31. If That Was Earth Moving Then…

Monday 7/19- Since we are now reasonably sure that we will be purchasing the land we had put the offer on, it was time to have Geiner take a look at it with us. (I mean down here, who really knows until closing, it seems like things change constantly and are not certain until they happen!) We met him in the morning to go take a look, and when we got there we were pleased to see that someone had put up strings that outlined the property borders. That was a GREAT help to see what land would actually be ours since it was hard to tell and vague before. It was also a great help for Geiner to see what he would be dealing with and building on.

 Fortunately for us, he thought this would be a really great piece of property. It’s in a good location, it’s reasonably flat, and it’s definitely big enough that we would be able to build what we are thinking. Awesome!! He thinks that we’ll be much happier on this property than the small one or the one with the falling down cliff. His opinion really did make us feel a lot better about our decision.

We talked about possible layouts, where would be best to put the house versus the patio and pool, etc. and got his ideas to what he thought would work best. Ramie now has some more work to do to make the designs he has been sketching fit into a long narrow piece of property. Ramie has been working hard trying to design our house, and every day comes up with another new idea or variation of an old one. At this point, it’s getting tough to decide what we might ultimately want and like, but having options is always a good thing! 

Wednesday 7/21- If you thought last Fridays little earthquake was a cool first experience for us, today’s was even better!! Today was kind of a lazy day around the house, we didn’t have any plans and we had spent most of our day just doing whatever. I had been working on writing and posting the next blog post (we had been having issues with facebook letting us post about the blog and I was getting very frustrated trying to figure it out) so I had been working on the computer all afternoon. Ramie was going back and forth between searching google for house designs and drawing his version of the online designs. As I was typing, I suddenly felt a small movement, like someone had pushed the chair I was sitting in a little bit, and it kept going, ever so slightly. I looked up at Ramie who was sitting across from me at the table also on his computer, and he didn’t seem to have noticed anything. I waited another couple of seconds before saying anything, and then asked him if he felt that too. Just as he was about to say that he felt something, they swaying became a little bit stronger and you could see the water in our cups sitting next to us moving. The swaying became stronger and stronger until it felt like you had been drinking far too much and the whole room was moving. We looked back into the house and saw that the pendant lights in the kitchen were swinging and kept gaining momentum until they were swinging about 5-6 inches back and forth. Now THIS was an earthquake! Neither one of us moved from our place on the balcony and just couldn’t believe what was happening. It probably would have been smart for us to move from the elevated balcony out onto the driveway in case the movement got worse, but this being our first one, we were kind of in shock and didn’t think. After what felt like forever, but was probably less than a minute, the swaying stopped and the only evidence that it had ever happened were the still swinging pendant lights.

Well, what do you do after you experience your first biggish earthquake, in the middle of the day, while you’re sitting on your computers? Well, you get on Facebook and check the Costa Rica groups to see if anyone else felt it and posted about it! After a few minutes, the posts started popping up. People from all over the country had felt it and everyone was just waiting for the University of Costa Rica website to post the official information. Yes, the University of Costa Rica has a website dedicated to earthquakes that happen in the country and surrounding areas. Here they record the time, place, strength, and other data about earthquakes that affect Costa Rica.

After a half hour or so, the data showed up, and what we felt may have actually been 2 earthquakes at almost the same time and almost the same location (how they could tell it was 2 and not only 1 is beyond my comprehension). The earthquakes happened in the ocean approximately 200 miles away from us and about 12 km deep (this is very shallow for an earthquake we later learned, which is part of the reason why it felt so strong) and registered a 7.0 which is pretty high on the scale.

Earthquakes happen often here in Costa Rica because the country is located near several fault lines. We never realized just how much seismic activity was going on until we discovered the website and began looking at it. There are tremors nearly every day, and lots of them all over country, but most are weak and you don’t notice them or know they are happening, but the big ones—well, I guess you notice those! It’s a good thing we have a builder who knows how to build houses to withstand the shaking! He built the rental that we are staying in and we could feel how sturdy it felt during the shaking.

If you are curious to see the earthquake data for yourself, you can check out the map at: https://rsn.ucr.ac.cr/


  1. Awesome! Chad and I went on vacation in the Dominican and felt two earthquakes while we were there. I guess when you're out in the ocean, these are normal occurrences, but still really cool to experience! I'm so happy that you got an offer accepted and are enjoying your new life! Keep the blogs coming! :-)

    1. Earthquakes are one of those weird things that you don't really understand until you experience one (or a few). This large-ish one we experienced definitely wasn't as scary as the ones you sometimes see on TV or hear about, but I know that they can be very scary! Some places (like here & the Dominican) they are just a part of life regular! Thanks for reading!


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