the Annexation of Guanacaste which happened in 1824 when the Guanacaste province which I currently reside in seceded from Nicaragua. It’s given great importance because it is a large province and it’s felt that it gave Costa Rica much of it’s culture today. Seline said we were going to a bullfight. My first thought was that I didn’t want to see any bulls killed but I didn’t want to be rude and I thought “when in Rome………..”. Fortunately it turned out to be a translation error as it was just a bull riding event. It was unlike any rodeo I’ve ever been to though! Here’s some video from the event. They don’t have a few clowns like in the us, but there are lots of people to distract the bulls. There was also a ruckus that started up behind the bleachers we were sitting in that I’ve added a video of. I only caught the tail end of it on video. I’ve seen it in the movies but this was the first time in real life I saw a guy grab a bottle and bust it to use as a weapon. Quite an entertaining day to say the least.



The abundance of wildlife here is astounding. There aren’t very many mammals in this part of the country. There is a small white tail deer a bit larger than a goat but I’ve yet to see one in the wild. The squirrel is probably the most abundant besides the howler monkeys. I can hear them from time to time in my new place but I’ve yet to see any here. Add insects, reptiles and birds to the equation and it’s another world. I was sitting out on my back patio watching the birds and gazing up at this giant Guanacaste tree when I notice a lizard about 18-24″ long perched up on a limb. When I came out later, his camouflage is so good I didn’t notice him at first.IMG_1490IMG_1491

While I’m watching this prehistoric specimen I noticed another one of the many squirrels right above me.IMG_1494

A bit later it started raining and I had the back door open and this guy kept wanting to come in the house to visit.

The next day I see a wasp on the concrete wall behind the apartment and he’s alive but he’s not acting and doing normal wasp things. When I looked closer I could see why. The ants (hormigas) had a hold of him. He was still alive. What a way to go!IMG_1496IMG_1497IMG_1498IMG_1499IMG_1500

Woke up this morning and found this guy. He didn’t seem very healthy for some reason but another example of the variety of life that lives here.20160724_084349.jpg

I saw one of these birds closer yesterday and the light on his back wing feathers was multicolored and beautiful. In this shot the light isn’t very good but you can see the unique looking tail feathers he has. The guanacaste tree behind my apartment is a small micro ecosystem. Hopefully I’ll get some shot’s when the light is right so you can see his beautiful colors. How about the tail feathers on that bird?!?!?IMG_1502