16. Our American- Costa Rican Mentors

I have talked about Loren and Nancy a little bit in some past posts, they are the American couple who has lived down here for about 8 years who we originally met during our vacation here 2 1/2 years ago. They have been a huge help to us on so many things since we have been here (and even before we got here). We message them with questions at least every few days and they have been helping us figure things out so much easier than we would be able to on our own.

Loren owns the new mini-golf course in town that we have been using the internet at while we have been waiting for it to be installed at our house. The mini-golf course actually isn’t even open yet, he’s just waiting on 1 more government certificate before he can open, but everything is pretty much ready for whenever that happens. 


The name of the golf course is Osa Mini Golf, or OMG for short. Pretty smart thinking there! What is Osa? Well, if you remember a previous post about how the country is split into provinces, cantons, and districts, we are in Puntarenas province, Osa canton, and Bahia Ballena district. Then, comes the city, and we are in Uvita. Addresses like we are accustomed to in the US aren’t a thing down here, but if they were, all of those would have to be part of the address. It’s typical for an address to be something like “400 meters south of the grocery store, then 2km West, then South at the fork in the road, 2nd blue house on the right, Uvita, Osa, Puntarenas” or something crazy like that. (Now you know why mail isn’t really a thing down here!!)

Anyway, back to today (Still 6/17/21). Ramie has been itching to talk to Loren about starting some work, so we stopped down at OMG to talk to him today. Back in February when we were here, Loren had mentioned to Ramie that there would be plenty of handyman type work available that he should be able to pick up to make some money. With all of the properties that Loren manages, he knows just how often things at these rentals need to be repaired and we wanted to talk to him about getting started. Unfortunately, Loren’s ideas for this were different than what we had understood previously. He told us that Ramie should make flyers advertising his ability to do work and post them in places like the grocery and hardware stores. The problem with this, though, is that legally we aren’t able to work in Costa Rica until we become residents (3-4 years). The idea of advertising that he’ll do work just didn’t sound like a great idea, nor do we want to upset any of the locals that we live around. Another issue with working like this is it’s a quick and easy way to get kicked out of the country and not obtain our residency if someone in the government or immigration were to find out. So, I guess that means that Ramie has some more research to do and might try to find some sort of online work instead. Does anyone have any leads for some online work for him?

After we had talked to Loren about the work possibilities, he told us that there are a few areas around town that he wanted to show us including an in-process house where we might be able to pick up ideas of what you can do with a tiny piece of property, and to point out a few other houses that Geiner (our contractor) had built. So we jump in his UTV and took off for a tour of the town. As we drove around town he also pointed out an area of almond trees where, if you look long and hard enough, you will surely find a few sloths that always hang out, a few little shops that he goes to, and brought us down some back roads that we had never ventured down.


After our tour of town, he invited us to go out to an early dinner with him and Nancy at their favorite restaurant, Los Laureles. Sure, why not! We hadn’t gone out to eat since we left San Jose. We might as well check out his favorite spot.

We had a nice dinner with Loren and Nancy. The restaurant was a cute little place and the owner Cindy (who was also our waitress) was very friendly. She was excited to tell me about all of their gluten free options, and how they can serve their burgers on patacones instead of a bun (patacones are made out of plantain instead of wheat, I didn’t order these this time, but I am excited to go back sometime and try it!).

We chatted some more with Loren and Nancy and are constantly picking up tips and hints for living around here. They want to bring us shopping in Panama sometime too. They go down there every couple of months for “pantry stock up” and said that a lot of things like toiletries, paper products, and some US style pantry items are less expensive down there. If they are going anyway, we would love to tag along some time just to see it, if nothing else. If we find some good deals while we are there, that would be fantastic too. I guess they also sell household items and even appliances there, so we might be able to save some money on those things once we are ready to start furnishing our future house.

We sat around talking for much longer than we had expected, and by the time we left it was completely dark out and raining. We had never driven in the dark in Costa Rica before. This is one of those things that they say to avoid if possible since the roads can be a little bit treacherous. We had driven the road up to our house at least a dozen or more times so far, so we should be fine, right? BUT, it is raining, and there are not many street lights like back in the US.  As, we’re going down the highway on the way home, we drove past the gas station. What?! We missed our turn and went too far!! We were supposed to turn BEFORE the gas station! We turned around and easily found our turn off of the highway on the way back.

It wasn’t terribly late by the time we got home, but our days start early down here because of the monkeys and birds, so our nights are early as well. We were ready to take a shower and go to bed after we got home, so that’s exactly what we planned to do. UNTIL… we discovered we didn’t have any hot water in the shower. Now what!? We tested the bathroom sink and then the kitchen sink—sure enough, no hot water. Ahh.. screw it. Cold showers it is!!  We’ll figure out what is going on in the morning.

Pura Vida!